Wrecked after the first 15 minutes...too terrified to ride now

by Lynn

I am 54 years old, 4'10" tall, and have loved being a passenger on my boyfriend's bike for many years . We decided it was time for me to try getting my own bike to ride together. After searching for 2 years to find something I was comfortable with, we bought a new Yamaha V Star 250. Got my permit, signed up for the Training Course , and we modified the seat to make it lower so I could touch the ground. Well, the first day we took it in the alley behind my house to get me used to balancing it, learn where clutch, brake, throttle etc were.... I was just basically walking, starting & stopping it, and somehow my hand slipped off the clutch, I grabbed the throttle instead of the break, lunged forward & accelerated, and in seconds went head first into a garage/telephone pole,& went down on my left side. Hit my head but did have a helmet on, but I sustained major abrasions on my entire left side , leg, arm & hand, have a HUGE hematoma the size of a grape- fruit on my left calf . Numerous bruises all over my body & a LOT of pain. Needless to say I was horrified, humiliated , and now terrified of getting back on. Everybody is telling me their "wreck" stories & how I need to get over the fear , but I am just SO scared I cant even imagine. And I waited & wanted this for so long.... Anybody else wreck after the first 15 minutes of getting on a new bike?? Can you conquer the fear? Thanks for listening & any advice you may offer!

Comments for Wrecked after the first 15 minutes...too terrified to ride now

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Sep 30, 2012
by: Anonymous

Balancing/front brake lever/back brakes/clutch lever/all the gear changing/throttle, when to put your feet down, when to pick them up....so many things to remember. It's like driving a stick shift in a car. Practice is all that can help. There is a rythym to riding. Once you nail that rythym, you will instinctively know what to do.
You are right in that the classes assume you already know how to "go through the motions of riding". You could get a small, used starter bike that is light weight, one that you can "slow walk" around a parking lot until it feels right. If you really want to learn, you will. Try to change fear into caution. Stay after it and you will be riding your dream bike one day. Put effort into practicing. I know it all seems daunting, but you can do it....people do it everyday! Don't give up!

Sep 30, 2012
Just want to overcome my fear and learn!
by: Nez

My husband and I took the MSF class in my town and I fell on the first day of the actual riding part. The class was 3 days total; 1 class and 2 parking lot riding. I dropped the bike while getting introduced to the "walking the bike" part. After that the instructor pulled me away from the group and asked if I felt I could go on. I said yes. Within the next hour I was pulled away twice more and finally told he feared my inexperience with the clutch and throttle would cause me to hurt myself or someone else; so I gave up and left. My husband completed the course (he'd ridden MC's in his teens, and was just taking the class to support me). I made arrangements with the instructor to get private lessons, but he didn't show up (twice). I have wanted to ride since I was in my twenties; but because of financial concerns had to put it off for over 20 years. I'm 49 now, and had hoped to be buying my "dream bike" by 50. I have searched high and low to find someone who gives private lessons because I'm certain re-taking the MSF class without learning how the clutch/throttle works won't help me; I'll just be as lost as before (only worse because now I have NO confidence in myself). Everyone I've talked to says buy a little 250cc and have my husband work with me on a parking lot. But my husband says "what if you just can't get it; then what will you do with the bike?" I'm so confused and disheartened. Too want something so bad but be too afraid to act on the desire. I've almost convinced myself I'll be just as happy with a scooter; but then I think "what if I can't handle that either? I don't want a scooter if I can't get one powerful enough to take on the freeway. I want desperately to learn to ride a motorcycle; but not sure if it's because I want to learn or because I've obsessed on it for so long.
Any suggestions on what my next steps should be would be greatly appreciated. And if anyone knows of someone in the Louisville, Ky area that provides private motorcycle lessons...that would be appreciated too.

Aug 22, 2012
by: Darlene

The first night I tried to ride my bike into the garage I rolled on the throttle and lurched forward hitting the work bench. Scared the poop out of myself and felt very discouraged and thought maybe I was too "thick" to learn how to ride.

