My nerves are getting in the way of my riding :(

by Eleanor

Hello everyone,
I am looking for any tips, words of wisdom and most of all encouragement I can find as far as "getting over my nerves" is concerned.
I recently passed my motorcycle course and was eager to get out on my own bike and continue practicing my skills. I had purchased a gsxr 750 before finishing my course knowing full well it was a large and powerful bike but feeling confident in my ability to control the bike not having to use all the power if I didnt want to...the first couple of days I did very well transitioning, I did mostly easy stuff up and down he driveway, balancing, stopping, friction point, friction zone.. Now I've upgraded to a big parkinglot now and am starting to add throttle and shifting and feel myself getting overwhelmed, and starting to blank on the easy stuff. I know practice makes perfect but I just feel like my nerves are taking over. In no way do I want to give up on myself or the bike I guess i just need confirmation that it gets easier.

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Jun 21, 2018
Getting to know your body NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm a new rider, just got my m1 endorsement and now about to purchase my first bike and let me tell you, I have sweaty palms over it because the bike is much heavier than a Honda Rebel 250. It's also more powerful. A Suzuki vz800 v twin machine under my 5'2" 119 lb frame with my parents' voices in the back of my head telling me I'm crazy and I'm also on my own since I'm an adult well into my 40's I still care about what they fear since I'm also a very free-spirited, adventurous woman and need a little "grounding" to keep me in check while exploring all that life has to offer. In college, I had studied kinesiology which involved studying alot of physics, bodymechanics and postural training not just in everyday activities but also the most efficient applications of bodymechanics in various sports. Movement, momentum, force and resistance are what we can generate with our muscles. It's a matter of training the brain to understand what is needed to keep us in balance. Proprioception (understanding of where your body is relative to itself and its surroundings) on a motorcycle is something we train while riding, responding to the weight of the bike at various speeds, during acceleration, deceleration, etc. From my standpoint, I don't really fear the bike but rather, the lack of my own skills development. all the bike can do by itself is fall over. When the rider is at the helm, that is who controls the bike through communication between the brain and muscles. So, something to think about... training your body how to control the bike is alot like a tennis player learning how to hit a ball across the net to place it exactly at a target spot every time. Once you learn how your body responds and corrects imbalance you may notice you're more comfortable turning the bike to the left or to the right depending on your body's strengths and weaknesses. Riding a motorcycle is one thing that will tell you what's going on with your ability to voluntarily connect with your core and postural muscles. So relax, sit on the bike while the engine is off and perform some neck rotations and check your ROM (does one side feel like it has better ROM or must you lean over a bit with your shoulders to look at your target because your neck doesn't rotate as far? That lean can disrupt the balance you had on your bike if ROM isn't there and cause the bike to respond to your imbalance. Can you rotate full ROM at the waist in both directions without using your arms to push off from a "stable source" if not, your handlebars are not what you want to be pushing off of if you want your bike to go in a straight line while you look over your shoulder for oncoming traffic. HINT: work your obliques at the gym if you can't get the rotation you need.
Certainly, this is just a couple of examples of how to connect with your body so you can develop confidence in your riding skills and eliminate some of that initial anxiety of first time riding jitters. I hope this helps.

