Passed the BRC

by Stacy
(New York, NY)

I passed my BRC last weekend. I bought a new bike and everything. (Ducati 620 Monster). I love it. The only issue is I have a little bit of fear and anxiety riding in the streets for the first time. Is this normal? I have only ridden in parking lots and now I have to conquer the streets. Any tips on how to get over this? Was anyone else anxious before riding in the streets the first time?

Comments for Passed the BRC

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Jun 21, 2011
Just GO
by: Dawn

I'll give you the same advice I gave others. And it's a little different. FOR ME, I hated the residential streets and the slow roads with all the stops and turns. I needed the open road to be able to finally feel settled and get a feel for the bike.

So I suggest you find someone to go with you so you know someone has your back if you really panic, and just take a deep breath, pop a piece of gum, and GO.

I prefer county roads. Here in MN they are slower speeds, minimal traffic and a few curves to make it interesting.

Once my initial panic passed, I had so much more fun on the open road. I still need that first mile after I get through the gears to finally feel settled, and I've been riding for 6 summers now.

Good Luck. You will get past it, and the fear/nerves are completely normal.

Jun 19, 2011
by: Marion

JoJo, it took me a year before I started on the highway. I have had my license for a year now and it took me that long, but all we have is time right.

Stacy, if you do what we all have suggested, you will be just fine. We all have been there and don't let anyone tell you any different. It does not matter where you ride as long as you ride. I do believe it was Sassy that suggested the gum chewing; I chew gum every time I go out on the highway now. It keeps you from holding your jaws tight which makes your whole body tense. That was the BEST piece of advice that anyone could have given me. Baby steps that's all it is. But just like JOJO said go around the neighborhood and get out of the parking lot. You will know when you are ready. Good Luck and Be safe.

Jun 19, 2011
I was nervous too!
by: jojo


We've all felt that way when we started. I've only been riding for 3 months. I did just like all the other ladies said, stay in your neighborhood until you feel comfortable going further.

Don't let anyone push you. Plan out your route so there will be no surprises. I haven't gone on the freeway yet and probably wont for awhile. Put some miles on your bike. Practice in the parking lot a few times. Ride around the bock over and over. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy.

You'll know when you're ready to move on. However, do get out of the parking lot, don't stay there forever. Riding out on the roads is actually easier and more fun.

Be safe and have fun!

Jun 17, 2011
by: Marion

Stacy, this is so normal. I just took myself back to that place and I know just how you feel. Drive around the neighborhood until you feel comfortable enough to go a little further. I drove around the neighbor for about 2-3 wks. I told my husband I thought I was ready. So what we did was went around the block and then back to familiar grounds until I felt I could go further. Don't drive outside of your comfort zone. Stay in the right lane and let traffic go around you; that is why there are two lanes anyway. Just apply what you were taught in class and you will be just fine. I just bet in a couple of weeks you will be back on letting us know your accomplishment and it is just that. I am at the point of the Interstate. I finally did it; someone told me to chew gum. Sounds silly, but it really does work. Good luck and be safe. Have fun!

Jun 17, 2011
Nice Bike
by: Lois

I love the monster what a great bike. I was so worried about getting out on the road my husband helped me get thru the first ride he followed me in our truck that way I didn't have to worry about who was behind me. That gave me the confidence to go out on my own, choose the back roads if you can to get started and work your way up to the busier streets. Good luck.

Jun 17, 2011
Yep! You are NORMAL...
by: Sandra

I remember taking the time to put on all the gear (lace-up boots and all) and then just sitting on the bike, afraid to go anywhere! But there's no better way to get past it than to just go!

May I suggest thinking through your first "short trip"? Like, if you are JUST going to the closest gas station to fill up, think about how busy that area is at the time you plan to ride. Will you have to turn left or right to get into the lot? Is there a big bump or dip there? I remember feeling panicky, like I had never pulled up to a pump before, the first time I pulled up on my bike - dumb, but better to think it through before you panic in traffic.

No one is watching you; no one knows if this is your first ride or if you've been riding for years. Everyone WILL expect you to drive like they do; for me, this is a problem when turning, as I initiate the turn with caution, and don't make a quick turn left to beat a line of traffic like I might in a vehicle I'm accustomed to. Folks right behind you may show some annoyance. Take a breath, ignore them, and ride within your comfort zone.

You will do fine!

Jun 17, 2011
by: sassy2731

Don't let anyone tell you that they were never nervous when they first learn to ride. Just take your time and do not let anyone rush you. Just do baby steps until you are used to riding. Start out on side streets that are not busy until you are comfortable there then step up to the main streets that are a little more busy. Then when you are comfortable there step up to the highways. You will get the hang of it and then all of a sudden one day you will realize wow what was I so worried about this is easy. I have to admit that even after 5+ years of riding I still have my moments of being nervous. I have found that chewing gum does help me to relax a bit and not be so tense. Try it next time you ride I don't leave home without it ever. It helps me stay focused also. Good luck and safe riding!

Jun 17, 2011
Stacy NY
by: rosie

I think I spent an hour pacing around my bike before I took my first solo ride. I live across the river in Jersey City so I understand how city riding is much different. I decided I would just go around the block and so I did, and then another block & another & another. Good thing I wear a full face helmet because I was talking myself thru it & I'm sure I would've looked nuts if people could see it! The anticipation was much worse, once I started riding I was more relaxed & comfortable. Set small goals you can accomplish & practice, practice, practice.

Great luck!!!

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