Beginner's OOPS

by Gayle
(Marshville, NC, USA)

Well ladies - it happened. My husband and I took the Motorcycle Safety Course at the local community college last weekend (he is experienced, but hadn't ridden much in several years). Tuesday, I went to the DMV and got my endorsement. Yesterday, we set out for my first "real" ride, and about 10 miles in, I layed her (and me) down!

Hindsight ... I was starting off from a stop sign, turning left onto a back-road "highway". As I started off, my bike kinda bogged down, so I gave her a little more gas and I think I let off on the clutch too fast with the wheel turned. Next thing I knew, the bike and I were down, half on the road, half off, in a curve! I jumped up and immediately started trying to call my husband (who was ahead of me & had disappeared over a hill), shaking like a leaf ... all while looking out for vehicles coming around the curve and trying to pick my bike up (which was a futal attempt). Carl realized quickely that I wasn't behind him and turned around to check on me. He righted my bike, checked it out to be sure nothing mechanical was messed up, and told me to get back on (gotta get back on that horse - even if it is an iron horse). We rode back home, took a break, and then went out again. This time, we went to the school parking lot down the street and I practiced stops/starts until I was comfortable, then took out again for a ride around town ... which was MUCH better.

Results ... not near as bad as it could have been. I've got some pretty good road rash on my left forearm, shoulder and knee (I was wearing jeans but a sleevless top). Even though I was wearing biker boots (brand new $90 boots that now have a scuffed toe!), my left ankle was extremely tender and swollen last night and I couldn't put any weight on it. I had decided that if it was still sore this morning, I would go for an x-ray, but it's MUCH better today.

Lessons learned ... 1) wear proper clothing (good boots probably saved my ankle and good riding gear probably would have saved my skin), 2) get comfortable with your bike, especially "riding" the clutch, before going on the road, & 3) get back on that horse!

Y'all be safe out there!

Comments for Beginner's OOPS

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Aug 24, 2012
by: Atl

When you're making a turn...not going around a curve...if you do not have your clutch pulled in continue to make your turn but if you do have your clutch pulled in...don't let it completely out until you are on your new path of travel. Letting it out before your turn is complete can catapult you straight across the road. If it's not pulled in keep in mind that you may have to pull it in and downshift if you've lost speed going around your turn.
ATGATT is the way to go to keep the road rash away but it also helps protect the important points of your body. I can wash off sweat but I can't wash off road rash...it's 24/7 until it's gone.

Aug 22, 2012
THANX Y'all ...
by: GrammyGayle

It's obvious that I'm in good company. Thanks for all your kind words of encouragement & advice! See ya out there ...


Aug 20, 2012
Never give up..that's what your dream is for
by: lilMsRida

Ride with all your gear even no matter what...as the previous posts say. And I have thought many times about just wearing a t-shirt ...nope....need my jacket boots gloves and helmet...no matter what....i fell once while doing a slow manuever and any closer and I would have been in the front yard...just pulled my leg all because I hit the front brake while turning....so I remember when I'm turning I yell at myself....the "back" one! the back one!and look look look where you are going....you will have it...in time...I think for the first 25 miles I rode around my park until I got the starts and stops and turns down.....you go girl that's all I have to say...wooo hoooo!!!

Aug 20, 2012
Wear that gear girl
by: TammyT

Over my many years as a passenger, I wore some pretty stupid clothes on the back of a bike (shorts, capris, sandals!). Always trusting my experienced driver to protect me. DUMB. I definitely do not trust MYSELF that much. LOL! Now that I'm driving, I wear all the gear, all the time. Even when it's hot. It's 90 outside and we just got back from our ride, ballistic nylon jacket w/ armor, full face helmet, boots, and gloves. I might be hot, but I'll keep all my skin. Props to you for gettin' right back on. Keep on ridin' girl!

Aug 20, 2012
Don't feel bad !!!
by: Cheryl R.

Same darn thing happened to me 3 days after I got my new bike :( Thank God I was in a parking lot practicing, however, I did manage to put a nice size DENT in my gas tank(which will be repaired during the winter months)...My boyfriend came running over and I too was alittle shaken but he said "Get up and get back on her!!!" I did & that was the last time I dropped her.
Glad to hear that you are okay, that is the most important thing !!!!!! And glad to hear you went back out right away!!!! This is all a learning process. It's amazing that even tho taking the course, there is still sooooo much to learn.
Keep on riding and stay safe!!! Thank you for sharing your story....I re-lived my experience as I was reading your story :)

Aug 20, 2012
Good for You
by: Jeanette

Glad you got back on... I did a similar oops my first time with my husband. In a parking lot though but a pretty good fall. I did not know you should not use your front brake (at all....ever) in a turn. So coming in to stop..all smiles.. having so much fun... I was stopping so used my brake and yup down I went. Tore up my shin pretty bad. Probably could have used a few stitches but didn't realize at the time. Now it is 8 or more weeks later, my shin still isn`t quite healed but getting better. I have been licensed and riding on the road for just two weeks and having a blast. Getting back on after the fall however was tough. I was shaking so hard and every time I went to let out the clutch, she stalled. Lesson learned so all is good. So glad I got back on and I know you will be too. The ride like a pro videos helped me a lot and I highly recommend them. Happy Riding and be safe!

Aug 20, 2012
getting back up on the beast

u are on iron woman gayle many men wouldnt have got back up and tried again. good going

Aug 20, 2012
by: Anonymous

Wear that scuffed boot with pride that you got back on that bike.

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