Scared Beginning Rider

by MichieShadow

Me On My First Ride On My First Bike

Me On My First Ride On My First Bike

I am writing because I am a new rider, I got my license in September of 09' & because weather started to get cold after I did not buy my first bike until Jan. 30, 2010. There's been nothing but cold & snow where I live & I only got to ride my bike in a large parking lot one time the other day. I absolutely love being on a motorcycle, it's a feeling like no other but when I am the driver, I have to admit I am pretty scared. I did ok the other day but turns still scare me & the thought of getting onto the actual street petrifies me. My question is how did all of you experienced biker chics get past this feeling?

Can anyone suggest in the New Jersey area any rider education courses or personalized instruction? I took the DMV course, passed that & want something a little more advanced. Any help, tips or suggestions would be much appreciated!


Comments for Scared Beginning Rider

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Apr 25, 2016
I've had dreams NEW
by: Wytchwood

Real dreams where I'm riding my own bike and I'm so happy.

I used to ride a lot back in the 1970s as a passenger with a club. I saw a lot of accidents, know of quite a few who died due to mixing alcohol and motorcycles. I still love the Harleys. You never really get it out of your blood.

I'm in a financial situation where I could probably get one, but I'm scared, for crazy stupid reasons, like one of my best friends, a guy, is not in town anymore and he used to ride a lot. I'm a 59-year-old woman, I must be insane to be thinking about this. But still I remember the dreams where it's just me and my bike and I'm so damned happy.

Jun 20, 2015
by: Mark

I know this is an old post and I'm not a chic, But, I have ALOT of riding experience and a few good tips for you beginners.

Being scared is NOT a good thing on a bike. NEVER react before thinking it through at least once if not several times. Be one with the bike and don't let the bike control you. You should have a relaxed body, not tensed up, and always know your 360 surroundings. Look ahead 10 cars as to what is coming up so you dont stop short and get run into. And let everyone around you know where you are planning on goin or if you are going to stop well before you do it.

Keep yourself out of compromising positions. Try to always by vehicles around you and always give YOURSELF plenty of room (a "way out").

As far as turns go, you will learn to love them and look forward to them. The best advise I can give on this is to practice "counter steering". Most of us steer a motorcycle not even knowing we do it. Knowing to do it gives you the control and confidence to navigate turns with ease and pleasure.

Counter steering...without going into the detail of physics:
Say you have a right turn coming at you, GRADUALLY push the right side of the handlebar with your right hand away from you. This will initiate the lean into the turn.

As for detailed explanation of executing the rest of your turn please look up some professional notes on counter steering and executing turns.
The reason I say that is, first I do not claim to be a physics professor and don't want to give false statements. However, getting into a turn is USUALLY the hardest part and the rest of the turn, including leaning, usually follows naturally (to me at least).

Steering turns is very easy after learning this. It has actually given me a bad habbit of riding with one hand because it is so effortless.

Speed during turns....Chose it BEFORE you enter your turn. I use a gear that I can decelerate or accelerate with. IE.. If I need to slow during the turn, my gear will slow me quick enough that I shouldn't need to hit my brakes, but just let off throttle. And a gear that will also give me enough power to accelerate if I need to.

Getting in the habbit of braking During turns is usually a recipe for disaster. Speaking of recipes, try not to smile, most bugs don't taste good.

Hope this helps someone. Have fun!

Mar 29, 2010
Scared Beginning Rider
by: Anonymous

I'm a new rider but I can tell you what I have learned! Be careful of just using that front brake only!! That is what pulled me down at a stop, when my front wheel was not straight. Take the motorcycle class again, it is great for the basics and safety..I am glad you didn't get hurt bad and the fact you still want to ride, says go for it! Accidents happen but they happen in cars too! We just have to be more aware on a bike because we are out there no metal surrounding us, I was told to look at every car as though they are out to get you!! Please be careful listening to everyone,everyone has their opinions. I say learn as much as you can from your motorcycle class and someone you trust! A lot of people are riding that still do not know how to ride (does that make sense?) The more experienced riders can pick them out. I had no support system when I started, just here is the bike and ride! hahaha..I was in a parking lot but come on now! You are lucky you have your GF interested too, that should be fun! I also took the motorcycle class twice! The second class I passed, the first class my nerves combined with the heat made me feel like I was going to pass out and I had to leave!! That made me feel like what a wimp! but my passion to ride was such that I refused to give in or give up!Like You! I am glad you have support now it makes a big difference! I have a guy that we go out and ride and he has been a great teacher..He has been riding for about 40 years..He lives it! He has taught me more in five times out then I have learned in months! I have had my license for a few months now..I now go out and ride solo, I just let people know where I am going and always wear a purse backpack with my stuff in it and cell phone!!!! I didn't do this until I felt ready to go solo..