But reading all of your experiences I don't feel that way anymore, the next night I forced myself to hop back on the bike and did much better.

Even though I was baddly bruised I felt it was a good learning expierience. Just wish learning didn't hurt so much!

Aug 10, 2012
Wrecked 2
by: Deb P MA

Please go to Ride like a pro. They have great videos.

Aug 10, 2012
by: Deb P Ma.

Oh you poor thing. Yes I did the same thing.I went to try out a used bike. It had way more power than I was use to. But I hurried from a stop sign to beat the cars and a truck coming then panicked and drove into the steel guard rail. I didnt get real hurt but I did have big bruises all over my legs for weeks. I was so embarrassed more than scared. I had to have the people come to get the bike because of the way the bike hit the rail I messed up my throttle, hand brake and wires. It was not driveable. I had it fixed and bought it. I love it. I was a little scared to get on it. But am pretty use to it now. I just dont like to go out by myself for some reason. I use to on my smaller bike,. I know what you mean about trying to remember what to do and when. There is another site that is worth you checking out. It gives you lots of information about what to do and when as far as throttle, clutch, hills, turns. Good luck!

Check out the site: Ride like a pro. Very good videos!

Jul 25, 2012
I need also to not be scared
by: Denise

I decided that I wanted to ride with my boys and nephew whom all have bikes. I went out and bought a bike, all the gear and enrolled in a bike course. I thought I woulddo it all right. The course was 6 days.. 2 in class, 2 on the parking lot and two on the road. Well I only got to the second day of the parking lot which I fell twice. The second time, crushed my ankle pretty bad. It caused me to just become this emotional wreck, I could not continue . I just fell apart. My hand was bruised, knees and ankle. I was suppose to take a skill test but just was not able to.
The instructer said I can take it next week, but i am now terrified. I do not know why, but everytime i think about I get that sinking feeling deep down in my stomache. my son's say that all I need is more pratice, but I do not want ot practice on my bike as it is bigger and too nice to drop. Such a delemmia. I felt I jsut wanted to give up and sell my bike and just call it quits right now. I always wantd to do this, I just never thought it was as hard as it is. So much to think about, don't brake when your turning, don't lock the brakes, don't throttle to hard... OMG... I hav eread all teh comments here and well it has givin me more encouragement to try again before I decide to end it. Thank you for the comments they are very helpful.script

Jul 23, 2012
training class
by: Anonymous

It might be best to wait until you take the training course - by that time you will likely have calmed down, and seeing other newbies who are both excited to learn and completely new at this will give you helpful encouragement to get back on and try again. Plus, at least in my MSF class, we started out at the very beginning and thoroughly covered every one of the controls before even moving.

As discouraged as you may feel now, I know you will feel better once you're with other new riders - you'll find that you're not the only one who's nervous - and that everyone, even someone like me whose only experience was riding on the back of a bike, will be able to get a motorcycle moving, to maintain a controlled speed, and bring it to a stop without falling by the end of the class. I know there is some debate about the value of the class vs. learning on one's own or from someone who already knows how to ride, but that argument aside, the MSF class is really a surefire way to gain confidence on a bike and it'll give you a little time to catch a breath and build your motivation beforehand.

Jul 23, 2012
We all fall
by: Flight Risk

I won't bore you with my experiences on motorcycles. I've had many...street to dirt. Last year I decided I wanted a bike again but realized I couldn't count on my knees anymore.

I bought a 2011 Can Am Spyder RTS SE5......I can honestly say I am in love with "The Beast". Two wheels forward, one big wheel back. Mine is also a semi-automatic with a paddle shift. It is amazing!!!

Check it out....go on a test drive.....come to Spyderlovers.com forum......this bike is my dream bike.

I wish you the best of luck. Oh I turned 63 last week so you are younger than me. I'm 5'9" tall so I'm taller than you. LOL, it's a wash!

