Newbie can ride!

by Fishsticks
(Morrow, OH)

Last summer I learned to ride on a Rebel. I decided in the fall to buy a 2009 Shadow Spirit with only 850 miles on it! I rode it once before winter set in. Did fine then.

This spring I got out my Shadow and promptly dropped it at the end of my gravel driveway. Shook me up. Went and bought engine guards. Ok now I am ready ... So I think.

Went riding with my DH. Third time out. Stopped on a hill and promptly fell over. I was a nervous wreck the rest of the way home. Put the bike away and would not ride again. I was regretting having sold my Rebel. DH believes I have talked myself into thinking I cannot handle this bike. He believes I will like it better than the Rebel if I just go out and practice. He has more faith in me than I have!

DH leaves on fishing trip. I dust off my bike. It is a beautiful day. I decide to try it again. I rode in my yard in circles working up the courage. Go to end of the driveway and stall it as I start to pull out. But I did not drop it! Yeah! Got it started, drive into town and stop for gas.

While waiting for a guy to finish up so I can fill up, I made eye contact. Big mistake! He just felt the overwhelming need to tell me his friend died while riding - heart attack. But still! Do I need to hear this? Continues to tell me how dangerous it is. Finally he leaves. Of course now I am all nervous again.

Ok I tell myself to remember the stories from the women motorcycle forums. They can do this, so can I! I hope.

Off I go. Decided to take a road that had a big long hill. Halfway up the hill I remember that I forgot to shift down before going up. So I decided to shift down. I have no idea what went wrong but I killed it dead. Right there on the hill in a curve! I was so scared! Too scared to even lift my foot up to shift it down to first. I was afraid it would fall. It kept wanting to roll backwards. Cars are lining up behind me. They cannot pass because they cannot see around the curve. Ok it is up to me. Get it in first. Held the front brake. Start it up. And miracle of all miracles up the hill I go! Yeah!

Car is riding too close so I turn off into a subdivision to get rid of him. I turned it around in a cul de sac without walking it! Those figure 8s I learned last summer came through. Yeah!

I was still nervous thinking I was a fool to go out by myself. Found a church. Turned in. Shut off the bike. And sat and thought about the stories I have read here and in other groups. In particular I remembered one woman saying to not focus on what you do wrong. Think about what you do right and be proud of it.

I got out of my driveway without dropping it. I got up that hill. I turned around in a cul de sac. I can do this! Started her up and rode for two hours with no more issues. Turned into my gravel driveway without going into panic mode. Parked in the garage. Yeah, I am woman. See me ride! Yeah!

Comments for Newbie can ride!

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Jul 03, 2013
It Gets Easier
by: Anonymous

Hi Sharon,

Congrats on your new Aero!

Honestly after getting my clutch adjusted, the friction zone is now more like the Rebel. That made it easier to go from a stop. If you fo not like how the clutch feels, it is an adjustment you can make yourself. it made a world of difference for me.

The Shadow is much better on the curves. You will feel more stable.

It is also easier to get up to speed and is much smoother riding at higher speed than the rebel.

The extra power is intimidating the first few times. But eventually you learn what to expect and then it is not as scary. It even starts to be fun!

Enjoy your ride! Keep me updated on how you progress. If I can do it, for sure you will too!

Jul 03, 2013
I can relate!
by: Sharon

I was searching here this afternoon for riding information again. Saw your story and it really sounds like me! I've been riding a year now (Rebel 250) and love it...yesterday I trailered home my new Shadow Aero 750...and rode it twice around the block before I managed to dump it! Then I was so tired I could not pick it up (a kind neighbor helped). Kept waking up all night wondering how I did that...then I realized I was nervous and used my front break into the turn...but at least I figured it out so I will try hard not to do that again! Tomorrow I am going to get back on and try that new ride again. Wish me luck! Stay tuned......

Jun 07, 2013
Good for you!
by: Nana

The part about the man telling you the horror story - Why do people do that? I have had several people tell me about relatives that were in a bad wreck, died, were paralyzed, etc. while I was on my bike.

Why do they feel the need to tell me those stories? I'm a 52 year old woman. I am WELL aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle. I do not need to be lectured.

I take it like those labor horror stories everyone tells you when you are pregnant. People can be so stupid sometimes. Next time that happens, I am going to say, "That's nice, but I really have to get going!"

I'm proud of you for drawing courage and doing it all on your own!

Jun 04, 2013
way to go
by: Aunt Chipmonk

Glad to know somebody in the family did something brave.
Two years ago I had a accident on a Segway. Most people
think that was pretty funny. I hit a hole in the sidewalk and
it threw me over in the grass. I took a lot of physical
therapy from a guy who calls me SEGWAY. Nothing like
riding a bicycle but one of these days I'm gonna git back
on that little two wheel hoss and show it who's boss.

I think I am too banged up to ever and try to drive a motorcycle
so you do it for me. WOMEN POWER

Jun 02, 2013
by: Susanne

There is no reason to over think or worry so much about riding a motorcycle. So what if you drop the bike. Move on and learn from it. I don't know why we women over think and worry so much about motorcycle riding. Ask any guy they don't think about it nor do they worry about it. They just get on the bike and ride. I'm not saying throw caution to the wind but relax and stop worrying about it and ride.

Jun 02, 2013
newbie can ride
by: J

Great story!! I know what u mean. I was scared of hills too. never fell on a hill. flat roads and sand. just 2 weeks ago, fell on sand!! in a driveway....crashe gurads saved my motor.
keep riding... gun it in first on a hill, but with caution!!! and be safe!!

Jun 02, 2013
by: Anonymous

Good for you don't give up just keep at and it will all come together.I have drop my bike as well made the mistake and looked down bike went down.I used to stall at lights and hills.learned not to stall.Glad you are ok keep on riding and don't give up Just take it slow and you will do fine.

Jun 02, 2013
You Go Girl!
by: RQ

You are my friend and I know you can do anything you set your mind to. GOOD FOR YOU!!

My grandson watches a TV program and a tune they sing is "Think about what you CAN do; not about what you CAN'T do." I will think of you now each time I hear this.

Thanks for sharing your story - have fun and stay safe.

Jun 02, 2013
by: Debbie K

Loved your story. It made me feel that I was riding the bike. My heart started beating fast and my stomach began to hurn.

But you did it! Way to go girlfriend!!

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