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Wondering if bike riding is for me?

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Rupertina
L Plate Warrior



Joined: 09 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: 12:59 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Wondering if bike riding is for me? Reply with quote

Hi All,

Apologies for such a long, waffly and woeful first post, but I could do with some advice from other bikers.

Bit of history:
Until meeting my partner a couple of years ago, I'd never looked twice at a bike, but soon found that I really enjoyed riding pillion and not long after that I thought about riding a bike myself. Last spring, I completed my CBT, however it took me two days as I don't think bike riding comes as naturally to me as some others. My partner is very encouraging and bought me a Kawasaki Eliminator to practice on - I am very short (26" inside leg) and so have been limited as to which bike I could get.

Present day:
I have only been out on my bike a handful of times since completing my CBT as I'm so nervous! I seem to work myself up into a state prior to any ride, but once I'm out on the road, I feel a lot better.

In order to try and combat this, I booked a 1-2-1 lesson with a local instructor. I liked his teaching style - he was no-nonsense but nice with it and I feel like I got a fair assessment of my riding standard as it stands now....which is pretty terrible, I need a LOT more bum in saddle time as I made a lot of mistakes!

He said from what he'd seen, he wouldn't have issued me with my CBT certificate. I don't know whether I was given a dodgy pass last year or if I've forgotten everything or if I'm generally just bad, but ever since having that lesson I've been on such a downer, like passing the test for my full license is unachievable. I've spoken to my partner, who is trying to be encouraging, says I need practice, having the lesson was a step in the right direction and to book more, but I just don't know. He's been riding for 25 odd years and it's second nature to him so I don't think he appreciates just how hard I'm find it. I am also wondering whether the bike I have is the right choice for me, but it was a gift and the suggestion of selling it and changing it for something a bit more nimble (MSX - I did my CBT on one of these) isn't being well received.

Biking is a big part of his life and it has become a part of mine too - we go to rallies and meet ups and participate in Facebook groups and it feels like the shine has been taken off it because reality has set in that I may never ride a (big!) bike of my own.

Am I being silly? Do I need to get a grip?
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Andy_Pagin
World Chat Champion



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: 13:28 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

CBT is only a very basic and very rushed first lesson. You need to practice and gain confidence. Just because it doesn't come naturally doesn't mean you can't become competent and enjoy riding.
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B0ndy
Formerly known as
mbond65



Joined: 25 May 2015
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PostPosted: 13:44 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Re: Wondering if bike riding is for me? Reply with quote

Rupertina wrote:
I have only been out on my bike a handful of times


There's your problem, oddly enough if you don't practise riding a bike you won't get any better.

How do you commute to work?
Are you brave enough to take the 125 providing there aren't any motorways you need to travel on?

It's like anything, you spend hours practising so you build up the muscle memory and it becomes second nature. Just get out and about on it and you will become better in time.

Ride to the shops...
Ride to work...
Ride to visit your relatives...

you get the point, I hope.

justdoit.jpg
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Last edited by B0ndy on 13:50 - 09 Jan 2017; edited 1 time in total
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Tawny
Spanner Monkey



Joined: 07 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: 13:46 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Re: Wondering if bike riding is for me? Reply with quote

Rupertina wrote:
I seem to work myself up into a state prior to any ride,


This is a good sign. It means you have a healthy sense of self-preservation. It isn't a sign that you should give up riding. One of the biggest dangers facing you at this stage of your biking career is overconfidence. You're nervous because you're thinking about death or serious injury. That isn't unreasonable at all! Yet the only way to reduce that level of risk is to practise.

You're talking about swapping it for an MSX, but the problem isn't your bike but the fact that you haven't developed the physical skills (nothing to do with strength) to control it. What you will find at this stage is that after a ride, apart from the exhilaration, there will be some strain in your wrists and/or shoulders. This means that your machine control skills barely even exist. What I would suggest is, take the bike out to an empty car park, and work on machine control skills for a while. I mean, a whole day or two of repeating boring exercises. Things like slow control, stopping, turning tight corners, etc. Improve your machine control skills through repetition. Then go back and take the bike out on local roads when they're less busy (not during rush hour). Your goal should be to improve and develop your skills at this stage - not to become more confident. Until you develop them, it's better to let caution be your guide and have a bit of nervous energy. Get on the bike, embrace your awareness that this can potentially be dangerous if you get it wrong, and that you have to anticipate other road users' bad moves. Don't just get on the bike and relax. There's work to do! Like learning dancing, the only way is by repetition of basic forms.

