Fear & street riding

So I know that a lot of people on here mainly do dirtbikes, but I know some of you ride on the streets, so a little advice would be great. I've only had my bike (xt225) since July, and have laid it down on the road twice already. I've taken the MSF course, so I "know" in my head what I should be doing, but both times, it was just purely rider error. Anyways, I went riding for the first time today since I laid it down that last time (which was at least a month or two ago), and I was stinking scared to death. Thankfully, my husband rode with me, and went pretty slow, but I'm sure the cars behind me were getting annoyed at going 35 on the country roads.

So I guess the real question is, if you've laid your bike down on the street before, how do you get over that? I know it's mostly mental, and I was doing much better by the end of the ride, but still...I'm not used to dealing with that kind of fear. My husband likes to say that I've got more guts than brains, haha, and I used to when I was riding, but now I feel like I'm a total chicken, and I hate that feeling. I've ridden horses most of my life, and when I've gotten tossed, it's never affected me to get right back on and do it again, even if it really hurt. But this whole thing has shaken me up pretty darn good. So yeah...lol, that's where I am right now...

I'm not of the female persuasion, but I have laid my bike down a couple of times, and the only way I got over it is to get back on the bike and ride to get my confidense back. I think it's a good idea to just go riding with your husband, and just take your time until that confidense is built back up, low traffic roads help. I just bought my fiance an 06 XT 225 and a couple of weeks after I bought it I laid it down on the thawing grass, I felt pretty silly because my bike is a DR650 and never laid that one down. In my defense the tirese on the XT were pretty worn:bonk:. In short just take some leisurely rides with your husband, I'm sure that will help

Just out of curiosity, what were you doing the 2 times that you laid it down? Was it the same thing both times? Not looking to poke fun, but knowing what caused the lay down will help me better answer this question. I've never laid a bike down on the street. My first street bike was a little Buell Blast that I rode for like 6 months and then I got a CBR600.

The MSF course is great, I took one too, but it doesn't take the place of practice and experience.

Well, the main difference in falling off a horse or dirtbike and falling on the street, is the much higher percentage rate of that fall (or resulting aftermath) being fatal on the street. Riding on the street is a lot of fun and getting to be out on the country roads, enjoying the great scenery is a feeling you just can't get any other way and once it's in you - it's in you. However, you have to keep the very serious threat level in your head - it's not a game - it's very serious. You have to be focused and giving the road your full attention at ALL times.

I wrecked my touring bike once and ran my R6 in the ditch at about 65 mph (no damage & didn't wreck, but scared me really bad) once - both times I was poking along, let my guard down and was looking off the road at something else. All it takes is to look off the road at that beautiful horse/house/tree/whatever just for a few seconds for your bike to drift across the yellow line and head-on into a car. Don't mean to sound doom & gloom, but it can be that just that easy.

Main thing is to ride the bike with all your gear on, ride at a pace that is within your skill level and pay attention to the ride. Scan the road ahead for things that could make you wreck - scan side roads, driveways, etc for dogs, cars, tractors, etc to pull out in front of you. You can usually get a feeling of a house up ahead that is likely to have a roaming dog that may run out and chase you, or run in front of your bike. Your dual sport tires don't have much contact patch with the road as it is - so dirt/gravel/sand/pinecones/etc can cause big problems. Right hand turns are most likely to have gravel/sand/etc in the road as cars drop off the inside edge and kick that junk back up on the road. Anytime you crest a rise that you can't see over, get over to the middle/right side of the lane incase someone in a car tops the rise and THEY are looking off the road and are over on your side of the yellow. When you are in a long straight stretch and behind other cars, get over in the middle/left side of the lane so on-coming cars can see you and not cut over into your lane as the last car in front of you passes them and they are wanting to whip over and pass a car in front of them. The dead center of the lane is where all the oil leaks from cars onto the road - avoid this dead center if the road is wet as oil & water are slick. Avoid the painted lines when it is wet/cold as they can be slick as ice, as can be tar snakes. Cold tires and cold pavement don't grip.

Main thing is to ride with someone who respects your a beginner and your skill / experience level is still growing and won't get you into a pace above what you can handle. Anyone can twist the throttle and cruise along at 65 mph and it all feels like you are just floating along nice and easy - it's when a car pulls out in front of you or something like that happens, that 65 mph suddenly feels like 120 mph because you don't have a sense of how fast things happen and it all goes bad. You probably know what I mean from both your wrecks - they were probably over and you laying on the road before you knew what happened.

