New Rider... Scared everytime I get on the bike...

by Karen
(Ottawa, ON, Canada)

I'm a very new rider.

Passed my permit in June. Took the course in July, bought a bike in August. Have been out a handful of times.

First ride, I was heading to the parking lot. Went down my street and around a curve to a stop sign. All is good. However, there were kids playing on the street at the corner. I was too focused on them and not the turn. As I proceeded to turn, I felt as if I was going too fast. I wasn't. I hit the "forbidden" front brake and dropped the bike. No damage done to either of us.

Made it to the parking lot and practiced, then headed around the neighborhood a few times and then home. Phewwwww, glad I was done. Wondered what on earth I got myself into.

Been out a few more times... but each and every time I get on the bike I am sooooo nervous until time has passed. Could be 10 minutes or 15 minutes before I feel somewhat comfortable. I'm always thinking what if I do something wrong.

Took the bike out the other night with my boyfriend following behind. Again..., nervous. We were heading down a back road and going to make a left hand turn. I took the turn too wide... hit the gravel shoulder, hit the gas, probably hit the front brake too... it happened so fast. I went down! Thought I sprained my ankle it hurt so much. No tears! I took off my helmet and got up and walked around. Ankle seemed to be okay. My boyfriend was there to make sure I WAS okay. A little blood on knee, jeans held up well, no holes. I said to my boyfriend... "Well, I guess I need to get back on...". He lifted my bike and the mirror fell off and the signal light was dangling... and there's a few cracks and scratches. He suggested it was best not to ride it just in case there was something wrong with it.

It wasn't until I got home; I realized the blood on my knee was due to a pretty terrible gash. Headed to the hospital.... 7 stitches later. I'm good. I look better than the bike, and I'm thankful for that! I wasn't scared when I fell, or mad. A little frustrated, because I knew I should have laid off the gas and looked harder to where I wanted to go.

My boyfriend sent me a text the other day. "Well considering the dump you had, the bike fared out ok. So get that knee better. You're a tough lil girl! xxoo"

He took a look at the bike for me. No major damage, just cosmetic stuff. He tells me it’s ready to ride. Unfortunately, I'm down and out for at least 10 days.

When does the nervousness go away? When do you know when to pack it in?

Comments for New Rider... Scared everytime I get on the bike...

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Jul 25, 2016
Tina B NEW
by: Susan N

I'm so happy to find this site. I have been a passenger for over a year. Because we often travel out of state I thought wise to get my licence for emergencies.i took the course , passed the test and bought my bike in 1 month.i love riding . I'm not afraid if my bike .My husband gives me lessons and instructions in a industrial park and I ride back roads and quiet neighborhood . But when we have to turn, stop, and go, he yells directions at me that totally distract me and my focus becayse I'm hard of hearing I have to look at him .I have gone off the road twice and he threatens to take my bike away if I do 1 more time . I've only been riding 2 weeks!

Jul 22, 2015
New Rider Anxiety
by: Anonymous

Hi All,

I am SO glad I found this site. I completed my rider training/safety course, and just bought my bike yesterday. I felt so calm and excited yesterday! But today, I'm feeling anxiety because I'm worried about driving. I wake up and have immediate anxiety attacks about taking it out for the first time. And then I think "hey, I learned how to swerve, and apply the brakes in an emergency during my course, I should be able to ride around the corner!" But no matter how much I try to calm myself down, I just can't seem to get over this feeling. HOWEVER, after reading everyone's experience, I do feel better and I know I will get there. Thanks to everyone for sharing; being able to relate certainly helps to know that I'm experiencing normal feelings. :)