Sep 23, 2016
Get on with it NEW
by: KAW

I went through the training coarse and got my license in 2009. My husband has been riding for 40 yrs but was very nervous about me being on a bike. He agreed to get me out on a Can Am Spyder and I loved that for 3 seasons. Riding the Spyder allowed me to get my clutching, shifting, breaking skills down pretty well. I stopped riding for 4 years while focusing on my teenage kids, and recently decided it was time to get back out there, this time on 2 wheels. My new BMW F800 GT Beauty, down after about 300 miles. Slow maneuver, under pressure turn with a little gravel fixation, a granite curb and that was it...a $6000 repair and a few bumps and bruises. Things would have been much worse for me if I hadn't been wearing FULL armor on that 95 degree July day. Right after the crash, I prayed and thanked God for his mercy, then signed up for 6-$50 per hr private lessons, read safety articles, encouraging posts and watched videos, even crash videos to see where things can go wrong. I'm planning to do some track days too. Already, since getting my bike back last week, I've been out a few times. Each time, I first warm up in the parking lot near my house ( I don't care who sees me)...figure 8s, U turns, stops, etc. This gives me more confidence and focus however, the reason I'm on this site is because I am still feeling nervous about riding. These roads are very curvy and heavily traveled by Mack trucks and texting drivers. So scary! Just this morning I refused to go out with my husband because, I was not up for it today, even though I really wanted to go. So, I continue to look for encouragement. I feel I can push through this fear stage and get on with it as long as I think I'm not alone. My hope is to be out there in full gear and with the protection of God around us as my husband and I ride through the glorious fall colors of New England.

Sep 02, 2016
Newbie 1st season 2016 NEW
by: Anonymous

So much wisdom here! Chewing gum helps a lot...and it is so much about RESPECT! Time in the seat...lots of practise. Breath deep and exhale relaxing your shoulders. But most of all just go for lots of fun rides so you can relax a little more and not worry just enjoy!

Jul 15, 2016
Not a girl!! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, as the title suggests I am not a girl but I am a returning biker (after 20+ years) and can relate totally to many of the comments/feelings others have experienced. I got the bug again at 50 and went and brought myself a Harley, big, heavy powerful machine for sure. I was so shocked at how poor my riding was (compared to my younger no fear teens and twenties). I get so nervous particularly at roundabouts, turns, bends. It got to the point the point where I even changed bikes to a more manageable Harley. It helped a little but the nerves and fears are still there. Anyway, I have booked myself on an expensive one day course that I am hoping will help. Aside from that the only way to over come this is to get out there find some familiar easy roads and ride. Fingers crossed and best of luck to you all too.

May 18, 2016
You will get there! NEW
by: Tina

Hi, I have only been riding sine I took the class in 2012. before that I never rode a motorcycle by myself. I was scared but I didn't over think it and I did it. my very first trip was to pick up my sportster from the shop and ride it to get gas then home all alone (hubby was at work), I am sure ppl were looking at me and I was going the speed limit if that but I was riding how I was comfortable. I LOVE riding and hope you can feel comfortable enough to get out there and enjoy it too! oh and you mentioned your age, I will be 47 this year, I was talking to someone who said his mom still rides..she is in her 60's and has three motorcycles!!

Good Luck

May 16, 2016
Nerves and Shyness blocking any progress.. NEW
by: LadyDay

Hard to admit this but as much as I want to get on my bike that I bought (Buell Blast) I am still having a hard time getting over the idea that people will be looking at me all the time.

Not that many women in my age range riding bikes and if they are, they are seasoned riders on big cruisers and such, or really flashy sport bikes.

I suppose I am still nervous about having trouble with the three point system: throttle, clutch and brake-- which is nothing like driving an automatic car (gave us clutch long ago -- tiring in the city commute..).

I took the course last year and didn't go on the bike once. I recently paid again and took it again, but the same uncertainty anxiety still exists.

I have tried to find people to ride with but no one wants to babysit a beginner--I understand that. I don't have the resources to pay for private lessons and I have run out of ideas to help myself get over my blocks.

On a scooter I have no problem; I can ride, swerve turn with the best of them. But the bike-- ...

Feeling a little slow though I know I am not.

Any additional advice would be warmly welcomed.