....

If you've got cars banking up behind you, pull over, let them past or find a quieter road (i.e. don't pull over every 2 seconds).

If i'm road riding and get someone faster than me behind me, I let them past. I don't need to be concentrating on what they're doing as well as what I'm doing.

I've been road riding for coming up 4 years and the one time I dumped the bike (literally) was when I was reversing and not paying attention (thinking what I still had to do on my way home). It was just embarrassing.

I ride every day to work and lane split pretty much every time, but there are times when I just don't feel right so ride with the cars (I know I soon get bored with that and start splitting).

As a teen, I rode scooters and I regularly dumped them, as anything on the road would cause the wheels to slide out from under me. It was always on corners, so I learnt to scan the corners for anything that was going to cause yet another dump.

You haven't said what caused your offs, and that is a serious consideration for a useful reply. Things like playing in carparks (when empty) with cones could help, more time on the bike will definitely help. Practicing (in a safe environment) your emergency braking can give you confidence in knowing how fast you can travel and how much distance you need. Learning to relax when hitting a patch of gravel, watching cars to see if they see you (and the fact they won't see you even if they're staring straight at you), seeing that mum has been distracted by the kids or is putting on her make-up, changing the radio, talking on the phone or reading the paper (guys too) helps to decide what to do.

You say you "know" what to do, but it sounds like you need to practice it so you automatically do it. I get nervous at times about braking, but each time I've done an emergency brake (you "should" never need to do one, you should always have planned ahead), I think about what I just did and am amazed I actually did it right.

Last week I went to take a bike for a test ride and saw a car with trailer coming out of a driveway. I'd spotted the trailer, so not a biggie. What was almost a biggie was I didn't expect him to pull into a driveway a few metres along, and had to slam on the brakes (I was looking to see where I wanted to park at the shop lol). Missed the back of the trailer by not a hell of a lot. Wondered about whether I was up to taking a bike for a test ride, but didn't matter in the end as no one in the shop would talk to me.

Good luck and if you could let us know what your causes were, we may be able to help further.

I rode dirt bikes for several years and then got into street bikes, and I still remember how terrified I was of going down on the pavement and being around cars. I've never gone down on a street bike, but I dealt with my fears by starting with the end in mind; I practiced (and still practice each and every ride) emergency stops, swerves, and mentally prepared myself for the fact that everyone was out to get me.

Riding on the road is easier in some ways, but it's harder too as it requires 110% vigilance and concentration. You can never ever let your guard down, even when there is no traffic - an animal who comes out of no where can take you down too if you‘re not paying attention. Doesn’t matter if it’s a busy street, highway, or quiet country road.:sweden:

I always (and I do mean always, always) mentally plan my escape route; what will I do, where will I go, how will I deal with that car in front of me if it stops suddenly, what will I do if that car pulls out across traffic in front of me at the last moment, what will I do if that car comes across the center line into my lane in a corner I‘m committed to, what will I do if a deer bolts out of the trees across the road in front of me. Don’t ever let yourself think it won’t happen because it does and it will. Heck, I’ve had birds try and take my head off!:excuseme: How you react may mean the difference between being severely injured (or worse) or avoiding the whole problem. Bikes are often invisible to car drivers and they don't see you and will do some incredibly stupid and life threatening things that will blow your mind. I have had a couple of very, very close encounters with cars and one in particular would have killed me or left me a cripple had I not been prepared. Dang, it still makes me break out in a cold sweat even thinking about it now! :crazy:

Not meaning to scare you, just giving you some insight as to how I personally deal with my fears of riding on the road and the hazards that are part of riding on the road. Quite honestly, I enjoy riding off road just for the simplicity of it. And take it easy in the corners, especially on quiet back roads. Loose gravel, grit, sand, and debris often accumulate in the corners of roads and the less use the road has, more debris will be present.

Upward and onward girl, you can do it!! :confused: I’m a horse person too and I’ve taken some hard knocks that totally shook my confidence, but managed to shrug it off and get back in the saddle!:excuseme:

If you've got cars banking up behind you, pull over, let them past or find a quieter road (i.e. don't pull over every 2 seconds).

If i'm road riding and get someone faster than me behind me, I let them past. I don't need to be concentrating on what they're doing as well as what I'm doing.

I've been road riding for coming up 4 years and the one time I dumped the bike (literally) was when I was reversing and not paying attention (thinking what I still had to do on my way home). It was just embarrassing.

