Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to ride?

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Lion_Lady
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Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to ride?

#1 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:27 pm

Was it getting through a beginner's class? Convincing your significant other or family that you'd be okay? Getting past the fear of being out there on two wheels? Or something else?

How have you dealt with it?

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Re: Ladies: What is your greatest challenge in learning to r

#2 Unread post by sunshine229 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:28 pm

For me, when I was learning to ride I had a crisis in confidence... every night of the course. I would get a bit strung out due to nerves and then just stop on the spot and cry. It was so weird! The only way to get over it was practicing in a parking lot again and again and again and again... (you get the message!)

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#3 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:13 am

I had problems in the beginner's class. Although I finished it and passed the skills test, I was not ready to ride. I did not get any road experience from the beginners classes.

After I hired an instructor for private lessons, I started to "blossom" so to speak.

I still stuggled with confidence for some time and was riding "afraid". I had the skills, but was still so nervous about.

My epiphany came one day when my friend and I had to park our bikes on a gravel pad when we went to the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley in Washington. The only way out later, was to ride through the tractor ruts of a bark mulched field.

I got through the field without falling or skidding or losing control and when I got to the pavement I had brand new feeling of confidence that I never knew before.

My riding got better after that. It got more fluid and my cornering got better.

Confidence...that was lacking.
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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#4 Unread post by sunshine229 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:00 pm

Blues, sounds like you and I were in the same boat - lacking the confidence.

Honestly it took me years to fully overcome the lack of confidence. 4 years on my old Honda CB400T helped, it was a bike that I felt so comfortable on and really couldn't do anything wrong. Even when I *almost* dropped it a few times I was actually able to hold it from going full over.

Moving to the Z750 and feeling like I had conquered all my fear was an absolutely awesome feeling! Now I can zip in and out of traffic and give 'er a bit here and there just for some fun. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#5 Unread post by RocketGirl » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:31 pm

Lion_Lady wrote:Was it getting through a beginner's class? Convincing your significant other or family that you'd be okay? Getting past the fear of being out there on two wheels? Or something else?

How have you dealt with it?

P
I still have confidence issues with some tight u-turns and figure 8's. At the beginning of each riding season, I go out and find a quite street in our neighborhood to practice, but until I actually get at least one u-turn under my belt it's always a nail-biting event for me. This is my 4th riding season and there's a stretch of road construction on the way to work right now and I'm working up the nerve to do start commuting soon. It's a bit comforting to see one other biker on the morning commute, so I know it's do-able. Wish me luck! :)

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#6 Unread post by mogster » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:59 pm

I agree it is a good idea to get a few practice sessions under the belt each new season. I often ride with my fella but this year had quite a few trips out on my own first. I pottered around some back streets in town to remind myself of observation skills & also u turns.

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#7 Unread post by Thumper » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:01 pm

Initially... after the BRC and getting a little Honda Rebel, I was terrified of tailgaters. The Spouse Thingy spent a lot of miles in the car behind me, making sure I had time to get a little confidence without some giant SUV on my tail. After that, I had some peppered moments of heightened caution when I rode, but I was fairly confident on that little bike.

A couple of years later and a different bike...I locked up the front brake on an SV650, launched off of it and hit the street hard. I lost confidence in my ability to brake hard and fast when I needed it. I got the bike repaired, rode it for a few more months, then sold it for an MP3 scooter (unrelated to braking fear...it was a back pain issue.)

I've ridden that for 3 years, along with a Gladius for the last year...and I still don't have the confidence I need when it comes to emergency braking. A few weeks ago at a railroad crossing I nearly locked the front up again (but didn't...I should take something from that but I don't.) I took another riding course, did very well there, but just the IDEA of hard braking freaks me out a little.

So I guess braking is my biggest challenge.

I'm getting a bike with ABS. Some of us just need it, I guess...

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#8 Unread post by zee » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:58 pm

blues2cruise wrote:I had problems in the beginner's class. Although I finished it and passed the skills test, I was not ready to ride. I did not get any road experience from the beginners classes.
*snip*

Confidence...that was lacking.
Thank you for posting this.

I take the MSF beginner's course next week. I'm nervous as all get out... to the point that I was shaking after I got off the phone to sign up! That might be just a little over-the-top, but it's where I am.

Anyone have tips on building confidence, before I even get on the bike?!

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#9 Unread post by Thumper » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:44 am

zee wrote:Anyone have tips on building confidence, before I even get on the bike?!
If you can balance a bicycle, you'll be able to balance a motorcycle; keep that in mind.

You'll start very slowly--duck-walking on the bike without it even being turned on, so you'll get a feel for the weight of it (and it will be a small bike)

Once you get to fire up the bike, you'll be taught to use the clutch to go verrrrrry slowly, with your feet on the ground.

They're not going to throw you on a bike, fire it up, and make you ride right from the start. It will be slow, methodical, and is designed to let you get used to every step along the way, and once the bike is moving and you're riding it--and you WILL--you'll be thinking WHEEEEEEE!

You can help yourself beforehand by reading up on the basics. This is a good book if you can find it.

This is a most excellent book and you should be able to find it in a local bookstore (and it's a good book to have around to review...)

Ride Like a Pro is a good DVD, but I doubt you'd get it before your class....but it's terrific refresher.

I was nervous as all get out before my first BRC...but it turned out to be tons of fun. It got me on a bike (and yeah, you'll be parking lot qualified afterward, but the street riding will soon follow) and a couple of years later I took it again under Harley's Rider's Edge program--that was a really good class.

