The Putt-Putt Posse

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The Putt-Putt Posse

Unread post by MZ33 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:49 am

I have a girl friend who, by coincidence, took the MSF with me this past spring. She struggled, but she didn't give up and made it through the class. She passed the test on her second try. Over the summer, she broke her foot during a spill. Now she is gathering her courage, and we meet early, once a weekend, to get together to practice our basic slow-speed manuevers. Male friends at work shake their head in disbelief at her "slow" progress, and are anticipating that she will give up.

She carries an entire lifetime of "You can't do anything" emotional baggage on every ride. This is a big deal, and we ain't quittin'.

I have another girl friend, to whom I had sold my Riva scooter. She has been scared to lean. I recently found out she had taken a nasty high-side the very first week she rode it. (Yea for ATGATT!! She was stiff and sore, but intact.) She's interested in joining us on those early mornings. She has not been able to get into the MSF course, it is booked for the season. She is riding some, though.

Together, we are the Putt-Putt Posse. I am conscious of the fact that friends make the worst instructors, and I want to avoid that as much as possible. I mean, seriously, I can't teach anybody anything--I'm a newbie myself! So, our focus is to keep it from being instructional, and to be offering emotional support instead. However, we will be lifting pages from the MSF book, David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling, and The Idiot's Guide to Motorcycling for exercises and hints to guide us.

To me, this seems like the only option. I cannot find local MC instructors either online or in the phonebook. I'm not sure that this would be financially viable for at least some of our group, either, but I can't even find one to know.
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Re: The Putt-Putt Posse

Unread post by Thumper » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:16 pm

MZ33 wrote: I cannot find local MC instructors either online or in the phonebook.
Check with your local MSF to see if any of the rider coaches do private instruction. Some do...it would be a ride at your ow risk kind of thing, with no liability assumption on their part, but getting some one on one or two on one instruction is worth the rider's assumption of risk, imo.

And good on ya for giving them support!

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Unread post by blues2cruise » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:05 pm

Emotional support is huge.....tell the guys at work to mind their own business....people like them are part of the problem.
I, too, have an entire lifetime of being told I can't do anything or that nothing I do is right......when I started riding, I met so many budinskys I almost gave up.....
then I went on my first toy run.... :) that experience renewed me...
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Unread post by JMack » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:18 pm

That's great that you are being helpful and supportive! Just a thought for your friend who can't get into the MSF course because they are booked, maybe she can try standby? Not sure how it is by you, but my husband was able to get in as a walk-in by just showing up before the first class and having his number drawn by lottery because a few people who had signed up didn't show. He has to try a couple different weekends in a row, but he got in. And I was on the standby list and got in that way for my class. Seems to happen more now since it is later in the season.

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Unread post by MZ33 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:37 pm

Thanks for the encouragement! I've mentioned the drop-in policy for the MSF course, but here, the number of drop-ins waiting may actually exceed the total number of people registered. Say, 20 people trying to get in to a class of 16, hoping 1 or 2 don't show. Ohio subsidizes the cost of MSF, so it's only $25. Makes it very popular.

As for private instruction, I was originally interested in it for me and my husband. I was kind of surprised that they weren't readily found. Since I hadn't even found anyone for us, I don't have any to suggest to my friends. I plan to take the ERC in the spring, and maybe I can hunt down additional instruction from there.

I'm thinking that what is mostly required for my friends is a judgement-free zone, a chance to get to know the feel of the bike, and then slowly progress . We can all practice slow-speed manuevers and not feel like the MC equivalent of nerds.
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Unread post by goodies » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:22 am

I think what you are doing is great! Just being supportive and doing it together is going to keep them going.

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Unread post by Nalian » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:12 pm

It sounds like fun and in the right spirit of things. Good on you for taking time out for your friend - and f your coworkers for saying any different. Everyone learns and does things at their own pace, and that's how it should be.

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Unread post by mazer » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:35 pm

It sounds like you all are doing great.
Is it possible for you to look on line and find a local motorcycle club or an on line forum, where you might be able to hook up with more experienced riders who can offer you all some constructive critisms so your riding gets much better - at least until she can get into a class??? Also is it possible for her to travel a little ways? Maybe find a different and hopefully less crowded class so she can get instruction sooner??

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Unread post by follow » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:43 pm

Hey Mz,
Google Women On Wheels they have a chapter in Columbus Ohio, click on it and you can email them and they should be able to hook you up with a mentor....good luck.
Also did you try the local Harley shop they may have a Riders Edge class, it is comparable to other classes out there. Also thier chapter may have a mentors program for woman, HD has been encouraging this in thier magazines. (but not all chapters)
I think your awesome in boosting your friends morale, don't let those others bring your girls down..it could be possible that those putt-putt poopers may be that way because they can't ride themselves or jealous.
By the way did the pics work for you? And did you start on your board?
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Unread post by MZ33 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:05 am

I don't think we are up to having someone else take their valuable time to critique us yet. One of the advantages of this is that a person can spend an hour or two doing slow stops over & over without feeling like someone is waiting to move them on to the next exercise. It's more about getting comfortable with the bike, and with getting comfortable with ourselves being slow to "catch on". I.e., riding our own rides. Once we all feel better about that, then we will be able to s-l-o-w-l-y move out to backstreet rides.