I ride every day to work and lane split pretty much every time, but there are times when I just don't feel right so ride with the cars (I know I soon get bored with that and start splitting).

As a teen, I rode scooters and I regularly dumped them, as anything on the road would cause the wheels to slide out from under me. It was always on corners, so I learnt to scan the corners for anything that was going to cause yet another dump.

You haven't said what caused your offs, and that is a serious consideration for a useful reply. Things like playing in carparks (when empty) with cones could help, more time on the bike will definitely help. Practicing (in a safe environment) your emergency braking can give you confidence in knowing how fast you can travel and how much distance you need. Learning to relax when hitting a patch of gravel, watching cars to see if they see you (and the fact they won't see you even if they're staring straight at you), seeing that mum has been distracted by the kids or is putting on her make-up, changing the radio, talking on the phone or reading the paper (guys too) helps to decide what to do.

You say you "know" what to do, but it sounds like you need to practice it so you automatically do it. I get nervous at times about braking, but each time I've done an emergency brake (you "should" never need to do one, you should always have planned ahead), I think about what I just did and am amazed I actually did it right.

Last week I went to take a bike for a test ride and saw a car with trailer coming out of a driveway. I'd spotted the trailer, so not a biggie. What was almost a biggie was I didn't expect him to pull into a driveway a few metres along, and had to slam on the brakes (I was looking to see where I wanted to park at the shop lol). Missed the back of the trailer by not a hell of a lot. Wondered about whether I was up to taking a bike for a test ride, but didn't matter in the end as no one in the shop would talk to me.

Good luck and if you could let us know what your causes were, we may be able to help further.

Yikes! I hate those trailers pulling into driveways with tiny or no blinkers. The same thing happened to me, he suddenly slowed to turn, no blinker, I was nodding to the passing moto's and then looked ahead at the trailer coming at me at 50 miles per hour! I skidded and just barely made it around. Distraction can be deadly! I have been lucky so far, I havent laid it down. But I have skidded around when my tires wernt warmed up. Speaking of skidding.....go into a parking lot and practice locking up the rear brake and feel the play, get comfortable skidding a little so if it happens you can ride it out perhaps. That is if it is a skidable avoidance.

Just out of curiosity, what were you doing the 2 times that you laid it down? Was it the same thing both times? Not looking to poke fun, but knowing what caused the lay down will help me better answer this question. I've never laid a bike down on the street. My first street bike was a little Buell Blast that I rode for like 6 months and then I got a CBR600.

The MSF course is great, I took one too, but it doesn't take the place of practice and experience.

Sigh...well, both times, it was the same corner, was going too fast the first time and bike went out from under me, and the second time, I just got scared b/c I couldn't stop thinking about what happened there at that corner before, so I ended up going off the road a bit and laying the bike on it's side again, and banged myself up pretty good. Both times, completely my fault, I know that...just feel dumb about both of them, and it makes me wonder if I should really be riding on the road...

Well, the main difference in falling off a horse or dirtbike and falling on the street, is the much higher percentage rate of that fall (or resulting aftermath) being fatal on the street. Riding on the street is a lot of fun and getting to be out on the country roads, enjoying the great scenery is a feeling you just can't get any other way and once it's in you - it's in you. However, you have to keep the very serious threat level in your head - it's not a game - it's very serious. You have to be focused and giving the road your full attention at ALL times.

I wrecked my touring bike once and ran my R6 in the ditch at about 65 mph (no damage & didn't wreck, but scared me really bad) once - both times I was poking along, let my guard down and was looking off the road at something else. All it takes is to look off the road at that beautiful horse/house/tree/whatever just for a few seconds for your bike to drift across the yellow line and head-on into a car. Don't mean to sound doom & gloom, but it can be that just that easy.

Main thing is to ride the bike with all your gear on, ride at a pace that is within your skill level and pay attention to the ride. Scan the road ahead for things that could make you wreck - scan side roads, driveways, etc for dogs, cars, tractors, etc to pull out in front of you. You can usually get a feeling of a house up ahead that is likely to have a roaming dog that may run out and chase you, or run in front of your bike. Your dual sport tires don't have much contact patch with the road as it is - so dirt/gravel/sand/pinecones/etc can cause big problems. Right hand turns are most likely to have gravel/sand/etc in the road as cars drop off the inside edge and kick that junk back up on the road. Anytime you crest a rise that you can't see over, get over to the middle/right side of the lane incase someone in a car tops the rise and THEY are looking off the road and are over on your side of the yellow. When you are in a long straight stretch and behind other cars, get over in the middle/left side of the lane so on-coming cars can see you and not cut over into your lane as the last car in front of you passes them and they are wanting to whip over and pass a car in front of them. The dead center of the lane is where all the oil leaks from cars onto the road - avoid this dead center if the road is wet as oil & water are slick. Avoid the painted lines when it is wet/cold as they can be slick as ice, as can be tar snakes. Cold tires and cold pavement don't grip.

