Hello to all!

I have recently purchased my first bike (2006 Yamaha YZF 600) and I am a bundle of nerves. I wanted to ride for so long and have completed the MSF Course and purchasing was my last step. Here is the problem...I am a bundle of nerves. I started the bike to prevent it from sitting without being started, and I ran away. I am super exited about riding but scared to go because I feel I am going to immediately mess something up (either me or the bike- one of the two). Is there any way to get over the jitters? I plan on having a experienced rider give me some tips but...that still doesn't help my nerves.

Help!!! Any pointers? Anyone want to share their first riding experience?

Comments for Nerves!

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Apr 27, 2011
Find a straight road.
by: Dawn

I am a believer in "fake it till you make it". My husband and his buddies ride, and if I go with them, there is NO WAY I will let them see me scared of my own bike. Once I get out of the driveway I'm good, but those first few minutes are torture.

I still feel queasy getting on the bike, and I've been riding 5 summers now.

I am also going to give different advice than most of these others. I felt much better getting out of the residential and slow areas. I am lucky enough to have a straight road right out of my driveway. I hop on that and actually get a feel for the bike. I get myself centered and balanced before I have to worry about corners or stopping. Once I get those first couple blocks under my belt at a faster speed, or at least get through the gears, I am much more at ease and not everything freaks me out. By the time I get back home from a ride, I can practically do figure 8s in the driveway I'm so relaxed and confident. Yet tomorrow morning, back to butterflies.

The nerves do tone down a bit, but I don't know if they ever go completely away. Part of the excitement of riding I guess.

Apr 25, 2011
I'm not alone!
by: Penny

Bought my bike three weeks ago and have had the same feelings as some of you- want to go, but so anxious that I back away.

Yesterday, rode on the back with my husband who talked me through what he was doing, then I drove the car and he rode my bike to a great practice spot, that is on the street, but a deadend- has a hill, parking lot, cul de sac- all kinds of variety. Went out there yesterday and rode remembering what I had learned from his ride- what a great day and confidence booster! Can't wait to get back out there again even with the sweaty palms!

Apr 20, 2011
Just Enjoy It
by: Anonymous

I started at 47 with a 50cc scooter. I ran over curbs and into a stop sign and went 20 mph with my Husband following me home. That was 7 years and 4 scooters and around 50,000 miles ago. If people laughed I would think at least I am doing it not talking about it. Now I am moving up to a Vulcan 900 (I Hope)from my Burgman 400. I am going to have to learn to shift but I know it will just take time. Take a deep breath, relax and have fun.

Apr 06, 2011
Thanks Ladies!!
by: Nerves..no more!

Thank you Ladies for all of your words of encouragement!!! I read the posts, got a experienced rider to assist and ventured out. I jumped on my bike and instantly I was in love and surprisingly it seemed so natural. I practiced turning and for a lack of better words, I turned into the crazy person riding her bike repeatedly in my housing development like a lost dog..(a smiling lost dog :). I have some trouble getting into traffic, mainly because my nerves get the best of me and I squeeze the throttle and instantly let off the clutch (which ends with me gettin' pushed forward into the gas tank-not good) but it is coming along. I will remain on the back roads until I am comfortable. Thanks again to all of you inspirational women!!!!

Apr 04, 2011
It will get better!!
by: veronica

I rode in my alley....at night. somehow, I felt safer riding at night (perhaps I felt if I fall, no one would see me in the 'darkness' of night). I did this every single night (weather permitting in Chicago). I then rode around my block (At night of course); then up to the gas station; then to work; then to the health club; then to the bakery about 6 miles away. (I was riding during the day now...yipppeeee!)

So the point is my dear; just practice. You should have an experienced rider assist you if you would feel more comfy, but I wanted to make my errors on my own (stubborn and stupid I suppose). You will improve and I can pretty much assure you that we were ALL in that boat at the beginning. Even the other day since I hadn't ridden in 7 months (Chicago for ya), I was soo nervous. It was nice, I hopped on and guess what????? I drove around the alley, then around the block...yo know the rest!