Apr 12, 2015
It's natural to feel that way
by: A dude who cares

Your experiencing a natural phenomena called respect. You respect the skin on your hide and you do not want to injure it. That being said, the one truth in all motorcycling is (provided, you have been basically trained) how does it fit? How does your bike fit you? Are you a super green beginner? Then you need a super green beginner bike. (small is good here ladies) The smaller the better. Seriously, the number one thing you can do for yourself is to make sure that your bike fits you comfortably. LOL, I hear you girls talking about a GSXR 750 and I think, wow, that was my 7th bike. (i'm nearing 50) It was never even thought of to be my first. My 2nd piece of advice is to take a course or borrow a friends motocross dirtbike motorcycle and go ride some easy beginner trails. You might think this advice is absurd but you can't imagine the experience riding on uneven terrain will give you. Do you want to become ONE with YOUR machine? Then hit some trails and learn what a motorcycle is capable of. That knowledge translates beautifully to the roads. Your experience is as individual as putting on makeup, (or not) your bike selection, fit, style and capabilities should represent your style. I think it will empower you as a rider and give you the confidence you need to step into this arena with superior confidence. Good luck, to you all, this is an amazing way to travel. Go early and often.

Jul 31, 2014
Back brake
by: Just a litre

Slow-Drag your back brake, look where you want to go, keep body vertical, lean bike, very little throttle,clutch control bring bike to vertical stance or close before using brakes.
Fast - look where you want to go, brake before corner and accel or hold speed out ,counter steer, kiss your mirror not actually , my advice take it or leave it and go to msf course or tough it out somewhere quiet. Not responsible

Jun 30, 2013
Reassurance Thank you gals!
by: Honda Girl

I stumbled upon this site after trying to get some tips on fighting the nerves when riding.
I passed my motorbike licence in November 2012 and did it pretty fast and was told I was a natural. I got my first bike in May of this year and went for a lovely Honda CB 500. A big step up from the 125cc i leant on. I went out for the first time a couple of weeks ago and dropped it twice due to lack of experience handling such a bigger bike. This has lead to me loosing my nerves with riding and the bike which has really disappointed me. I don't want to give up as I love riding and everything about bikes. Just reading other comments though has shown me there are others in the same boat and its all down to practice like anything! So I am going to make a booking for a lesson on manoeuvring and get practising!! :) Happy riding Girls!

Jan 31, 2013
Yamaha R6
by: Vince Olivas

I boughten my bike back in April. I had one major accident in May due to unexperience and riding another fellas bike (big mistake). I live in West Texas and the wind is constantly blowing. That really bothers me and the turns. When I ride by myself, I'm at total control of my nerves. Get me with a group and the wind blowing. I am a total wreck. I will take a safety course the following week. maybe this will help with my nerves. The only thing I could say is that you ride, ride ride and ride.

Jan 18, 2013
I also bought a GSXR
by: Jenni

I bought an '07 gsxr 750 after my safety course and I LOVE it! If I had bought a 250/300, I would of thought it was a joke and been bored after a week.
So basically it comes down to if you have self control and can respect your limits. The throttle control on my bike is awesome and unless you crank it open 100% for some stupid reason, its just as safe/dangerous as a 250/300.

I only have 5 days in so far. Turns and curves still make me nervous. I did go down on a turn my first day but did not get hurt. I was simply riding not at my own pace and riding with squid friends. So ride your own pace! ( Note: I did not go down because of the bike.. I went down because of lack of experience).

I look forward to summer 2013 to conquer more fears and enjoy the ride :)

Jun 02, 2012
My nerves are getting in the way of riding
by: Turtle

Sounds like you started out the right way by taking a riding course. I have been riding for several years and I never stop learning. Now that you have had the basic course try and find an experienced riding course that you can go through on your own motorcycle. I love riding and often ride competition (like police rodeo's even though I am not a motor officer). What I hear most often from riders is I am afraid to drop my motorcycle. What I tell them back is do you want to do it in a parking lot under speeds of 10 mph or 70 mph on the highway when you have an emergancy situation you don't know what to do with. Get in a parking lot and PRACTICE all slow speed manuvers, breaking, break and escape and cone weave. Set up cones 20 feet apart in a straight line, and as you grasp the concept of swerving slowely off set the cones then start putting the cones closer together until you can get up some speed and lean the motorcycle. Practice all of this in a parking lot until you become proficient, and take every training class that is offered in your area. I have ridden over 200,000 miles accident free but I try to make myself visible, and keep my skill level at a point that if some unexpected thing happens I all my learned skills take over automatically. Keep on riding! I