Main thing is to ride with someone who respects your a beginner and your skill / experience level is still growing and won't get you into a pace above what you can handle. Anyone can twist the throttle and cruise along at 65 mph and it all feels like you are just floating along nice and easy - it's when a car pulls out in front of you or something like that happens, that 65 mph suddenly feels like 120 mph because you don't have a sense of how fast things happen and it all goes bad. You probably know what I mean from both your wrecks - they were probably over and you laying on the road before you knew what happened.

....

Wow, that's a lot of good advice, I'll have to reread that a couple of times to make sure I'm catching all of it. A lot of that stuff I wish someone had told me before (although I'm betting that they did say some of that stuff in the MSF class...maybe I need to go back and take a refresher course)...And you're right about the going too fast thing, I think before, that maybe I felt like I was expected to ride at a certain pace, and now, I just can't seem to do that at all.

If you've got cars banking up behind you, pull over, let them past or find a quieter road (i.e. don't pull over every 2 seconds).

If i'm road riding and get someone faster than me behind me, I let them past. I don't need to be concentrating on what they're doing as well as what I'm doing.

I've been road riding for coming up 4 years and the one time I dumped the bike (literally) was when I was reversing and not paying attention (thinking what I still had to do on my way home). It was just embarrassing.

I ride every day to work and lane split pretty much every time, but there are times when I just don't feel right so ride with the cars (I know I soon get bored with that and start splitting).

As a teen, I rode scooters and I regularly dumped them, as anything on the road would cause the wheels to slide out from under me. It was always on corners, so I learnt to scan the corners for anything that was going to cause yet another dump.

You haven't said what caused your offs, and that is a serious consideration for a useful reply. Things like playing in carparks (when empty) with cones could help, more time on the bike will definitely help. Practicing (in a safe environment) your emergency braking can give you confidence in knowing how fast you can travel and how much distance you need. Learning to relax when hitting a patch of gravel, watching cars to see if they see you (and the fact they won't see you even if they're staring straight at you), seeing that mum has been distracted by the kids or is putting on her make-up, changing the radio, talking on the phone or reading the paper (guys too) helps to decide what to do.

You say you "know" what to do, but it sounds like you need to practice it so you automatically do it. I get nervous at times about braking, but each time I've done an emergency brake (you "should" never need to do one, you should always have planned ahead), I think about what I just did and am amazed I actually did it right.

Last week I went to take a bike for a test ride and saw a car with trailer coming out of a driveway. I'd spotted the trailer, so not a biggie. What was almost a biggie was I didn't expect him to pull into a driveway a few metres along, and had to slam on the brakes (I was looking to see where I wanted to park at the shop lol). Missed the back of the trailer by not a hell of a lot. Wondered about whether I was up to taking a bike for a test ride, but didn't matter in the end as no one in the shop would talk to me.

Good luck and if you could let us know what your causes were, we may be able to help further.

A couple of things: what do you mean when you say lane splitting? Are you talking about riding in different sections of the lane?

And you know, you pointed out that I said I "know" what to do, and I'm glad you did, b/c I think I definitely was wrong, I don't think I really do know....I mean, I know some of it in my head from taking that MSF course, but I think I need to practice it like crazy, but some of it I don't know. Like some of that stuff that number9 mentioned in his post, I didn't know.

And yeah, the other vehicles thing, grrr. Both times that a vehicle has almost taken me out has been when I was riding with my husband. They saw him and didn't bother to look to see if anyone was behind him. One of those times was yesterday, super narrow country road, and this big old pickup truck came flying out onto the road, turning towards me. I had slowed down intially when I saw the truck coming up to where my husband was, and then kept going b/c the truck paused for him, but then whipped right out in front of me. Needless to say, that shook me up more than a little bit, I thought for sure I wasn't going to be able to keep it on the road but thankfully I did, all the time saying some not nice things to that truck.

