My first commute - feeling hopeless :(

CorpusLuteum

Pedelecer
Mar 9, 2014
124
76
OK I am feeling horrible right now and I need someone to talk to :(

I've just come home from my first commute to college. I feel like such an idiot right now. I'm terrible with directions even though I've lived in Manchester all my life. I had no idea where I was going so I decided to use google maps on my phone with voice navigation through earphones. I kept misinterpreting directions and went the wrong way numerous times. I almost jumped a red light and stopped too late and made myself look like a complete fool. I felt like car drivers kept staring at me at every stop (not because I'm attractive or anything) but because I looked like an idiot who has no idea what she's doing. And when the light turns green, I try to pedal but instead I wobble all over the place. The same thing happens at give ways.

When I finally arrived at college 15 minutes late, I locked my bicycle and came to check on it during break time and somebody advised me that I'd locked it incorrectly and showed me the right way to do it. It just feels like I lack common sense when it comes to cycling.

I'm sorry for the rant. I just feel so angry and hopeless right now :(

Edit: Thank you so much for your advice everyone :)

I've just had the best commute ever :cool:

I now know exactly where I went wrong yesterday. I took the wrong turn again today but quickly realised my mistake and got off my bike and crossed the road and took the right turn :) After that, the ride couldn't have been smoother. I also noticed that drivers gave me a lot more space today. The only reason I can think is that I was wearing a nice pretty flowery backpack :p

Anyway I'm feeling extremely confident right now thanks to everyone here. I can't wait for my ride home :)
 
Last edited:

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,671
don't worry, it'll be much easier tomorrow.
 

baldylox

Pedelecer
May 25, 2012
240
77
Hants/Wilts border
Don't feel bad about it and don't let the experience put you off using your bike. But please don't rely on a forum, talk to a friend and regain your confidence... You'll feel better for it ;-)
 
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patpatbut

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 25, 2012
859
79
I think you just had a bad day. I am sure you will get better day by day about commuting.

I hate using google map for bike sat nav as it is not sensitive enough and it makes me losing concentration.

Pat
 
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Jimod

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 9, 2010
1,058
631
Polmont
OK I am feeling horrible right now and I need someone to talk to :(

I've just come home from my first commute to college. I feel like such an idiot right now. I'm terrible with directions even though I've lived in Manchester all my life. I had no idea where I was going so I decided to use google maps on my phone with voice navigation through earphones. I kept misinterpreting directions and went the wrong way numerous times. I almost jumped a red light and stopped too late and made myself look like a complete fool. I felt like car drivers kept staring at me at every stop (not because I'm attractive or anything) but because I looked like an idiot who has no idea what she's doing. And when the light turns green, I try to pedal but instead I wobble all over the place. The same thing happens at give ways.

When I finally arrived at college 15 minutes late, I locked my bicycle and came to check on it during break time and somebody advised me that I'd locked it incorrectly and showed me the right way to do it. It just feels like I lack common sense when it comes to cycling.

I'm sorry for the rant. I just feel so angry and hopeless right now :(
Ok, you made a couple of mistakes. None of them are the end of the world. Tomorrow, you will know a better way to lock your bike and you'll even have a better idea of which route to take.

Now look at the positives. You locked your bike and it was still there. The biggest positive is, you got there and back. Your route isn't a concern. You did it, you are now a commuting cyclist. Later on tonight, I'll be posting about a 30 mile trip I did today. I made a few mistakes in choosing my route and regretted them but, hey, I'm home safely and sitting here smug because I did the trip. You too can feel smug, you did it and well done to you for it.

Tomorrow is another day. Keep the faith. ;)
 
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Johnderh

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 16, 2013
14
7
Hi , i bought my bike this year & like you i was as green as grass , 750 kilometers and a lot of mistakes later its now just pure fun , bought myself a kalkhoff BS10 from 50 cycles & it has performed without a hitch , i live in Norway & use it on a 30 kilometer round trip every day whatever the weather ... Is it good excerise ? You bet ....
 
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CorpusLuteum

Pedelecer
Mar 9, 2014
124
76
don't worry, it'll be much easier tomorrow.
I hope so, otherwise I might end up quitting.

