Scared....but know I'm not alone, thanks to this forum!

by vtsnowbird

Buell Blast

Buell Blast

My husband rides, and after several years I decided it was time for me to get out of behind him and ride along with him. Last year he bought me a Buell Blast for my birthday, however I had just had major shoulder surgery so we knew I'd have to wait until this year.

I just passed the MSF class this past weekend. My hubby left work early on Monday and we went out for a short ride. I was scared to death....nervous as I could possibly be. Scared of everyone behind me and everyone coming at me in the other direction. Every corner my brain said "slow, press, roll"...and I did it, 20 miles, but I did it.

Maybe it's my age? I just turned 38 (the day I passed my tests and got my license). It's really not me I'm scared of, it's everyone else on the road. I know it will take practice. I remember driving a car for the first time and how scared I was.

I read many posts and will do what many have done...short rides as much as possible, practicing in a parking lot, etc.

A cute little snippit....I kept telling my husband people must think I'm an idiot on the road (I was going 35/40 in a 50), even though one guy on a big Harley waved to my hubby, who was in front of me, saw me, started to wave then gave me a thumbs up....so maybe my hubby is right when he said to me, after I said "maybe I'll just put reflective tape on my coat and spell out NEW RIDER" his response "Honey, you, a female, on that little yellow Buell....they all KNOW you are a newbee" :)

Comments for Scared....but know I'm not alone, thanks to this forum!

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Jul 04, 2011
New Rider
by: Anonymous

You are not kidding your not alone..I would listen to your hubby. He rides right? That would be a hard one to go down a steep driveway of gravel. I have a steep driveway but it is asphalt. It took me a long time to go down that driveway. I still shut the motor off and coast down. I had fear of going up it,because I went down in the middle of going up..and had fear of going down. I still have a touch of it and have been riding for two years now...HD sporty.

Jul 04, 2011
by: Mahnah

Thank you so much for this. I am fighting panic at times. I just got my license thru the course on Tues evening 3 weeks ago tomorrow and got my bike the following Sat. I have almost 400 miles on her now and still take bends in the road very slowly and on roads I don't have a clear view of how they may turn ahead go slowly. I make sure if the signs says 30 mph turn ahead I am at 30 before I get in it. I now have dumped my bike twice in the last 3 days going down my driveway and it has really taken my confidence level down. I have a very steep dirt gravel driveway. Had done it a few times and stayed on the tires but today and the day before yesterday went down mid way down. I am very discouraged and your posts have helped me. My husband says I am going to slow, I just don't know what I am doing wrong other than being so scared I am psyching myself out and causing the issue.

I am 51 and this is my second time giving this a whirl. the first time was a disaster bad teacher resulting in a accident breaking my pelvis. I have lots of memories to overcome and these spills are not helping the confidence.

Jun 30, 2011
by: Lynn - Florida

I think it is normal to be scared, especially when you are new. I was so nervous (not of my ability to ride, but of the cars) that I would unknowingly squeeze the grips so hard my hands would fall asleep. Luckily I got over that with practice.

You will be fine with practice & I love your bike!!

Jun 29, 2011
New Rider
by: Anonymous

I have been riding for two years now..I started at the age of 55..I have a Harley Davidson 02 883 sporty..

I understand where you all of coming from !
I never thought I would get over the fear or ever get to where I am not thinking about everything I have to do to control my bike..Well not control but ride and keep control!!

I ride every where now, and I do not have to think much, it is automatic to me, just like driving my 5 speed car.

I had a hard time adjusting to the clutch and foot shifting,it was backwards..hahaha

I still have some fear but it is healthy..You know you have to keep on your toes!!

An accident can mean your life. I don't dwell on that or I wouldn't ride. I love it way to much if that is possible.

I have to really watch myself and my speed now. I have to tell myself enjoy your ride, and don't go to fast! LOL...

There will be days where you will think am I crazy? Or days you feel off and do not enjoy the ride as much. Days you may have more fear. But if you really want to ride, keep at it, it will get better! You will be so happy you kept on riding.

I ride solo most of the time, for me it is good. I ride my own ride, no one to push me.

When I first started riding I went to school. Then I rode along with my boyfriend, who is a biker. He pushed me to ride fast and he was hard on me!

Well four months of that and he is gone! But I did learn from him! He had to be aggressive or I would not of listened. So between school and him, I am a confidant rider. But I am striving to be the best rider I can be. When I get the money (finances are tight), I want to take an advanced class. Keep on keeping on! It will get better. It is true time in the saddle is the best teacher. Just ride your own ride and do not try to keep up with more experienced riders...and darn it, I wish there was spell check on here!! haha..

Jun 29, 2011
You're doing great!
by: JoAnn

I'm a newbie too. Still haven't gotten out of the parking lot, lol. I'm 55 and just trying to reach my dream. Each time in the lot I do a little bit better but every single time I have to sit on that bike for at least 10 minutes with it running before I get the nerve to give it the throttle. I breathe, I pray and my last two phrases to myself are: "Jesus Christ!" and "F**k this!"