I rode dirt bikes for several years and then got into street bikes, and I still remember how terrified I was of going down on the pavement and being around cars. I've never gone down on a street bike, but I dealt with my fears by starting with the end in mind; I practiced (and still practice each and every ride) emergency stops, swerves, and mentally prepared myself for the fact that everyone was out to get me.

Riding on the road is easier in some ways, but it's harder too as it requires 110% vigilance and concentration. You can never ever let your guard down, even when there is no traffic - an animal who comes out of no where can take you down too if you‘re not paying attention. Doesn’t matter if it’s a busy street, highway, or quiet country road.:sweden:

I always (and I do mean always, always) mentally plan my escape route; what will I do, where will I go, how will I deal with that car in front of me if it stops suddenly, what will I do if that car pulls out across traffic in front of me at the last moment, what will I do if that car comes across the center line into my lane in a corner I‘m committed to, what will I do if a deer bolts out of the trees across the road in front of me. Don’t ever let yourself think it won’t happen because it does and it will. Heck, I’ve had birds try and take my head off!:excuseme: How you react may mean the difference between being severely injured (or worse) or avoiding the whole problem. Bikes are often invisible to car drivers and they don't see you and will do some incredibly stupid and life threatening things that will blow your mind. I have had a couple of very, very close encounters with cars and one in particular would have killed me or left me a cripple had I not been prepared. Dang, it still makes me break out in a cold sweat even thinking about it now! :crazy:

Not meaning to scare you, just giving you some insight as to how I personally deal with my fears of riding on the road and the hazards that are part of riding on the road. Quite honestly, I enjoy riding off road just for the simplicity of it. And take it easy in the corners, especially on quiet back roads. Loose gravel, grit, sand, and debris often accumulate in the corners of roads and the less use the road has, more debris will be present.

Upward and onward girl, you can do it!! :confused: I’m a horse person too and I’ve taken some hard knocks that totally shook my confidence, but managed to shrug it off and get back in the saddle!:excuseme:

Thanks NUN! Escape route, got it. Need to do that all the time when I'm riding, and I think I do need to do the practice, practice, practice thing too. Maybe go find a parking lot and practice braking and weaving and stuff. B/c I feel like I have no idea now, what my bike can handle (or I should say the tires), so that would probably help.

Yikes! I hate those trailers pulling into driveways with tiny or no blinkers. The same thing happened to me, he suddenly slowed to turn, no blinker, I was nodding to the passing moto's and then looked ahead at the trailer coming at me at 50 miles per hour! I skidded and just barely made it around. Distraction can be deadly! I have been lucky so far, I havent laid it down. But I have skidded around when my tires wernt warmed up. Speaking of skidding.....go into a parking lot and practice locking up the rear brake and feel the play, get comfortable skidding a little so if it happens you can ride it out perhaps. That is if it is a skidable avoidance.

Yeah, I hear you on the distractions. Typically, I get distracted pretty easily. Yesterday, I felt like I was having to make myself look around though, to scan the area. I kept having to tell myself to look up, instead of at the road in front of my tires. I thought for sure I was going to hit something like a giant pothole or some gravel in a curve or something. That stinking fear was getting to me. Grr.

That's something else you need to do........don't look too close in front of you - seeing what is 10' in front of you don't really help as you can't react that fast anyway at 50+ mph. You need to look straight out in front of you - just like when driving your car - BUT, you need to be able to have your eyes do several things at once - and this comes with seat time. You need to be able to look straight ahead out in front of you as far as you can see the road (on backroads) to "read" the road and see what it is doing and where it is going - ie. how sharp is this curve coming up, do those driveways look to be able to have a car pull out and me not see it. Also you need to be able to see stuff out in your periferial (sp) vision for animals that will run out from the side of the road at you and scare the total crap out of you. You also need to be able to see whats in front of you (prob where you are now trying to look) with your periferial vision without focusing your eyes down there on your front tire. It sounds crazy, but just takes seat time and experience.

Hang in there and get out on some quiet country backroads when it warms up and start slow and work on your skills. :confused:

..