Apr 01, 2011
by: ReRe

I'm glad I came across this conversation and I too will be completing a safety riding course and I have already purchased my first bike (1995 Honda CBR600). The excitement and nerves are both thrilling and unnerving. But the more nerves and stall tactics I come up with to make me slow down, the thought of learning this new hobby, the more determine I become to conquer my fear.

You women are such an inspiration. You make me feel that soon I will be able to offer great advice on squashing your fears and going for yours!

Apr 01, 2011
by: Anonymous

After I got my bike I had my husband ride it to an empty parking lot not far from home. I followed in my truck. When we got there, I got on the bike and rode and rode and rode then when I was ready to go home, I rode the bike and my husband followed me in the truck. Even though I was in traffic I felt safe with him behind me, like I wouldn't get run over if I screwed something up, it gave me the confidence I needed to start riding the back roads.

Mar 31, 2011
by: Jenny

After MSF course, I felt the same way. Would talk myself out of getting on the bike, too nervous, go back in the house and take off all the gear. Then regret I didn't even try. I practiced in a parking lot. Then moved to the neighborhood. Leaving the safety of the parking lot actually did a lot for my nerves and confidence. Still practicing since I passed the MSF course in November. Short riding time in Oklahoma after November. One warm day a few weeks ago decided I would take it back to the parking lot. Well, couple of rounds in the lot and I was bored with that and headed for the neighborhood streets. Found I was much more relaxed than I had ever been before and just enjoyed riding around. Was really surprised how everything just seem to be natural. Figured I would have to learn all over. As already stated, just do it, just practice until you feel comfortable. Next step for me is light traffic but I know I can do it. Car behind me in neighborhood didn't freak me out like it did before. Good luck and just keep going for it.

Mar 31, 2011
by: Sandy

Taking the MSF course was the first step....now you just need to relax, take a few deep breaths, trust yourself, and get on the bike. Ride on the side streets, go into empty parking lots and practice turning, stopping & starting, etc....get out and ride as much as you can...work your way up to busier streets once you feel comfortable. The best thing you can do is trust yourself and get on the bike and ride.....you won't regret it!
"The only risks we regret are the ones we don't take."

Enjoy The Ride!!


Mar 31, 2011
by: Sandra

I used to have minor panic attacks just gearing up...lacing up those boots sent my stomach into instant turmoil; couldn't secure my helmet because I was all thumbs, and could not get the gloves onto my sweaty hands. There were a couple of days when once I was "geared up" I was done for the day and never even started the bike! :( There were other days I would just go out and sit on my bike. Pull her upright, get a feel for the balance, perhaps roll her backwards a bit...

Is there a parking lot very near your home? I have one about a block and a half away. If you can't even muster riding that far, is your driveway large enough for you to practice start/stop with your friction zone? Once this is mastered smoothly, many of the jitters will subside. We need confidence in ourselves. One of the advantages men seem to have is they are less likely to care if they look foolish the first time or two, as their confidence that they CAN do a task overrides their fear of jeers. IMHO Parking lots are awesome for practicing take offs - our worst nightmare is stalling at a busy intersection - and a good size parking lot will allow you to practice right and left turns from a stop, tight cornering, PARKING, and other slow speed maneuvers. The bike is MUCH more manageable with a little speed, so these slow speed maneuvers should allow you to breathe and realize that you ARE in control of your ride.

While watching TV, sit and visualize the actual motor skills of starting, stopping, initiating a turn or curve, shifting, braking, CHECKING MIRRORS and LOOKING OVER YOUR SHOULDER before lane changes, as visualization is its own form of repetition until "muscle memory" is established (until the mechanics of a maneuver become automatic for you). How often do you give conscious thought to which way to turn your head for a kiss, or which side of your hair to part? Not much? That's because you have developed "muscle memory" for these activities. Practice does create the confidence you will need to become a safe rider able to enjoy the skills you have worked so hard to develop.

Mar 31, 2011
by: Lynn - FL

I was so nervous when I first started riding that my hands would fall asleep from squeezing the grips so tight. It is normal. Practice, practice, practice will do the trick. Stay in the saddle as much as possible and you will eventually be one with your bike.

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