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Hey folks, I think us women riding bikes is very much of a triumph. For me though, riding successfully was (and still is) a long journey.

When I do have problems riding and I try to explain them to my male riding friends (convieniently at the ages of 18-25, great age group for statistics) but they never seem to understand. Most of them take the MSF course, get their license, buy a bike and ride off into the distance without having to practice. For me though, it tooks A LOT of practice.

My theory is that I (or maybe other women too) just think too much about riding. One of my female friends is having a hard time also. We can't just "GO!" Everytime I go riding, I sit on my bike and think about how to engage every turn and which areas are potential hazards. I think "what if this" and "what if that." Sometimes riding takes my breath away; in a sense that I have to catch my breath when I come to a stop. My theory is why I believe I have a much harder time than my male friends.

Is this a women thing? Have ya'll done this before? If our gentlemen friends are reading this too, have you guys done this too? Or is it all just me... Anyone have any advise how I can make riding easier for my mind to swallow?
 

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First, Let me re-assure you that what you feel and think is not just a lady thing. That said, I used to go so slow in fear of crashing in a corner, hitting sand, rocks etc. Kinda like your explanation of overthinking things which is not a bad thing either once your able to put it all in perspective.

As you get more comfortable with your bike and ride and ride and ride more, you will be more comfortable. It is mentally exhausting when you are new at it, but it gets better with time.

I am always setting up the next turn, being cautious about sand and rocks in the turns still, but I also have more experience in dealing with those situations now and are more manageable. Meaning I don't fear them as much, but I do respect the situation. A good rider is constantly re-evaluating the road they are riding, so what you are doing is not necessarily wrong.

On a side note - maybe thats why female drivers get into less accidents in cars????? Seems like us guys just ride and go - meaning we don't take as much caution (we probably should)

Maybe you are more of a visual learner and watching some DVD's or TV would help you recognize what you want to accomplish? One thing that helped me in the begining was I had a friend that I rode with who was more experienced and set up the line for the corners when riding and as I got more experienced I got to lead and we took turns.

Others will chime in, but I think you are doing great. Confidence will build.
 

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1Adam12 said:
First, Let me re-assure you that what you feel and think is not just a lady thing. That said, I used to go so slow in fear of crashing in a corner, hitting sand, rocks etc. Kinda like your explanation of overthinking things which is not a bad thing either once your able to put it all in perspective.

As you get more comfortable with your bike and ride and ride and ride more, you will be more comfortable. It is mentally exhausting when you are new at it, but it gets better with time.

I am always setting up the next turn, being cautious about sand and rocks in the turns still, but I also have more experience in dealing with those situations now and are more manageable. Meaning I don't fear them as much, but I do respect the situation. A good rider is constantly re-evaluating the road they are riding, so what you are doing is not necessarily wrong.

On a side note - maybe thats why female drivers get into less accidents in cars????? Seems like us guys just ride and go - meaning we don't take as much caution (we probably should)

Maybe you are more of a visual learner and watching some DVD's or TV would help you recognize what you want to accomplish? One thing that helped me in the begining was I had a friend that I rode with who was more experienced and set up the line for the corners when riding and as I got more experienced I got to lead and we took turns.

Others will chime in, but I think you are doing great. Confidence will build.

Very well said from and experienced rider.

Ragdoll.....
I think the more you ride the better rider you will become and those challanges you will overcome.
For me when I first started out on my Ninja (however I have been riding motorsports for 30years) I was extremley nervous and was concentrating "to much", which made me not enjoy riding. But I did somethings to over come the slight fear and nervousness.

I did take the MSF class before I bought the bike and I practiced in a large parking lot, no cars, no people....just me and the pavement. I practice braking, turning, shifting, parking, everything I did in class, this helped me alot. Then I went out on the street taking small steps.....first just around town, short trips, then the freeway....now I ride every chance I get, side streets, freeway, curves in the mountains.......I am much more comfortable then I was just less than a year ago....HOWEVER...my motto is "never let the bike control you." That is when you will fail.

I also suggest to ride w/experienced riders, they will guide you, give you suggestions.

Everything will come together for you, just give it some time, don't think "to much" and HAVE FUN!!! :wink:
 

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I can't add too much to what 1Adam12 and NinjaGirl have said, but perhaps a few thoughts.