That's something else you need to do........don't look too close in front of you - seeing what is 10' in front of you don't really help as you can't react that fast anyway at 50+ mph. You need to look straight out in front of you - just like when driving your car - BUT, you need to be able to have your eyes do several things at once - and this comes with seat time. You need to be able to look straight ahead out in front of you as far as you can see the road (on backroads) to "read" the road and see what it is doing and where it is going - ie. how sharp is this curve coming up, do those driveways look to be able to have a car pull out and me not see it. Also you need to be able to see stuff out in your periferial (sp) vision for animals that will run out from the side of the road at you and scare the total crap out of you. You also need to be able to see whats in front of you (prob where you are now trying to look) with your periferial vision without focusing your eyes down there on your front tire. It sounds crazy, but just takes seat time and experience.

Hang in there and get out on some quiet country backroads when it warms up and start slow and work on your skills. :confused:

..

Once again, more good advice. Thanks for real, I appreciate it. And yeah, I do need the seat time. It's just getting that time without hurting myself that I worry about, lol.

A lot of good advice here. But the first thing I am going to say is RELAX!!!! You can't move the bike, use the controls properly or look ahead if you are freaked out. I understand relaxing is so much easier said than done.

I was riding my little Ninja 250 out of the parking lot from where I worked. The driveway, fully paved, had a slight bend in it. Right next to the driveway were the big shopping mall type street lights. In my total newness, going about 25 MPH, I freaked out because the bike wouldn't turn. I ended up laying the bike down and it skidded a good 25 ft or so. The only reason I crashed was my panic reflex.

Same bike, two weeks later. I was on the highway. I was nervous as I was still very new to riding. But I came up to an intersection that I knew was iffy. I watched a silver pick up truck approach the stop sign, pause, and before I knew it he was charging into my lane. I knew that if he hit me it was really going to hurt. There was loose gravel in the shoulder that led to a 6' drop-if I hit that it was really going to hurt. I focused on the 1' piece of asphalt in front of the truck to make it through. My mantra was "look where you want to go look where you want to go." I managed to get through with out crashing.

Now the second incident was far more dangerous and I could have seriously been hurt. The only reason I didn't crash was I actually relaxed and concentrated on one thing....the one thing that kept my upright and off the grill of that truck.

My (long winded) point is that when we panic, we don't think or process information. Looking ahead is only a portion of the equation. Being able to think through a situation is huge. It is impossible for anyone to think they can handle all situations when they first start. So you need to find that one weakness that keeps nipping you in the behind.....from what I am reading, it is looking where you want to go.

I am certain you weren't going too fast for the turn. Your mind made you think you were going too fast. The next time you feel that panic in your chest, look up. Say the mantra of "look where you want to go". Odds are you are looking down in front of your fender. You don't want to be right in front of your fender, you want to be around that turn. I promise that if you do this, it will help.

Keep practicing and remember to relax. You can't think if you can't relax. :excuseme:

(Oh yeah, don't forget to breathe! :confused:)

A lot of good advice here. But the first thing I am going to say is RELAX!!!! You can't move the bike, use the controls properly or look ahead if you are freaked out. I understand relaxing is so much easier said than done.

I was riding my little Ninja 250 out of the parking lot from where I worked. The driveway, fully paved, had a slight bend in it. Right next to the driveway were the big shopping mall type street lights. In my total newness, going about 25 MPH, I freaked out because the bike wouldn't turn. I ended up laying the bike down and it skidded a good 25 ft or so. The only reason I crashed was my panic reflex.

Same bike, two weeks later. I was on the highway. I was nervous as I was still very new to riding. But I came up to an intersection that I knew was iffy. I watched a silver pick up truck approach the stop sign, pause, and before I knew it he was charging into my lane. I knew that if he hit me it was really going to hurt. There was loose gravel in the shoulder that led to a 6' drop-if I hit that it was really going to hurt. I focused on the 1' piece of asphalt in front of the truck to make it through. My mantra was "look where you want to go look where you want to go." I managed to get through with out crashing.

Now the second incident was far more dangerous and I could have seriously been hurt. The only reason I didn't crash was I actually relaxed and concentrated on one thing....the one thing that kept my upright and off the grill of that truck.

My (long winded) point is that when we panic, we don't think or process information. Looking ahead is only a portion of the equation. Being able to think through a situation is huge. It is impossible for anyone to think they can handle all situations when they first start. So you need to find that one weakness that keeps nipping you in the behind.....from what I am reading, it is looking where you want to go.

I am certain you weren't going too fast for the turn. Your mind made you think you were going too fast. The next time you feel that panic in your chest, look up. Say the mantra of "look where you want to go". Odds are you are looking down in front of your fender. You don't want to be right in front of your fender, you want to be around that turn. I promise that if you do this, it will help.

