Friday, January 13, 2012

When you were a newb motorcyclist what was your nemesis?

Today while out and about I was thinking about 2011 & all the things I have done. I was also thinking about the conversations I have had with other motorcyclists and scooterist about driving habits & how they started their moto journey.

When you were first starting out on your bike or scooter was there one thing that scared you more than any other? i.e For me there were 2 things; 1) stopping at the top of a hill and getting the bike moving again without stalling it. (Yup this happened a couple of times) 2) I seemed to have a bit of throttle anxiety, I was almost too afraid to pull back on the throttle & give it some juice. Finallya with repeated practice I marshaled these skills and don't even think twice about them now.

So what caused an anxiety fest for you?


Richard Machida said...

That's easy, loose gravel in the middle of a corner. And it still bothers me now though I really keep an eye out for it.

Dar said...

I don't like loose gravel either! I hear you guys are getting pound with sno up in Alaska. We are supposed to get some this weekend.

Trobairitz said...

Cornering speed. I still do not take them as fast as I know the bike can, but every time I go out I get better.

And I agree on the stopping on a hill thing. It is unnatural to me to only put one foot down at a stop. I put both down then move the right one up to the back brake. Hard part is once I get going I need to remember to take my foot back off the brake, lol.

SonjaM said...

Ice or frost patch while cornering... scared me sh!tless. Was on my Beemer though, which was manageable. With the Harley or on the Vespa I wouldn't have stood a change.
I had 1h of rider training stop and go uphills, and playing with gas and clutch. Muscle memory works well ever since.

Shybiker said...

When I started riding, I hung out with a group of riders who were much more experienced and talented than I was. Some were even instructors. Riding with them improved my skill-level quickly but at the cost of my nerves. They'd ride faster and harder than I was comfortable with and I'd struggle to keep up. I'm amazed I didn't end up in a ditch somewhere.

kiwi_deb said...

I think what scared me the most was when the road was wet and thinking my bike would slide right out from under me!

Adrian from YouMotorcycle said...

New tires, cold, wet roads, and target fixation taking me exactly where I didn't want to because I didn't know how to look away. Year 1 was bad. Every year gets easy. I don't even ride anymore. I fire up the bike and she takes me places. It's completely effortless.

Raftnn said...

Cornerin Speed....and still working on perfecting it.

Circle Blue said...

I can identify with what others have said: Gravel? yes; Frost and black ice? yes; not riding my own ride when with more experienced riders? yes; target fixation? yes.

Cornering speed might be a problem, but since I don't really like going quick who knows. By the way, I don't like amusement park rides and going fast has never been a big deal.

I'd add: Countersteering into righthand turns. Going left I was fine, but turning right I'd find myself turning into it and going wide. Going right is still more of challenge than left.

When I was starting out the other thing that was scary was just how fast things around me seem to be happening. With more seat time that has changed.

David Masse said...

The constant for me is speed. It amazes me now that 105 km/h is comfortable. Getting to that point was a gradual process. Now the challenge is cornering. I read about people more or less routinely scraping their stands, and it seems impossible. Scraping my stand is not an objective I work on, so I may never get there. If I do, it'll be a blog post for sure.

Dar said...

Trobairitz - I don't like to corner fast either. I think it comes with more riding and you get used to it. There is nothing wrong with taking things at a very easy pace!

Sonja - Ice scares me as well. Its funny I was going out to a cold weather winter driving seminar back in October and I encountered black ice on a long stretch of highway. I almost bailed because I was so scared and I think I talked to myself through that entire stretch of highway until it was clear.

Shybiker - I found that on a group ride as well, I wasn't keeping up with them. I was however driving for my skill level and the road conditions, it was torrentially raining and I just didn't feel comfortable. So it I get there a few minutes behind them no biggie for me. I think you have to be very careful who you select as riding buddies and good riders will make accommodations for the newbs in their group, or at least I hope they would. I have a riding buddy and she is awesome to ride with *Kiwi_Deb :)

Kiwi_Deb - I know I have a healthy respect for wet roads and what it does to a bike. But you my dear are a Road Warrior Princess!

Adrian YouMotorcycle - it sounds like you and your bike are one! It is wonderful when you feel like that about your bike. When I first began I had to constantly say to myself "Look where you want to go, not where you are". One of the people in my riding class ended up in the ditch because there were fixated on it instead of looking where they wanted to go, that changed in a big hurry for her.

Raftnn - The cornering speed seems to be an issue for a lot of newb motorcyclists and as I said there is nothing wrong with going slower. You watch you won't even be thinking about it & start taking your corners a little faster.

Keith - a lot of riders share your feelings about righthand turns. They definitely are one of the harder aspects of turning. I routinely practice right hand turns and u-turns. UGH I still hate them. When I look back I think wow there were so many things that made me nervous and then they seem to become second nature once you have mastered the skill and are more confident in your abilities.

David - Once you find the sweet spot in speed & are used to travelling at that things are golden. As for routinely scraping a stand, I for one can honestly say that is not my thing, eventually if you get too much lean you are going to lay down the scoot or the bike and that is not a fun thing to do, because if the bike goes down you go with it - OUCH!

It seems most of us have had the same issues and same fears. Its good to know even seasoned riders have felt this way. Keep the shiny side up!