May 30, 2012
New Rider Nerves
by: SuzieQ

I purchased a Honda Rebel 250, over a week ago, which is my first bike, ever. I have progressed alot during these past 7 days, and can see improvement in take offs and stops. There is one thing that bothers me though... I have always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle, but now that I have one, it seems that I too have nerve issues.
I have chewed the gum before I even read this site, and it actually does work. It does seem to calm the nerves down a bit. But, sometimes I just tell my husband, who always follows me on his Yamaha 1100 V-Twin, "let's go home, my nerves are getting the best of me" and I hate that. It makes me feel like a failure.
I think one of the hardest things to learn is the tight turns without laying down the bike. I have been lucky and haven't laid it down yet, but, those turns always make me very jittery. Especially, if I have to turn by another vehicle.
I sure hope these nerves lessen for me, so that I can learn how to ride better and start having fun. I know I have to always be aware of everything around me, and not get too confident. But, I would just like to enjoy more and be nervous less. :)

May 22, 2012
Just what I need to hear
by: MsLolo

I really don't have anything to add hasn't already been posted. I just wanted to say how helpful all of the words of encouragement are. I stumbled on this site just a day ago and spend much of yesterday reading. It has been awesome to read that I am completely normal with all my fears and struggles. Thanks goodness I am not alone. I think it's all about practice practice practice!! Keep up the good work!

May 11, 2012
Feeling better comes with time
by: Cate

But I am also a believer that when you stop feeling scared is when you become a danger to yourself. I remember feeling terrified of every bump and and jostle and my knuckles and fingers would be sore from gripping the handles so tightly. I remember the first time a semi passed me going in the opposite direction. I thought I was going to pee my pants at the blowback. To get over it, I just forced myself to go on small trips with a set destination (like the store) on a road I was familiar with. While riding I would think about, "What would I do if..." situations while paying attention to traffic and how people drove. Chewing gum helped. I also cussed a lot into my helmet. Now I am 9 months in to it, and I would say that there is something that makes me nervous for a small time on every ride, but I don't have the constant adrenaline surge that I did when I was just starting out. I just do like my Motorcycle Safety Instructor said and "Drive like you are invisible to others." Hang in there. You will get through it.

May 06, 2012
Your nerves....Keep em'
by: Anonymous

Our bodies have an inner voice that keeps us safe and sound, and lets us ride back into our driveways after a ride. Do not complain about your nerves, they are there for a reason. They keep us safe!!!! You will notice, after a couple of thousand miles under your belt, they will still be there, but will ease. After riding for years, I get nervous if I don't feel those nerves. I refuse to ride if I have that "I can conquer all" feeling, because in that state of mind, I am setting myself up for a fall. You can still ride and have fun. Have you ever noticed the crotch rockets out there riding past you like you were sitting still? Well, they have lost their nerves. They may never wreck, but almost every time you hear of a rider getting killed or getting crippled up for life, well most of the time, it is a crotch rocket. Ride for enjoyment of it, ride to see natures' beauty, but ride safe and keep listening to your inner voice, it will keep you and others' safe to ride another day!!!!! Good Luck