When I learned to drive it was a manual shift. Being young and thinking I was a Hot Rodder my first car and many subsequent cars were manual. Shifting is pretty much second nature to me.

Perhaps driving a manual shift is not that familiar to you. It takes practice and every vehicle, whether car or bike is different. A motorcycle is a particular challenge in that all your hands and feet are in the action.

Practice will make it much better. Empty parking lots are good. No worries about traffic and you can concentrate on what you are doing with less stress.

This may be a crazy idea, but riding a bicycle a lot can also help. I still ride a bike when it's not 110 degrees. You feel a bit more in control and not as many things are happening. As a kid I rode bikes a lot and like a boy we did some crazy stuff. Young girls seemed to be more refined. Good thing. :wink: This may help you practice with the looking out for road hazards, etc..

As for setting up turns and such, I agree with 1Adam12. We all do it and it will become more natural as you ride more. Make sure to look well ahead and don't look over your front tire. Keep your head up, looking ahead and keep your head and eyes scanning. Don't fixate on anything. You will head right for it.

Practice, practice, and practice some more. When you are done, start over. :D If I am on a deserted stretch of road, I practice things like quick stops, weaving.

I don't think there is anybody riding who can say they don't learn something new everyday. I know I do.

Good Luck and have fun.
 

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Like they said you'll get better as time goes on. The other day I tried thinking about what I was doing in a corner and I took it worse than if I just let it go. My suggestion is to pick up some books, especially on cornering. Because thats what motorcycling is about. Anyone can ride in a streight line but turning is where its different. It will take a while for you to feel comfortable in a corner, especially if you're not a crazy ******* like me. I live for excitement so it never bothered me a lot, wheather thats good or bad. Anyway, what I'm getting at is, the human body is most comfortable in vertical and horizontal positions. In a corner you are inbetween and you automaticly react to the "not good situation". Its survival instinc. I know this is true because the human race is still alive. The sensation I don't think will ever leave you because if it did biking wouldn't be much fun anymore, atleast not for me. Knee dragging, sparks fling from my foot pegs is what I'm in it for :) . Good luck and keep riding.
 

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So, we all drive a car from time to time...that is second nature to all of by now. Seems to be so easy, right? Well, my oldest daughter will be 16 in 2 weeks, has taken the drivers ed class and has been doing all of the intown driving over the past 6 months to get a feel for the road. That way she can be ready when her b-day arrives to take the test.

Anyhow, after 24 years of driving and taking it all for granted, it has amazed me how much there really is to driving. As I have coached her on lane changes, intersection crossings, merging into traffic, etc, It all hit me. So much to remember, so much to do...

Riding a bike is so much more than driving a car. Take what everyone else here said but remember with practice, it will all become second nature. Not to say that you should let your guard down like we ALL do in cars, but with time the mechanics of riding a bike will come to you.

so much for the girls page hey?
 

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SAFETY

What if? it's a great thing to keep your mind active at all times and in all situations. It's okay to think ALL of the time. Practice will let your movements flow (ROTE) routinely, while you think of other things...yes, I still get breathless after 31years...
 

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Gaining knowledge about our sport is always to the good. There is a technique that is used in teaching people to fly airplanes called "chair flying." You sit home and visualize yourself doing a particular maneuver in the airplane with as much mental detail as possible. Then you go out and fly it the way you've imagined it. It works just as well on motorcycles.

One thing to watch out for is that you must be careful not to over-analyze each step of a maneuver while you are performing it. This usually hinders your physical performance on the bike. You can critique yourself later. The worst flying students I ever had were aeronautical engineers. They'd spend precious seconds thinking about the aerodynamics of a turn and forget to just turn the darn airplane! Please forgive the aviation analogies. :oops:

Charlie
 

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Hey Ragdoll!
OMG! I do think your right! I am just like you! I introduced myself in the Ladies welcome thread and there said I wondered if anyone had the issues I had. My hubby and I took the MSF course and off he went, me, I had to go to a parking lot over and over before I felt comfortable on my 1979 Kaw 400LTD. Well now, for my birthday... hubby got me a 2001 Vulcan 800a. Sure it's a great bike and I love it! But I still have a bit of fear at every stop and to leave the driveway, I have to sit and think about what I must do...

