Author Topic: Fear becoming anger  (Read 4656 times)


Fear becoming anger
« on: May 14, 2013, 12:43:06 AM »
Cycling has been my primary mode of tranportation for over 4 yrs. A year ago I was hit pretty hard by a car making an illegal turn, it happened so fast and there was no way to avoid it, I simply could not stop in time. I resolved to never bike at full speed again to avoid this happening in the future. I was scared but eventually got back on the road. A little over a week ago I was hit by someone suddenly opening their car door, this was also unavoidable. I don't know what else I can change about the way I cycle to avoid these collisions.

 I took a week off from cycling to work, my wife has been dropping me off and my co-worker has been driving me to and home from work, this is not a sustainable solution. This morning as my ribs were feeling a bit better I decided to bike to work. As I turned from the side road onto the main road the approaching cars neared, I could hear their engines revving and the tires contacting the pavement, one by one they raced past me and I could feel the wind from their passing. I know that they are not any closer to me than on any other day, but my nerves are rattled and I began to feel as though I required more space than they were giving me.

These thoughts were not blind, they did not go unwatched, but they kept coming, soon they began to change. I began to think of how unfairly cyclists are treated and how we are not given a safe place on the road to exist, it is so obvious to me that I am not surrounded by armor and do not have an engine to power me, why was I forced to ride among these steel giants travelling so much faster than I can. I began to sense that my fear was changing to anger.

I caught this and kept telling myself these are just thoughts don't give them any power, but each time a car and more so when a big truck would pass so closely a deep shutter of fear would come over me. I began to think this is unfair and I'm going to get killed. A few moments later a bus cut in front of me edging me into the curb and stopped to pick-up some passengers, the thoughs of, I'm invisible people don't even see me began to arise, my logical side was saying don't say anything to him just let it go, but my emotional side was saying if you don't let this man know that what he just did was inapropriate they may never stop.

I found myself jumping the curb and riding on the sidewalk towards the open bus doors. I calmly looked at the driver and began to tell him that what he did was not fair, he shrugged his shoulders and said I don't care, closed the doors on my arm and began to drive away. My bike began skidding along the ground and eventually I pulled my arm free from the door.

Emotion got the better of me and I just broke down and cried, I feel very alone. I feel that it is just a matter of time until I am crushed by a dump truck, and I fear that no one gives a crap! If this was a one time thing or even two time thing I might feel differently but this is the sixth time in four years that I have been hit and I believe my survival instinct is on redalert.  I am desperatly trying to think thoughts of loving kindness towards the drivers, I try to think of how good I have it compared to others, I try to think of the poor dead animals I pass everyday on the road and how by riding a bike I am not contributing to their deaths. But this morning there was not much compassion for the car and truck drivers, I feel that some deep survival instinct is affecting me. I am telling myself that this to shall pass, but at this moment I have strong feelings of walking away from it all, it just does not make sense to me anymore.

Any suggestions on observing this fear as I ride, or should I follow my mayors advice...   or this....
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 12:48:11 AM by redalert »

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Fear becoming anger
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 05:21:36 AM »
I’m sorry to hear about your incidences. I’m a fellow cyclist and bike about 200ks or so a week including to work. I’m fortunate that I live in a small town with little traffic though so I have less issues with vehicles, although if one ever did hit me, it’d be doing 100k/h so I’d really know about it. I’d be on the fence about riding in a congested city without cycle lanes.

Buy a motor scooter?


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Re: Fear becoming anger
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 06:32:56 AM »
Any suggestions on observing this fear as I ride...
Trying to observe sensations etc while you are riding the bike may not be a good idea to pursue. Maybe advanced practitioners are able to do that. It may be a good idea to "catch the monster while it is young", meaning, to become aware of and be fully present with the fear while it is just coming up and before it becomes so intense that you lose your senses and become all angry, hurt, frustrated etc. For example, you are sitting at home and deciding to use the bike. As you make the decision, you notice the sensation of fear rising in the body. You notice the change in the rhythm of breathing. You also notice the change in thought patterns. You have not yet acted on the decision and the fear is already rising up, but it has not yet become that intense. So you go cold turkey. You just keep observing the body-mind, letting go of all resistance to what is happening in the moment and allowing the fear to come up; being simply curious to what is happening within you. You keep observing until you see the sensations slowly changing.

