My Second Season

by Stephanie

Well, Spring is almost here and the hubby was out shining up the bikes this past weekend. Last summer was my first summer riding and the very last day we rode in the Fall was the BEST ride I had all season. Now when I see the bike out in the driveway I'm starting to get that pit in my stomach and I'm trying not to let the fear grip me. I did okay, albeit slow, my first season. I made it to bike night at Quaker Steak and I set goals and reached them all. My hubby says I have the skill, it's just a Mind Thing I need to get over. He says this has to be my "breakout year" or maybe I should just hang it up. Pressure? I mean, how much time do you give it? I really want to do this and I see myself doing it. I'm just slow at letting go of the nervousness. I feel like if we lived somewhere warmer I'd be way better now but I had to stop at the height of my riding because of the weather. How long did it take some of you to get over the nervousness? Should I not be looking at Time and look at Miles?

Comments for My Second Season

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Mar 14, 2011
I know how you feel oh so well.
by: Candy

I am also on my second season. I took the Basic Rider Course and received my license last May. I still get really nervous before a ride. I am an over thinker. I get myself so worked up that it makes me screw up! I decided I am going to ride to work as often as I can to get back into the swing of things. I finally started feeling comfortable riding and it was time to put the bike away for the winter. My husband has been riding for years. He likes to go a lot faster than me. I have learned I will catch up when I get there. He is usually in 5th gear by the time I am in 2nd. I had a lot of problems with curves and my turns last summer. I think it is time for me to hit the parking lot again and get some practice in. Enjoy season No. 2.

Mar 13, 2011
My second season too!
by: Anonymous

This is my second season too, and I can't wait to get back out there! Will I be nervous? Maybe once I get on the bike, but right now I'm just excited! My hubby tried the same thing; "take the course first and then get the bike" but I didn't listen. :) I found a great deal, bought it and then signed up for the course. I spent some time in parking lots (with him on the curb) before I took the class, but once it was done, I took off! He complained that I was never home! I know a few women who ride, so I think I might have had more "seat time" than he did last summer. About the kind of bike, just don't go too small. Sit on it, get a feel, make sure you feel stable on it. (I actually had to get lower shocks put on mine because I didn't like being on my tip-toes at a stop light.) I sat on a Sportster first, and while it was ok, it felt a little small...I knew I'd be wanting something bigger as soon as I learned to ride. So I went for a 1340 Dyna. Perfect! Anyway, good luck, and don't get discouraged! Have a great second season!!

Mar 12, 2011
First Bike
by: ginger

Okay ladies, here it goes..talk about being new to this world, OMG I am very new. I just signed up for my bike lesson next month, then I'll get my bike (my husband said, "you just make it through the class and pass it, then I'll get you a bike") so I may die trying but you better believe I'm getting that license. So, here's my problem: What size did you start off with? I'm afraid to get one so big that I can't handle it but again I want one that I can ride for a couple of years then upgrade. I'm only 5'5 140lbs, so what bike would I be able to handle. Please help.

Feb 22, 2011
Stephanie, read this!
by: HarleyVal

Girl, you sound almost exactly like me. I took the MSF course late last August, and spent the next couple of months practicing in a nearby closed mall parking lot.

My husband would ride my bike over, and I'd follow in our car. He'd sit on the curb and watch me while I practiced cornering, starting & stopping, turning hard rights and lefts, etc. After a couple months, I felt comfortable enough to ride the road that circled the mall, and then finally out on the mean streets of Nashville, TN, following along behind him. Before the riding season closed down in late October, I was able to get in 4 really good rides.

We had a really warm weekend this past week, so he said it was time for me to get back out there. I was not excited at all! LOL Very nervous and wondering how I'd do . . . would it come back to me or would I have to basically start all over?

I decided I wanted to go back to my trusty parking lot for a little warm-up (just to get my legs back under me). I fully expected to pop the clutch and have problems feeling comfortable.

However, I'm happy to say that the first time I started it up, I just took off like a seasoned rider. I actually felt even more comfortable than the last time I road last fall!

So, if you feel you need a little practice . . . don't feel bad. But I think you might even surprise yourself. Just get out there and have fun.


Feb 21, 2011
Keep at it!
by: Cathy

Your hubby sounds a lot like mine - also has been there all the way with me, very patient, prepared to sit on the side of the parking lot, and to lead me out through traffic etc, constantly giving me good advice and encouragement. BUT, I also occasionally get a feeling of impatience from him, and am daunted at the thought of riding with his mates - I have already ridden with some, and they've been great - and as has already been said, most bikers are really encouraging and very happy to give advice (I've only encountered one experienced biker who was not at all encouraging - but then she's got all sorts of issues she needs to sort out, so I ignore her!!).

