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First time on a bike! YAY! Broken ankle 10 minutes later - BOO!

by Arie
(Upstate NY)

My 2006 Suzuki Boulevard

My 2006 Suzuki Boulevard

My 2006 Suzuki Boulevard
I thought it was ok.
It wasn't broken, but fractued - 3 times!
Do I get back on?

My story starts out like so many others...

My significant other has been riding for about 30 years off and on. Randomly browsing craigslist, I saw a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard 650. Sometimes in my head snapped, and I declared "I HAVE to have this bike! It's MINE!". (Can you blame me? She's a sexy lil beast!)

I talked with my bf about it - who informed me that I'm nuts because I've never been on a bike as the passenger before, let alone drive and own one.

I bargained with him that if he wanted to get a bike (he sold his a few years before) that we'd both get bikes!

Of course - his tune changed and he was positive this was the bike for me. We went and saw it - PERFECT condition, only 2,100 miles. I got on it and grinned and we brought it home in the truck.

BF gets his bike delivered (82 Suzuki 1100E) a few days later.

I promptly take my permit test and pass - 100% correct! I signed up for the basic riders course and paid my registration fees! I get the bike insured and pay DMV their insane fees and I'm good to go! We go the next day and get a full face helmet and boots! So excited! I'm ready!

Except I'm not.

I struggle starting it because I can't figure out the choke. After about 5 tries, my BF does it for me. Then I coast down the drive way (a small hill) and learn the brakes a bit.

This is where the fun stops and the hurt starts!

BF decides that I should learn to go up the driveway. I tell him (muffled through my full face helmet because I don't want to let go of the bike yet) "I'm scared. Can't I just learn on the flat road?"

He tells me that I need to learn how to get in the driveway on my own - do I plan on having him park it for me every day? He smiles sweetly and encourages me.

I start up the hill twice. First time I stall out because I don't know how much gas to give. Second time I get a bit further, but stall out again. This time, BF tells me to give it more gas and I can do it! He's sure! He's proud! I'm doing great!

I am determined to not stall out again.

Instead - I ride my first wheelie....

I gave it way too much throttle, slipped the clutch - and up I went. Then - down I went!

I fell off the bike just a nanosecond before it came down as well. I landed half on the grass, half on the driveway. The bike landed on me - foot peg (not the spring kind either - the full stiff peg) landed directly on my ankle.

Long story short - the bike is (somehow) perfect besides the footpeg being bent. Not a scratch, dent or ding on her.

My ankle however, is not. Fractured tibula in two places and a fractured foot plate to boot. Dr said if I wasn't wearing bike boots, I'd have a shattered ankle and foot - def need reconstructive surgery.

It's been 4 weeks - probably have 4 more to go, before I'm out of a cast.

I'm determined to get back on her, because the longer I'm off, the more of a "stupid idea" it was to get a bike (with everyone i know saying the same).

Now? I'm inching towards being terrified of getting back on. What do I do?

Comments for First time on a bike! YAY! Broken ankle 10 minutes later - BOO!

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Aug 27, 2011
I Wiped Out too
by: Sam

I know this story is from a while ago but I understand where you're coming from . I took the first day of my Beginner Rider Course today and I crashed hard. Completely wiped out. Ripped a whole in my knee and my jeans and got stuck under the bike. I lost control and the bike took off...awful. I was the only one in my class who had never touched a bike. I seriously knew nothing. SO yeah I wiped out, embarrassing. Tomorrow is the exam and I'm scared shitless. Everyone else seemed to glide right through, and I only wish it could be that simple for me. I paid $250 for this class, and I really want my license. I'm not too sure it's gonna happen for me tomorrow, but I'm gonna try. So get back on girl..at least you didn't wipe out in front of a class and three instructors. :)

Jun 15, 2011
I agree
by: Mandie

Heck yeah! I agree with all the women on here to get back on that bike and take the safety course trust me it's worth it!

I had the same thing happen to me the very first day I had my motorcycle it's a rebel 250. I let out on the clutch a little too fast it jerked me back I held onto the accelerator and took off fast, I ended up losing control wiped out and thank goodness I had my gear on! I now have my 8" scar on my leg but rode the bike home. I'm still riding and loving every minute of it you won't regret it! Good Luck!