Jul 06, 2015
The nerves are gone ...with a little help
by: Tina B

Hi guys,
My last post was filled with dread about riding my new bike. I could not turn left no matter when or where I was riding even in a parking lot. Even in the neighborhood, making easy left turns my body would freeze and I'd just roll up into someones yard, back the bike out and go home and hope that my neighbors didn't see me. I talked to my doctor and he confirmed that I was having panic attacks from the last time I fell off and my mind could not see past it and I was actually freezing up with fear. He gave me anxiety medication and told me to take it 30 minutes before my next ride. I did and it helped but I was still scared and shaky. The next day I took double the dose (don't judge), anyway it relaxed me so, so much until I was able to ride, turn, do figure 8, etc. My husband was with me and of course he attributed my new found "skills" to his superb guidance. Anyway, it's now 2 months later and I have gone on numerous rides with groups and my husband. I've put about 1000 miles on the bike in 3 months. I don't advocate using pills to overcome your fears but for me it was a last resort. My husband threatened to sell my bike because I wasn't riding it and I was actually very nonchalant about it. That's when I knew that there was more to my freezing up than plain old nerves. Anyway, I still take my anxiety meds when I go on rides because the least little incident can cause me to go into panic mode. This weekend, I was riding with a group and I hit a patch of gravel and totally lost control and went off of the road. I managed to stay upright but I did not know what happened. After the group checked on me and I said I was okay, I got back into formation and we went on. I was shaken but not incapacitated. Later when we stopped, the ladies came over to congratulate me on my excellent recovery and I told them I didn't know what happened. They said that I hit gravel and my bike just slid right off of the road. So I was proud of myself that they recognized that I can handle the bike and even more happy that I took my medication before the ride. Otherwise, I would have had to call my husband to drive 2 hours out to pick me up.

Best to you all!

Dec 26, 2014
I'm glad I'm not the only one
by: hilary

It did me good to see that other new riders are scared.I live in France, and have to obtain a licence in a driving school.I am, however allowed to ride a 125, which I do, but it controls me, rather than me controlling it.All the other beginners at the driving school seem to have far more confidence.Any more tips?

Dec 15, 2014
You are not the only one
by: Tina B

I did well in the class but that was a 250. My hubby bought me a 900 cruiser. I was doing okay in the parking lot while he watched then he said something and I turned around to say "what?" and I fell. Hurt the elbow a little but okay. Got back on and he said go down and turn around. Out of eyesight I turned around too short and dropped the bike again. No damage other than my pride. He finally came down the street after I didn't come back and showed me how to pick up my bike. For some reason, I got dizzy and started sweating and talking nonsense, so he had me sit down. After that I was done. I refused to ride the bike home and I waited until he rode home and returned with the car. I drove the car home and he rode my bike home. We've been out twice since then and now I'm so nervous riding that I chicken out and want to go home. Fear engulfs me when I'm supposed to make a left turn and I don't know why. I'm trying to get over it but dang it....I get so scared of falling, failing or whatever. I hope this goes away soon because I thought I would be a motorcycle mama by now.

Aug 14, 2014
by: AnonymousTracey

Hi Ladys
Good to hear I am not alone.
My husband rides the old Z 900,and wanted me to ride with him
Took the test,got my self an old K 250>road it around for a while until I got my full licence Australian rules.
Then I brought myself a Ducati 620 Black Monster,High pipes,heaps of carbon fiber.Ok Ok sorry I love the bike.
I have been on heaps of highway rides and hills riding,but every time I get on the bike I get nervous.
It almost every time I get off of the bike I mark it down as a survival venture .
I wonder if I will ever be as cool as a cucumber.
Anyway Good reading the threeds.
Kind Regards Trace

Aug 04, 2014
Followup: Newbie Rider
by: David

Following up my last post. Since I wrote that article I have put 40 miles on my bike in three days, just riding around the neighborhood. I've found a nice, lightly traveled route where I can get the bike into third gear and also practice turning, stopping and starting.

Still nervous but I'm getting better. I'm even planning a trip to our local school parking lot that will put me on a secondary road for a few minutes. That will be huge for me.

Safety and Grace to everyone.

Aug 01, 2014
Newbie Rider
by: David

My first MSF class was last December. I was doing ok halfway through the second day when I put the bike down hard and banged myself up pretty good. I figured as much as I wanted to ride it just wasn't something I could do. The desire never really left however; last week I bought a 2014 Suzuki S40 and took the MSF class again three days later. Made it to the third day (Sunday) but was told by the instructor that I wasn't "aggressive enough" with the bike and wouldn't pass the timed evaluation at the end of the course. So much for MSF number two. Obviously I thought about selling my S40 with five miles on the odometer, but that Sunday my son convinced me to take my bike out around the neighborhood. So I did. Successfully (for me). I've been out the last five days, just in the neighborhood, practicing turns and shifting.

I got my learner's permit today but have no plans to leave the neighborhood for quite awhile. I want to ride so badly that I don't seem to be able to pack it in. I'll take the MSF a third time, possibly this October, after practicing as much as possible.

I'm scared of my bike sometimes but I always seem to overcome the fear and take her out. Strange too, because I've ridden mountain bikes a LOT off-road and on and had no trouble leaning sharply into turns.

