Newbie Rider

by Donna
(Statesboro, Ga USA)

I am a new rider and need some encouragement. First of all I am taking this up at age 55. (Who the heck do I think I am??) I like the feel of freedom and the appearance of 'rebelliousness'. Maybe a throw back of teenage years in the late 60's/early 70's. I'd like to hear from other women who have taken up riding in the latter part of their lives and want to hear from others who struggled with learning to ride but OVERCAME the challenge. Thanks!

Comments for Newbie Rider

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Mar 25, 2010
Hang with it...
by: robin


I went through the safety course and got my license just a few months ago. I am 53 yo and a shortie..almost 5'1" tall...my husband doesn't ride, he actually failed the course and has no desire to ride. However, something in me told me to do this. During bike week in Daytona I bought an 06 Ridley Autoglide 750.

I am finding it most challenging but have the determination to keep at it...have not gotten to the "i love this" stage but know it is only a matter of practice and patience. I am so grateful for this site...such an inspiration..helps not to feel alone! And so helpful. My friends who ride are all males so need to find some women!

I say..go for it!!!!!

Mar 11, 2010
Age is Only Numbers
by: Anonymous

I'm 60 years old and love riding my Vstar 650 Custom. Growing up I rode motorcycles and scooters and then rode with my husband, never really thought about getting my own until...2004 and 55 at the time and recently divorced I decided to tour Colorado on the back of my brother's motorcycle. I knew this trip would either make it or break it for me as far as riding motorcycles were concerned. Well, when we returned I purchased my first bike, a Yamaha Virago 250 and rode it for a year and then upgraded to the VStar. It has been on the ground a few times, even broke my elbow, but overall it has been great. It's a great stress reliever.

In 2005 I married a wonderful man who loves motorcycles as much as I do. We've been back to Colorado since that eventful 2004 trip as well as Utah, through the Midwest, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, plus other states. When will I get too old? I don't know but I certainly hope its not in the next 25 years.

Feb 20, 2010
Me Too

Last year, when I was 46, I decided I wanted to ride a motorcycle and got a sports bike. It's been a challenge but love it.

One thing I had to understand was.. at first I was riding my bike like I was driving my car. I was afraid to go faster when I knew I had to stop ahead. That's why I was practicing very slow and get wobbly. I realized I can give gas, but when I roll off the throttle, the bike will slow down quick.

My bf won't ride with me, because I am too boring to ride with, I guess. But I don't care. I am getting used to with riding each time I do it. There are some days that things are not as good as some other days. But don't get discouraged. I won't.

I remember when I first got manual trans car. I was scared to go after I stop. I was scared to stop at the hill. But now I am very good at driving it So I will be good at riding my bike soon. You will too.

Jan 19, 2010
Started at Age 58
by: Barbara

After 30+ years on the back, just decided I wanted to be on the front. Took my MSF course, my first bike was a Ninja 250 after 3 years stepped up to a Yamaha FZ-600. Now at 63 I am riding a Yamaha FZ-1. I will give you the same advice my husband gave me (now he is a ole road racer)but that advice was...seat time...seat time..seat time.

Ride with someone better than you are BUT WILL NOT push you ...but will encourage you and teach you.

The other thing I did, that was invaluable to me was...I signed up for a tack day at our local tack. Most tracks have beginner classes that will teach you proper lines in curves, bike handling and this is all done in a safe environment with no cars to look out for.

Good luck...have fun!

Jan 08, 2010
by: Laura

Age is not a factor it's the love of the ride! After breakdown of a 20 yr marriage, I bought a bike and started riding after many yrs off a bike. I was 57! Best decision I ever made! Great therapy gettin' over him! She's a lot more fun than he ever was! LOL! Keep up the great work and keep riding!

Jan 07, 2010
Began Riding at 52
by: Janet

I started riding two years ago at 52 years old. I had begged and begged my hubby to buy a bike but I wanted to ride, not be a passengers. So finally we bought a 250 Yamaha for me to start on and he got a 650 V Star. We could not get into a safety class for 3 months. So I began on the 250 riding in our pasture. Right off the bat I ran into the barbed wire fence. Tore my jeans but did not hurt me. Only other time I dropped it was in the pasture making a turn on wet grass. But I picked it up and got back on. That was when my hubby said enough of this get out on the road. We took the safety class together even tho he had ridden before. It was a good refresher for him. After a year on the 250 I took over his 650 and he upgraded to a 1100. Which by the way he now wants a 1700 so I may be getting the 1100 soon. I love to ride and have gotten totally addicted to being on the road. My kids say it is part of my mid life crisis. And maybe it is but if so then I am enjoying my mid life crisis. We ride with a Star Chapter and there is only one other that rides the rest all ride as passengers. I personally like to be in control and love the freedom of riding.

