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Ok, I thought a lot before opening this thread but since I really feel like I need to talk about this and especially with people who live in Europe.

It's not a long time that I've moved to Groningen (Netherlands) to study. And here of course the best transport is biking. For the first 2-3 weeks I didn't have a bike and I walked everywhere (the public transport is pretty bad) but then I got a bike and now I'm having problems. It's just I'm not used to riding a bike in the streets (in Armenia, where I come from it is not usual to cycle in the streets, we do it for fun in the parks). My problem is that I really panic when I see a car in the streets. As a result I can do whatever stupid thing you can think of. Sometimes I stop immediately (which is probably the best thing to do if I'm panicked) but sometimes I lose balance and fall or go on the sidewalk and hit something.

What happened today was the worst thing. I was riding my bike in the street, when I heard a car behind me and I think I panicked again and I ended up being between two cars (one was parked, the other was probably I heard on my back). Maybe the space was too narrow or maybe I was too panicked... Anyway, I remember myself ending up on the ground and I remember myself hiding my head behind the bike (so the bike hit the car, not my head). I'm fine now with only little bruises on my legs.

The thing is now I'm extremely scared and I think I'm going to panic even more if I get on my bike.

So I just needed to share my fear and I would be happy to hear suggestions and advice how to avoid my fear. The thing is that I know the rules very well but it doesn't help me to keep calm while cycling.
All I can say is get use to it. Think that: in Netherlands cycling is a normal thing and cyclists are treat with enormous respect. People who driving a car CAN see you and they don't drive through you or hit you. When driver see the cyclist he/she automatically drives more carefully, because:
- dosen't want to harm you
- doesn't want to destroy a car
- doesn't want to have any troubles (fines etc.). Of course you must stay focus all the time and remember one, unwritten rule: BIGGER (vehicle) always has right of way Tongue

You need to learn to keep calm, cause stress like yours can be a real danger not only for you.

I'll cross my fingers for you.

P.S.
Isn't it a lil bit too cold for bike? Mine felt into hibernation Big Grin
Thanks a lot for the advice! I'm already back on the roads. I can't believe I got rid of my fear that early. Anyway, I'm trying to be careful all the time. It might sound funny but I feel safer when cycling in the dark because this is when everyone is much more careful than in daylight.

Well, in general it is quite cold but cycling keeps me warm.
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