Jun 14, 2011
Been there, done that!
by: Stacie

Just to echo everyone else's comments - get back on that bike when you're healed!!! I broke my ankle mountain biking, and I was scared to ride again after the months of healing and rehab. But ride I did. I started out slow and easy and worked hard to get my confidence back. And it did take time, but be patient with yourself. Start out slow and keep within your comfort zone in what you are or are not willing to try.

During this forced "down time" while you're healing, you may consider reading some books and watching some videos about learning how to ride a motorcycle - just to keep your head in the game. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that show the basic parts of a motorcycle, basic shifting, etc. And work on visualizing yourself riding just to keep that fire burning. And PLEASE do your physical therapy when you're out of the cast! You'll be amazed at how much strength, stability, and balance you've lost after being in that cast. You'll need all of that back to be able to confidently ride your motorcycle.

And if it makes you feel any better, I dropped my beautiful perfect motorcycle 5 minutes into my first ride on it. Scratched it and broke the brake lever. Luckily I didn't break mySELF, but I certainly broke my bike!

Jun 14, 2011
How thoughtful of you!...
by: Sandra

To sacrifice your ankle and break the fall of your beautiful little "beast". I hope she appreciates the sacrifice, as in the future it is now her turn to save YOUR bum! ...

All kidding aside, the break looks nasty and painful, but you will heal. I, too, did a clutch/throttle/brake "thing" that had a bad ending - thankfully my C50 Boulevard is a bit too heavy for me to have popped a wheelie, but I did break her fall with my thigh. Just bruised and shaken.

But I immediately called an experienced rider, my brother, and begged him to come and lead me through some parking lot exercises. I was signed up for the BRC, but not for weeks yet, and I knew the longer I stayed off, the more unsure of my abilities I would become. You made a mistake. Learn the lesson and let it go! It does not mean you cannot become the best rider ever with some instruction, patience and practice!

In the mean time, try reading "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Houghton while your ankle is busy knitting itself back together. You will learn SO MUCH about motorcycles and their thingies and doo-hickies, and the science of how they manage to stay on their wheels. It also gives you tons of advice that cannot all be absorbed at one time, but will all work together to make you a star student when you finally get back in the saddle.

You can do this - you won't regret it!!

Jun 13, 2011
Awww, thanks ladies!
by: Arie

First, I want to thank EVERYONE who read and commented on my first experience with my bike. Still haven't figured out a name for her - but I have 6-8 weeks to think of one. Haha!

I think that the moral of the story is that I need to get back on the bike when I'm healed up, and start with the basics like "what is the name of this button, and what does it do". After that, perhaps I'll graduate to duck-walks. By the time I get in to a course, I may be able to point at something with out calling it a "thingie" or "ya-know....that".

I guess I got too excited and put the cart before the horse, as usual, according to my dad. ;o)

I had actually signed up for the course at HVCC (local college) and was excited to go! I just wanted to get a few "sits" on the bike before I went to the class. I was worried I'd "look stupid" especially since lots of guy friend riders have told me that they've seen women talked out of the course by the instructor. I didn't want that to happen to me.

Instead, I got ahead of myself (or let someone encourage me to get ahead of myself *cough*impatientboyfriend*cough*) and broke my ankle and crushed my ego.

All of you are right - my ego is more damaged than my ankle. When the cast comes off, I'll take the cover off my girl and wipe her down, just to say hello.

Well, it's time to put my big-girl pants on and watch the bf tinker around with his bike. I'm going to plaster a smile on my face and pretend I'm not envious.

Thank again all, it's a wonderfully warm welcome!

Jun 13, 2011
What a Story
by: Anonymous

Please take the riders course. I saw jaws drop when I decided to get a bike. My hubby threw me on a 250 n i rode that little black b till I cud throw her on my back and walk across the street with her...2000 miles yea 2k. (Florida) now I have a 650 and I ride her when I want..with or without him. I can pick her up on my own, yep had to on the first bath. Take the course, take the course, take the course!