Keep practicing and remember to relax. You can't think if you can't relax. :excuseme:

(Oh yeah, don't forget to breathe! :confused:)

Well, that might be some of the best advice yet! And yeah, I think it is the whole looking where I want to go thing that is getting me. I can do it while I'm riding horses, no problem, but seems like I have a problem with it on bikes...thanks for giving me your view on this!

It sounds to me like you need more experience, that's all :excuseme: Mistakes happen, we all make them when we first start riding. Some people get scared by that and give up, some put it down to experience and carry on.

You say your guy rides with you, well, you must trust his judgement with the bikes? Try and find a nice road, one you like to ride or drive and get him to lead you up and down it, going a bit faster each time, taking in as much as you can and knowing that he won't do anything that you and your bike aren't capable of :excuseme: I learnt by riding with my boyfriend this way, just trusting that he was going to take it real easy and get me used to it slowly, piece by piece, until I could do a really good pace without worrying about anything. It's as much about learning to trust the bike and your judgement as anything else.

Get back out there and ride, it'll come back to you...hopefully even better than you had 'it' before :confused: Good luck and don't get disheartened.

It sounds to me like you need more experience, that's all :excuseme: Mistakes happen, we all make them when we first start riding. Some people get scared by that and give up, some put it down to experience and carry on.

You say your guy rides with you, well, you must trust his judgement with the bikes? Try and find a nice road, one you like to ride or drive and get him to lead you up and down it, going a bit faster each time, taking in as much as you can and knowing that he won't do anything that you and your bike aren't capable of :excuseme: I learnt by riding with my boyfriend this way, just trusting that he was going to take it real easy and get me used to it slowly, piece by piece, until I could do a really good pace without worrying about anything. It's as much about learning to trust the bike and your judgement as anything else.

Get back out there and ride, it'll come back to you...hopefully even better than you had 'it' before :confused: Good luck and don't get disheartened.

Thanks Grib! My husband does ride with me, and although he used to be a little quick, I've really let him know that I'm a chicken and I need him to go slow with me, so now he has been. He's been really great about that! :sweden: There is a whole section of our subdivision that isn't developed yet, just streets, no houses, so I'm thinking I should take my bike out there and just work on my skills out there, haha, where there's no vehicles trying to kill me. :crazy:

Thanks Grib! My husband does ride with me, and although he used to be a little quick, I've really let him know that I'm a chicken and I need him to go slow with me, so now he has been. He's been really great about that! :confused: There is a whole section of our subdivision that isn't developed yet, just streets, no houses, so I'm thinking I should take my bike out there and just work on my skills out there, haha, where there's no vehicles trying to kill me. :excuseme:

Perfect :excuseme:

A year or so back, I was having trouble with cornering on gravel. A serious problem, that I haven't had come back (hmm, maybe I haven't been riding gravel enough these days lol). For a couple/few rides, I would come up to a corner and even though I'd just ridden through lots of others, I'd look at this corner (don't do this) and think "corner, I don't know how to ride corners" and freeze. I just couldn't take the corner so would almost stop and then wonder what the hell was wrong. I still don't know, except I think I was looking at the corner instead of through the corner. Just a stupid thing. Actually, it did happen on tarmac as well.

Thankfully it only happened a couple of times and I haven't done it for ages, so maybe my brain has it sorted now.

Lane splitting - riding between two rows of traffic, which may or may not be moving (not fast).

I have never been good at cornering, but with time, I'm definitely improving.

Last year we went for a ride with someone new. I was worried I'd be too slow (DR650 compared to RF900 and GSXF750), so rode a little bit beyond my comfort zone initially. My comfort zone has now gone up a level (and the good thing about it was the guy on the RF actually struggles to keep up with me a lot of the time - he won't admit it, as he's macho, but watching him in the mirrors, it's pretty obvious hahaha).

With the subdivision, it'll be perfect as there's corners you can practice on. Look through the corner, don't look at it. The bike will go where you tell it to (consciously or subconsciously).

As for feeling stupid about it, don't worry. I've never met someone who hasn't done something stupid in their life. It's when they keep repeating it that it gets beyond a joke. Relax, you're freezing up before the corner and you're not looking through it (ride up to it thinking I must relax, take a hand off the bar, relax, back on the bar, unclench, look through the corner, lean the bike to go through it, hit the apex, give it gas, wahoo, you're through it and relax).