There is a lot to learn, and the learning process doesn't stop but the steepness of the curve diminishes after you have passed your tests and have been riding for a certain time - perhaps a year of regular riding, more or less, depending on the individual.
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Gosties
Two Stroke Sniffer



Joined: 20 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: 13:51 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

In regards to the additional lesson it was probably your apprehension to riding that caused your errors transmitting through to the way you where riding the motorcycle.
With more practice your nerves will ease as practice will make it feel more natural.

Might be an idea to go to a local industrial estate at a quiet time with your other half.

This could be Sunday morning or on evenings when the rush of business in industrial estates has calmed down. Get a feel for how to use gears, clutch & brakes.

Once you are comfortable up and down shifting. You can practise in the estate doing turns and controlled stops. During the quieter times you can practice approaching, passing through junctions.

Once you are able to do these things have a ride around your local area doing the things you have practised in an estate during a similarly quieter part of the day.

It probably is only a case of needing more time on the bike to build up your confidence.
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bigdom86
Scooby Slapper



Joined: 17 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: 14:02 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: re Reply with quote

the bike you have to practice on is fine for now, no point going down to a MSX just based on size as your going to have to pass on a 600cc bike for full licence. also the worse thing you can do as to a partner who is trying to support you and encourage you is to say what they have got you isnt good enough.

i would do as suggested above and go to a local industrial estate with your partner and just ride about, it will soon become second nature. or quiet roads where you live, go out late in evening or early in morning.

the hardest bit (i am guessing) would be clutch control and gears, once you have this down should be
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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Joined: 22 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: 14:08 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Re: Wondering if bike riding is for me? Reply with quote

Rupertina wrote:
Hi All,

Apologies for such a long, waffly and woeful first post, but I could do with some advice from other bikers.

Bit of history:
Until meeting my partner a couple of years ago, I'd never looked twice at a bike, but soon found that I really enjoyed riding pillion and not long after that I thought about riding a bike myself. Last spring, I completed my CBT, however it took me two days as I don't think bike riding comes as naturally to me as some others. My partner is very encouraging and bought me a Kawasaki Eliminator to practice on - I am very short (26" inside leg) and so have been limited as to which bike I could get.

Present day:
I have only been out on my bike a handful of times since completing my CBT as I'm so nervous! I seem to work myself up into a state prior to any ride, but once I'm out on the road, I feel a lot better.

In order to try and combat this, I booked a 1-2-1 lesson with a local instructor. I liked his teaching style - he was no-nonsense but nice with it and I feel like I got a fair assessment of my riding standard as it stands now....which is pretty terrible, I need a LOT more bum in saddle time as I made a lot of mistakes!

He said from what he'd seen, he wouldn't have issued me with my CBT certificate. I don't know whether I was given a dodgy pass last year or if I've forgotten everything or if I'm generally just bad, but ever since having that lesson I've been on such a downer, like passing the test for my full license is unachievable. I've spoken to my partner, who is trying to be encouraging, says I need practice, having the lesson was a step in the right direction and to book more, but I just don't know. He's been riding for 25 odd years and it's second nature to him so I don't think he appreciates just how hard I'm find it. I am also wondering whether the bike I have is the right choice for me, but it was a gift and the suggestion of selling it and changing it for something a bit more nimble (MSX - I did my CBT on one of these) isn't being well received.

Biking is a big part of his life and it has become a part of mine too - we go to rallies and meet ups and participate in Facebook groups and it feels like the shine has been taken off it because reality has set in that I may never ride a (big!) bike of my own.

Am I being silly? Do I need to get a grip?


I was the same, in a lot of ways. Two days on CBT, having to steel myself to go out once I'd got it. Plenty of nerves, during and after. However the sense of achievement and the pure moments of enjoyment and fun did always off-set the negatives once I'd forced myself to get out there.

I always rode alone but reckon it would've been a fair bit easier to go out with someone who knew what they were doing and would lead the way - so at least you've got that, if needs be.

I think picking your times when you ride can help - avoiding times when traffic's heavy, choosing easy routes where there aren't a lot of junctions need up hill starts, and/or those tricky bits that can cause embarrassing stalls and high-pressure moments where you're wobbling around.