I need a lot of work but operating the bike is awesome, and she's beautiful to look at. I have no idea when I'll make it onto the secondary roads, but I'm going to do this in my time, not someone else's. I'm also going to take the MSF at a different location with different instructors that hopefully are more encouraging.

Right now I have no idea when or if I will "pack it in". I have a desire deep in my gut; perhaps if that disappears the time will have come.

Don't know if this helps you folks but it helped me just writing this. I hope all of us become good riders.

Jul 30, 2014
Holy Crap
by: Chelle

Took the MSF class, got my license got the bike and it's like I have never sat on one before. It was so good to read everyone's comments!

Got my new bike yesterday and it tipped over on me twice. I got up, took it to the street and went down the street, turned a corner. I stopped but yet again didn't hold it up correctly and it fell. I am scared to death but I know I can get it but I sure have those moments when I say, "Maybe you should just be happy being a passenger"

Parking lot here I come.

Jul 20, 2014
Scared every time
by: Annette-Marie

I too am scared. I just took the msf course and passed. I practiced with my husband on our street and in a church parking lot. Sometimes I feel like I'm in control but most of the time I feel like I take turns too wide and I'm out of control. I want so badly to master this and feel confident because the few times I've just been on it coming back home from a practice and it's a straight away I do fine. I love the feeling of that wind and just riding around plus it's fun. My husband usually follows me around but he's at the point that he wants me to take more risks and drive farther and out of my comfort element and I don't feel ready. How can I build cinfidence in riding? Also when at a stop sign and it is a sharp turn right hiw do you do that? Actually turn the handle bars before you take off?

Mar 30, 2014
have fear of riding my motorcycle
by: Anonymous

Karen I ran upon your message about being scared or fear of riding your motorcycle thank you for that I'm also a new rider I've had my bike for about a year I learn how to do everything so far but every time I get close to that bike I'm so scared of getting on until I just stand and look at it for about a min then I get on I do well but I'm think about everything, I was reading about when you fell and lost your mirror and light I smile that is the same thing I did it was so funning to me, but I want to ride so bad I'm hoping I can get back on it. I'm gong to look at that bike a say you not going to bet me, and I hope you do the same if you have not already sorry to hear about the knee, until next time keep riding.

Aug 02, 2013
Thank you ladies!
by: Anonymous

I stumbled across this page after searching for other stories of new rider nerves. I wanted to know I wasn't alone! I've been teaching myself how to ride so I honestly didn't know what was normal when it comes to all those feelings that coming flooding in when hopping on the bike.

I bought a Ninja 300 two months ago and absolutely love it! I think I've done a mere 70kms so far, but getting a little more confident each ride and will venture further when I feel more comfortable. Bought the bike to make new friends and enjoy the social aspect of riding so looking forward to some group rides down the track.

No incidents for me just yet apart from almost dropping the bike but managing to get it back up again (the pain in my wrist! ouch!). I feel quite terrified every time I get on the bike, almost nauseous. Really need to push myself and talk myself into it, but the nerves do fade in the first few mins and I can start to relax.

Thanks for all your comments ladies. It was exactly what I needed. I think the lesson here is just keep going, don't give up, because the enjoyment from riding is worth the emotional roller coaster.

Many happy days of riding ahead for me I hope :)

Mar 13, 2013
Hey All
by: MRS

I am 4'11' and ride a Buell Blast with the lower profile seat which gives me about a 25-26 inch seat height. This bike is pretty light too, I would recommend them even though they have been discontinued.

I took the rider course in 2010 and to tell you the truth riding on the road around other drivers still make me nervous and I'm not in that crowded of a city either. Normally the nervousness goes away after about 5 minutes.

I think everyone is great with motivation to keep up the riding which will increase confidence.

Jul 20, 2012
Wrecked after the First 15 Minutes...
by: Lynn D.

I am 54 years old, 4'10" tall, and have loved being a passenger on my boyfriend's bike for many years . We decided it was time for me to try getting my own bike to ride together. After searching for 2 years to find something I was comfortable with, we bought a new Yamaha V Star 250. Got my permit, signed up for the Training Course , and we modified the seat to make it lower so I could touch the ground. Well, the first day we took it in the alley behind my house to get me used to balancing it, learn where clutch, brake, throttle etc were.... I was just basically walking, starting & stopping it, and somehow my hand slipped off the clutch, I grabbed the throttle instead of the break, lunged forward & accelerated, and in seconds went head first into a garage/telephone pole,& went down on my left side. Hit my head but did have a helmet on, but I sustained major abrasions on my entire left side , leg, arm & hand, have a HUGE hematoma the size of a grape- fruit on my left calf . Numerous bruises all over my body & a LOT of pain. Needless to say I was horrified, humiliated , and now terrified of getting back on. Everybody is telling me their "wreck" stories & how I need to get over the fear , but I am just SO scared I cant even imagine. And I waited & wanted this for so long.... Anybody else wreck after the first 15 minutes of getting on a new bike?? Can you conquer the fear? Thanks for listening & any advice you may offer!