May 03, 2012
nerves and riding
by: chiefgopher

I got my endorsement in October 2011. My husband and I actually went together. He has a Kawisaki 900. We rode two up for awhile and I got too restless on the back and told him I wanted my own. For Christmas he found me an 06 Honda Shadow 750. He would follow me while I was starting to get comfortable. We have mics in our helmets to talke bike to bike. He would talk to me and tell me to just go at my pace that I felt comfortable. If I was going to slow for traffic he would motion them past and tell me not to get excited and just take my time. WHen I got comfy I picked up my speed. I have put over 2000 miles on it in the last 4 months. I am very comfy now. I dropped it on a slow tight turn in gravel and a pothole. We checked out the bike and it was ok. My foot got pinned under the bike. It scared me but we were still a 100 miles from home. I got back on the bike and drove it home at a much slower pace but the guys I was driving with were very comforting and accomodating of my slower speed. by the time we were half way back I had got most of my confidence back and was taking my turns at my pre drop pace. Just take your time and go at your own pace until you find your bliss on the bike. I cant not ride. I love the feeling and have a more healthy respect for the power and speed witch is a good thing. Chewing gum really does work. It also keeps your throat from drying out from apprehension too.
Good luck and keep trying.

May 03, 2012
love me some open road! ;)
by: Eleanor

Hello everyone and thank you for all of your awesome input. I really love this site and all of its contributors. How great is it to be able to communicate with such a wonderful community of women?! All gushing aside...
I was able to take my bike to a more remote location yesterday, on a big WIDE open long road with little traffic and WHAT a difference! As soon as I unloaded my bike I just felt like I was able to breathe! I was not as afraid of the throttle, and was able to shift (quite smoothly I might add;) )(ps. second gear on my bike is actually a lot smoother and less touchy, who would have thought!) Im not sure what is was specifically about parkinglots for me..perhaps feeling like I didn't have a whole lot of room to do my manuevers, or feeling as though I was in everybodys way, or just the fact that there was more car and pedestrian traffic...eitherway, its easy to get overwhelmed by things, so for me it was soo important to find a more appropriate location to start riding in, to take away as much of the stress as possible and give me the best chance to just concentrate on the task at hand. I wasn't blanking on the small yet incredibly important stuff anymore, I was more in the moment and felt like I had time and space to do everything I needed to safely. What I will try to work on from here on out is practicing my skills in this rider friendly environment, and slowly closing the distances in which I give myself to perform a task. Above all else, practice is what I need. I truly believe that the more hours are put in the more naturally everything will come. Can't wait to get back out there and keep getting better! Thanks again everybody, ps, I've stocked up on gum and will be chewing on my next ride ;) I will try to keep everyone updated on my progress, and look forward to bouncing off future questions and ideas off of all of you. Keep calm and ride on :)

May 03, 2012
The main problem is....
by: Judy

...you purchased a bike that is wholly and totally unsuitable for a beginner. PERIOD.

The hair-trigger response to chassis, throttle and braking input on a supersport such as a GSXR-750 is best suited to a rider that has many thousands of miles of riding experience. It's no wonder you feel nervous...a bike like that is far more intimidating to a new rider than just about any bike on the road, except for a supersport literbike.

Do yourself a BIG favor and find something far more suitable to learn on...a Ninja 250 or Suzuki GS500, a lighter, more manageable twin-cylinder.

Many people who think about buying right off what they aspire to end up so intimidated and ill at ease with such a bike they never can relax and learn in an environment conducive to doing so.

I've taught and mentored new riders, and there was one in particular so green I didn't even let him start on the Ninja 250...I had him start on a 4-5 hp, '75 Yamaha RD60. Even so, his lack of coordinating the throttle/clutch transition caused him to ride out a 2' high, 10' wheelie when first starting out. But the bike was light enough and lacking in overall power that it didn't scare him.

You're doing yourself a huge disservice by trying to learn on an expert's bike, basically a roadracer with lights....130 hp has no business in the hands of a beginner.

May 03, 2012
nerves....and stalling...and gum
by: Sproket

I hear that! I'm right there with you.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm riding 'cause I've yet to find that peace that everyone is talking about. First time I stalled on a very small incline with a bunch of cars behind me, I tried to start the bike back up by turning the key, like a car. Duh.