Don't feel bad about it and don't let the experience put you off using your bike. But please don't rely on a forum, talk to a friend and regain your confidence... You'll feel better for it ;-)
I don't have any friends that are into cycling. I thought it would be better to speak to other cyclists. Thank you for your encouraging words :)

I think you just had a bad day. I am sure you will get better day by day about commuting.

I hate using google map for bike sat nav as it is not sensitive enough and it makes me losing concentration.

Pat
At one point my earphones came out of my ear and started flying all over the place. I couldn't help but pray for a red light. I also felt like my phone was about to fall out of my front jeans pocket whilst pedalling. Thank God that never happened. I know it's not the best of ideas using google maps, but, but I'm really bad at remembering directions. Thank you so much for your kind words :)

Ok, you made a couple of mistakes. None of them are the end of the world. Tomorrow, you will know a better way to lock your bike and you'll even have a better idea of which route to take.

Now look at the positives. You locked your bike and it was still there. The biggest positive is, you got there and back. Your route isn't a concern. You did it, you are now a commuting cyclist. Later on tonight, I'll be posting about a 30 mile trip I did today. I made a few mistakes in choosing my route and regretted them but, hey, I'm home safely and sitting here smug because I did the trip. You too can feel smug, you did it and well done to you for it.

Tomorrow is another day. Keep the faith. ;)
OK this post instantly made me feel better.

You're right. I made it home in one piece and I'm now sat here in bed relaxing after a long day. I think I did pretty well. Thank you so much. You're awesome <3
 

jackhandy

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 20, 2012
1,820
323
the Cornish Alps
Have a look at the Cyclestreets app, assuming you have an Android smartphone.
It lets you plan a route, with a choice of "quietest, fastest or balanced", then you can use the Liveride option to navigate with spoken directions:
It's pretty good - I use it for new routes quite a bit.

The drivers watching you are probably wishing they were out on a bike, rather than cooped-up in a tincan, and all of us enjoy watching someone else slip up - It's human nature: Laugh at yourself & enjoy the experience :cool:
 
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CorpusLuteum

Pedelecer
Mar 9, 2014
124
76
Have a look at the Cyclestreets app, assuming you have an Android smartphone.
It lets you plan a route, with a choice of "quietest, fastest or balanced", then you can use the Liveride option to navigate with spoken directions:
It's pretty good - I use it for new routes quite a bit.

The drivers watching you are probably wishing they were out on a bike, rather than cooped-up in a tincan, and all of us enjoy watching someone else slip up - It's human nature: Laugh at yourself & enjoy the experience :cool:
Damn it, I sold my S4 for an iPhone last week. That app sounds really useful. Is there anything similar on IOS with voice navigation?

Thank you for the laugh. I just felt really embarrassed and vulnerable. Hopefully I'll get better with time :)

Edit: It looks like cyclestreets app is available on ios :) I'll try it tomorrow. Thanks :)
 

peerjay56

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 24, 2013
745
201
Nr Ingleton, N. Yorkshire
Don't forget that before long you will know the route, and then you will be able to start finding the shortcuts or even slightly longer quiet routes - cyclestreets is mapping designed for cyclists, so will be much better than google maps. It will get easier, and now some kind soul has shown you how best to use your lock, you will be able to leave it with peace of mind.:)
Now, if only the weather would co-operate - forecast a bit grim for us northerners tomorrow:confused:
 
C

Cyclezee

Guest
Hi CL,

I think you need bit of riding practice in a traffic free environment.
Is there a cycle path near where you live or a large empty car park just to get the hang of the bike?

Chin up, tomorrow is another day;)
 

hoppy

Member
May 25, 2010
330
50
DearCL,sorry you had a bad day.Actually, commuting on a bike is probably the most difficult sort of riding,evenfor experienced cyclists.Don't be put off your bike
by it.
You've got a wh ole lot of new cycling friends on here now who all love you and want you to get on well .Congratulations on your great progress so far. Don'tgive up!Do keep telling us how you get on-we love hearing from you.
Very best wishes,
hoppy
 

CorpusLuteum

Pedelecer
Mar 9, 2014
124
76
Don't forget that before long you will know the route, and then you will be able to start finding the shortcuts or even slightly longer quiet routes - cyclestreets is mapping designed for cyclists, so will be much better than google maps. It will get easier, and now some kind soul has shown you how best to use your lock, you will be able to leave it with peace of mind.:)
Now, if only the weather would co-operate - forecast a bit grim for us northerners tomorrow:confused:
Thank you :) I just downloaded cyclestreets on my iPhone and it actually looks really confusing :confused: Yes at least now I feel a lot more confident about locking my bike and I've learned from my mistake :)

I forgot to mention, when the light turned green, I wobbled and almost got hit by a mini. The woman driver just looked at me like I was worthless as she passed me and nearly hit me from the side. Just can't get her out of my head :(

Hi CL,

I think you need bit of riding practice in a traffic free environment.
Is there a cycle path near where you live or a large empty car park just to get the hang of the bike?

