By Zee Traveler
My first wreck happened when I was 23 years old, in 2015. I was on a beautiful Victory Kingpin, going from my house to see a friend less than two miles away. Right after an intersection, a Ford F250 pickup truck tried to cross all four lanes of traffic while blind to the oncoming side. I hit his rear panel, flew forward, and sustained a cracked rib along with needing 17 stitches to repair my right knee.
Fortunately, the physical battle left me with no long term damage and able to walk properly after about a month.
The next hurdle was the mental battle: I had to contemplate whether riding meant enough to me to do it again, whether I could do it again, and whether I would come to enjoy it again. Truthfully, there was no doubt in my mind I was going to ride again.
By that point in my life, riding on two wheels had became a part of my heart, a blissful joy, an escape from worry, and was worth every risk or danger. So I bought another motorcycle before two months had passed.
As I got back on the road, I found that I had acquired some new anxiety with cars coming from side streets. I rode slower, was a little more jittery, and overall a more nervous rider. Nonetheless, I persevered and moved on a year later to start a cross country trip on my new bike.
The best advice I can truly give for overcoming anxiety from a wreck is to push hard enough to challenge your fears, but not so hard you cause yourself a panic attack. That could mean riding a smaller bike for awhile, staying in your neighborhood for awhile, or simply riding a little slower. Some people will do better by throwing themselves head first into what caused their wreck again while others do better with small steps. Just never compare your progress to anyone else’s, as what you do when you’re overcoming this challenge is a momentous feat to be proud of. Very rarely have I spoken to someone who loved motorcycles but couldn’t come to love it again because of their fear. The passion we all share and hold inside for two wheeled traveling tends to be stronger than the post-wreck stress. Take a deep breath, and go for it. Your confidence will undoubtedly rebuild so don’t overthink it, and start learning to enjoy your machine again.
~ Zee started out on a cross country tour in August of 2016 and has been living on her bike ever since. Check out her website to follow her adventures, www.zeetraveler.com