But I agree about that gum. Try it. It gives me an "edge" and I feel like all that tension goes into the gum instead of my head.

Good luck. Maybe we'll both get there by the end of the summer...

May 03, 2012
by: Jean

Good news Eleanor!
Just as the others have posted, in time, you'll "get" it. I started riding in Aug of 2010 (I think). My first bike was a 1988 Honda Shadow VT800 (yes, they made that bike for only the one year). It was a small bike, but at the time I thought that it was HUGE. I had read somewhere that after 3-5 thousand miles of riding, (yikes! I'll never put that many miles on...lol) things just come naturally and nerves aren't so much a problem. I also recommend the Ride Like a Pro DVD's, or at least watch his videos on youtube. After I had rode my little 800 for around 5,000 mi. I was handling her like an old vetern, but the wind really pushed me around, so hubby says "time for you to upgrade". So, I sold her and have a '02 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100. And guess what, last fall we rode the million dollar hwy in Colorado. It was the scariest fun I've ever had! My point being, just continue to practice, know that your nerves are there, but use them to keep you aware of what is happening around you. Everyone else has made all the suggestions that I can think of. Good luck, let your hair down and enjoy the 'wind therapy'!

May 03, 2012
by: sassy2732

I've been riding now for 6 years on my own. I still get those nerves. I have found that chewing gum helps my nerves. There is scientific findings about gum chewing also, but all I do know is that it does help. My instructor at my riding class told me about it. I still make sure to have my gum before leaving to go ride. All I can say is just try it. It helps you to relax and not think so hard about if you are doing procedures correctly. Before you know it you will be riding with no worries. Good Luck to all of you and safe travels!

May 02, 2012
by: Colleen

Hi there!

I'm a new rider - about 2500 miles on both a Rebel 250 and now my 883. I bought the 250 for 600$ off of craigslist because I knew I would need to learn all the basics and get comfortable with riding before I stepped up in size. Also the older the bike the less I cared about dropping it :)

I felt ready when I took the Sportster out and have fallen in love with it... I'm in Pittsburgh PA here and we have been blessed with great weather even through the winter so I've been riding since February this year. The more you ride the better you will feel. I don't want to say buy a smaller bike... but maybe you can do what I did and it will help you with the new bike jitters??? Good luck!

May 02, 2012
It does get easier, I promise
by: Jenn Clark

I'm new to riding, so I don't know how much help I'll be, but I can certainly say that I understand how you must feel. I've been riding for a year now, and purchased my first motorcycle in December...of course, I had to have the biggest bike I could get, a Vstar 1300. I admit that something like that can be nerve wracking, but I've learned one thing, like Deb said, I can only control me. By keeping that in mind, I constantly remind myself that I am not out to race other drivers, speed, or drive recklessly. I am out for a joy ride, which means if someone has to be in front of me, they get to be in front of me. By thinking that way, I tend to be a little more relaxed and cautious when I'm out riding. Secondly, if I feel nerves coming on, I take my motorcycle to the local parking lot and regain my confidence before I hit the street...and if I am not well rested or stressed, I don't get on it. I guess what I'm trying to say (sorry, don't mean to beat around the bush) is that I've tried to bring in a higher level of responsibility and keep my edge. I promise, it does get easier, but it also helps to have someone to ride with who is not only familiar with riding, but can give you tips along the way. That's what my dad did for me.

I don't know if that helped you any, but I hope maybe it did.