Mar 06, 2011
Hang in There
by: Deana

I can't emphasize the importance of proper safety gear, especially for new riders. Before I took my Ninja on the road for the first time, I fully outfitted myself head to toe. Jeans don't offer near enough protection when your leg greets the pavement. When you're shopping, be sure that the pants, boots or whatever are rated safety equipment. I discovered while shopping that not all "motorcycle pants" are rated as safety gear. Clothing items, at least in the US, are clearly labeled denoting if they meet safety standards. Look for jackets and pants that have knee and elbow pads. A good removable liner is handy so that you can use your gear year round. Going to the expense of leather isn't necessary. There are some good quality synthetic fabrics available. With more women riding, manufacturers are coming out with some really cute stuff.

Mar 05, 2011
by: Anonymous

Bought a 2005 Yamaha V Star 1100 with only 5400 miles. My first bike.... Took it out to get familiar with it today and ran it in a ditch. Messed up my fender and fuel tank. Bruised myself a little and yes definitely sour... Got back on and rode it home. Then after a couple of hours got back on and ventured out again in my neighborhood, even went back to the area I dropped it. I feel so stupid, I was not looking threw the turn and went right in the ditch. Gave it to much accelerator and then froze.

Feb 12, 2011
It gets better....just don't over think
by: Anonymous

I decided to get my license in March of 2010. I was very frightened. Took several motorcycle courses, took a traffic course and just kept kicking my ass out the door.

What I did, that was likely the best think I could do, is I bought myself the sweetest sexy black Virago 250. I loved that bike so much. Would have kept it, but after 6 weeks, it was obvious that I needed to get a bigger bike for highway safety.

I hated letting go of the little sidekick. Just hated loosing the bike. But I bought a lovely purply blue Yamaha 650 V-Star and put a lot of effort and money into changing it to what I wanted it to look like. Because I was turning the bike into a "me" bike, I wanted to take it out. I ventured out solo to various coffee shops and kept talking to people. Reading. Stopping by all the shops. Eventually, putting a lot of miles on, I was able to start doing highway speed limits.

I was always afraid of the "jersey wall", which is cement divider blocks on one side and mountain rocks on the other. Feeling the pressure from the cars behind, I really did struggle with fear.

But the more I got out, the more I rode with experienced folks, the more laughter, the more cloths, i became the "part", and I began having nervous stomach from the sheer excitement, rather than of fear.

When I rode 12,000 km, in 4 months, I knew I had put so much of my time, into being dedicated to ride well and overcome fear. I think the turning point to me, was at 6,000 km, after only a few months, I signed up with an Advanced Riding Course, taught by the Policeman who trained police riders. Then, I felt a bit more like I could manage myself. And the two times after that when I dropped the motorcycles, I just reached down and picked them up, just as I had been shown.

In September of 2010, I graduated to a new HD Softail Custom, in Purple that I came across on sale. I put on about 9,000 km from September to November. Its been parked since, and I look forward to the ride.

Nothing can get you there faster than just doing the miles. You just gotta do it. At night, in the rain, at dusk, lots of solo rides, just keep going. Where you are afraid, make sure you go there over and over again. Tight twisty narrow roads. Look for them, and the goal is to work towards getting to the speed limit.

You have to reach forward, feel the fear, and do it anyway. only then, when you know you were afraid, but you did it anyway, the confidence will come through until you plan an overnight trip somewhere and pat yourself all over your own back once you did it.

Baby steps for sure....but keep moving forward....everyday, keep getting out. and, the fear goes away.

Fear, does, keep on on our toes. So, you don't want to loose it completely. I do not like to ride at night. I am very afraid of deer. But if I must, I wear the yellow glasses and I drive slower with much caution.

Hugs and keep riding.....build on your rides, one ride after the other.....