I will be going on my first bike run in about two weeks..Yes there is a healthy fear, but the more you go out the more confidante you get..Take it from this newbie!


You said your bike you cant put your feet flat on the ground? Personally I think you need to have your feet where they are flat on the ground, you will be more stable and feel more stable. I had my Sportster lowered. I am 5' 3". My friend did this for me.

Good luck...Its a wonderful liberating feeling!

Mar 27, 2010
Riding Passion..Healthy Fear
by: Simply Sincere

I took the MSF class 2 years ago unfortunately before I could get my license, (listening to the wrong people) I went down trying to test ride a zx7. All I remember was being on my toes and giving too much throttle, panicked because of the power then hitting the front brake, didn't even make 600 ft and hit the ground...hard! Minor injuries thank God. The mini accident scared the hell out of me but I knew in my heart I still wanted to ride. I had no support system, only guys telling me what they thought I should ride or not really helping me "learn to ride". I have been riding passenger since and have been around bike clubs, both men and women and with each passing day the passion for riding is in my heart. Me and a girlfriend of mine are going to take the course again and start slow. I now have more support behind me (the right people). I have a bike now (97 gsxr600)that I haven't gotten a chance to ride yet. When sitting on it, I'm on my toes so my confidence level is a bit low as to can I ride without it being lowered? I want to ride, I want to get my license and ride safely and have a lil' fun at the same time.

I know I can do this... can't I?

Mar 26, 2010
Hello Again
by: Pam

I started on the 883 Sportster..I love it..

But my Aunt who is 70 rides a rebel and she has always rode it..She likes it because it is smaller..She was worried because she thought the Harley was to big of a bike for a beginner..But really they are great learner bikes as far as I'm concerned...I think we all need to have healthy fear and respect the bike we are on..They told us at school look at all the cars (cages) as if they R out to get you>>Always think that way..I know you have to be careful of riding and someone getting ready to make a left turn,they may not see you and turn in front of you!

It is so much fun and well worth the newbie jitters..I am getting less and less nervous and more confidante ,every time I go out..I live on a hill, so my driveway is a downhill steep driveway asphalt..That driveway scared me to death! I had to go down it and then up it! This sound silly to people that have been riding a long time, they forget the fears of a newbie..This was one of my worst,because I had dropped her so much on a stop and once trying to get up, my hill of a driveway I went down..Stupid idiot told me to feather the clutch!!!! I went down in the middle of the drive way..OUCH. Now I laugh at myself because another rider told me it is mental, which it is! He showed me how to go down and how to ride up..Now I do it like it is nothing..LOL..He said Pam, you go up and down hills riding all the time, your driveway is no different! I had the fear I would be able to stop and I would run right into my house..I am going on the freeway next week,I haven't done that yet..But looking forward to it...The guy that rides with me, he wants me to be ready to go on my first bike run for Vietnam vets..There is a lot of freeway driving...California freeways are crazy!! But if I don't feel ready after riding the freeway, I am going to tell him..Ride your ride at your ability, I am learning that..It takes seat time more then anything after you learn..I for sure did not really start learning until I started doing...The class just gave me knowledge..Ride safe!

Mar 25, 2010
Me Too, Me Too
by: Lois

I too, am a new rider. But I have to say, I love reading all the posts of similar stories. It's like a support group. I took the Motorcycle safety course last year and passed. My husband bought me a Harley Sportster 883....but I never felt comfortable on the bike...it lunged with me...I couldn't touch my feet all the way to the ground, and it basically scared me. After attempting several times...my husband must have sensed the fear...and sold the Harley and bought me a Rebel 250...I have to say...I love that little bike...I'm still puttering around the neighborhood...trying to remember everything...turn signals, brakes..shift...lol.... :) I have some girlfriends here in Indiana that are super supportive....they have been riding much longer than me....but I am excited to get out on the road...and by the way...I'm 45....it's never too late!! A lady in her 60's inspired me to start riding...so glad I did!!!

Mar 20, 2010
I'm New Too
by: Pam

I'm also a new rider! I started at the age of 55..I took a motorcycle course class too and yes it is worth it..I got tired of parking lot riding, that is when you know it is time to ride some where else..LOL..I also have a crash bar on my bike, because I did drop my bike a lot...

I have ridden now on the streets and canyons about a handful of times but each time putting in at least 95 miles. I got stuck in work traffic the other day!! I was riding with a experienced rider or I would of been scared, with him I was not scared.

The canyon riding is a blast for me...I have done pretty well at the twists and turns. Your not alone my sister, I have fear too. I hate it when people tell me, well if you have fear maybe you better not ride...Seems normal to me.

Good Luck...I plan on riding even if I have to do it alone. I have no one to ride with now since my boyfriend got mad at me because I wouldn't go to a biker party, where everything goes! Shirts off girls beads for flashing tt...stripper poles..I said, I would not feel comfortable. His remark was "I need to toughen up". I guess I'm not a biker because i don't like that kind of stuff. Oh well. I'm still riding, he is kicked to the curb girls!

