I'm Hanging It Up!!!! :(

by Stephanie

I am finally realizing I just can't do this! I took the MSF course two years ago. I spent four months in the school parking lot and my skills are great! I have never dropped my bike, I make my turns just fine, I live on a hill and have no problem with that. It's my speed. I just can't get up to speed and suddenly I'm terrified. My first ride out (this is going into my third summer) was great. I was confident and all was good. The next time I got on the bike I was shaking and scared the whole time. Not sure what happened but somewhere along the way I lost my nerve and I can't find it. I think I'll just sell my Savage and maybe sometime in the future I will get the "urge" again and I'll try at that time. I'm just very sad about it. I feel like a quitter and a loser. But I just can't ride terrified. I understand a little fear is good but this is way more than that. Has anyone else ever quit and then come back to it?

Comments for I'm Hanging It Up!!!! :(

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Jun 17, 2012
Dont give Up!
by: Michelle

I understand your feelings its either I have a very good day riding or a very bad day. I too feel discouraged at times, I think its a natural feeling, I am learning it takes hard work and practice. I guess what we need to do is keep our spirits up and not give up. Good Luck!

Jun 17, 2012
If it's in your blood, you won't give up.
by: Anonymous

I am an experienced rider who has been riding for nine years. At this point I ride better than many of the men in my club however, I was were you are at for the first few years. You need to remember that due to weather, most of us only ride a few months out of the year. So just when you start to get in the groove it's time to put the bike away for winter. When the Spring comes it can be like starting at square one. Comfort and confidence only come with time. The more miles you have under your belt the more comfortable you will become. I'm sure that it took me at least four years to get beyond the fear. I remember also thinking of giving it up at one point thinking that maybe I was just not cut out for this. I found a local riding club through a website called Meetup.com. They have arranged rides for beginners as well as experienced riders. I found that riding in a group is very helpful in building confidence. Today I ride to work every day as my 19 year old daughter is always borrowing my car. I prefer the bike to the car and I even ride to work in the rain with my rainsuit on. Please don't give up if this is something you want. Anything worth having is hard to come by. Why do you think there are so few of us women on the road? Be strong and you will thank me in years to come. Go Stephanie!

Jun 14, 2012
Don't give up.
by: Brenda

Don't give up. I gave up last year and sold my Honda Shadow 750. I had dropped it 4 times and was getting scared. So I sold it, because I was so afraid. A couple of months later I bought a used Honda Rebel 250 with a dent in the gas tank. I had a little less fear of damaging that bike and it was much easier to handle. Needless to say I am having a blast now. Just give yourself time. If you are lucky enough to live in the country, the country roads that have little traffic are the best to learn on before venturing out into traffic. If you are going too slow for a car that might be following you, you can easily pull over and let them pass. There is no reason to leave your comfort zone. You will be going faster eventually without even realizing it. It just takes time. I would ride with my husband and he would tell me everything I was doing wrong. It was intimidating. So I would listen to what he had to say combined with what I learned in class. Then I would go for rides on my own also, so I could get some practice in without being intimidated by more advanced riders.

Jun 14, 2012
GET MAD!!!!!
by: witchypoo

O.K. please read this!!! Reading this is like i wrote it .....i felt the VERY SAME way, even put my bike up on ebay......BUT i couldnt bring myself to sell her! So i too went through all this ....did fine first tine out BUT didnt get up to the speed limit and i didnt on my second time out ....third time i got closer...what really helps me is i get MAD before i go out...and what i mean is i get worked up and get my adreneline on...i see alot of ladies riding where i live and tell myself i can do this stop being a big wussy...these ladies are having a blast and and not wimping out and then i get my adreniline going and get out there....listeb i tell myself this is a work in progress!You dont have to conquer it all in one summer...as long as you get out there even once a week you are getting there...it gives you something ti look forward too! DO NOT sell your bike you can do this....trust me i am the most nervous gal in the world and this makes me so happy and it will you too! God Bless!

Jun 13, 2012
Thoughts produce actions
by: Colleen

it all begins in your mind. You want this - you can do it.
Breathe and go forth. This all sounds like pearls of wisdom but these are the things I say to myself when I let ANY kind of doubt creep into my mind.

Lots of women are giving you good advice and I agree with all of them. Don't let what YOU THINK should happen control your actions.