Oct 22, 2010
I'm Not Alone!!!
by: Sue

Wow, I have read some comments and I am not alone..I took the course, got my license and went out and bought a 09 Nightster!! 2100 miles later...I am LOVING it!! I was also afraid I was going to do something wrong as someone mentioned..I started out VERY slow, just going down the road, applying both brakes,stopping, then taking off again..when I felt comfortable, I would take a daily "loop" and get used to that, then eventually longer and longer rides. Highway was a challenge..at first wouldn't get it to speed,NOW, faster is better...practice away from busy congested roads, this helped me a lot. I took curvy back-roads, first time leaning into a turn thought I was going to fall over..Ride safe all!!

Oct 20, 2010
I'm a newbie, too.
by: Deana

Thank you all for sharing your posts. I'm 43, and I just started riding about a month ago. My husband bought me a Ninja ZX-6R, which I was pretty scared of when I first saw it. I'm in California and took the CMSP class for beginners and got my license. We've gone out on a few short rides, this past weekend was my first ride to Sacramento dealing with traffic and highway speed.

I found that if I visualize success, for example, in making a turn or starting from an intersection helps a lot. I mentally go through the motions of what is entailed in the specific action and follow through. I'm a Christian so I accompany this with a great deal of prayer and faith that the Lord will see to it that I do the right thing.

I'm pretty clumsy and managed to fall over while trying to turn in a parking lot. I was o.k., felt like a dummy and was glad my husband was there to pick up my bike. That thing is heavy. He showed me how to pick it up in case I ever dump it when he isn't around. I think it will be much easier if I stay shiny side up. Those carbs load up with fuel fast, so it was pretty hard to get started again as well.

I just had surgery, so I won't be riding again for a couple of months. I can't wait to get back out there. If I'd known riding was this fun I'd have started a long time ago.

I'd like to find some gals to ride with. My husband doesn't always want to go with me because, as he puts it, I'm too slow. I'm in the foothills east of Sacramento:

Also, thanks to you all about helmet hair suggestions. I'll have to get one of those Wrapter things.

Oct 09, 2010
Hi, B12...and all who are nervous.
by: Caroline

The very first day (August 28/10) I got my new Sportster I dropped her in the parking lot!!! How humiliating was that??

Not to mention I still had to ride her home...and it took me at least 45 min to get out of the parking lot. All to say, I HAD to ride home since that was my only option plus I had been looking forward to starting on this new adventure of motorcycling with my husband. So, nervous as anything, feeling sick to my stomach, and shaking like crazy...I thought, how will I get home? One stop sign at a time. Every turn got smoother as I remembered what I learned in the Safety course and I even got on a little stretch of highway that day to get home! Once we arrived home I wanted to continue riding through the neighbourhood to get used to slow turns, stop and go and build confidence with slow maneuvering. I found this very good for me. In a few days I built up enough confidence to get on the freeway and take a day trip . It was great and I have such an amazing time riding as much as possible. I want all my riding friends to feel the same way. Remember to look through your turns, look ahead to where you want the bike to go...it WILL go that way.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would ride a motorcycle and here I am LOVING it and having so much fun with my husband and friends we are meeting along the way. See you along the way!

Oct 08, 2010
by: B12

10-8-10 brought my bike to work, trying to save fuel on my truck since it takes about 50 bucks every 2 weeks depending on what my plans are. Well I am still wondering WHY I still get real nervous when taking getting on, and taking off on my bike then the fear go's away but then I start feeling dizzy, and feel like I'm going to pass out I always carry rubbing alcohol so I pull over the shoulder or exit a ramp, and stiff the hell out of it. I get scared but I enjoy riding, this is the first time I have felt dizzy, nervous always before I get on. i don't if it's because it's been over a month that I had the bike park due to getting repairs, and weather, but I can't stand it that I always get nervous I've asked my husband if his felt the same way when he started he said, yes and that i just got to get on and ride everyday so that it can pass, but due to a fall that happen back in April I also think that's why I get the way I do. What do u think?

Oct 08, 2010
Every kilometer helps!
by: Caroline

Hi, Karen, I am from Kanata and took the Gearing Up motorcycle course this summer too. My friend and I went through it together and passed...now we ride as much as possible (before snowy days get here). I see a pattern here for new riders as we are so frightened to get on the road! My husband and I ride every chance we get and it has boosted my confidence tremendously. I don't have the fear that I felt when I left the HD lot with my new Sportster.

