Is it just me?

by Donna
(Rhome, Tx)

I have been riding now for about 2 years and am to the point of giving up due to the fact that I am still a bit afraid of popping the clutch and hurting myself. I took a spill a year ago from the front tire going flat and ended up with a broken arm the put me out of commission for 6 months. At the age of 54 I just don't heal that fast.
I've had a couple of friends (both seasoned riders) get laid up for almost a year because of crashing.
A month ago my husband almost broadside a car that turn in front of him I am thinking it's just not worth the fun.
I will say I do enjoy the ride when I get out it's just the other drivers I am having trouble with.
Please tell me I need to quit worrying about crazy things like this and just enjoy the ride.

Comments for Is it just me?

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Jan 01, 2012
I agree with Becky
by: Lark

I want to change my other comment below where I said that when you stop worrying, that's when things get dangerous-what I should have said is that if you get overly confident in relation to your skills or just overly confident, period-it can be dangerous because you'll stop being careful and start taking risks. I agree that you can't go through life continuously worrying about what might happen. If I lived that way, I wouldn't have horses and motorcyles. You have such a great resource here; you have other women to talk to who are in the same boat as you are. Take advantage of the resource and go out and have fun! BTW-last weekend I dropped my bike on it's side at a right hand corner. Just when I thought I was doing pretty well! :)
Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2012
Rider safety course
by: Becky

I started flattrack racing before I street rode. I took a racecamp class and it has made me a better road rider. All states offer a motorcycle safety course. It is good to get the fundamentals down and practice, practice, practice. If you enjoy it, keep with it. I am turning 50 this year and just started riding off road alot. I also flattrack race and have a street bike. If I worried about getting hurt all the time, my life would be less enjoyable.

Dec 27, 2011
Keep the clutch in...
by: Anonymous

...it's not like a car. On a bike, you want to keep your clutch partially engaged for a LOOOOONGtime. That's what we mean by "the friction zone". Don't let it all the way out until you are up to speed. Practice in a parking lot. Start and stp fully every 20 feet until you get the feel of it.

Dec 27, 2011
Clutch popping
by: Dar

Donna - keep at it! I completed the ths MSF course in October and & riding a 500cc. Prior to taking the course I was riding a scooter for 11 months. You need to go out and practice using your clutch in the friction zone, concentrate on using 1st gear and doing figure 8s. I routinely go and practice the fundamentals and think every rider should. I wear full gear head to toe and it does give you a safety edge. I finally found a jacket & pants I like and they should all year round. Look for something you zip liners in and out of or go down to mesh. I chose TourMaster - love them.

Keep practicing using your friction zone and relax a little. Sometimes the stress and worrying about the what if will make you more insecure. I too have had a spill & still dealing with issues almost 12 months after my unfortunate incident. But persevere and you will get there.

Dec 18, 2011
Life can be dangerous...
by: Lark

I am 57 and I'm a team roper. This can be a dangerous sport. I'm a header, so I'm on a horse chasing a steer, then I rope it, dally the rope around my saddle horn and turn left so another roper can rope the back legs. I've had a 40 yr. old friend die doing this, and I miss her but I only took a week off from roping and went back to it. I also have a Suzuki GSXR 750. You do the things you love being as safe as you can be. It's better to get out there and live. You could be sitting in your living room and keel over with a heart attack, right? You go girl, you'll be fine. It's when you stop worrying that things get dangerous.

Dec 16, 2011
If you have fun, make it work.
by: Anonymous

Hey, I'm a worrier by nature, so I understand. I thought the day I had the song "If I die young" stuck in my head and rode it was going to jinx me somehow. Stupid huh?

Buy a bright jacket so you know the cars can see you, I have a bright pink one, with good armour. And stick to the slower roads. If you enjoy it, try to make it work. I don't go on the freeways often, and refuse to deal with rush hour traffic, but I've managed to log quite a few miles even with my paranoia, and I have a ball.

For popping the clutch, you might need something adjusted. I've heard Harleys are stiff and harder to feather if you have smaller hands. My Honda is pretty smooth and doesn't have a hard grab point, so even if I do pop, it doesn't really jerk much so I don't loose control.

Keep riding, even us worriers need a hobby. But the bottom line is, only you can decide if the reward is worth the risk.

Dec 07, 2011
Advice seen on a sticker...
by: Irene

Worrying works! 90% of the things I worry about never happen!

Nov 29, 2011
Thanks everybody
by: Donna

Thanks fro the encouragement everybody. I will definitely keep riding.
I will ride whenever I get the chance. I will also get more armour to wear.

Nov 29, 2011
One other thing
by: Wanda

Ride as if other drivers can't see you. It is smart to plan what you would do if the car up ahead pulls out in front of you. That's not crazy worry; it makes good sense to plan for potential hazards and be ready to execute evasive maneuvers or emergency stops.

Nov 29, 2011
Follow your heart.
by: Wanda

Forget all the stories going on in your head. What does your heart want? If you truly want to ride, then you must be willing to take some risk. To make riding safer, wear all the gear all the time: full-face helmet, boots, gloves, and armored pants and jackets. Can you wear hi-visibility colors? Maybe you can ride on roads with a lower speed limit or ride at times when there isn't as much traffic. Taking a class to refresh your skills might give you more confidence. If you're not already, get in shape, so you don't get tired as easily. Ride when you are alert and not when stressed or distracted. Maybe you would feel safer riding with a group? Only you can determine what is right for you.

Nov 27, 2011
Is it just me?
by: Donna

I have taken the MSF course, I am starting to wear my armour more I just wished I could find a jacket that wasn't as heavy as the leather.
I have a mesh jacket but sometimes I need one that is in between the two.
I have thought of buying one of the riding outfits the racers wear but then I realize that may be "Over Kill" on my part.
Thank you for all the encouragement to keep riding I just wish they would teach bike safety in the driver's ed courses because for some reason some people seem to think we have targets on our backs.

Nov 26, 2011
by: Anonymous

Well, let's look at this logically. Flat tire - this was not your fault. I have been riding and had a passenger when my rear tire went flat.

Have you taken the MSF course? One of the things they teach is to check everything before you head out.

As for popping the clutch, it just sounds like you need to go to a parking lot and practice your friction zone and taking off smoothly. There is no reason you should be popping the clutch.

Also, I do not buy jackets unless they have armored protection. Sounds like armored ridng gear would give you a psychological edge. There is a reason, track and bike racers wipe out and get up and walk away - their leathers have armor in it.

So, see what you can do to feel more protected. I know everyone used to think t-shirts and jeans are "cool" - but I really think with the millions of people who have taken the class, with its emphasis on proper attire, that attitude has greatly changed now.

I wouldn't give it up, keep going, you'll get it.

Nov 26, 2011
Quit worrying
by: jp

>>>>I need to quit worrying about crazy things like this and just enjoy the ride.<<<<

OK..how much good does worrying really do? If you enjoy riding, then make sure you're up to it, ride your own ride, (on other words, don't let others influence how fast or where you ride), and enjoy. Be careful and watchful, but ride. It's fun.

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