Q: How do I overcome the ‘fear factor’ when cycling? I’ve been cycling on a road bike for about a year and it still scares me, the roads here in Britain are either full of cyclist hating cars or they are winding country roads with poor visibility and potholes, not to even mention the slipperiness caused by the wonderful climate that creates our green and pleasant land. Every now and then I get the sweetest ride and feel elated, but generally I’m fretting, which is exhausting and burns way too many calories! I know I should ‘man up’ but I’m not a man! Any advice, tips, tricks all gratefully received. – S. Ingle
A: My best advice to you is to join a cycling club. There is strength in numbers, especially when dealing with cyclist hating motorists. They also probably have ride groups that might take you to some new areas where you have not ridden. A club can also be a forum for advocacy issues such as bike lanes, cycling etiquette and educating motorists. You also might seek out some different routes that either aren’t so busy or have better road surface. Try to plan your rides around the least busy times for cars. Wear reflective gear and make sure you have tire changing gear for those potholes. As for the weather, I can’t help you there. There is a reason I live in a place called Sun Valley!