We are riding as many "back" roads as possible -- I am addicted to getting out in the open air and seeing our amazing countryside and I can truthfully that every kilometer I have put on the bike has brought me more confidence and a greater appreciation for riding. Keep at it and ride safely!! See you on the road ;)

Oct 05, 2010
Same Here
by: melanie

Ssame here...very new rider bought a new 2011 Vrod Night Rod Special and was practicing slow look press and roll...that's what I feel I need the most practice on...Well I was in a parking lot coming out and going back in...turning into it I was looking at where I did not want to go instead of where I wanted to go...went right over the curb into a tree flew off came down on my head, my helmet came of(still not sure why...I did have the chin strap on)and rolled onto the pavement...by surprise, I was not even scared. My heart was not racing, I was actually calm...I'm ok, really, really sore. So i know exactly how you feel, right now I think I am going to be able to get back on and ride, but until that time comes...who knows.

Sep 30, 2010
I feel your pain!
by: HarleyVal

I am very similar to you. I'm 48 years old and have only ridden on the back of my hubby's bike for the past 12 years . . . never on my own.

I took the class in July this summer, and I'm still not on the real road. I've spend the past couple months practicing in a mall parking lot (the mall has closed), and I've just recently graduated to to riding the road that circles the mall.

My suggestion is to take a step back and practice on the basic skills you learned in your class. Since the roads to my mall are a little too congested and curvy for my comfort level still, my husband rides my bike there and back for me while I follow in our car. He follows me around the mall road in the car while we are there. Sweet, huh?

Maybe your boyfriend would do the same for you a few times. Don't get in a rush if you aren't ready yet. Sometimes I feel like I'm taking too long to get on the road, but I still feel by being patient and getting more comfortable before I do, I'm doing myself and others a huge favor (not to mention my bike)!! LOL

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Sep 30, 2010
Picking up the bike.
by: Mary

I forgot who commented, but I can assure you they do not teach picking up your bike in MSF BRC. I had to learn that the first time my Ninjette went down in the parking lot--alone. I wish I also knew about the engine flooding because it took some time to start!

I do have a small bike, but I heard of a 5'2" woman who owns a Goldwing lay her bike down and lifted it herself! It's about using your legs and your hips! I think my problem is that I need to have my hands on the handlebars to lift it, but I believe it is much more effective--esp on a larger bike--if you get your back against it and use your legs to lift it.

Sep 30, 2010
Me too!
by: Sue

Hey, Karen...

I live in Ottawa, too and I'm a brand new biker. Got certified this summer and I've only been out a handful of times. You and I should try riding together slowly and cautiously! Practice makes perfect, right?


Sep 30, 2010
To Judith-pick up bike.
by: Anonymous

Judith, you should attend a class where they teach how to pick up the bike. Harley Davidson's 'Garage Parties' include this lesson. Engine guards is a plus to help you with it. But remember that if you drop it, there will be people nearby that will help you. I have dropped mine when alone and soon had help to get it up again. The slight possibility of Dropping the bike, for me, is not reason enough to not be out riding! After-all, hours of fun outweighs that small risk.

Sep 30, 2010
Picking up bike.
by: Judith

I went down in class. Instructor picked up bike. A friend showed me, but even then, I have not been able to lift up bike. Still worrying about picking up bike. I am working on getting to know the bike. we put engine guards on bike. my husband doesn't want me to put bike down so I can learn to pick it up. It bugs me I am not riding my bike. Not giving up! I will let you guys know how it's going. Nervousness hasn't gone away yet.

Sep 27, 2010
This Too Shall Pass
by: Lori

Perhaps you are confusing some of your nervousness with excitement. I've been riding for 6 years (dropped my bike once in the beginning) and I still get "excited" just before getting on my bike (I am 5'3" and ride a HD Dyna Street Bob). I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, but as soon as I get on my Harley it goes away. As others here have said, the nervousness will go down as your confidence goes up - don't give up. It is sooo worth it.

Sep 27, 2010
by: Sandra

Sounds like you WANT to ride...being nervous is expected - riding can be dangerous and usually women are the more cautious ones - I said USUALLY!

Confidence is a GREAT assistance in overcoming nervousness and fear. Practice does make perfect. Parking lots have a lot to offer a beginner.

Actually, the more informed I am, the better I feel about riding. I read a book, "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hugh (?? my memory is iffy) almost cover to cover. It taught me about how a bike is built, why it stays up, where the worst hazards are AND how to be prepared for them, and so much more.