A lot of this is about being in an environment where it's okay to be scared, and then work through that. After that, then one is less likely to be intimidated/frustrated every time she does something wrong. At least, that's how I see it. I mean, can you imagine what it is like to have in your head the mental picture and the voice of someone who raised you, ridiculing you everytime you didn't do something perfectly? And if you did do something perfectly, they were just waiting for the next time, when surely you would meet their predicitons and "mess up." That's what one of our numbers grew up with. :mad:

I know about Rider's Edge, but the one who hasn't taken MSF yet doesn't have $300 to spare for it. The contingent counties are just as booked as this one is for BRC.

I'm planning to take the ERC next spring, and then see if I can hook up with the local WOW. The chapter president is also an MSF instructor. I am hoping that some of them are considering a tour to Colorado next August! I expect my two Posse-mates will take the BRC next spring.

Thanks for the suggestions, though!! :spot: I do appreciate it!

Yes, Follow, I did get your pix--they are great, thank you! And I sent you a reply that is about as wordy as this one. In fact, I sent you two, having accidently hit the send button prematurely. Those are some big, impressive bikes your posse has!! (My 650 Vstar looks like a moose compared to the Rebel and the scooter that my friends have. Next to yours, though, it would look like a fawn! :laughing: )
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Unread post by follow » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:03 am

Ok Mz33,
Let me rephrase a few things, when I said mentor..they would be a rider that the club members consider experienced, they all have been in your shoes and your friends, so they know to make a little pointer in a suttle way without making you feel like your in school. beside most aren't riding educators just riders wanting to see other riders wether new or returning riders feel good on the saddle, and to succeed with thier goal. Possibly they could just stop by for a moment, not stay I wouldn't ask that of someone myself either.

Shoot just find a motorcycle cop ask him/her to stop by and give you a few pointers..I have done this before and they love to show off.

But I get what you say about practicing, I still practice quite often in parking lots and I don't like anyone around...I like to practice real tight turns, and real slow and straight line braking. I have a hard time doing these when I am being watched at rally's so I have to practice often. And yes I have dropped my bike and yes I have picked that giant Moose up...LOL. but since she has crash bars thats what she landed on. (mind you cover crash bar with pipe cover the kind you put on Hot water heater so they dont get scratched...learned that from the LEO he was cool with all his advice.)

P.S. I had one of those Mom's NOTHING was ever good enough. :(
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Unread post by LittleRedRider » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:58 pm

:goodjob: Mz33 on your Putt-Putt Posse! All of you should be proud of yourselves and each other. Emotional baggage ain't easy to get rid of, just having the courage to try something like riding is a huge accomplishment for your friend. Give yourselves a :grouphug2: you deserve it!
I hope you can find someone to help mentor you as Follow suggested. Have you checked with the dealerships in the area? They may have contacts for riding clubs that have members or suggestions on someone willing to come out a give you ladies some pointers.
A bunch of the miles I put on my little Rebel this summer were practice miles in a parking lot. (Dang, I wish I'd thought of Follow's suggestion for pipe wrap on the crash bars before I dropped Little Red!) :oops: (At least I had crash bars on her this time - first time I dropped her I didn't! :( )
Oh well, it's the trying that counts.
Keep at it ladies and keep us posted on your progress.
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Unread post by follow » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:03 pm

Well LittleRedRider, as I stated an LEO told me to do that, one time one saw me practicing and came over to give me pointers, so in conversation I said " I have issuse with real tight slow turns...I don't want to drop bike but I don't want to scratch it either"..he said" that is how they teach the LOE's to ride on thier scooters" I happen to be next door to Lowe's hardware store and marched my happy butt right in thier bought the stuff went out..put stuff on bike and I felt better about doing some of the riding tricks (I also like doing the cones like the police officers do) I wanted to do. He also said the only reason I was fearing some of the tricks was because I make the bike payments and he doesn't....$$$$ big difference.
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Unread post by mazer » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:25 pm

Follow - if you guys find someone who is willing to help you out and teach you all how to do things as a group, and someone who is sensitive on their delivery - If your friend is more comfy with a woman, then go with that, just like that LEO you met, many many bikers out there went through the ropes as everyone else did and they all had fears like everyone as well.
Just because he or she is advanced in riding does not mean thye might not be carrying the same baggage as your buddy. In fact many of the cops I use to work with were from severely disfunctional families!
You need to remember too that being an LEO on a bike at work means that you might be subject to the verbal ribbing by your co-workers when you do something stupid like drop your bike in the local 4th of July parade, in front of everyone because you were checking out a cute girl!!! Saw it myself!!! - poor guy.
Your friend might be able to do a better job when class comes around, if she has had a more experienced rider helping you guys. There are sooooo many people out there who are soooooo willing to help out a fellow biker, and many of these riders are not going to be rough with a new rider, they all remember what it was like to be a new rider. Just like in medicine, watch it, then do it yourself, then teach it to someone else.
You never know, it may help. I just dont think you should rule it the idea of a more experienced rider helping you out so quickly....
Whatever you guys choose, hang in there, keep up the good work and your friend should be thankful she found a cool group of people to ride and learn with.