Once you've had a few relatively trouble-free rides out your confidence will soon increase and that pure sense of enjoyment that seems to only come from riding a bike will be readily felt.

And there are bikes that're out there to step up to when you're getting better - the vanvan 200 is a possible, or look out for a grey import Hornet 250. Those could be fun as well.

Riding a bike IS tricky and I think a lot of people don't or won't admit it because it's such a masculine thing to be into - and a context where blokes will be blokes, and where they pride themselves in doing something they and others like them perceive to be a right manly endeavour - where there's often not a lot of time for confessing to misgivings and anxieties. This is its attraction for many, but brings its own difficulties - some of which I think are linked to the a few of the problems you're having. Everyone is far too quick to forget the fears and failings they themselves experienced and so it often seems like they've just got this abundance of natural talent and foolhardy courage.

It's absolute horse shit for the most part, although it is probably true that without the danger there wouldn't be any thrills in it. You just have to always bear in mind that a goodly proportion of that fear you might feel is helpful in that it helps prevent you from having an accident.

That said, confidence is of course crucial and you need to get out there and build it up. But take small steps and it'll soon come. Remember too that it's all about technique. A lot of these menly men would love everyone to believe it's about pure brute strength or something. In fact the opposite is true - as can be seen when watching any competitive riding. Physical movement and input is almost minimal and borders on the balletic. Smooth, gentle and careful movements are key. The great unspoken irony is that the actual physicality of it all is arguably more like what's commonly associated with aspects of femininity!
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Kaya75
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Joined: 11 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: 14:16 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, the fact that you are here saying what you say - I'd say yes it is for you, but you lack confidence - we all bin there.

I took my CBT at 38 yrs old, Passed my car test at 17 - I'd ridden bikes crossers and 100cc's on a provisional back in the day - so my CBT was done in about a hour. (not longer enough but the school just gave me a cert and helped out those you was first timers)

I got a YBR 125 and hit the road - I was ok so I thought. I went out for a 1-2-1 with a member from a different forum and although he was very sound - (he taught adv skills and track days) he really knocked my confidence. Now I'm a arrogant mofo and he still knocked me back a lot - which was probably what I needed.

I then went on and found a school for my DAS and the teacher was amazing but i had a lot of faults and I failed my Mod 2 twice.

The fact that you love the bike on the road and it's mid winter shows you got what it takes. I assume you are a girl (sorry if i assume wrongly) so you may lack a bit of idiot male "best driver / rider ever" arrogance, but rest assured there are plenty of times that I'd freak out before a ride, I still do sometimes - i did my first motorway hit 200miles last winter on a Friday night and i was a bit (lot) freaked out by the thought before i left - by the time i got on the M25 i owned that road!! Smile

There are plenty of threads about 'that' feeling on here and plenty of times people have left it alone for that day - it not uncommon, maybe a little unspoken but not uncommon.

Personally it's part of the challenge, facing fears and all that, that i like - i used to push surfing to my limits when i was younger and I'd get the same feeling looking out at big gnarly sets, part of me wanted to stay in the van but the most part wanted that wave so i guess i figured it was normal. A bit like jumping out of a plane or bungee jumping, the butterflys are natural, the fear is normal, getting over that fear is the buzz.

But like everything esp when real danger is involved you make that choice for yourself and yourself only.

Also and this is a for me a big thing - a 125 4 stroke is too small for todays roads and maybe a little more dangerous, honestly you'll feel much better, controlled and dominate on the road once you move up to bigger CC bikes.

I'd suggest the supermarket car parks / quiet industrial est on a early Sunday morning to practice in.

Once spring is here go out on dry mornings for a short ride - or ride out to a cafť for breakfast.

Biking isn't like driving it is a little harder, a lot less insulated and there is a lot to continuously learn. You'll learn your way - but this is why bikers nod i think, we know what 'they' don't and it takes a lot of perseverance / knocks one way or another to get the licence and experience.

There is magic moments for freedom / speed / power whatever surrounded by a lot of crappy stuff, but to me you sound as if what you are experiencing is perfectly normal.