May 02, 2012
Taming the nerves
by: Bykerchyk

Your story brings back memories for me...I'm into my 5th year of piloting my own (more than 20 as a passenger) and can echo the sentiments of all the others...confidence creeps up on you & before you know it you'll look back on this & wonder...what was I so worried about?!?! There's even alot to be learned from those oopsies...like what NOT to do again or how to handle something when it happens, especially on an emotional level since that seems to plague us more so than male riders. Sometimes the best teacher is experience--and that means the good AND the bad! Don't discount what you learn or how you learn it--there's never a 'flawless' ride & I learn something new about me, or my bike or my riding style/skill every time I throw a leg over. Here's something else that I kept chanting in my head to help ease the fear of feeling like I was 'on stage' (a.k.a EVERYONE's looking at me!!)...unless the people in those cars ride, they probably don't even know it IF you mess up! It still amazes me....the level of confidence I've found riding...and how it spills over into other areas of my life! It's absolutely changed my world & it will yours, too!!! Good luck and don't give up...it's worth it!!!

May 02, 2012
You are not alone
by: Pam

I know how you feel. I got my endorsement 1 year ago this month. I didn't get my bike untill the end of July. I got a HD Sportster 883. I was on a 250 in the training course. Well when I tried out my bike for the first time the power it had scared me to death. I ended up farther down the road than I planned. I didn't ride again for a month. I was scared. I let my mind get away with me. I was making myself scared.

I actually talked with my stepson who is in the Marines about it. I figured he knew how to overcome fear. He gave me some great advice I'll never forget. He said "make sure you ride the bike and not let the bike ride you." It worked. I started slow and went over what I learned in class.

Winter came and went and my nervousness returned. So I ride with my husband out in front. I like following him. I can see how he takes a turn and when he hits his brakes and so on. I don't feel all alone when riding with him. Maybe finding a riding partner would help for you too.
I wish you happy riding and good luck. I can't wait untill the nervousness is gone too.

May 02, 2012
Nerves in the way
by: Syr Tigressnla

Remember all the reasons why you got your bike and the feelings you had when it was parked there waiting for you to learn on the course.You have the skills, the knowledge from the course both practical & written & I am sure fellow friends who ride thier experiences too. Remember that this is a FUN & a Personal joy.(Don't think too hard let it come naturally for & to you).
..P.S. I have a Honda 750 Aero that I too am dying to take out & ride alone...I am waiting (4 weeks to go)in the mean time I get on move it around balence test.
Here is something that will make you laugh. I have 6 girlfriends who all have various bikes years under the helmet. They helped Me Pick out the best bike for Me, constantly show Me stuff teach Me (when on the back riding looking over the shoulder) on in parking lots. So One day in the Walmart parking lot they are teaching Me gears I am great in first gear no problem..getting into second I stall ALL THE TIME. So one says " if we ever are in a parade she will make it to the end of the route.
The other one says to me "wait util you do your first hill & the rolling counter effects" I am balenced on the top of My driveway that has a slight slope to it..I am spooked "HILLS"..now get this I can ride a 1300cc Harley loaded down with gear up My driveway through My double gates to the back shed...all in first gear no problems reverse & park). SO I am at the top of My driveway I start to do the "walking the bike" roll down the driveway ( slight slope remember hand on the front brake)..I dropped My bike in the middle of My driveway. My BEST FRIEND says as they all crack up laughing "let's get her to accomplish leaving home first & slight driveway slopes". I say "F*&K off I have road rash" she replies tears streaming laughing as the others gasp for air waving "that only counts when you GET on the ROAD!" they KILL themselves laughing on My front lawn. Add insult...5yr old kid next door who just learnt That Morning! to ride & balence with NO training wheels...asks if I want to learn to ride My bike with her training wheels attached..one ashma attack caused by fits of uncontrolled laughing and laundry due to two women who lost bladder control from fits of laughter..(I WAS thinking bout those training wheels for the driveway only). From that day planted in my garden(top of driveway slope) a stick with a honda sticker stuck into it that reads "Oops..acc#1 driveway". I am getting great at picking up My bike though..faster too!(think of the positives!) so far front fender tip deep scrap everything else still ok. No worries hun Besides it gives your friends something to laugh about later. One girlfriend bought Me the movie "wild hogs" told me "watch it learn what not to do you will see him"..I wonder if they will teach me how to conquer leaveing my driveway slope and then riding in second gear? hmmmm

Syr Tigeress

May 02, 2012
I think we all have been where you are
by: Candy

This will be my 3rd season of riding. I still get nervous before I go out for a ride.
Once I get on the road it subsides. The Ride Like a Pro DVD has helped me. My husband has been riding for years and he learned a lot from the DVD. The most important thing is to keep practing.

