First Ride of the Year

by Jeanne
(Oswego, IL)

My bike came out of storage this weekend so I decided I should go for a ride. I went to the little school by my house and practiced in the parking lot. I seem to have a little trouble turning into traffic from a stop, so I thought practice would help. After practicing a bit my husband I and decide to go to a town about 20 miles away (Sandwich) to see some friends. While turning off of the side street onto the main road, for some reason I panicked! I cranked on the throttle and could not make myself hit the clutch. I sped across the road, hit a curb, which flung my butt up in the air and adding more throttle! Then over one of those berms that are around neighborhoods, right into someones back yard. All this and I never fell off! I just turned the bike headed back over the berm, onto the sidewalk, then back to the road. When I came over the berm, I saw a few cars stopped and were looking concerned. I waved to them and went home! One of the cars chased down my husband, who pulled out before me and missed the whole scene and told them they thought I needed help! How embarrassing! I went home, put on tougher boots since I had squashed my toe and got right back on and rode to Sandwich! I almost had the same thing happen a little later, but I kept my cool, stopped and started over. I don't have problems going straight from a stop, but turning (especially right) I always pop the clutch and the bike starts jerking all around, causing panic which leads to mayhem!

I need to practice, practice, practice, but I will get the hang of this!

Comments for First Ride of the Year

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Mar 14, 2011
You go girl!!
by: Caroline

Oh, Jeanne, what a trooper you are! Your incident is so similar to my friend's first ride, and she is still having a tough time even in the parking lot. I hope you don't mind but I did chuckle at your story, only because I could see myself doing the same thing...you are doing great at going forward!! See you in the curves ;)

Mar 14, 2011
I live in Sandwich...
by: Sandra

but I missed your little "incident"! Glad you kept the rubber side down!! Great example of keeping your cool in a tense situation. It's a great reminder that a little mistake does not HAVE to mean we have to go down...but I'll bet you were shaking in your boots for a little after you found pavement again. LOL

Way to show us how to "stay in the moment". Keep up the great work.

Mar 14, 2011
I commend you!!!
by: Linda

You are exactly what I want to be when something does happen to scare me!! STRONG!!! I hope I can follow your example. I know that sooner or later something will happen and I will panic too.

I am still very new and don't have a lot of experience yet. So I know that I will get scared at some point. I admire how you handled the situation and your determination to get right back on!!!


Mar 14, 2011
With Confidence & Practise
by: Micki

@ Jeanne .. Take the retuning rider class - its not as advanced as the skilled / advance rider course - it is for both licensed & unlicensed riders - - thru the state the cost is a mere $25-30 bux - they supply the bike, unless you have special permission to use your own.

Mar 13, 2011
by: Jeanne

I took the motorcycle safety course last year and it was great. I struggled a little bit with the turning from a stop then too!!! I was thinking of signing up for the one where you use your own bike this year. My concern is that it is called "advanced" and for experienced riders. I am anything but those things, but I would like to practice with some good advice on my own bike.

Mar 13, 2011
Think About a Motorcycle Safety Course
by: Anonymous

IL offers a very good motorcycle safety course. It is a combination of classroom type and practical riding on a closed course. It is great even for experienced riders to brush up. To find out one near you go to Illinois Motorcycle Safety.

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