There is quiet practice, instruction and more importantly instructors, you could hit a track day if you thought it would help with confidence (maybe not though..), but at the end of the day I'm pretty sure we all being there - it depends on you if you give up or carry on through. Anyway like i say, sounds like you on the right path to stick it out and when you get the 600cc or whatever you'll find you have more confidence on the road because you are actually riding something more suitable for the road.

Good Luck Thumbs Up
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Holdawayt
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 27 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: 14:21 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Book more lessons, CBT is a formality that allows you to do more lessons. I've never understood why nervous riders complete their cbt then stop with the lessons. If you're nervous, have someone teach you til you feel comfortable.

I was very nervous on my very first cbt when I was 17, soon got over that and absolutely love it now. In fact riding now calms me down. Stick with the instructor and you'll start to enjoy yourself.
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Rogerborg
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Joined: 26 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: 14:25 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't sweat taking 2 days for the CBT. You're not alone there. DVSA is trying to get away from the idea that it's a 1-day course.

The Eliminator isn't as heavy as some cruisers, it's hard to find a lower seat, and the long wheelbase should make it reasonably stable. But it'll be unnecessarily hard to corner and a lot more serious feeling than jumping on an MSX.

If you enjoyed the MSX more, I'd encourage you to get one. Plenty of riders with full licenses are buying and riding them by choice. Northern Monkey on here even chose to tour on one, in company with bigger bikes, so there's no real need to get licensed up on a big bike. I fancy one, they look like a great laugh.

Can you identify any particular trigger for your pre-ride nerves? Do they go off when you're gearing up, or when you're with the bike?

Are you claustrophobic at all? Wearing a full face helmet? Try an open face, it can make a big difference. Or are you wearing an open face and feeling vulnerable? Try a full face. Change something to see if you can identify the problem. Spoiler: since your problem is nerves, even a placebo solution will be effective. Don't tell your brain. Shhh!

We tend to recommend that people skip the tiddlers and go straight on to big bike training and tests, but there's no rush. With your leg length, finding a suitable bike might be a bit tricky. I wouldn't recommend a 600+ cruiser, despite the seat height, because of the weight and handling issues. Surprisingly, my "tall" GS with factory lowering options has a seat height the same as an MSX, and you can lower most bikes to suit.

But most of all, don't worry about worrying. What you're doing is objectively silly and dangerous. But with time you can get over the nerves and actually enjoy it.
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GONE: HN125-8, LF-250B, GPz 305, GPZ 500S, Burgman 400 // RIDING: F650GS (800 twin), Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 500 AVL, Ninja 250R because racebike
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Teflon-Mike
tl;dr



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PostPosted: 15:06 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get rid of the eliminator.

COMMON common misconception that cruisers suit ladies 'cos of low slung bum. Its FALSE.

125 cruisers are horrible, and especially for Lady Learners. Seat to floor distance don't make ANY odds, you don't buy a bike to 'flat foot' on the drive, you buy a bike to RIDE.. and with high wide bars and usually forwards placed footpgs stretching you out, the actual ergnomics are working against, NOT for you no matter how comfy it feels to straddle the thing in the show-room!

Had exactly this with my O/H and her chiky Cruiserette thing; which isn't quite as heavy or stretched out like the eliminator; she had terrible trouble cornering the ruddy thing, and feelng uncomfy tryig, took me AGES following her around the houses to 'spot' that with those high wide bars, when she had to turn tight she actually had to lean the WRONG WAY off the bike and forwards to keep her hands on the grips!

A little time and a little money, adjusting the brake and gear lever positions, chaging the handlebars for lower ones, with lower 'risers' ad lopping about four inches off each end with a hack-saw, and setting the brake and clutch levers o them properly for her completely transformed the bike, and she was actually starting to grin when riding it, when it got nicked!

She's 5'5" and kicks the heel out of 26" inside leg jeans... dragged her over to bike school for road training and stuck her on a couple of more conventional school bkes she was 'incing' about not being able to flat-foot on the play-ground, BUT, once past that, feet on the pegs she was away.