May 02, 2012
take your time and ride to your comfort zone...
by: rayetta

This is my 3rd summer riding. I ride to my comfort zone anyone wants to go faster has that right but I will get to my destination in my own sweet time...The more you ride the more confident you will become. I still have days when I feel like I ride better than others. I just got my licese last week and the next day rode to work and you would have thought I Had never ridden before by the way I was riding...You will be fine just take your time dont let anyone rush you..I think being a woman we all seem to over think every situation...Keep riding the more you do the better you will get and more confident...Good luck

May 02, 2012
Batteling nerves!!
by: Chris

Lordy - your situation brings back a lot of memories. When I first started riding I would almost throw up from nerves. But that was almost 20 years ago and no problems now.

Do you know of a riding club in your area?? Particularly one that is safety minded and, hopefully, takes time out during the year to practice basic skills. Slow riding is the test - we can all ride fast in a straight line but when it comes to making u-turns, proper braking, proper swerving - these are life saving skills.

Best of luck and don't give up on yourself. If nothing else buy some cheap cones and set up swervy courses in a parking lot, or a big square to learn how to make u-turns.

May 02, 2012
Learning Curve
by: Rachel

Eleanor you'll get it :) The nerves will subside as your skills and confidence increase.

I took the rider course last summer. My first bike was a little XS400 and I now have a 650 Vstar that I love...my poor rider's Harley lol.

It takes time to learn, practice and get comfortable with the 'real-life' riding skills they can't teach in a class. You seem confident with your slow speed skills - which are actually the most difficult - so relax and don't be afraid of a little speed...you're more stable at speed :)

Keep riding and very best of luck!

May 02, 2012
It DOES get easier!
by: Tina

Hi Eleanor, I too just passes my motorcycle class, the weekend of April 1st. My plan was to take my husbands v-star 650 so he could get a bigger bike. We took the bike to a big empty parking lot so I could ride around and I even braved taking it around the block in my neighboorhood. I had doubts as I rode his bike because it is wide and it just didnt "feel" right to me. I was bummed since I have wanted to ride for a long time. I got an opportunity to buy a harley sportster from a relative, although it is a 1200 it is a much smaller frame than my husbands. I had to ride it home and other than the class this was my first time ever riding. I was nervous but told myself I can do this and I made it home! I stared riding to work, doing the speed limit or a little less,got passed by a mini van and even stalled at a red light but i started right back up and rolled on my way. Every time before I ride I get nervous but when I am on the road it is such a good feeling. The more I ride the easier it gets. I have issues with my turns, espcially the slow tight ones but that will take practice. I will be 43 this year and I am finally doing something I have wanted to do and never thought I could!! Don't think about it too much just be safe and you will be looking forward to and enjoying your rides! Good Luck =)

May 02, 2012
by: Sharon

Being a first time rider myself-Just got my endorsement about a week ago-When I get nervous, I try some deep-breathing techniques. Does your husband ride with you? If so, ask him for feedback on what you are doing wrong or that you could improve on.
The more time that you spend on the bike, the more comfortable you will be with it!
Good luck!

May 02, 2012
It Gets Better
by: AC

Take your bike out on the roadway during light traffic or country roads. Take your time, practice your curves, positioning and awareness. Never trust the other driver, no matter how long you have been riding.

May 02, 2012
Calming your nerves
by: Aimee

It does get alot easier. The one tip that i actually got from this site that really worked for me is to chew gum. It plays some mental mind game and relaxes your nerves. It really does work. I was skeptical but i tried it and it worked wonders for me nerves..

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