Good luck, have fun, relax and the front fender isn't going to go anywhere, it's still on the bike, you don't need to stare at it. (I was chronic at that when learning off-road and wanted to put a sticker on it to tell me to ignore it, but never got round to it). lol

30+ years and after surviving 1 head-on (don't know how I managed to walk away) and a variety of both road and trail get offs, I ride a little bit "scared" in traffic and in the rain. Every thing said above is great, but don't let any of this stop you from riding as it truely sets you free. Some other things I "try" and do (not in any order) to help me are:

1) When approaching an intersection where you've got the right-of-way and a car is waiting don't assume making eye contact works. Watch the car's front wheel against the fender-looking for rotation. That's the best way I can tell if a car is starting to move.

2) Ride in the left side of your lane but move to the right when opposing traffic is coming - cars tend to ride close to the centerline so don't challenge them.

3) Modern cars can stop faster than you think so keep lots of separation, even if it means leaving room for someone to get in front of you. Remember, it is not a competition for lane position (they're bigger)

4) For the street only, really practice using the front brake when going straight, but resist using the front brake once you enter a curve or corner. That gravel or puddle will cause the front wheel to wash out from under you.

5) Beat the lean - road racers lean over more than the bike in a corner to keep the bike more up-right. Don't lean anywhere as much as they do, but it helps keep the bike as upright as possible.

6) Safety equipment - boots that cover the ankle bones, palm and knuckle protection, denim jeans hold up pretty darn good, a jacket with some armor in it (I have leather for cold, and an armored cloth jacket for warmer weather).

7) I hit a deer going to work last August about 1/2 hr before dawn and I was overdriving the headlight at 50 mph. Don't overdrive the lights.

8) During 7, the aluminum reinforced bark busters saved my left wrist. They keep your hands warmer in cooler weather too.

9) Ride like a fighter pilot flys - constantly looking for targets.

10) I use turn signals and hand signals for left and right before entering a corner, and if changing lanes in traffic even point at where I'm going if it is a right to left lane change.

Take a hint from your fear... perhaps you ought to lay off the street for a bit. Dropping a bike twice since july means somethings off. You need to figure what that something is and deal w/ it or abandon the road.

How much time do you spend in the dirt? Ever ride MX? IMO (and a lot of others), MX is THE BEST PLACE to prep for the street.

IMO MFS offers very little (if anything) in terms real world skills. The streets will get you killed. You have to ride them that way. I find the streets (freeways) thrilling. The "staying alive" factor is a rush and forces one to REALLY focus on what's happening all about them.

I'm not trying to be a jerk w/ my reply, I'm trying to cause you to think. Don't feel like a sissy for being afeared of the roads. It's a good thing. Go lay your bike down on a MX track for a coule of years.

Anywho...

Take a hint from your fear... perhaps you ought to lay off the street for a bit. Dropping a bike twice since july means somethings off. You need to figure what that something is and deal w/ it or abandon the road.

How much time do you spend in the dirt? Ever ride MX? IMO (and a lot of others), MX is THE BEST PLACE to prep for the street.

IMO MFS offers very little (if anything) in terms real world skills. The streets will get you killed. You have to ride them that way. I find the streets (freeways) thrilling. The "staying alive" factor is a rush and forces one to REALLY focus on what's happening all about them.

I'm not trying to be a jerk w/ my reply, I'm trying to cause you to think. Don't feel like a sissy for being afeared of the roads. It's a good thing. Go lay your bike down on a MX track for a coule of years.

Anywho...

Um, ya... As both an avid street and dirt rider, saying that MX is a good prep for dirt is like saying peppers taste like twizzlers...

Two very different world, methods and skills....

I also like your "thrilling" idea of freeways and staying alive, as it drives the used and salvage bike market down so we can buy TRACK bikes cheaper..

Considering MSF is very highly rated and the people I know in our sportbike club that have taken it, are very skilled and advanced riders that continue to take this class as a refresher, your point is nill and really, ignorant.

I'm betting 97% of the reason you keep laying it down is, the bike... Set-up is key and more so on that machine... Your going to get pointers from people who ride tarmac on everything from cruisers, sportbikes, touring and god awful busa's... none of them apply as your bike was designed as a 90% dirt with an ability to bomb a back road hear and there...

Um, ya... As both an avid street and dirt rider, saying that MX is a good prep for dirt is like saying peppers taste like twizzlers...

Two very different world, methods and skills....

Think what you want mate, however wrong it is. :confused:

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now