Mar 16, 2010
You'll Get Past It! I Promise
by: Anonymous

I got my license not quite a year ago. I spent days in the parking lot practicing. Then I slowly edged my way to neighborhood roads but be careful on the back roads because you have to watch for cars backing out of their driveways.

You really and truly will ride outside of the parking lot. Don't push yourself. You will know when you're ready. The number one clue is that you'll get bored.

Once the weather warms up, get on your bike for a few minutes everyday. Even if it is only to sit on it. And don't ride tired.

I used to hate right turns and now I prefer a right turn to a left turn! Its all in practice.

Good luck and have fun!!!

Mar 04, 2010
Congrats & Good Riding!!
by: Anonymous

The smile on your face says it all!

I've been riding for over 40 years now and my recommendation is definitely take a MSF course (I take the Advanced course every couple of years) and enjoy! Glad to see you're wearing a helmet. By the way, I'm a guy and my wife just started riding a few short years ago so I understand your angst.

Three simple rules:
1. Don't run into anything.
2. Don't let anything run into you.
3. Don't fall off your bike.

Other than that, the sky's the limit! Remember, fear means you're smart. Only idiots are fearless. Ride on sista!!

Feb 26, 2010
Scared Beginning Rider #2
by: Anonymous

Fear is natural after an accident. Remember there was always some fear when you rode before the accident. This base fear is what keeps us safe and aware on the roads. My dear husband was involved in a motorcycle crash eight months ago. He lost 6 inches of his femur. While the doctors worried whether his surgically reconstructed leg and knee would allow him to carry his own weight, he had already picked out his new motorcycle. I bought his new Road King and road it home before he could walk. It was a great motivation for him to heal. He was still worried that he would be in absolute horror to ride. He figured if he froze that I would have a new bike, lol. Each time he rides the fear is there, just less fear each time. Just don't let it cripple you...remember the passion you have. His perception while riding has definitely changed. I think fear is a very personal thing that must be dealt with on your own terms...you own your fear. I hope that helps.


Feb 26, 2010
Gear Up Your Bike
by: Anonymous

Hey! You will fare much better if you put an engine guard on your bike and hard saddle bags. Your bike will sustain less damage if you drop it and YOUR legs are protected because the bike does not tip over onto your legs!! Look online for engine guard and for saddle bags...a little of an investment but worth it!!

Feb 26, 2010
Scared Beginning Rider #2
by: Anonymous

I am just like you I just starting riding on a High School parking lot again. I know about the scared feeling too. I have not taken my bike out on the streets yet. Maybe we can keep in touch and see how it goes for both of us. My friend & I were involved in a motorcycle accident back in Sept 09 we were hit by a Drunk driver at 4 pm on a beautiful Sat. I don't remember much of the accident but I saw we were going to be hit. I have a broken collar bone & 5 broken ribs my friend was worse off with a broken hip & ribs but Thank God we are still here. Now I am sort of scared to start up with riding my motorcycle. Any advice out there. I know I can't give up now cause that is a dream & goal of mind to ride & feel freeeee.

Feb 26, 2010
by: Marsha

Hi, to find the nearest Beginners Riders Course to you , check out this nat'l website. The local colleges might know of who gives individualized instruction.We have one metric dealership here that gives their version of the course, perhaps there's one near you that does , you'd have to make some calls. There is no fast forward to getting rid of the butterflies, but when you're on the other side of them , you will be Thankful there wasn't ; ) You have the drive within you, that's all the determination you'll need. As you are in the thick of Winter , check out the site " www.ridelikeapro.com " they have a great practice guide you can access for free., there's a beginner DVD titled " Learn to ride the easy way " that you may enjoy. As with anything "practice makes perfect"

Best of luck,

Marsha in CT

Feb 26, 2010
Ride On
by: Anonymous

I bought my first and only bike ('08 Sportster) in Feb. of 2008. My husband would ride the bike to the college parking lot down the street where I would practice. I was petrified to do anything, for a while I could only make left turns. However, after taking the rider safety course my confidence soared. It's a great course I highly recommend it. I'm still a newbie out there but it feels great!!! You will too I promise!! Good Luck!!

Feb 26, 2010
About Being Afraid
by: Anonymous

I rode small bikes my entire life. But, before I decided to build a chopper, I rode for a year on a 400cc Honda Rebel, And also decided to take the Virginia Motorcycles safety course. Whatever state you live in, I recommend the safety course. It reinforced my confidence. So, take your time, learn at your own pace and before you know it, you will become a natural. Have fun!