Dec 24, 2009
Newbie Rider
by: Lenore S.


I am 42 and really started riding this year. I took the MSF class in 2008, passed and my husband purchased my first bike for me a Suzuki Marauder 800 (Bike of the Month in May, I think). Nice bike and I was excited to ride. I started around the neighborhood and about my third time out I fell twice! Totally different maneuvers, I was going slow so I didn't do too much damage to myself or the bike. After the second fall, going up a hill and I the only thing that I can think of that I did wrong in that instance is gave it too much gas, and didn't let go of the clutch and being too anxious b/c my dear husband was behind me yelling "GO! There are cars behind us!." They understood but he didn't. Anyhoo, after that fall, I still got back on the bike and rode home. Although I did hurt my achilles where the bike fell, I was more mad that my husband for being annoyed at me for falling and rushing me...just like one of the women that posted there story, my husband WAS and IS NOT a good mentor and no patience! So, I didn't ride the rest of the season b/c I was hurt that he lost confidence in me! In April of this year, I announced to him that I needed to get my bike tuned up so that I can get back on it.

We found a friend of a friend that taught MC riding on the side specifically women! I was ecstatic because I was NOT going to practice with my husband ever again! After practicing with our new friend and his wife, who had a pretty bad fall the previous season, and was ready to ride again--I realized why I fell! I really didn't know the power of my clutch and how it works hand in hand with the throttle! I REALLY didn't KNOW how to use them. I'm telling you it was a revelation and a relief! After I mastered the clutch and throttle on my bike, I was ready and my confidence was BACK, BABY!!! Once everyone passed that session we were ready to take it to the school parking lot to practice other drills to get us road ready! Not, braggin' but I NAILED the rest of the drills! I was SO happy!! But I still did not ride with my husband until I was ready! I would ride with our friend and his wife, but not the hubby...he didn't like it but understood. :) By mid-May we were taking longer rides honing in on our road skills. I loved it! Needless to say, I finally showed my husband my skills that rode the bike home from our friends house and then rode with him around town! It brought tears to his eyes! Rest of the summer we took hour long rides and hit some highways, it was SA-WEET! For our 19th anniversary, we took a ride to Ocean City, MD which is about 4 hours from our home! I was very excited, I had to take deep breathes along the way to keep the excitement down! I was SO looking forward to riding over the Bay Bridge! Some of my friends thought something was wrong with me! Let me tell you, ladies, it was FREAKIN' AWESOME!! (That's was I yelled in my helmet--WTH, no one can hear me! LOL)RIDE ON!!! Peace and Love!

Nov 15, 2009
Go For It!
by: Gayle from Alberta, Canada

I'm 55 and just bought my very first bike this Spring! I took the motorcycle safety course last August. My husband had bought a Yamaha V-Star1300 last year and after my first ride as a passenger, I knew I had to get my own bike. Being a passenger was so boring....

The course was the most difficult thing - physically and emotionally - that I have ever done since labour & delivery! I was nicknamed Crash by my classmates. I had several crashes, including one into my classmates and their bikes! Yikes! Each day I came home with bruised legs. I had to talk myself into going back everyday (b/c I'm not a quitter). On my last day which was the one hour road ride and my license test, I feel like vomiting all morning. I have never been this nervous ever. It took two tries to get my license but I DID IT!

After several months of researching I purchased the new Yamaha V-Star950 Tourer. I didn't want something so small that I'd be trading up in a year - or too big that I'd be intimidated. Plus I live in the country and needed a bike for highway traveling and that could keep up with my husband.

My first few rides (with my husband) were pretty nerve racking. I'm a nurse so I'm aware of the risks. I dropped my bike at an intersection on my 2nd trip - more embarrassing than anything else. My husband didn't turn out to be a great mentor so I started riding solo and at my own pace (Ride Your Own Ride). it wasn't until my 7th ride that I felt like I WAS born to ride and then the smiles and tears of joy came....

