Progress not perfection!

by Noelle
(Freehold, NJ)

OK, so I got back on the road yesterday. After learning and practicing a little more with the clutch I am no longer stalling out of turns. Amazing what practice and perseverance will do. I did pretty well. Next thing I need to get with is turning. I have no trouble maneuvering the bike, I think maybe because of my inexperience, I am shifting down to 1ste into every turn. My boyfriend noticed and said its fine in no-traffic developments but out on the road with idiot New Jersey tailgaters, I need to learn how to just slow down and ride the clutch thru the turn if I don't have to make a complete stop. All this information is a bit overwhelming but I am going at my own pace. I am going out for a couple of hours tomorrow and going to try real driving, in real time and real traffic. Wish me luck and I will try to post over the weekend. PL&H

Comments for Progress not perfection!

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May 28, 2011
Well Said
by: sassy3731

Well said everyone. I say after my 5 years of riding I still get nervous too and we get to ride year round here in Texas. I don't think that ever really goes away completely. I think if it ever does that is when we should worry. My Hubby always tells new riders to always expect others to do wrong that way you are always ready to react cause nothing is ever perfect. If you expect the worst of other drivers, then you are always ready for the unexpected. Just ride and it will soon all come together for you. An experienced rider is always nice to ride with until you are more comfortable with yourself. Just never give up.

May 27, 2011
Progress good! Traffic bad...
by: Sandra

If your inexperience causes you to get really frustrated and make more mistakes than if "no one was watching", I would suggest staying to the less traveled roads until every intersection is no longer cause for butterflies in the stomach. If I stall my bike at a 4 way stop, it doesn't phase me; I clutch and start the engine back up before I can put my feet down. I doubt if everyone realizes I just killed it. If they do, oh well. All I can do is complete my turn as quickly and safely as possible, which does not mean getting frustrated with myself. But I've driven a manual shift car for decades and the whole clutch/shift thing is second nature for me. There was a short learning curve of using my hand for the clutch and my clutch foot to shift with, but that took all of one afternoon.

However, I am out for fun when riding, and I tend to forget that not everyone on the road enjoys driving or has chosen to take a drive, like me. Those road-rage individuals can turn a fun ride into a nightmare, either by tailgating, pressuring, honking, or worse, not paying attention and entering into your riding space (hitting you!). Be confident in your own abilities; then you will be more competent to defend against mistakes others around you make.

Enjoy your ride!!

May 27, 2011
Just GO!
by: Dawn

Does the boyfriend or someone else you know ride too? If so, get together so you have a wingman, and just ride. I live in Minnesota so we have slower county roads, and those were my best friend in the beginning.

Once you get through all the gears and go a little faster, you forget to stress over what gear you're in, and the stop sign coming up and all the other "stuff" that makes riding seem like not much fun. You start to move with the bike without thinking, you get a feel for the road, and find your balance and all the nervousness melts away with the wind.

I spent the first 3 months trying to learn how to stop and turn and whatnot in a parking lot, but I never felt balanced, and was a nervous wreck. One fortunate construction detour and I was on the open road by mistake. But 25 miles later, I FINALLY got it. After the first mile, I stopped analyzing everything, and just enjoyed.

It gets easier, and it does get better, but I still need that first mile of open road to settle in, and I've been riding now for 6 summers.

May 27, 2011
by: Lois

Just remember perfection is something we continue to strive for with every ride we take. Sometimes it all comes together for just that one curve or that one turn don't get down just be glad for the one thing each time.

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