I just finished my 2nd poker run this weekend, running w/4 Harleys and a V-star - mostly a very experienced group of riders; we hit a road w/some wicked switch-backs, 3 miles of grooved pavement, fresh oil (for Pete's sake, I have a WHITE bike!!), country road w/no lane markings, gravel parking lots, city street lights...you name it, we found it! The V-star and I did GREAT; we slowed down when we HAD to (I did not like the feel of fresh oil under me, and V-star really hated that grooved road stretch!), but one experienced rider at least hung back w/us when we were wary.

Knowledge is power; educate yourself; but at some point we have to put the book down, pull out of the parking lot, and just ride! It helps you feel more prepared if you do have at least one more experienced (dare I say "cocky"?) rider to coax you through the scary spots.

Sep 27, 2010
by: Karen

Thanks for all the comments. Reading these messages is a confidence booster. Many thanks!!

I will certainly try the gum chewing!!

The stitches come out on Friday!!

Hopefully its nice on Saturday.... thinking about touring the neighbourhood. :)

Sep 25, 2010
Chew Gum!
by: Sassy2731

I have found over the years I've been riding that chewing a piece of gum seems to help me concentrate while riding my bike. I've been riding for 4 years now and I don't leave home without my gum. It seems to just keep me focused. Try it and it may work for you too! It also calms my nerves too especially while riding the freeways in the big city of Houston. Even after 4 years of riding I still get nervous and sweaty palms if I haven't ridden for a while. Just get on and ride and after a few minutes back on the bike it just goes away. I still think the chewing gum works the best!

Sep 25, 2010
by: Stephanie

Girl, I know exactly what you mean. I am nervous every time I get on the bike, every time! My hubby and I rode for an hour and a half the other day and I had moments of not being nervous but I find myself yearning to just get home and get off the bike! But then when we pull into the driveway and I get off I wish I was back on. It's weird. I was in the parking lot for three months and I'm still nervous but I don't get to ride every day, mostly just on the weekends. I understand how you feel. Our riding season is coming to an end here soon so I'm setting my sights on next spring. Everyone says the nervousness will go away so I just keep hanging on to that. I have to ride when "I" want to ride, not when he wants to ride. I have to be rested and feeling confident. I just cant' do it at the end of a 10 hour work day. I do better when I ride on my terms. Maybe that will help!

Sep 25, 2010
by: Anonymous

Good to hear that your determined to keep riding, and like all before me, I will tell you it's normal to be nervous until your comfortable (like anything). My question is to Judith. I thought when you take your course they teach you how to lift your bike. I have been riding off and on since the seventies, and there was no course back then. Everyone should know how to pick they're bikes up, as it's part of being a rider. Also you should also know basic maintenance (oil and filter change, spark plug changes, tire pressure checks, etc). Washing and waxing your bike gives you some intimacy with your bike, and you would be surprised the things you will notice about the condition of your bike. Being a rider alone doesn't make you a rider, knowing your bike and your ability to maintain it, makes you a rider. And to all of you that call yourselves a biker, well that's a culture and way of life, and there's a difference between a rider and a biker. Just saying. Ride safe all, and enjoy the fall foliage.

Sep 25, 2010
Same as you
by: Hannah

Hi--I see most people have said the same thing so I'll keep this brief, but keep going, it does get better. I've been riding a year and I felt exactly the same, especially when I got my bigger bike--nervous and have to force myself on to it every time I wanted to go out. I really did think I would have to sell it. But I notice it's getting a teeny bit better each time, a teeny bit less scary. And you're right, the nerves do help in keeping you aware of what other people are doing an how you're feeling, which can only be helpful on the road.

Push on--you're a biker now! Have fun, and really glad to hear you're OK.

Sep 24, 2010
Who picks up the bike?
by: Judith

Okay, who picks these bikes up when you go down. I have not been able to pick my bike up unless someone is there to help me. That is keeping me from getting on the bike. I am afraid I will go down and there won't be anyone to help me.

Sep 24, 2010
Just keep getting back on the saddle!
by: Mary

I'm a newbie like you, I took the course got license and first bike back in July. Every time I got on the bike, my palms would get sweaty and I would get the shakes. Like you I wondered when the nervousness would go away. I practiced every chance I could get, even if it was only for an hour around my apt. parking lot.

After a few mishaps dropping my bike, I eventually found myself riding to work every day. Fortunately I could take surface streets there. But I found that I would get the shakes before every ride. My BF is a really good coach, and he would push me as well. He took me on freeway rides and night rides to get me accustomed to them. He also encouraged me to take different routes to work to challenge myself.