I'm not pressuring myself and neither should you. Just do what you feel comfortable with and it will come. At least that's what I believe.

Jun 29, 2011
Nice Buell
by: Ev

I do love that bike, and I love the colour too. At least with that colour you will be noticed, and therefore alot safer too. I think all of us shared your concerns/fears at one time or other. But you will become more confident and then more relaxed which in turn makes you a safer rider. However, never become complacent. Everytime I ride I pretend everyone (including animals)are out to kill me and I ride accordingly. In reference to your husband telling you to go faster. I do agree with him. I often ride up to my Dads which is 300kms away. The main road is full of trucks, caravans, trailers, tractors etc... I always over-take them when safe and ride well ahead of other traffic. I used to sit behind other slow drivers (ie) car with trailer. I have heard too many stories of accidents where things come flying out of the trailer and hit the vehicle behind. Keep this in mind. Try to travel well infront or behind other traffic. Take care.

Jun 29, 2011
by: Marion

Yep, I know where you are at. I have had my license for a year and just now started driving on the highway. I am fearful of it, but I will overcome it. I also have a very patient husband. When we are on the highway, I stay in the right lane; if people don't like it they have the option to pass. I do remember when I first started riding we were going to make a trip to Taylorsville lake. Will, I got past the first curve and decided I was not ready. I am sitting at the red light to turn left and a truck that was behind me drove past, rolled down his window and told me to take the training wheels off. I guess I don't need to tell you just how I felt nor what my husband did. LOL... Just take your time and have fun. Don't push yourself; speed will come with time. When you do start driving on the highway, you will enjoy it much better though. Remember traffic is going in one direction. There was a lady on this site that suggested chewing gum when I go out on the highway; I don't leave the house without it. Don't know how it works, it just does. Good luck Be safe and enjoy. I love this site for all of the input. Remember, we ALL have been there, and we are all still learning. I am 53, and did not know what I have been missing. Love it.

Jun 29, 2011
Thank you for your replies!
by: Erika

I feel so much better :) Most of those I know, have ridden for some time....and only one is female, and doesn't ride much, so this forum is wonderful!

I'd love any tips or tricks you have up your sleeves!! I know next year, I'd like to get a different bike so maybe I should start looking now...lol. The Buell is great, but definitely not something I'd want to ride on long trips, and I will get there....the long trips I mean!


Jun 29, 2011
No pressure...
by: Melissa

Ride at whatever speed you are comfortable. I ride on the autobahn, but only at about 60MPH. (I don't have a windshield, going faster about blows me off the bike.) The only way to become comfortable is to RIDE! Relax, take it easy and ride within your limits, ENJOY!

Jun 29, 2011
Scared Newbie
by: Anonymous

Girl, I feel your pain. I am scared too! I took the MSF class last April 2010. Every time I get on that bike I feel sick with fear. Every time! I hate cars! One pulled out in front of me once and I've not been the same since. I'm trying to get over it. I still ride...but very short rides. I too go 35/40 in a 50. Hubby says I need to speed up because of the cars behind me but I feel like if I need to react to something in front of me I don't want to be going 50 mph! I'd rather just have them pass me. I still haven't been on the highway. He says it will help because once I go that fast going 40 in a 40 won't seem so bad...but I'm just too scared. I don't want to give up though. When I think about riding...it's just a great feeling. I feel confident and see myself just out there, like he is. But when I sit on the bike, I have to talk myself into it every time! I hope this fades, because the bigger part of me loves riding. Dilemma!!!

Jun 29, 2011
by: Ladonna

That's so cute of your hubby! haha I could see mine saying the same thing. After each ride I ask him how he thought I did...what I can improve on, ect. He asks me each time before we go out what are the two most important things?

1. Be safe

2. If you do wreck, GET OUT OF THE WAY, and the bike if possible! :) (last time I wrecked was on a four lane highway and I jumped up and left the bike in the road) but I was safe which is all that mattered.

Keep riding!! I feel more confident each time I go out, only been on 3 real rides so far. A car did pull out in front of me on the last one, but I didn't panic...geared down and already had my hand on the brake since we were coming up on an intersection anyway...and made it through :)

Jun 29, 2011
by: Anonymous

I think it's great your husband is supportive! I'm a newbie too, and worry about people behind me. I wear a reflective vest - does that scream "new rider" or what! But hey, if it keeps me safer, then I'm all for it! I love riding and want to get better! And I'm 59 years old...

Keep practicing and ENJOY!!

Jun 29, 2011
New Rider
by: sam

I was the same way last year after I took the MSF course. I would not go more than 30 mph. Every week I took it one day at a time and now I have been over 90 mph. I went from zero miles on my bike to one year later 23,000. I ride everywhere.

Jun 29, 2011
by: Yvonne

Yes, you can usually tell a newbie. But, that's good, some people will actually be more considerate. As for you age, nothing to do with it. I started riding again last year after a 40 yr lapse. Yes, somewhat nerve wracking to begin with, give it time and you will adjust just fine. Enjoy and keep the rubber on the rode.

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