Jun 13, 2011
Take the riders' course first!!!!
by: Bernice

My Husband (and his short attention span and temper) tried to teach me and I figured out real quick it was time for the basic riders' course. I was lucky, it was at Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson in Maryville, Tennessee and it was worth the $250.00. After the course, I felt comfortable to start riding around the fair grounds, getting used to MY bikes' clutch, brakes and handle. I would not attempt riding without first taking the course, plain and simple. Your ankle will heal faster than your pride, but get right back on and ride!!!!!!!

Jun 13, 2011
Me Too
by: Sharon D.

I feel your pain,,, get back on that bitch and show her who's boss, after you take the course... I couldn't wait and did figure 8's for hours, next day out on the road I went, (after BF instructions) long story short, took a left while looking right and a pole jumped out at me. Broken wrist hurt pride and a bent brake peddle, been riding since (after the MSF course) love every mile....

Jun 13, 2011
The next bike you ride......
by: Anonymous

....should be in a MSF class! NO BF lessons! Hills are a skill to learn after the basics! Really enjoyed your story though, after breaking my toe this morning! Not on my bike, just on a table leg, but it will sadly keep me off my bike for awhile. :(

Jun 13, 2011
Upstate NY'er
by: Donna

Sorry to hear about your foot :( You need to learn flat out to ride before you take on the obstacles. Start small and go big. School parking lots work well. Need to get the feel of the clutch/gas combo. I bought my first bike in 09 sportster, never rode a bike ever! Had the dealer deliver it to my brother's where I rode on grass around his house. I went and got my permit then took the MSC @ Hudson Valley CC. I rode alone and still do and I plan my route and practice. Within a year I traded the sportster in for a 2010 Softail Deluxe, sweet ride all 700+ pounds of her. Feel comfortable and try not to let experience rider's intimidate you not fair!!! Hope you heal quickly so you can get on that bike and "Ride Girl".

Jun 13, 2011
Me too.
by: Jackie

I've been riding about 4 years, hubby never did. So he buys a bike this year and we go to do our first bike run together. 1 hr drive to the starting point is fine. First 45 mi of the run is great until I hit a pothole in some rural railroad tracks and go flying. Me one way...bike the other. I wasn't wearing a helmet and skidded on my head, hurt my shoulder and got road rash, but I'm fine so what do I do??? Get back on and finish the final 50 of the run. Upon returning, I got a lot of attention and kudos for getting back on. What else to do? Trailer it?? Have someone ride it back for me? Nahhhh, I will admit my first long ride after my accident I was skiddish, but you just gotta do it.

Jun 13, 2011
Get well soon and get back on!
by: Aimee

I say get back on as soon as you are able to ride. The fear of going down again will fade away ass soon as you ride out and get that confidence back up. I am a new rider as well. I haven't been in your shoes but I've lost a cousin and a few friends to motorcycle accidents. But they would tell me the same thing if I was in your shoes. Motorcycle riding is the best and there's no other experience like it in the world. It's a lot of dangers out there while riding but you can't concentrate on that so why be afraid to ride? Just get behind the handlebars and enjoy the ride!

Jun 13, 2011
Awwww...
by: Linda

Arie, I feel so bad for you girl. I'm sorry that happened to you! Your story was amusing though, and your bike looks real pretty. But the falling event was very unfortunate. Don't get discouraged however. My suggestion is to wait with practicing till you've done your riders course (I'm assuming you haven't yet?). They really teach you everything you need to know, so you'll have your bike under total control and this won't happen to you again.

If you'd like to read my beginners story go here.

Hope you'll heal fast Arie, and that you're out there doing your thing. Good luck and be safe!

Jun 13, 2011
Get Back On Her
by: Rebecca

I dropped my bikes (I have had 5 so far) many times and kept getting on them. The worst was on my way to my first rally in Cherokee NC. My husband turned in to me and I hit gravel and woke up in the hospital and could not remember what happened. I rode on the back of his bike (sprained ankle and cast) to get my bike and I finished driving it to the rally. Was determined to ride my own to it. Have been riding ever since. So get back on and enjoy. You will not regret it and tell boyfriend you know better. You will get his soon enough.

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