Chin up, tomorrow is another day;)
I took the bicycle to a nearby park over the weekend and I felt like I could ride it well and I thought that I had gotten used to handling it. I just don't understand why I panic on the road and start acting like an idiot.

DearCL,sorry you had a bad day.Actually, commuting on a bike is probably the most difficult sort of riding,evenfor experienced cyclists.Don't be put off your bike
by it.
You've got a wh ole lot of new cycling friends on here now who all love you and want you to get on well .Congratulations on your great progress so far. Don'tgive up!Do keep telling us how you get on-we love hearing from you.
Very best wishes,
hoppy
Thank you hoppy :) I'll definitely keep everyone updated. I hope to make good progress soon.
 

jackhandy

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 20, 2012
1,820
323
the Cornish Alps
Thank you :) I just downloaded cyclestreets on my iPhone and it actually looks really confusing :
.
Nah - just poke your finger on where you'll be starting, on the map; scroll the map to where you want to finish & poke that, then poke the bar at t'top - Simples :D
You can set the "quietness" of the route in settings.
When you set out, poke Start Liveride.

Oh & forgot to say: Download the free "open street map" map while your phone's connected to wifi so you don't need to be online whilst on the move.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,464
28,351
I forgot to mention, when the light turned green, I wobbled and almost got hit by a mini. The woman driver just looked at me like I was worthless as she passed me and nearly hit me from the side. Just can't get her out of my head :(
That may have nothing to do with anything you did, many drivers regard all cyclists as vermin and we are all used to dirty looks!

As others have said, stick with it and don't be put off by the learning phase. Remember, from this low things can only get better. After a while you'll find it difficult to understand how you felt on day one and you'll smile at the memory.
 

CorpusLuteum

Pedelecer
Mar 9, 2014
124
76
Nah - just poke your finger on where you'll be starting, on the map; scroll the map to where you want to finish & poke that, then poke the bar at t'top - Simples :D
You can set the "quietness" of the route in settings.
When you set out, poke Start Liveride.

Oh & forgot to say: Download the free "open street map" map while your phone's connected to wifi so you don't need to be online whilst on the move.
Thank you :) I can't find the Liveride option, unless that's not available on iPhone...

That may have nothing to do with anything you did, many drivers regard all cyclists as vermin and we are all used to dirty looks!

As others have said, stick with it and don't be put off by the learning phase. Remember, from this low things can only get better. After a while you'll find it difficult to understand how you felt on day one and you'll smile at the memory.
I suppose you're right. Maybe I should start by working on my self confidence... How long does the learning phase last? I understand that everybody learns at a different pace. I just hope that I don't cause myself serious harm in my efforts to become an experienced cyclist. It's a scary world out there.
 

rsscott

Administrator
Staff member
Aug 17, 2006
1,349
181
One thing I often do if I an venturing into unfamiliar territory is to use Google Maps to 'visualise' the journey. I put in my start and end postcodes and then using StreetView, 'drive/ride' there. At various points, I pick out landmarks or unique buildings/businesses and make a mental note of them. Then when I actually go there, it feels like I've been there before !
 

Sheffmax

Pedelecer
Sep 5, 2013
49
9
Sheffield
Here in Sheffield there are free cycle proficiency courses run by the council, unless they've been cut due to this mean spirited government and its ideologically driven attack on the public sector. Have a check on your local authority's website to see if they have anything similar.
 
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CorpusLuteum

Pedelecer
Mar 9, 2014
124
76
One thing I often do if I an venturing into unfamiliar territory is to use Google Maps to 'visualise' the journey using StreetView. At various points, I pick out landmarks or unique buildings/businesses. Then when I actually go there, it feels like I've been there before !
Good idea. I'll try this tomorrow. Thank you :)