Am I the only one?

by Jenn
(Bardstown, KY)

I recently took a MSF class. I had decided that I was doing it before I turn 40. I've wanted to ride for years now. I was on the back when my Dad had a bike, and always enjoyed the ride. So now I've done it. I purchased a Honda Shadow Spirit 750. Since I'm still getting used to the idea, I keep her in the neighborhood. I've dropped her once. Took a turn wrong, ended up stopping with the wheel turned and we all know what happened then. It fell on me. I did manage to get her back up on my own, and rode some more.

But I don't want to always ride in the neighborhood, I want to go out on the open road. But I'm afraid of the speed, or the fact that I may have to stop really fast. I'm not sure which. Am I the only person who was afraid of going faster? I don't want this to have been a mistake. I'm hoping that this is just a practice some more and I'll feel more comfortable. I also kind of think that if I had someone to ride with, it might give me some confidence. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who rides.

Any advice?



Comments for Am I the only one?

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Aug 04, 2010
Not the Only One
by: Gypsy

I too just got my first bike at 54. I am not the dare devil I was at 20. I have spent hours in a parking lot and took it on the road for the first time this afternoon. I got up to an amazing 30 mph. I had my son behind me in his car, flashers going. lol First bad curve I came to my mind went blank on leaning. Funny how easy it was in the parking lot. But the speed scares me to death. I figure plenty of trips on the road I live on and I will pick up my speed. I have my learner's. But I have to get up my speed and feel comfortable to drive it to the DMV to get my license.

Good luck.

At least we are taking a chance at our dreams at this age. Ride safe.

Jul 06, 2010
Am i the only one?
by: robin


Congratulations...am so happy for you!!!!!!!!

Jul 05, 2010
Update On the Ride
by: Jenn

Update! : )

I did it. I've taken the bike out of the neighborhood. Speed is a bit scary still, but I've made it up to 55 MPH now. I drove in traffic too. It was early morning traffic, but it was still traffic.

Jul 01, 2010
You are perfectly normal.
by: Sandra

For me the speed came easily - up to 60 anyway. My brother took me on my first 2 hour ride around northern Illinois. My first panic attack was at the stop light in town! Then pulling into a gas station!! Then stoplights at a major intersection in a much bigger town!!! It was a long day, and a beautiful ride. Just breathe every once in a while - and smile! His experience, and his trust in my abilities gave me confidence. Other friends seem to want to push me to ride faster - I just catch up - I won't play those games...60 is about the top of my comfort zone right now. Any faster and I don't feel I can take in my surroundings and predict trouble. I still tense at stop lights - so I make sure to go through several during my practice runs. ;-) Oh, and I feel like I have a sign on my head - New Rider - but I don't suppose anyone is really paying that much attention to my riding style.

Jun 15, 2010
by: Yeoh

I'm a new rider and one of the best investments I made was in a super bright yellow mesh jacket with body armor. No, the yellow isn't cool but having it on gives me just a bit more confidence that cagers can see me. I don't let my guard down, but the fact that I'm more visible than with a black jacket allows me to concentrate just a bit more on my riding skills. When I'm ready I'll graduate to black...maybe.

Jun 02, 2010
by: Jenn

Thanks for the words of support. They are appreciated! I do have a helmet and gloves. I don't have a jacket yet. I wanted to be able to leave the neighborhood before I invest a lot of money into this. :) The road rash isn't so scary to me, it's the other people (car people) on the road. I know from personal experience that it's too easy to zone out while driving. The funny thing is, I think I'm becoming a better cage driver now.

Jun 02, 2010
Only One
by: robin


You are not alone. I just started riding at age 54. At first the cars scared me. Now it is going fast. I have spent hours in the parking lot doing turns and that has been helpful for getting on the road.

I do have a friend with Harley who has been awesome with taking me around the neighborhoods. We live in Fl and my husband and I are going RVing for the summer. When we get back I hope I don't have to start from the beginning haha.. I wear a helmet and that helps. I think it just takes practice and getting out there. We can do this!!!

Jun 02, 2010
Only One
by: Rocco

Good previous advice. Helmet and armor/leathers give you a sense of safety and comfort. Find a group or person and let them know you're just learning so they know where to place you and to not ride too fast. It is very intimidating at first. And after riding many miles for many years, I still can find intimidating situations.. Always pay attention. It's more about the ride and less about sightseeing. Watch your intersections. Don't ever let anyone push your limit. Riding is a beautiful thing. Good Luck and Happy/safe riding. Let us know how it goes!

Jun 02, 2010
You're Not the Only One
by: Doreen

Your story is very similar to mine, this is what I did, I made sure that I had every piece of safety equipment, and then put crash bars on my bike so I wouldn't get pinned under my bike again and go slow no one says you have to go fast just because it's a motorcycle, stay with it, I am.

Jun 02, 2010
No, you're not the only one.
by: michelle


We all feel like you. Take it slow at first just ride around the streets in town, which is usually 30-50miles right?

See if you can meet up with some people who took the MSF with you and just stop for break every once in a while.

Before you know it you'll want to go fast.

I recently purchased a 3/4 helmet and it gave me the feeling of more comfort on the highway. I wasn't very thrilled of highway riding before as my sunglasses vibrated and my helmet had wind occasionally in it not to mention my mirrors moving too with the wind.

Good luck. take it slow and keep smiling.:)

Jun 02, 2010
Not the Only One
by: Wanda

Speed scares me too. I think getting a really safe helmet and wearing armored clothing gives a person more confidence that they are as protected as they can be while riding. I do think riding with a partner or group would help you feel safer. I think confidence will come with experience. I believe you can do it. It is good to be a little nervous, because then you will be more cautious and really respect the bike. I might suggest trying to find a riding club on the Internet. I've seen organized rides advertised before in my area. Also, you might consider asking at the place you took your MSF course if they know of any people who would like to ride and also ask at motorcycle dealers. You could even get a friend or family member to tag along behind in a car or truck maybe for your first ride on the open road. Good luck with it and please keep posting on your progress and what worked best for you.

Jun 02, 2010
by: Toolie

Find an empty parking lot and practice your turns, emergency stops, figure eights, etc. Also, find a local riding club if you're interested in meeting new people and riding with others. Your local dealer might be able to help with suggesting a club or two. Otherwise you can find riders and/or clubs thru forum's or doing a Google search.

The only thing that's going to give you confidence is to ride.

Good luck - with practice you'll be zipping around town in no time. :-)

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