Akchully.. read her trials and tribulations blog; DAFT-BAT-Out of 'L'! Here she is n the playground doing her CBT:-
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w269/teflons-torque/XX-Forum%20Posts/101_0128.jpg
Look at her standing on the hem of them flares!
But here, in the saddle moving...
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w269/teflons-torque/XX-Forum%20Posts/101_0148.jpg
And here, on a 'big bike'!
http://scontent.flhr3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/10577129_837321396292779_1155370947990541308_n.jpg?oh=7a6b31bd660df2a8eb7aa0c0bae045f5&oe=58E6058E
She built both of those bikes herself, BTW, and the blue on in the last shot is a 750, that aint no 'tiddler', nor a low slung cruiser! And she's only 5'5" remember.. Makes no odds when you have your feet where they should be ON THE PEGS 'riding' the dam thing!

You shouldn't EVER have to flat foot, let alone tipie toe, both sides of a bike, even at rest... remember that CBT, and one of the first lessons o a bike, before they let you start the engine SHOULD have been 'The Safety Position"... left foot down, right foot ON THE REST! covering or slightly applying rear brake. Only ever 'one foot' on the ground, you should NEVER need flat foot, let alone both sides, and littler legs 'just' mean slightly more 'tilt' when you stop... rest of the time, feet on the pegs hands on the bars, how far your bum is from the floor matters not a jot; how well you can see, how well yu ca tur the bars, THAT matters, and a more upright riding positio on a regulation 'Learner/commuter' like a Yamaha YBR or smilar is about perfect for the job, ad gves most eutral, natural ergamonics, best balence and control and visablity, and IS on a little bike like that pretty much "One size Fits All"

Start there, and get rid of the cruiser thing, you obviousely dont get on with, and get something that is... MSX? You cant take big bike tests on one. They are funky little things, BUT, little wheels and peculiarly short wheel-base not the most stable or confidence inspirng, and THAT I suspect s what you need... and pandering to this "Bike must fit me: HAVE to have both feet on the floor" will NOT help you learn but merely confirm your fears.

DAS traiing, go get on a big bike. 125's and L's is going it alone and learning by the school of hard knocks. It wont teach you what you should do, it will merely punish you for getting it wrong.

A DAS course will get you on to a big bike. They aren't THAT big, and id you are seriousely short, and 26" leg say you aren't really.. schools often have Lady-Lowered examples in thier fleet.

But, you'll get some real learning from it; being taght stuff, rather than simply cranking up 'bad' experience with little or nothing to tell you WHY it's bad.

You will likely find that bigger bikes are an awful lot easier to get going on and more forgiving; the extra weight damps a lot of wobbles lightweights, wont, (and little wheel super-lightweights like an MSX will likely exaggerate!), whilst the extra power makes them more flexible and more forgiving. And once moving this 'foot down' business wont matter...

Sure, a 500 or 650 is likely 170Kg instead of 125.KG, though I think that the 125 elminator is close on 160, so a 500 isn't that much heavier than what you got, though will carry more of it higher up... BUT, when stopped, that weight is beg held up by the wheels, YOU are only holding a 'bit' of that weight in balance when you put a foot-down, and two feet on the foor does NOT give you any more ablity to hold that balance; bike can only fall one way at a time, you only use one leg to prop it up! You dont NEED both on the floor; its a false security you are looking for in it!

Nervs? Likely big part of it. Two days to complete CBT isn't uncommon; there is a HECK of a lot of info in that course to take in, and few do. Even those that go tearing away with the DL196 in thier pocket at 4pm have probably only taken in at best half of what they were taught, and forgotten 3/4 of that within the week!.. I used to teach CBT on the weekends and have the same students once a week after for road training to test... believe me, so little 'sticks'!!!!

Training & practice go hand i hand, and DAS, and particularly intensive DAS courses are a curse, in that so much of the course is merely paying an instructor to watch you wobble, and let you practice o a bike you cant otherwise ride on L-Plates; BUT, going it alone on a 125, whilst you can practice to our hearts, you don't get that 'teaching' to give you anything to practice....

I would say time on a tiddler is rarely wasted; they are great training tools, BUT, if you aren't getting anywhere with one; you might not get any further with another one.

Going back to that no-nonsense instructor; and talking through 'a plan', maybe spacing training out could help; but, If you can get past wibble nerves to get on a 500, and get it rolling.... THAT, fact of doing AND on a 'big bike'... all on the CBT playground, MAY be the confidence builder that gets you going... and grinning, and likely no interest in any more 'tiddling'.. but all depends how the cookie crumbles.