Jul 23, 2012
How many new people grab that throttle?
by: Cindy

I did the same thing, years ago I was learning to ride a moped in my back yard. Came up to the house, grabbed the throttle instead of the clutch, headed straight for the basement stairs, I bailed, the bike went down. Scarey, yes. That was probably 7 or 8 years ago.

This year, I am 45 and going through a divorce, much scarier, so I started riding a Honda Nighthawk 250. My dad had me starting and stopping, starting and stopping for hours on end. I progressed to changing gears, within a month I was on the expressway, headed north on my own.

One day I was over practicing my emergency stop on a Honda Shadow 500 at the DMV and the front tire turned, I skidded, or I should say the bike skidded about 10 feet on its right side, I log rolled about 3. I don't slide as well as the bike does. :D Anyway, very big bruises, badly skinned knee, 3 months later its still pink, and a wrenched shoulder that probably could have used medical treatment, but I am stubborn. I sat there stunned, very momentarily as I listened to the bike choke and die, its not supposed to get its gas sideways you know... ;)

So I got up, limped over to the bike, shut the gas off, thought to myself, now I get to practice picking up a bike all by myself, because ofcourse I was at the DMV after hours, alone. Righted the bike and got back on. Now, I am a horse rider too, so I have been a dirt dart many times. Never hurt as badly as with this fall on the bike though, but I know, first and foremost, the longer you go after a fall before you get back on the bigger that monster in the corner of your mind is telling you not to do it. So I got back on, I had to get home after all, I went back to the start of the course, ran the emergency stop again, the bike skidded again, but I didn't lay it down, I kept it up right. I ran the course one more time, it didn't skid, I called it a victory and went home to doctor my knee.

If you love riding, don't let the fear rule you. I do suffer from panic attacks from my depression, but I know deep down, they are unreasonable and I fight them back. Fight for it, you can do it, you can win over that fear.

Jul 22, 2012
by: Linda

I learned to ride on a Yamaha Enduro 250 in the sand. Street legal but more of dirt bike. It really helped me while learning to shift & brake because in the dirt,if you fall or "lose it",it's probably not going to hurt you or the bike. I know some say it's not the same as a street bike, but the basic operations are the same. Don't give up just maybe slow down & take your time. Riding is suppose to be fun not scary.

Jul 22, 2012
Thanks everyone!!!
by: Lynn D

Thank you so much everyone for sharing your stories/mishaps, and for the support & encouragement!! I can see now I'm a really not alone in this , and that I can be thankful it wasn't worse than it was. I do admit, I'm still a bit in shock, still very sore & bruised, plus the bike has to be repaired now , so it will be a while before I try again....but I WILL try again. We are also considering finding me a little used dirt bike (kids size) just to practice , so using the clutch & breaks becomes more of a reflex if I find myself in a panic again. I will keep you posted , and please continue to share your stories- you have no idea how helpful they were!! Thanks again!! ~ Lynn

Jul 22, 2012
Fall in the first ten seconds
by: TammyT

I had ridden a bike when I was in my early 20's and thought I could easily jump right on my new boyfriends beloved vintage trail bike(mint condition) 25 years later. I assured him that I had ridden many times in the past and this little bike didn't even have a clutch, how could it be a problem? He reluctantly allowed me to ride it alone in a campground and I wasn't even on for 10 seconds before I hit the front brake too hard in a gravelly spot on the road and went down. I was only bruised and scraped, but the bike was damaged. Fifteen years later my boyfriend is my husband, and he still gives me stink eye when he notices the scrapes I put in his little bike. I got up dusted myself off and we went right back out and tried again in a non gravelly area. When you are healed, take your safety training course and then go slowly. Stick to the parking lot for awhile until you are feeling less scared and you will be fine. Don't let fear beat you, if this is something you want to do.

