Sometimes it helps to know everyone's been through it
(East Bay, CA)
What is it? Misery loves company or something like that. But whenever I stall, or drop my bike, or get nervous, it's nice to know that every experienced rider had to go through that in their beginning as well.
I was riding through the neighborhood for the first time (not only do I live in a busy city, but I live on a hill!) and I was making a right turn after a stop. I tried to start (clutch out, throttle) and I stalled--and dropped my bike. My coach/mentor was following me (thankfully) and helped me pick my bike up. This was during the morning traffic! And--it happened not once, but twice! I walked my bike around the corner and started on a straightaway, suddenly realizing I was trying to start out of 2nd gear! Lesson learned. We stopped at the nearest parking lot to calm my nerves, and what did he say to lift my spirits? "If you dropped your bike four more times, then you would be on par with me." Apparently he had the same problems while starting out. Only he also dropped his bike six more times the next block over.
No more dropping my bike that morning. And he praised me for what I was able to do. Hopefully I keep my confidence when I ride solo tonight!