I figure I just need to practice, practice, practice. But I will say, it is good to hear I am not the only one like me. I began to think there must be something wrong with me.lol

Now I have to read the rest of the thread to see what tips you got, because I want to know them too!
 

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I haven't had those problems, but I think it's because I learned to ride as a teenager, when I was fearless. Even though I went more than 20 years between my last bike and this one, I wasn't too nervous when I started riding again. I took the MSF first, to get me back on my wheels and to get my endorsement. That helped a lot.

As everyone else said, the more you ride the more comfortable you'll feel with it. When I first got my 1500, it felt so HUGE and I was a bit intimidated by its size and weight. But the more I ride it, the more comfortable I feel on it.
 

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jukief said:
I haven't had those problems, but I think it's because I learned to ride as a teenager, when I was fearless. Even though I went more than 20 years between my last bike and this one, I wasn't too nervous when I started riding again. I took the MSF first, to get me back on my wheels and to get my endorsement. That helped a lot.

As everyone else said, the more you ride the more comfortable you'll feel with it. When I first got my 1500, it felt so HUGE and I was a bit intimidated by its size and weight. But the more I ride it, the more comfortable I feel on it.
Thanks for posting to me, that is exactly what I need to hear. I think I too am a bit intimidated by the size of my new bike... perhaps it's more intimidation of the bike then fear. It is a bigger bike for me, but indeed the more I ride, the better I feel at doing it. :)
 

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whistle clean said:
Skill levels come in many forms. Remember the saying...walk...then run? Same thing in riding. Find your comfort zone...relax...breathe...and enjoy the experience. Some good DVD's that have helped others and myself are:

Ride like a Pro for the Ladies:
http://www.ridelikeapro.com/LRlap.htm




Ride like a Pro III:
http://www.ridelikeapro.com/RLAPIII_Video.htm

Excellent! I think I shall be ordering them straight away! And your right... walk, then run. :)
Thanks, I needed that.
 

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Ragdoll and RNMama,
Can't stand this computer screen for long, so I'm making this quick. Whistle is the one who encouraged me to get the Ride Like a Pro III video, and it is one heck of a training session! Personally though, I'd not spend the cash on the one for Ladies, as the number III has more valuable info, and teaches more. That opinion is straight from one of the Ride Like a Pro operators who take orders too. I just bought the newest one, and was in the top 4 or 5 in my class of 25. I only made 2 slight mistakes on the range and that video is why I was almost flawless on the bike. I'm in no way bragging, I was just that impressed with the video!
Good Luck Girls, we're rooting for ya!
 

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Thanks Chromequeen!

I am over on the site now checking out the videos and his articles! Before I hit the pillow tonight, I think I'll have one on the way. :)
 

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I wanted to add a couple of thoughts. It isn't a size issue or gender issue for certain, as far as ability. I'm 5'9, 130 lbs and my 1500 is just right (altho I think they were originally built for MUCH taller ppl ). Also, don't let anyone tell you riding a big cruiser is just like riding a dirt bike. They may both have 2 wheels and the same hand/ foot controls, but dirt riding and riding a big cruiser on the street, IMHO, is NOT the same at all. Keep practicing, as I will, and one of these days we'll be the ones giving advice. Good luck and stay safe. :)
 

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Thanks Alex!
>>>Keep practicing, as I will, and one of these days we'll be the ones giving advice. Good luck and stay safe.<<<

I agree with you and I will keep practicing and then, one day, we will be the ones giving the advice. ;)
 

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RagDoll_Kunoichi said:
Everytime I go riding, I sit on my bike and think about how to engage every turn and which areas are potential hazards. I think "what if this" and "what if that."
I still talk my way through turns and such. I think it's part of being a new rider. I remember doing it when learning to drive. I think that the "talking to myself" stuff will go away as I ride more and get more comfortable with my bike. There is the possibility of "thinking too much" but it doesn't get quite that far for me. I too ask myself "what ifs"...what if that car pulls out? what if that person steps out in front of me? etc. They're important to do until you get the hang of riding and even after :)

So don't feel bad and don't let anyone else make you feel bad about doing it.
 

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WOW...I am not alone!!! WHEW, thought for a minute I was the only one having "thinking" problems. I also took the MRS course and enjoyed the h*ll out of it! Sounds like alot of good advise...I'll have to keep up on this forum, and practice, practice, practice.
 
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