 This may not be a quick-fix, it is rather a slow process but this kind of practice can help to build the presence power so that you are able to deal with the fear much better. Hope this helps at least a little.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?


Re: Fear becoming anger
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 11:51:18 AM »
Hi vivek,
Just to clarify it is not the sensations so much that I am observing while cycling as these are difficult to observe, I'm mostly observing thoughts arising, and being aware of sounds and sights. If I take my attention away from the road for even a moment I can ride into a pothole or hit some debris on the road. This is not the first time I've found myself in this position but yesterdays breakdown was a first. The morning commute seems to be the most intense, I think I am going to break the law and bike on the sidewalk until this fear passes. One concern with this is most pedestrians are wearing ear buds now a days and if I approach them from behind even very slowly they sometimes make eradic movements as they have no idea and are not expecting a bike to be behind them. This gets even worse when you approach the elderly, they can become quite frightened even when passing them at slow speeds. I don't see an alternative at the moment.

I will counter the monster with loving kindness and double my efforts at this practice towards others, one thing I find helpful is to pay attention to animals. I live in a very busy developing city and they are constantly developing the land, I often observe the canadian geese, they breed in the same location year after year, it is so sad to see them breeding in a walmart parking lot, but they do this and do it without complaint. Reflecting on this usually makes my aparent problems small in comparison.

I know deep down that cycling is a great way to get around and the benefits and positive effects far outway the negative ones but I'm also being pressured by my family to give this up as they worry for my safety and I also wish to take their needs into concideration.

Darmic Tui,

I'm glad to hear you cycle as well. I don't think a scooter is a solution, I watch them and fear that on one of those when you have an accident it is usually fatal.

P.S. I hope the vehicles are giving you some space when passing at 100km/hr. I rode from vancouver to toronto 12 yrs ago and took the trans canada highway and having the trucks passing me at those speeds was something that I never wish to experience again.


Re: Fear becoming anger
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 10:24:49 PM »
Coasting steadily along the sidewalks seems like a good idea. I walk almost everywhere in my small city/large town, different countries and continents here but I wouldn't mind cyclists breaking laws and riding on the pedestrian path, considering that very law suggests there's enough space in the bike lane or on the side of the road to ride safely and comfortably, which there isn't. Just be sure that you don't put walkers in a similiar position as you when cycling close to motor vehicles.

I feel that some deep survival instinct is affecting me. I am telling myself that this to shall pass, but at this moment I have strong feelings of walking away from it all, it just does not make sense to me anymore.

Could you elaborate on this please? Not sure what you mean by "it all."

Also, Note to self: Buy a bike.


Re: Fear becoming anger
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 11:28:31 PM »
Hey Gary,

Laylife in general is what I was referring to. Renovating rich peoples mansions has lost its appeal, especially when you are tearing apart recently renovated work and binning it. The waste is abismal and trekking across the city day in and day out to service the rich is not as satisfying as it once was. When the 2008 crash occurred I saw the rich with their pants down and I saw the corruption to keep this system in place, and I cannot unsee this.

I would much rather be doing Dhamma service at a vipassana centre, using my talents to build and maintain the structures where people come to heal. I find giving service to be very benificial, but with a young family my presence is needed at home the majority of the time. I would love to move the family closer and enjoy both worlds but this does not seem feasable at this current moment. Maybe one day.

On another note, I made it to work and home with little to no bother using the sidewalk, in the morning there were next to no pedestrians, it was cold so that may have been a factor, on the way home there were more so I had to manuever from sidewalk to road a few times but I went very slowly. It was quite pleasant not to be in the path of motor vehicles but there are alot of new hazards to be weary of. I actually crossed paths with a few other cyclists and they winked at me almost like a welcome to the other side kind of wink, or maybe they just had a bug in their eyes. :)


Re: Fear becoming anger
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 03:38:52 PM »
I actually crossed paths with a few other cyclists and they winked at me almost like a welcome to the other side kind of wink, or maybe they just had a bug in their eyes. :)

Heheh. Nice.  ;)


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