It was hard getting on the bike most of the time! There were so many times I would rather have driven my car to work because I did not enjoy the nervousness. But I didn't want avoid my bike, because I could easily see myself leaving it alone for a day that turns into a week, that turns into a month. And at least the nervousness kept me hyper-aware.

Eventually after three or so weeks of riding to work, I noticed I was no longer nervous before I got on the bike. I would get nervous around a tight corner, or when I split lanes. But no longer right before I get on the bike. It just happened one day, and it will happen for you as well, you just have to stick to it!

It'll be different for you than it was for me, so don't compare your experiences to mine. Just take your time. Eventually you'll get comfortable on your bike. Just know the difference between simple nervousness and getting in over your head.

Sep 24, 2010
New Rider - Keep Riding
by: Anonymous

Just keep practicing. I found it helpful to follow my boyfriend so I would just "do what he did". We would just go for longer rides each time. I ride almost every day now. I've only been riding for 6 months and I really enjoy it.

I dropped my bike the 2nd day that I had it. Just got right back on and didn't let it get me down.
Just remember to always wear ALL of your safety gear - especially if you are still not confident. If you get psyched out then you will probably not do well. You have to be ready mentally to ride.
Ride safe! Glad you'll heal quickly.

Sep 24, 2010
Takes time...
by: Lisa

Keep getting back on. It will get better. When you are on the bike, don't think of anyone else but you and what you have to do. Have confidence, you DID pass the course, so you know what you are doing. Just go around in your neighborhood or close to home for now to build confidence and experience. I just passed my course in May, got a bike in June and ride almost all the time; takes time to get comfortable. Hugs and keep us posted. YOU CAN DO IT!!

Sep 24, 2010
by: Anonymous

Don't worry...you will get better in time, which will make you feel more comfortable...Just keep practicing. I was nervous too but now I love riding...I would go on long rides by myself...it's a great feeling n a great rush of excitement....take care n have fun n be safe riding...God bless.

Sep 24, 2010
You can do this!
by: Anonymous

I'm glad to hear you are okay! The situation could have been much worse, that's for sure!

Well, here's my situation. I had had my motorcycle and my license for 3 weeks. I was getting onto a county highway when a car decided they wanted to get off. They didn't signal or even see me. They hit my front tire and took me down across the highway. I don't believe they even knew they hit me because they never stopped or came back. Fortunately I was able to hold onto the throttle and drive me and the bike across the highway into the ditch. The funny thing was as I was sitting on the corner waiting for my turn to get onto the highway it started sprinkling. At that moment in time I thought to myself I should probably just go home. Then two seconds later, that accident happens. Thankfully I was okay but the bike was totaled. After the insurance company totaled my bike and I received the check for it I turned around and bought another one. I wasn't going to let one little accident ruin my fun. I wont lie, I puked in my driveway when I got on it because I was nervous. My knuckles were white! I decided I was just going to ride around the neighborhood before I went venturing further, just to get rid of my fears. Within a couple days my fears were gone and I was bake being a biker babe! You just need to build the confidence up! You can do this! Practice makes perfect honey... keep practicing and eventually you will have the confidence to ride like the wind!

Sep 24, 2010
Nervous New Rider
by: Rita

Don't get discouraged. I felt the same nervousness you describe for quite a long time. If you truly want to be a rider, then just continue to ride. Take pointers from more experienced riders. Have them tell you after each ride what you did wrong, and how to correct it. Dropping a bike is part of learning-we all do it. I don't think I was ever more petrified than the first time I rode on a highway...but my determination defeated that fear and nervousness gradually decreases. Once you have mastered your bike, you will enjoy riding for years to come-don't give up unless you truly dislike riding.Also, remember that a little fear is a good thing.

Sep 24, 2010
New Rider... Nervous
by: Alice "Sugarbrown" Brown

First of all, I'm glad to see that you are ok...as for the nervousness, well I've only been riding since November 2007 and although I have clocked over 75,000 miles on 2 bikes, I still get a little nervous every time I get on my bike, because you can't account for the 4-wheelers and what they will do, remember safety is number 1. However, I ride my bike every chance I get which is everyday and I take the experienced rider course every year! You only need to take it once but I'm the first to sign up every March at the beginning of the riding season. The trick is to just keep getting back on...remember, there are 2 types of riders, those that have gone down and those that haven't gone down YET! and I have gone down 3 times! Hang in there girl! I have faith and confidence in you!

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