Like Minds!

by Cathy
(Cape Town, South Africa)

Wow, this site and forum are pure magic! I started riding my first bike in October last year, and am so loving riding my own bike after over 24 years as my husband?s pillion. It's a Suzuki Savage LS650, being a shorty, it really works for me.

I do know a few other lady riders, but not many, and so finding this forum, where there are so many like-minded women, never mind that most of you are an ocean away from me here in South Africa, is just great! (Anyone else from South Africa out there?) My husband is a fantastic teacher, and is very patient, but even so, with him, and the other guys I've ridden with, it feels like I must always be tough and brave and loving it, and not express emotions - heaven forbid :D . Well, I do pretty much always love it, but at times when I first started, I was just downright scared, and reading your posts here, I find I've had exactly the same reactions as many of you have had, and I've made the same mistakes too, it's just wonderful the way everyone expresses themselves openly here. I've already learned a whole lot from this forum, and hope to share some of my future experiences with you too.

What I can say already, to other new riders, is to keep at it - advice already given, I know, but it really does get easier, I'm already finding the mechanics of riding are coming naturally, which means my mind can be more focused on what's going on around me, which makes for better, safer and more enjoyable riding.

Comments for Like Minds!

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Feb 07, 2011
by: Lynn - Florida

I rode the entire first year on my Bonneville with a full face helmet and no windscreen. It sure made my neck strong! My VStar has an excellent windscreen and I'm considering adding the lower wind deflectors. The Florida highways are pretty speedy so I'm used to riding between 65-75 mph in the non-congested areas. They are in excellent condition and if you're not traveling that speed, the cars come right up on you, even in the slow lane.

Feb 06, 2011
Like Minds
by: Cathy

Oh yeah, we've just added a screen to my bike, and boy - it makes ALL the difference! Now I'm happy to ride on the freeway - I find I get up to the speed limit without even thinking about it, whereas before it was a struggle, and then I also had my husband asking why am I going so slow?!!

Isn't it so funny how they can fuss sometimes? My Mom-in-law thinks it's absolutely hilarious, after all her years of worrying about her son on a bike, that HE now worries about me on a bike - she reckons it's payback time, LOL!!

Wow, I realize how lucky we are down here - our winters are pretty mild, and while we will have plenty of rainy days, there's no snow, so no having to pack the bike away for the winter, and some of the best riding days are those sunny winter days - when there's no wind!!!

Feb 05, 2011
Like Minds
by: Myracle

A windshield is a definite. I don't know what I would do with out it...

Feb 05, 2011
60 and Highway
by: nie

Wow...so I'm not the only one that feels that way, I also got my sportie 2008 1200xllow last year and I have done 60mph without the windshield but now that I have one, I feel more confident as it makes a huge difference. Now I also have not gone on the highway just yet but I know I will eventually, the more I ride even if it's around a couple of blocks here and there, it helps, yes and around the office which is here in Chicago, I don't think I'm ready for that..too many cars.!

Feb 05, 2011
Oh Ya
by: Myracle

I have found myself going over 65 in New Hampshire because the roads are really nice there. Here in Mass they are all holes and if I am not careful...OOPS...Down I will go....

Feb 05, 2011
Super-Slab Riding
by: Sandra

I don't mind going 60 - find myself doing 65 mph if I'm not careful...but I've never driven to work yet, partly because I have 18 miles of Chicago suburbs interstate to travel during rush hour. I'm nervous about it, but my husband is sure it's a death wish to travel like that.

I have every confidence that I would do just fine, because I DO drive 60-65 - in my car on the way to work everyone is either pulling away from me at 75-80 or catching up to me and passing me by. NO ONE drives 60ish and I pretty much find myself in a bubble of no traffic most of the time. Of course there are those rare occasions, and I do not quite feel confident w/the emergency stop-or-swerve situations yet. So I held back last season.

Right now we are buried under several feet of snow and all I dream about is warm weather and riding...I can't believe how much I miss it! Come on, Spring!!

Feb 05, 2011
First Highway Ride
by: Anonymous

I know what you mean about 60 mpg feeling SO fast; it really does at first. Especially without a windshield. It feels like you're about to get blown right off the back of that thing. On my first highway ride, my son (on his Ninja) kept looking back at me, finally pulled over and stopped, and said, "Mom, why are you going so slow?!?" He's been like a mother hen hovering over me even though now I'm riding much more confidently and look forward to many, many more rides :D (There, a guy wouldn't have added the emoticon!)

Feb 05, 2011
1st Time Rider
by: Myracle

I loved reading your story. I to am a new rider as of July last year and I went to school and the guys were brutal towards me but I held my head up high and got my license which some of them didn't. Oh shame on them..lol...I am also happy to see a forum with all women. I ride with guys a lot and boy I am glad I can handle constructive criticism or I would be on the verge of crying. They have taught me a lot and I am grateful. It was the first time on the freeway that was horrible. They were flying, and I was so afraid so I let them go and they kept falling back for me then they teased me all day after that...Then I learned it is easier to keep up then catch up....I was going a little under the speed limit and they were going the speed limit..It just seemed so fast for me..I have a Harley Sportster lr 1200 and at 60 mph it is very scary. But I am much better now. I did learn the more I ride the easier it gets. We have at least 2+ feet of snow and I cant wait to ride soon. I am having riding withdrawals...Good luck with your bike and be safe. Thank you..

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