Starting On An Incline

by Andrea
(Los Angeles, CA)

Although I've ridden on the back of my husbands bike for almost 20 years, I've just now gotten my own bike and have put about 70 miles on it so far. I took the MSF course, and I realize that the rest of the training comes with the experience and I'm learning more with each ride. The one thing that still has me scared however, is starting on an incline. I had to do this on my first ride as I was stopped at a light. When it turned green, I was in a panic to switch from brake to gas, I stalled, rolled back and dropped the bike. I found myself in the same situation on the second ride. This time I tried easing off on the foot brake while feathering the clutch and gas, but I was shaking so bad and panicking so much that it took me two lights to get through the intersection! Any advise on this?

Comments for Starting On An Incline

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Jun 12, 2010
Starting on Inclines
by: Anonymous

I can identify with you. I have had two serious drops (& some not to serious ones) but both were the same situation. The 2nd time it happened I know that I was just physched out from the previous time. The footpeg advice was great but I have running boards on my bike. My husband just told me to let the others go by me and back down until I am more level and start over. Both of these times were in traffic and my husband had already taken off and didn't know what had happened. Now I always lead out of parking lots and precarious situations.

Apr 15, 2010
Starting on an Incline
by: Anonymous

Think we all go thru this. My husband gave me a great piece of advice. When you get come a stop on an incline, put your feet down with your legs BEHIND you foot pegs.

This will let the bike rest against you legs for just a moment, just enough time to release the break and engage the clutch and won't let the bike roll backwards.

Slipping the clutch will burn you clutch up in a hurry, and that's lots of $$.

Mar 08, 2010
Starting On An Incline
by: Andrea

Thanks for the advice girls! Just knowing that I'm not all alone out there makes it that much easier.

Mar 07, 2010
Starting On an Incline
by: Michelle

Hi there,

First of all, welcome woman to the road of freedom.

I too am a new rider and had the same situation last year. First time I dropped the bike on a hill at a stop sign and the second time I was so fearful of the hill it took me awhile to get going.

For my husband he rides his brake and clutch and keeps a couple fingers covering the throttle, and I've done that too if it makes sense to you and it works. Try it on a small incline like a quite over head parking lot on a Sunday or... Surely you must have some good hills in L.A. Good luck. You'll get it as long as you go gradually.

Mar 06, 2010
Uphill Blues
by: Chickapea in Tennessee

Yes... I can appreciate what you're going through. When I had this problem, just starting out, I practiced on a parking lot at a local church that had a slight incline, and spend an hour or so starting up the incline, from 1st to 2nd gear... then doing a U-turn and downshifting into 1st, and riding back down the hill. I did this little exercise over and over again! Sure, it was boring, but at least I didn't need to worry about a car being behind me, so I was at ease doing it. Just keep in mind that "PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT"...YOU 'LL GET THE HANG OF IT, WITH TIME. Good luck!

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