Jul 22, 2012
the biggest challenge is overcoming the fear
by: Colleen

Hi -

Glad to hear you are ok....some bumps and bruises but you'll heal physically. Its the mental part that needs work. I have been riding a couple of years now and have dropped my bike a few times. It sucks- no two ways about it.

You learn something everytime about what NOT to do next time.

Taking the safety course is going to give you the basics. In my state (not sure if it's the same in every state) we started out on bikes that weren't even running. Gives you a wondeful boost of confidence to go from a bike that isn't running to getting your license.

Ride Like a Pro DVD's I recommend also, they have taught me the importance of delicate throttle control and back brake combinations. Using the front brake is what caused me to drop my bike last time. I don't do that anymore now.

The mental prep becomes a mantra for me at times, breathing and asking my higher power for help staying calm. I want this - I will do this - guide me on my journey as I ride this bike. It's much bigger than just riding my own bike for me, there is a connection I feel with my higher power when I ride. I can feel my father smiling down on me from heaven above as he rides his beautiful Ultra Classic on the golden roads of heaven.

You'll get this!!! Stay with it!!!
Never give up!!!


Jul 21, 2012
Part of learning
by: Anonymous

Oh yes! Did I fal.....scraps all over and big hematoma on right thigh.......decided maybe it wasn't my cup o' tea! Hubby thinks he's got it made, now he has two bikes.....last month we bought a vstar 250 and it took me until this week to leave the neighborhood and get in real traffic. I handled it fine and am ready to take the next baby step. I practice when I am in the mood and I stay within my comfort zone, but take new challenge or fear every few days. When I conquer that I press on to the next challenge.

Just so you know....I have taken that safety course twice. One for basic and once for trike, because we bought a can-am Spyder after the first crash. I love the Spyder and wont be trading it, but I am determined to ride two wheels. My plan is to take that 2nd bike back by the end of the summer. LOL

Jul 21, 2012
Too Terrified
by: Michele

Within the first three hours of my course I dropped the bike 3 times resulting in an injury that took 6 weeks to heal, I also watched a girl go over the handlebars taking the bike with her. I was having second thoughts, but it was suggested that I take a couple private lessons and try again. So glad I did! I have my M2 and my own bike now and I am loving it. I ride at my own comfort level, quiet times of the day and still go to empty lots to practice and I feel more comfortable each time. Give yourself a chance to recover and come to terms with what happened. I'm 57 and my minor accident still has an impact on me. This is something you have wanted and I believe that you will regret not giving it another try, like the other poster said "decide after you take the course". Please let us know what you decide. Good Luck we're cheering for you!!

Jul 21, 2012
Getting back on
by: ATL

Well first a bit of fussing...now that you know... always wear all your gear all the time when you are going to get on the m/c. You said that you've signed up for the MSF course so go take the class and after it's over then make your decision to ride or not to ride. And you will know by the end of that class. Fortunately you had an unexpected off and only had some bings and bangs but you are ok. Your off, is the reason it's best to leave the teaching to those who've been trained to teach and not learn from friends/spouses/etc. Your class will make you realize how lucky you are and will give you a better insight of the responsibility of riding. Your BF can help after you've completed the class by being supportive/pointers/advice.
YOU CAN DO IT you just have to make up your mind that YOU ARE GOING TO DO IT

Jul 21, 2012


Jul 20, 2012
Don't give up...
by: Anonymous

when I first started to ride, I wrecked within the first 5 feet....my boyfriend had a bike for me to practice on, so after riding it around the yard about 5 times he told me to go on the road....when I let go of the clutch the bike lurched and tipped to the left throwing me off the bike into the ditch....messed the bike up and hurt my shoulder. He was scared at first that I had hurt myself, but when he saw that I was ok, he said "well at least you know how to fall!" = meaning that I had not fell on my head. But I had to go to my course the next week - I did and I learned how to do it proper...got my license and have now been all over the country...that was in 2009...if you have a passion, do not give it up!

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