Thing IS that problem described is simply nerves and confidence. And little but GOOD experience can do much to alleviate either; it's not n the bike or your bike choice, its n your head, ad you have to convince THAT you can do this, and find the fun in dong it, not look at the bike to do it for you, AND you have to be prepare to work at it. Does't come i one go, at the touch of a button, though it can 'click' at some point, but only perseverance will get you there.

Or you can give up and stick to being 'bunny on the back'... your call. But,O/H, with more than a little low slung bum kicking to keep her going, did it, and now has her own 750, despite her littler legs and clinical anxiety, as do many others. Absolutely NO reason you cant, if you want to.

But here and now, that cruiser-thing IS likely not doing much if anything to help you; nor is trying to go t alone on CBT and L's trying to make it up as you go along.

Fact you are asking, suggest you DON'T want to give up.... SO... what advice do you need? Want me to do some low slung bum kicking? Laughing

Consider it kicked! Stop talking to us; go talk to the instructor and get things moving in a useful direction!
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Rogerborg
nimbA



Joined: 26 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: 15:27 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teflon-Mike wrote:
You shouldn't EVER have to flat foot, let alone tipie toe, both sides of a bike, even at rest...

Until you're sat sideways-on to an urban canyon funnelling a massive blow job towards you.

OP's not enjoying herself. You can't lecture her to a happy ending, no matter how long and raging your polemic is.

MSX = fun, and OP knows that she can ride one. It sounds like that's exactly what's called for here, rather than a generic commuter hack.
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Biking is 1/20th as dangerous as horse riding.
GONE: HN125-8, LF-250B, GPz 305, GPZ 500S, Burgman 400 // RIDING: F650GS (800 twin), Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 500 AVL, Ninja 250R because racebike
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angryjonny
World Chat Champion



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PostPosted: 16:34 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't confuse the activity of learning to ride a bike with activity of riding a bike. I hated the former, I love the latter.

As opined above, the CBT is insufficient to make a rider out of you. It might just be enough to stop you dying. In your position I'd find a suitable bike, then a suitable quiet street, and practice slow manoeuvres. Crawl, u-turn etc. Learn to handle the machine. If you can ride it well when you're going at walking pace, you'll be fine at actual road-speeds. By then you'll have the clutch, gears, brakes, balance etc all nailed.

Don't expect to be able to do it just because you can drive a car. All road sense goes out of the window while you're learning to operate the machine. Once the controls are second nature the road sense will come back. Practice makes perfect.
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M.C
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PostPosted: 17:16 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was nervous to start with, I started off going out early on weekends, less traffic about particularly on Sunday mornings (shops are shut so the muggles don't know what to do with themselves).

I also tried to be brave as stupid as that sounds Smile If you're nervous with the bike it'll react in a nervous way, which will make you even more nervous (it's a slippery slope). If you're positive and confident with a bike it'll be more responsive and enjoyable.

The main thing's to ride the thing (as others are saying). Going out with someone who's willing to ride at your pace (maybe the BF?) also helps, seeing how someone else does it can help put things in place for you.
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SophR so good
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PostPosted: 17:54 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ignore Tef, being able to reach the ground is a lovely confidence giver for most beginners (edit - I include myself in this, I hated riding a bike I couldn't comfortably stop at lights on in my lessons). Just get out on the bike and practice.

What is it you're actually struggling with?
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Last edited by SophR so good on 18:00 - 09 Jan 2017; edited 1 time in total
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 17:54 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah - one thing worth emphasising: relax at all times and don't ever be tense. E.g. don't white knuckle the bars, etc. etc. Probably been said numerous times above but along with look where you want the bike to go, is really up there with the most obvious but most crucial pointers.
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 17:57 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

SophR so good wrote:
Ignore Tef, being able to reach the ground is a lovely confidence giver for most beginners.


It is - but then a long, heavier bike can create its own problems, e.g. handling. Which can off-set the lower seat to ground thing.
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ScaredyCat
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PostPosted: 18:07 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer to your question is Yes.

Don't be put off by what you've been told just get out and practice. Your partner rides so go to a few places with them following you. They can offer advice on what they see and perhaps help you improve.

Do you drive? if so, how long for?
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SophR so good
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PostPosted: 18:15 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:
SophR so good wrote:
Ignore Tef, being able to reach the ground is a lovely confidence giver for most beginners.