What I did find that helped me, though, when feeling inadequate, was reminding myself that my husband and his mates have mostly been riding since their early teens, ie for over 35 years, and when they started, they were young enough to be fearless, and so haven't been through this learning curve we're going through now - at an age where we're wiser and know we're not immortal, which makes us nervous!! That just helps me to put things in perspective, and I then go out on a ride on my own, where I don't feel any pressure, do things at my own pace, and remind myself just how much I love it!

Keep going, enjoy the encouragement, and let him push you a little bit, but be firm when your little voice says no - only you know how and when to push, I think the best time/distance frame is whatever suits you best!

Be safe out there, and most importantly, have fun!!

Feb 16, 2011
by: bikermama

I have been riding my own for 4 years now and I love it. But at the beginning of every season, I get some anxiety, that same nervous feeling. After I ride a few times, that turns into exhilaration. I once told my husband and a bunch of other male riders that I still get nervous sometimes. They have ridden for at least 20 years a piece. Much to my surprise, they said they still do too, that it is normal. Keep riding girl. Just be safe, and try to remember why you ride in the first place...freedom, independence etc. It will all come to you. Good luck.

Feb 16, 2011
Second Season
by: Stephanie

To answer some questions, I did take the MSF course in April of 2010. First time I'd ever driven a bike. And I did three months solid at the school parking lot and learned a LOT there. Did a lot of hard right and left turns, starting from a hill (we live on a hill) and stopping. And he was there every minute, sitting in a lawn chair watching me and helping me. He really has been so helpful. And to be fair to him, I had been thinking it before he said it so him saying it seemed to cement it for me. And he has more confidence in me than ANYONE. Everyone else thinks I'm just crazy. I did ask him about it later. He's just trying to get me motivated. I do know one girl who rides but she's so advanced...I feel like I would be holding her back, but I'm going to ask her. I know she'd be helpful. Maybe I just need to get out there and ride a bit, go back to my old parking lot and my jitters will go away. I want this so bad .. it is a mind thing and I'm just going to have to find a way to reconcile it in my head...I was thinking about taking the course again. I wish we had an intermediate course here (Cincinnati) but I can't find any. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT EVERYONE!! Can't wait to get out there!!

Feb 16, 2011
by: kp

First of all, if that was my husband, I'd club him. Did you take the MSF course or something like it? Always a good place to start, it's never a good idea to take lessons from a spouse. Do you have any girlfriends that ride that can help you out? Take your bike to a vacant big parking lot and practice circles and figure 8's and stops and starts. Lots of them!

And then just get out there! Hours in the saddle girl! not miles.

Good luck, do not give up!

Keep us posted.

Feb 16, 2011
Give it up?? HUH?
by: Sandra

I could not imagine giving it up, even though I am still a beginner when spring finally gets here! But then I have been riding on the back on and off for 30 years; and in my husband's words, I lack enough "common sense" to realize when I'm taking "unnecessary" risks with my safety. In the words of my friend after hearing that, she suggested perhaps he'd feel better if I walked around in a protective layer of bubble wrap! LOL

If you are nervous, it is probably because you are SMART! But it IS riding a bike! Once you learn, you don't forget...it may just take a few miles to get back to that former level of confidence. Who says you can't sign up for another MSF class and use it as a skill-building refresher?? You will remember how terrified you were the first time thru (assuming you took it - everyone should take it!!) and you will quickly realize just how much you have retained.

I'm actually planning to pull mine out of the garage this weekend - it's supposed to warm up to 50-60 degrees - but it depends on how much snow melt is mucking up the roads...and I want to drive my intended route by CAR first, as the pot holes forming are able to swallow a car whole - my bike and I wouldn't even be a good snack! ;-)

Good luck to you!

Feb 16, 2011
2nd Season
by: Kim

First of all with all due respect to your Hubby he is very wrong! You press forward and do not allow anyone to tell you other wise. Everyone learns differently. Some take longer (months & miles) and I have known some to just get on a go. I was not that lucky. I have only been riding 9 months and only have 4,500 miles under my rear. In the first few months I set very specific goals like grated bridges, high winds, rain, pillion a passenger, etc. But still I get nervous when I do not ride for a while or when I attempt anything different or new. Then it goes away. I know a lot of Ladies who have ridden for years & years and every now & then the butterflies return for them also.

Please remember that we are from Venus and Men are from Mars! lol At least my Hubby is when it comes to pushing me. I now push back. :) You keep going Lady and do not stop!!!

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