It'll be fine! Just pick up a good book or two and get some reading in beforehand to familiarize yourself with what you're about to do. Having a better idea of what's ahead is usually good for calming a nerve or two...

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#10 Unread post by RocketGirl » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:52 am

Thumper wrote:
zee wrote:Anyone have tips on building confidence, before I even get on the bike?!
If you can balance a bicycle, you'll be able to balance a motorcycle; keep that in mind.
Yes! I had not been on a street bicycle in a while and it gave me that much more confidence to get used to being on two-wheels again.

P.S. I made through that road construction section on Friday just fine. The afternoon commute was stop and go traffic, one lane road closure, uneven shoulder, but with a narrow section of newly poured asphalt that I was able to ride. My clutch hand got a work-out! 8)

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#11 Unread post by Marge » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:01 pm

Ladies, please. Your greatest challenge is to think of yourself as a biker, not a woman. Confidence!! Females can ride bikes just as good as males. Females can ride the same bikes as males. I've been riding for many, many years, but I never thought of myself as a woman on a bike, I think of myself as a biker. Think of yourself as a biker. I ride close to 20K miles a year. I've never had a small bike, women don't need a small bike. I've never wrecked a bike. Be confident! Be agressive!! You can often pick out the female riders in a group. They're slow and unsure of themselves. Don't be. The guys I ride with treat me as one of them. I ride in rain, hail, snow, wind, cold..........road construction with mud, gravel, no road.......Fortunately for me, my husband encouraged me to ride my own from the beginning. He has never suggested what bike I should buy as he knows I know what I want and what's best for me. He considers me a biker.

Confidence!! Agression!! You're a biker!

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#12 Unread post by mogster » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:12 pm

:party:
Well said Marge! Tho I would prefer to suggest assertiveness rather than aggression.

This thread is certainly bringing the girls out to play! :clapping:
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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#13 Unread post by blues2cruise » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:03 am

mogster wrote:Tho I would prefer to suggest assertiveness rather than aggression.
I concur.
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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#14 Unread post by blues2cruise » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:06 am

Some of us learned how to ride late in life. We had a life time of being told no and a lifetime of being timid and a lifetime of being under someone else's control to "unlearn".

It's a process that does not happen the minute you sign up for lessons.
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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#15 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:31 pm

A certain amount of self assurance is required to ride. You've got to be able to trust your own judgement first. The rest builds from there. It can be a struggle to "get" some of the mechanical stuff (shifting for instance). Ladies who decide to ride because a friend or significant other thinks it is a good idea are the ones who never quite get it.

I still hate that I can't figure out what mechanical thing needs tweaking when there is something not quite right with my bike. Hubby is usually available to help, or I've got access to a wide circle of fellow BMW owners online for other help.

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#16 Unread post by noobie » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:47 pm

Getting comfortable with leaning - pretty scary - thought I would drop the bike!

Somehow, some way… there were a couple of 'twisty' curves on my way to work everyday which were a little scary at first - especially 'cuz the cars coming up on my arse weren't going to understand why I'm slowing down - YIKES! So, little by little I just started leaning the bike and adding a little speed - then one day, it hit me like a brick - now I love the curves :)

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#17 Unread post by sunshine229 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:07 pm

We just took our bikes out for the first time this year a couple of weeks ago. It was the first year I felt REALLY confident on the first ride. It was like tying my shoes... just came completely naturally. It felt awesome! I finally know I have 100% confidence on a bike and it only took me 8 years of riding to get there. (Keep in mind I don't ride all year round) I feel like I could go and slaughter a track day!

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#18 Unread post by Hondagirl » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:31 am

I got my license in the Uk when i was about 18. It was sooo scary. I remember feeling totally intimidated by the teachers and everyone. I couldn't do anything right. In fact I remember I was yelled at all the time and spent a lot of my classes in tears (like you Andrea). It seemed like everyone was better and faster at learning. Finally I did get my test :D and it was the best day of my life :D . No question :D .

Then I went to work in Japan......... and the law says if you wanna live here longer than a year you have to take the Japanese test!!! :wacko: I couldnt even speak the language how the hek was I ever going to do that and yet by this time I knew I could not live any place without a bike. So I had to try...

Tried. And they were soooooooooooo much stricter and it took me AGES even though i already had an English license! but eventually after some more tears and learning curves i did get it and I got my Japanese licence :righton: Another best day . But yeah..the hardest part for me was the language. Learning again ..familiar routine...but in a strange new language :) And there were also new parts that we didnt do in the UK test like the 5 inch bar where you ride along a really narrow line and cannot stop/stall/falter..........it has to be done within a time limit and if you do it too fast yer fail :shock: Clutch control.
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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#19 Unread post by sunshine229 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:16 pm

Hondagirl wrote:And there were also new parts that we didnt do in the UK test like the 5 inch bar where you ride along a really narrow line and cannot stop/stall/falter..........it has to be done within a time limit and if you do it too fast yer fail :shock: Clutch control.
CRAZY!!!!

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Re: Ladies: What was your greatest challenge - learning to r

#20 Unread post by HYPERR » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:49 pm

Hondagirl wrote:And they were soooooooooooo much stricter and it took me AGES even though i already had an English license! but eventually after some more tears and learning curves i did get it and I got my Japanese licence :righton:
Yes Japanese riders are soooo skilled! 8) They have to be as the training and the test is so strict. I bet the majority of the riders in the US would fail the Japanese test! :shock:

You are such a great rider! I rememeber that time we were riding up a steep hill and you needed to change direction, you did a quick smooth U-turn on that narrow and hilly road like it was nothing, with me on the back as a pillion. :kicking:
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