How I am overcoming fear of wind.

by Chandra S
(Coastal North Carolina)

First of all, I just want to thank everyone for all the great advice posted here. I read it all back when I was still terrified to even pick my feet up (wow, was that just three months ago?) and I just went back through it again - great stuff, here.

One thing I didn't see anyone mention is dealing with wind. Maybe I'm the only one who was scared half to death the first time I came out from a sheltered area into an opening and felt a big cross gust, or even found the headwind from going over 35 mph to be more than I expected. (I don't have a windshield yet, it's on the list!) But in case it isn't just me, here's the advice that I found in a few places on the internet, tried, and benefited from.

Relax your arms, and hold on tighter with your legs.

Instinct (at least mine) is to stiffen my arms and grip tighter on the handlebars when something scares me. If I do that, every little gust that moves my upper body at all translates straight to my forks and makes me weavy and unstable.

But holding on loosely (apologies to .38 Special) is counterintuitive and makes me feel like I don't have total control over the machine. Even though I do. It's a psychological problem, not a real one. I have plenty of control with my arms slightly relaxed and my grip firm but not deadly. So the psychological solution was to press down harder on my footpegs and squeeze the tank tighter with my knees. It makes all the difference in the world. I rode about 65 miles this morning, most of it on our local highway/wind tunnels, at 55-60 mph - and even when big trucks passed me I wasn't scared. Okay, sometimes I was nervous ... but not SCARED.

Comments for How I am overcoming fear of wind.

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May 28, 2014
by: Cindy

I'm glad I'm not the only one who is surprised by the wind. After reading the comments here, I have become a "hugger" with my knees also. I talk myself thru wind gusts. I remind myself that the bike wants to stay up, relax any "deathgrip" I may have on the handlebars and let the bike do it's job.
I just got a new windshield and it's made a huge difference in the headwind problem. I'm 5' tall and 100lbs, so there were a few times I felt like the wind was going to push me off the back of the bike.

Jul 06, 2013
by: Kellie

JOAN...I'm with you...I live in Oklahoma and the wind will actually put me in a panic attack. Only once have I pushed my hubby to turn around because I was ready to walk the 60 miles back home :-P

THANK YOU for the reminder (yep I have been told by hubby to HUG the tank)-but in fear I forget. I love to ride in the open road - hate when I encounter the lovely winds of Oklahoma plains.

BTW...LOVE seeing posts on here that I have questions and concerns about too.

Ride safe all

Jul 05, 2013
by: Joan

Chandra..thank you for the good advice. I've been riding close to three years here in windy Oklahoma and this has been one of the things that bothers me the most. I am going to practice your method and see what happens. I know it has to be better than getting all stressed out and gripping the bars too tight :)

Jul 05, 2013
Great Tip!
by: Gypsy Spirit

Chandra ...

Thank you for posting that bit of advice! It was a great explanation, not only of what, but why.

Congratualtions on your progress too! Your growing confidence is a fantastic boost to other new riders.

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