Just Starting Out

by Noelle
(Freehold, NJ)

At 42yrs old, I just bought my first bike and I'm just starting to ride. Looking for support from other women and also to chat. Once I have a little more riding experience, would love to go out on some organized rides.


Comments for Just Starting Out

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Aug 16, 2011
A Valkyrie??
by: Julie

I'm 54 and have been riding for several months and have put about 1200 miles on my 1984 Honda Shadow VT700. I absolutely love riding!!! I use it for everything - even sold my car so it is my only transportation! lol I am now researching my 2nd bike, and since my fiancee, Jim, has decided on a Valkyrie, I can't wait until he gets his and then we shall see if I can handle one as well. It is one beautiful bike!

May 11, 2011
No Worries
by: Ashley - Sydney, Australia

No worries Noelle. Thank god for the learner course I took (twice!) that I was able to give you advice (the instructors would be so proud!) but you're right, it's def the practice that does it. I just got my first bike last week and It took what felt like 10 minutes to move off (luckily I was in an empty car-park) just because it took me a while to get the hang of where friction point is etc....So you said it, practice is the key cos all the theory in the world means nothing until you commit it to muscle-memory. But we'll get there :)

And JoAnn, the funny part about your story is it's exactly the same as mine only with a 30 year age gap! I separated from my fiance of 5 years (felt like a divorce, we even had to get a property settlement), already had a tattoo but have started planning my second, found an awesomely patient boyfriend who rides, and bought my first bike last weekend! Independent chicks rock it out no matter the age! I wish you all the happiness with your new passion...the boyfriend and the bike ;)

May 11, 2011
I think I'm the oldest here, lol!
by: JoAnn

I am 55 years old and just starting to ride solo. Always wanted to do it but never had the guts. So...at 54 got a divorce, got a tattoo, found an awesome patient boyfriend who rides and bought my own bike.

Scared out of my mind but this site is giving me hope. I don't know any other women who ride personally so this is a big help.

Thank you all.

May 11, 2011
Thanks Ashley!!
by: Noelle

Thanks so much for the suggestions Ashley. What you are saying makes sense. I will definitely try it. Unfortunately I work ungodly hours and the weather is hit or miss right now. Thankfully the season is just starting and what I need is just to get out there as often as possible. I will keep you posted as to my progress. PL&H

May 04, 2011
Always be in the "ready position".
by: Ashley - Sydney, Australia

Hi Noelle, I completely get where you are coming from. I've never driven a manual car so I stalled a lot when I first did my learner training. The trick is not to be scared of the revs and being in the "ready position" when stopped.

To get in the ready position: Before coming to a stop make sure you've shifted to first gear. Then keep your foot on rear brake the whole time (no need for front brake at all so this frees your hand for throttle control.)Now while waiting, get yourself ready to go by bringing up the revs and letting the clutch go to friction point. The bike will not move while you have that rear brake on so don't be shy. When it is time to move off, simply SLOWLY lift your foot off the rear brake. The bike will go and if she feels like she might stall bring up the revs and use the rear brake and clutch (cos it's still partly in) to control your speed and stop you from racing off. As you're going, completely lift off the rear brake then let the clutch all the way out using the throttle now to ensure you don't stall and to control your speed. If you ever worry you might stall at that low speed, just pull in the clutch. Sure you'll be a little slow as you find friction point again but you won't stall and no one has to wait for you to start the bike again. But if you practice this and get into the habit of being in that "ready position" every time you're stopped, you won't ever stall and will get the hang of it in no time. The best part is this method of using the rear brake and no front brake also works for hill starts and can save your bacon if there's a truck behind you not able to stop behind you in time and you need to move forward out of the way!

At the end of the day though just practice, practice, practice and soon you'll never know why you ever stalled before :D

May 04, 2011
by: Noelle

OK, so had my first official ride on a regular street (as opposed to being the parking lot queen). I found it both completely exhilarating and a little stressful. Once I get going, I am completely at ease and able to relax and not over-think shifting and being aware of whats around me. Where I am having most difficulties is after I make a complete stop and have to turn, I keep stalling out. Was riding with my boyfriend yesterday and stalled out 3 times on a pretty busy road. I have never driven a stick shift car so I'm guessing its just a matter of getting use to the clutch and my bike. Any advice from the more experienced riders??? PL&H

May 03, 2011
by: Deeann

Thanks for the advice. I'll skip the Valkyrie and do something a bit smaller!

May 03, 2011
Start Small then Skies the Limit
by: Ashley

If you have your heart set on a Valkyrie, I would recommend buying a smaller capacity second-hand bike just til you are confident and have built up your skills (and so that it won't matter too much if you drop it). Then soon enough you will know when to "trade up." Where I am in Australia, we have power & size restrictions for leaner riders and it has proven to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents. I should be picking up my little Suzuki VL 250 Intruder this weekend and am very excited!!!

Apr 22, 2011
by: Deeann

Good advice ladies! Thanks for your help. I'll scale down from the Valkerie and look for something a bit smaller.

Apr 19, 2011
My First Bike
by: Noelle

As my first bike, I purchased a Honda Shadow 600. I sat on numerous models including HD sportster 883, Honda Shadow Aero and Spirit both 750's. The 600 fit me perfectly, felt the most balanced and I couldn't be happier. finding a bike is such an individual experience.

Apr 18, 2011
Get Honda Valkyrie as Second Bike
by: Wanda

I recommend riding for two seasons before tackling the Honda Valkyrie. You would need to sit on one and see how it fits you. Once you gain confidence as a rider, you will be able to better gauge if the Valkyrie is the right bike for you.

Apr 18, 2011
My Bike
by: Sonya

I have a Yamaha FZ6R 4-stroke in-line 4-cylinder engine and is a beautiful sportbike, perfect for a beginner, and is white with red flames :) I absolutely love it and I love to ride! I don't know much about Valkyries, but aren't they really powerful bikes. They are absolutely beautiful, but big and heavy - might be hard to control. It's a v-twin, so it'll be torquie...you may want to consider something more for a beginner rider. What do others have to say?


Apr 18, 2011
Just Starting Out
by: Deeann Davis

I'm 58 and would love to start riding. I love Honda Valkyries. Are they too much bike for a woman? A beginner? I'm 5'10" so my height shouldn't be a problem.

Apr 17, 2011
My bike
by: Wanda

My bike is a BMW G650GS. It is a single-cylinder dual sport bike. I am completely enamored with it. Love, love, love to ride!

Apr 17, 2011
by: Sonya

I'm 45 and I took the riding course about a month ago and bought my first bike a few weeks ago. I've gotten out to ride almost every day and am absolutely hooked! What kind of bike do you ladies have? So psyched to meet others who are "older" (but definitely not old!) and just starting out :)


Apr 17, 2011
by: Wanda

I just turned 42! I got my bike last summer, so this is my second season. I think you are smart to take the safety class. I took it in July 2010, and I know it has made me a safer rider. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. The important thing is to get out there and ride as often as you can. I was pretty nervous starting out, but I find the more experience I get, the less nervous I am.

Apr 17, 2011
Just starting out too...
by: Shauna

Hey Noelle,

I just turned 42 in February and bought my first bike on 3/6/11. Only been able to ride 3 times due to the weather, scheduled for the motorcycle safety course in a week and I cant wait to get out there and ride. I am way out here in Washington state. Glad to see more and more women riders.

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