It is - but then a long, heavier bike can create its own problems, e.g. handling. Which can off-set the lower seat to ground thing.


Best thing is the happy middle ground. Normal bike, able to reach ground. Telling a nervous person to get over it as they don't need to reach the ground isn't the best advice in my opinion, just because it worked for his partner.
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Bozzy
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PostPosted: 18:18 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome!

Practice makes perfect. Biking is a skill that doesn't always come naturally. Get out there, start with slow speed control and work up.

If you put the time in, you WILL get there.

Good luck! Thumbs Up
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 20:43 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go with a different bike too. You're obviously not happy with the one you have. (I wouldn't be either, unless you're really into the cruiser thing, an eliminator would be one of my last choices).

If you can't stretch to an MSX, there is a lot to be said for a good old-fashioned CG125.

In any case, get one that you like the look and colour of. Looks are important to wimmins. Mrs stinkwheel has a full licence and a CB500 but still loves her YB100. If you like the bike, you're much more likely to ride it.

In fairness, she doesn't really like the CB500. I bought it for her because it's a reliable workhorse, she liked her GPz305 buy I didn't have the time to keep fixing it and she didn't have the mechanical sympathy to ride it.

But in any case, you do need to go out on it.

Out of interest, do you drive a car/ride a push bike?
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Saraya
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PostPosted: 21:39 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it makes you feel any better, you did better than me. I had to do a couple of 1-2-1 lessons before I was brave enough to take my CBT.

I ride a YBR but also have a cruiser. Iíve ridden approximately 200 metres on the cruiser and never got back on it again. I think if like me, you are a nervous rider and have convinced yourself that the cruiser isnít for you Ė you really should get a different bike. Maybe one day Iíll brave it again. However, if the cruiser was the only bike I had, I probably wouldnít have ridden again.

What is it that youíre struggling with or concerned about? Gears/clutch? Worried about traffic? Wobbling on corners? Try and explain a little more, as the guys on here really are great at giving newbies advice.

Should it be down to clutch control, one thing helped me loads. Iím assuming youíre female too. Apologies if Iím wrong. Women tend to have shorter fingers. You may already know about the little dial by the clutch lever. If not, have a play with it. My riding was really awful at first as the biting point was right where my fingers were fully extended and I kind of had nowhere else to go. (Hope that makes sense!) By twiddling the dial and bringing the biting point right in, made an enormous amount of difference to my control and riding Ė and as a result, my confidence.

There were a few other things I did after first passing my CBT, that many will disagree with, but they helped me. If turning right across junctions is something that scares you, for a few practice rides, just donít do them. Plan a circular route from your home with just left turns. (If getting to a large quiet car park to practice isnít doable.)

If traffic is your worry, get someone to follow you either on a bike or in a car, to act as a rolling roadblock to keep cars off your butt, for your first couple of rides.

Iím still not a confident rider, especially on twisty roads Ė but Iím slowly getting there. Except where roundabouts are concerned. Bloody still hate those! Laughing
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ThatDippyTwat
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PostPosted: 22:34 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

If one of the lads I work with can ride twice a day to and from work, then anyone can. No idea how he got a CBT, he's utterly terrified of corners and roundabouts, you can see him fighting the bike all the way around. He's also scared of any speed over 40, being overtaken, overtaking... You get the idea. He's been like this, and been riding 5 days a week for nearly 4 years.

If he can do it, you can. He's older, and his brains probably mush from being hit a hell of a lot, so he doesn't learn the proper way to ride a bike. You sound plenty smart enough to figure it out, go practice, and above all, enjoy it, you don't have to go fast to have fun.
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mas101
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PostPosted: 23:25 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd echo the 'what makes you nervous?' questions.

Is it the mechanics of the operating the bike or the roadcraft or feeling vulnerable or something else?

How you tackle things depends on what the issues are, but certainly having a bike that you feel comfortable on makes sense.
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Dave_80
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PostPosted: 23:39 - 09 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're already braver than you think,I won't get on the back of a bike!
You know what bikes are capable of from being a pillion so I'm guessing it's down to control of the bike that's worrying you?like others have said go somewhere quiet and practice until you're happy,and speaking of happy get a bike that makes you want to ride it.
Biking clearly is for you otherwise you wouldn't be getting on the back and enjoying the social side of it like you do.
Stick with it,you will get there.
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