Find some two lane roads and get you and your man out there and ride. I'm in Pittsburgh here and we have roads like 980 and 519 and 22/30 all like 40 - 50 MPH roads that are two lane twisty turny. Perfect for riding.

I'm on my second bike 883 Custom- and I just dropped it AGAIN for the second time a couple of weeks ago. You know why? THE STUPID front brake. I was stopping and hit a patch of gravel and WHAM down I went. I'm always learning new things daily - I've only got about 3000 miles under my belt. I just need to BREATHE and remember I want this, I can do this!!! So can you - hang in there!

Jun 13, 2012
keep on
by: bikermama

who said you had to go fast? one of the first things i learned is to ride at your own level. keep up with the good work. it will come to you.

Jun 13, 2012
Hubby Helps Me
by: Stephanie

Just to clarify, my husband rides with me and he says he's amazed at how good I am at my technique. So he's the one telling me that, other than my fear, I'm good. I go way to slow for traffic and he and I are both worried I will cause an accident. I just can't go fast enough, not even the speed limit. I come up on an intersection and I slow way down, just in case that car doesn't see me. Last time out I was shaking so hard I could hardly hold the bike up at a stop light. I'm taking a break for a while and I'll see what happens.

Jun 13, 2012
I'm Hanging It Up
by: Nana

I have been where you are - full of self doubt. I took a break, but am too damn determined to let fear rule me. So I got back on. It just takes lots of time, practice, and a good coach. Taking the course is only the beginning. They have no way of teaching you what driving on the road is like. You just have to do it and it helps to have a seasoned rider to assist you - if they have the patience.

I was lucky in that my SO is a wonderful coach - he is extremely patient - never pushes - lets me go at my own pace with lots of encouragement and "atta girl" comments. He has told me that my learning is making him really think about how he rides - the mechanics. It has helped us both be better riders.

And I still have doubt - I dropped mine at an intersection a couple of weeks ago and went down hard. I am still sore where I hit the curb. But, I won't give up that feeling of freedom I get from riding the twistys and feeling the wind on my face. I'm hooked - I'm a junky - so I will nurse my wounds and get back on my ride.

BTW - I only started riding last June and I'm 51 years old. If I can do it, anyone can.

Hang in there!

Jun 13, 2012
Sounds as though you've given it a good try...
by: Anonymous

...you said that you have practiced and that you have good technique.
Who says? If you have an MSF rider coach who says you have good technique, that's one thing.
But if you just think you can do it, maybe you don't have the skills you think you do and the fear is an inner knowledge that you're not in true control.

Jun 13, 2012
Giving up
by: Nina

I am right there with you and understand completely. After taking a fall last year I had given up on riding. I really wanted to get back on the bike, but had anxiety attacks just thinking about it. We bought a Can-am Spyder and I love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I still consider getting on my Boulevard C-50, but when I walk out to the garage I just smile and get on the trike. It seems crazy because I jump on the dirt bike and run thru the fields and trees behind the house, but can not bring myself to go on the street with 2 wheels.

Consider your options....take more time to practice, consider a different bike - but most of all do what is right for you.

Jun 13, 2012
by: Ree

I to thought at one time that I was crazy for wantng to do this. And the more afraid I was the more I was determined to concure it.

You can do it. Do you know any experienced riders? If so talk to them. Even revisit your instructors from the course with your concerns.

But don't give up. Go back to the parking lot or just around the block. Someplace that feels secure. Have someone with you. Take your time. It's not a race. Retrain your mind and body to becoming one with your bike. get books look at videos about overcomming your fear. Fear is nothing. You said yourself you have the skills. But the hard part is trusting yourself. Take your time. Go slow. You are putting too much pressure on yourself it's suppose to be relaxing and enjoyabe. You just have to get over the fear. Amd we have all had it. I'm telling you all the things I told myself...NEVER LET FEAR WIN.

Jun 13, 2012
Don't quit
by: Michelle

Hi Stephanie,

I just started riding recently and even posted to this website about giving up. I'm happy to report that I'm not giving up and took my first solo ride on 6/11.

Like you, I get really nervous before a ride but I say a quick prayer and take deep breaths until my nerves calm down.

I hope you hang in there and try to find a relaxation technique that works for you. It's really depressing to take the course, buy a bike and then give up on riding.

Good luck,


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