Feb 26, 2010
Take a Rider's Safety Course
by: Anonymous

Congratulations! I spent my first two months riding around a huge parking lot in a local county park. Lots of figure 8's, sharp turns, etc. The best thing that we did, though was to take the motorcycle safety course. Here's the website: http://msf-usa.org

They hold courses in just about every state. For the beginners course you have to ride their bikes, which are pretty small - mostly Honda's and Suzuki's 250's, but they're good to practice on. I'm planning on taking their advanced riders course this spring - you get to use your own bike. My husband took it last year and said that it was really good. Made him much more comfortable with his bike. Plus, you can get a discount on your insurance if you take this course. Always a bonus!

Take your time and don't be afraid of dropping the bike -- you don't want it to happen, but it happens happens to just about everyone at least once. I was so embarrassed when I dropped mine in front of a big group of people. You couldn't believe the guys that came up to me and started telling me stories about the multiple times that it happened to them.

Good luck and DON'T BE AFRAID! You're gonna love it!!!

Feb 26, 2010
Welcome New Lady Rider
by: Anonymous

I, personally did not take a safety course, however, I would definitely recommend it. When I got my Sportster, I rode around my sub then went to the road.

The first trip out the wind was so strong it caught my vest and literally pulled me off into the gravel shoulder of the road. My very experienced rider husband was aghast, but I kept my cool and my took my hand off the throttle and let it coast to a stop. I was quite shaken, but, continued the ride.

Just a few miles later, when I came to a stop sign, I put my foot down and stepped into a pothole and down went the bike!

But, I persevered and today after some 70,000 or so miles under my belt between that 1st Sporty and my current Heritage Softail, I'm a road captain in a motorcycle ministry and sweep for my husband as he leads! Love it.

Just do it, even it you do it afraid, one day you won't be, promise!

Feb 25, 2010
Welcome to the Road!
by: H

Hi! There are other courses that you can take through the DMV to sharpen up your skills. Or find another patient rider who is willing to help, take all the back roads you can find! Just take your time and never feel pressured into driving above what you are comfortable with. I had a problem with taking turns at slow speeds and would always get really nervous, hearing that voice saying "Oh no you'll never make that turn", so I just told myself you can do it, and guess what, I did it! You just have to tell that voice to shut it! Good luck have faith in yourself, and most of all have fun!!!

Feb 25, 2010
It Gets Better
by: Pam

I would encourage you to take a safety course as soon as possible. I took an MSF course before I started riding as well R.I.D.E a few years later (which is the same course motorcycle police take). You will be surprised how this impacts your confidence. In fact, I would not spend any time on the road until you take a course.

I will tell you this...I was very nervous for at least the first 12 months of riding...so nervous I would come home with my muscles in knots from being so tense. But I loved it anyway. Now, it's like second nature, and I don't think twice about hopping on my bike and taking off in whichever direction the wind is blowing.

Glad you joined the world of women riders!

Feb 25, 2010
Getting Your Tires Wet
by: Vicki

I've been on motorcycles all my life. But it wasn't until my husband started riding 8 yrs ago that I actually became "experienced". He took me on highways and bi-ways that I never thought I'd be brave enough to ride. Colorado mountains to flatland riding. Now you can't stop me. So, it's just getting out there and getting used to it. Always watch your intersections. Be extra cautious riding in large groups. Never go any faster than what your are comfortable with. It's a never ending learning process. I always tell myself, Faith, Focus and FUN! A class is an excellent idea. I've never had one myself, but am meaning to. So good luck and happy riding, and as they say, keep the shiny side up!

Feb 25, 2010
New Rider
by: Mary Ward

I spent a few days in the Riders Edge with Heritage Harley Davidson, in Lisle, Illinois. The instructors were also part of the MSF - motorcycle safety foundation program. I learned a ton. And I took a few spills. But once I stopped grabbing the front break when the front wheel was not straight, well I stopped falling. (always at slow speeds, but still felt stupid).

I know that HD has classes but cost is well, worth it to me, and was faster to get into than the state MSF program. Check MSF they have a website with resources. And if you bought your bike from a dealer, they have resources too. Good Luck All, See you on the road..

Feb 25, 2010
Big Difference
by: Beth Fat Bob

You HAVE to take the safety course.. what a huge difference in skills, confidence etc that it makes... I had my permit, took a few small rides w/ my husband and was nervous but felt I knew what I was doing and would be fine..... after the course that weekend.. a totally different feeling.the next ride...... like day and nite... You go from not even starting the bike, to walking it across the parking lot like a kid on a bicycle.... to navigating sharp turns, safe stops and many other skills.. it was great..!!!! You'll feel totally different after taking the course. I took it at the Camden County College, have a friend signed up for the course in March... google their website.. look for the course!! Good luck!!

Feb 25, 2010
by: Anonymous

I so know your feeling. I am 50yrs old and I just learned to ride myself Aug 2009 and like you the weather wasn't very cooperative. I wish you all the best.

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