By the way scooters are not seen as toys in Europe, or in Asia or Africa, they are used daily and many powerful people ride them - including race car drivers!!!!

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Unread post by follow » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:59 pm

Mazer,
I think you miss interpided or read between some other lines
I have quoted below...

Just because he or she is advanced in riding does not mean thye might not be carrying the same baggage as your buddy. In fact many of the cops I use to work with were from severely disfunctional families!

" did I ever say anyone came without baggage"

You need to remember too that being an LEO on a bike at work means that you might be subject to the verbal ribbing by your co-workers when you do something stupid like drop your bike in the local 4th of July parade, in front of everyone because you were checking out a cute girl!!! Saw it myself!!! - poor guy.

"I only said some were kind enough to offer advice"

Your friend might be able to do a better job when class comes around, if she has had a more experienced rider helping you guys. There are sooooo many people out there who are soooooo willing to help out a fellow biker, and many of these riders are not going to be rough with a new rider, they all remember what it was like to be a new rider.

"I believe I said we all have been there"

You never know, it may help. I just dont think you should rule it the idea of a more experienced rider helping you out so quickly....

" sure but they could have more to offer" and you are conradicting yourself at this point.

By the way scooters ........
"I grew up in another country I know this, I had a cool blue moped that got about 50mpg...but like MZ33 I refer to scooter as in MC
I guess you haven't been around long enough to of heard the phrase
"my scooter".......bikers refer to it as well. so do magazines.
So if I offended you it was not my intention....keep the rubber side down.
Last edited by follow on Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by MZ33 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:38 pm

Hee hee . . . my eyes are swimming from those last two posts! I'm not quite sure how much of mazer's was meant to be directed at me & my group, nor how much of Follow's was directed at mazer who may have been meaning to direct her comments to me . . . :hypno: :laughing:

I never thought about a LEO! Have to admit, though, that only once have I seen one here that wasn't in the midst of escort duty: usually funerals, sometimes VIPs. Taking a police course is also on my some-day list.

I will review these suggestions with my friends, although I hazard a guess that they won't feel ready for that yet. There are three experienced bikers in my neighborhood. One actually is a design engineer for MCs! But really, TMW and the Ladies Lounge are my best support group, as well as information base. Maybe I can strongly encourage them, again, to look this site up.
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Unread post by follow » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:55 pm

Well since MY NAME was in Title I assumed it was me..perhaps I too may have read between the lines that i should not have. never the less I made my rebuttle...maybe not so elloganttly or tackful as a lady should be......but perhaps as a biker Mamma could..LOL :D (Non was directed at you Mz33)
Alas...I jumped and popped the clutch to fast, did a burn out now having to save face.......... :wink:
Last edited by follow on Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post by mazer » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:16 pm

My comments were not "directed" at or to anyone. I was simply offering some brain storming...
I know in the US - so many people dont take motorcycling seriously and think scooters are toys, so my point which probably was not made completely at the time (I had dental surgery and my thought process is still sketchy), I wanted to put out there that if you did have someone mentor you guys to feel them out for possible biases against scooters.
Im not telling you what to do. I dont know you or your buds, Im simply wishing to have some horizons opened to possibilities not otherwise thought of so I thought I would put out my ideas.
I dont flame on forums I try not to put people down and I am not into personal attacks.
My intent was to consider your friends hard won confidence, her lifelong issues or baggage while offering some out of the box thinking.
It would not be the first time my intentions were misunderstood.
No harm no foul

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Unread post by MZ33 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:11 am

No harm no foul
Cool!

We just went out this morning again. Things are going well, I believe, except that the weather is starting to work against us. I quite happily managed a couple of figure eights that were full lock!! :spot: :woohoo: :ohyaoh:
But my emergency stops need work. I am, uh, way too comfortable with rear wheel skid, believe it or not. In third gear (so around 25 mph) I was laying down rubber, released the rear brake, rode it off, skidded again, came off, then did it again. All in one stop. The tire stunk! :frusty: So I have developed a bad habit in 3rd gear that could be a real problem in 5th gear, or in lesser traction. Managed to coax myself into acting a bit like an ABS brake, easing off without releasing the rear brake, then bearing down harder, easing off, etc. That eliminated the skid. Can I keep developing that, or should I just work harder at a lighter but steady touch on the rear? (Pretty sure I know the answer to this one: it's "light but steady", isn't it?)
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Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:33 pm

More front brake, less rear brake.
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