Riding has opened up a whole new world for me. I feel young again and that the whole world is my highway. Getting my license and mastering riding has built my confidence greatly. I just finished my first riding season and looking back, I am amazed at much I've developed my skills considering my slow start. Now I live to ride and ride to live!

I can't remember if you said you took the course but I wouldn't even think of getting on a bike without the course. And then the most important thing to remember is to Ride Your Own Ride - trust your intuition and go at your own pace. And do lots of slow speed maneuver practicing in an empty parking lot.

Good Luck Siste!

Nov 10, 2009
Age is How You Feel
by: Judith

I took the MSF class and passed but I have yet to get a bike. I have a Honda Goldwing Trike which rides like a car. Huge difference between the two. I am 58 soon to be 59. I know how you feel. I think what am I thinking because I can still ride the trike with no problems. Why would I want to ride a two-wheeler? The idea of getting on my own two-wheeler is a dream I am looking to fulfill. I never did anything like this when I was younger and I am healthy and able to do it now. So I am. Took my extra money and paid off bills. Waiting to get my bike and ride. More power to you and me.

Nov 09, 2009
Keep at It
by: Dianne

Hi Donna,

I decided to take the MSF rider course at the age of 47. I was thinking maybe I was "too old" until I met a woman at a BMW rally who took the course when she was 57. She recommended a woman rider coach who taught the MSF course. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I did not pass the skills test that weekend and this particular instructor allowed you to come back and she worked with me for an hour, one on one and then retested and I passed. I started off riding a Ninja 250, with my husband as my riding buddy. There were times when I was literally scared to death and did not seem to be "getting it" nor enjoying it. I did have a spill in my 2nd year of riding, no serious injury but it took me several months to even want to get back on the bike. I was able to over come my fear and was riding once again. I then took the Advanced Rider with the same rider coach, who was a tremendous encouragement and from there I literally turned a corner and now it is the most thrilling adventure to be out on my bike. I upgraded to a 2009 BMW x country which has also made a tremendous difference. My husband has been a great teacher and it is true as he says the best thing to do to get confidence and comfortable is to just get out there and ride. This is my third year of riding and we put over 5,000 miles on the bikes this season alone. So, all of that to say keep at it. Everyone is different and I have learned to "ride my own ride". I also placed great weight on what others who had years of riding experience, taught me and offered as critique of my riding skills. Good luck to you. It will be well worth the effort and hard work.

Nov 09, 2009
Be Encouraged : )
by: Rene L.

Hi Donna,

I have told my full story here many times, so will just give the cliff notes version here, lol. I took the MSF class last year at the age of 52 after only ever being on the back of my boyfriend's bike, and only on surface streets, never on the highway (because I was afraid).

I got kicked out of the MSF class the 1st hour of the 2nd day of class on the bikes and had a very wounded ego. After licking my wounds, I picked myself up, re-took the class, not one but two more times before passing the test.

One month later I bought a brand new bike and got my license. I've been a happy rider ever since. Though I had a few nay-sayers when I decided to take the class, most folks gave the thumbs up and thought it was great that I was taking on such a new and exciting challenge. So, be encouraged and go the the forum about new riders. There are hundreds of stories there that should give you plenty of inspiration. Make sure to post pics after you complete the class, get your license and have that first bike. We will all be rooting for you.

Best of luck!

P.S. I was visiting So Ca recently and happened to pass by a MSF class that was in progress. I could not help but pull over to watch for a few minutes. I smiled the whole time and noticed that about half of the students were women. So, you are in very good company.

Nov 08, 2009
Newbie Rider
by: Michelle

Hi Donna,

Well I'm not as "old" as you just at 42 I dicided to ride and what a heck of sad time it was. For awhile things were going pretty well, then I started dropping it and that didn't make me feel very comfortable with riding, in fact after the fifth time I was about to give up. I gave it up for 3 weeks!! Then afterwards I gave it a try and never dropped it or looked back at quitting since. Every once in a while a corner or a hill or an intersection has a memory that floods me and how I felt 6 months ago and Wow girl I overcame this bike. She's mine and you know what? It could be the same for you. Don't give up. It'll be a challange. but all got things have to have 100%.

Cheers, Michelle

Oh by the way I ride a Harley 1200 Sportie.

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