Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

21 - 40 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
windrider18 said:
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.
Windrider, that is great advice, thanks. I talk myself through things all the time when I am riding. My husband says to relax and practice and like you said, when I get more comfortable with my bike and with riding, then maybe it will slow down for me as well and the relaxation will truely come. The what if's though, I dont think I ever want to loose. Scanning is something I even do when I am driving my van now, since the MSF course.lol
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,838 Posts
RagDoll_Kunoichi said:
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.

My theory is that I (or maybe other women too) just think too much about riding.

Is this a women thing? If our gentlemen friends are reading this too, have you guys done this too?
As I talk to more and more "cruiser chicks" (their words, not mine!), I'm finding that women seem to have a much different perspective on riding. It doesn't seem to matter how long one has been riding, or what size bike, or what type bike. The women I've talked to take it way more seriously than the men I know. For instance:

"I'd never have a throttle lock on my bike (an 800 Drifter). You guys kill me- all laid back, looking around. Not us. We have to have two hands on the bars, in control, thinking about what's coming next. You guys just deal with it if it shows up- no planning, no worries. We expect it to show up and plan for every little detail and think about everything all the time."

Whether it's true for all women, I don't know. I kinda doubt it. But I do think that in general, from the women I've talked to myself, that yes, women think too much. Sorry for the generalization, this is just my experience talking.

What to do about it? See previous posts. Practice, experience, comfort, and support are brought up most in the discussions. Practice the things in the MSF course b/c they will save your life. Experience comes with practicing for a long time. Comfort: the bike has to fit <side note- men get used to bikes, any bike will do. Women will search for the perfect match, a "bike soul mate", and after purchase will worry if she's chosen the right one. One more thing on her mind>. Support seems to be the most common element- women will ask for and actively seek assistance and advice. Men? "Screw it! Get on! Let's go!!"

Again, sorry for the generalizations. I apologize up front if anyone is offended- this is not my intent. The women I've spoken to don't understand my riding style. And try as I may to sympathize and empathize with their position, I must admit I understand it, but I don't get it. Know what I mean?
 

·
I miss you, Deron
Joined
·
19,783 Posts
I don't think much when I'm riding because I'm enjoying myself too much. And I don't talk to myself. But I *do* scan the road ahead and check my mirrors because I don't want any surprises. I'm always aware of what's going on around me, even if I don't think about it much.

The big difference I've noticed between my riding and the men I ride with is that they take chances I won't take. I slow down more before I hit a tight curve when we're doing twisties. They always get ahead of me on the tight curves, but I catch up on the straightaways because I like to go FAST when it's safe to go fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I am glad to see that there are others that are like me! My fiance rode my bike before I did, he said he just got on it and got onto one of the main roads and off he went...I tootled around the Coscto parking lot for three days! Sometimes I think it is a gender pressure issue too that makes them motivated to do things like that. If you think about it, we can get away with a lot more slack. My fiance would have never lived it down if he needed that much time to learn, ya know.Sometimes it is insulting, but handy.
I do have to say this though, I am so proud of him because he doesn't succumb to all the razzing he gets from his friends to do stupid stuff. He knows when enough is enough.

I am always thinking ahead and I get anxious, like I am going on stage kind of anxious. I have to catch my breath too. At least I have stopped killing it at intersections! The honking of cars doesn't help the concentation!

Thanks for the advice and reassurance from all the experienced riders out there.
L
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Practice Practice Practice

As Ninja Girl said Practice is the answer. I still feel awkward sometimes and I've been riding for many many moons! Anything you do "all the time" becomes second nature. You don't want to become so comfortable that you forget to be extra cautious. Bikes are unforgiving when in an accident so being careful is allways a priority...even though I'm not allways careful myself. Sometimes I just go all out and enjoy the bike and it is not allways "safe riding" You sometimes take certain risks when enjoying yourself and it is just part of "Living Life" You could be safe all the time but you wouldn't be enjoying and living life to it's fullest....
 

·
TV Guru
Joined
·
11,779 Posts
Perhaps there is something to that "thinking too much" idea. Maybe guys just know how to relax more - go with the flow of things and work around stuff. Okay, before you flame me, consider this: Who's often on the couch keeping track of the stats and figures on six games at once? Who's running around making sure stuff is getting done? In most cases, the answer to the first question is the man and the second is the woman. When we do something for relaxation, we go all out, even if there's some mental task involved (keeping track of all those stats). We look more relaxed when we're relaxing because we ARE more relaxed (until someone scores a point or blows a key play, of course ;) ).

Perhaps another issue is focus and blocking out distracting elements. Not to imply any mental capacity (because women are much more clever than men are) but an ability to ignore things that are not important to the current situation. How many times has your husband or boyfriend been watching TV, using the computer, etc. and you realize he totally didn't hear anything you just said to him? It's not that he can't do two things at once, it's just that he knows he doesn't need to divert any attention from what he's currently doing. Deep down, he knows if the house catches fire, you slice off a finger or a tornado approaches, you'll get his attention somehow. It's not that he doesn't care about you, it's just that his brain naturally blocks out anything that isn't relavant to the task he's performing. It's the same with a motorcycle. He might momentarily wonder about an odd rattle or buzz, but once he realizes that it's not going to cause him to wreck, he puts it out of his mind until he gets back home (where he becomes focused on finding that noise no matter how long it takes).

In a corner with oncoming traffic, sand on the corner, a couple of manhole covers and a guy looking to turn into your lane from the cross street, the guy will probably not feel as insecure - even with all those variables. Why? Focusing on what is relevent NOW. He knows he doesn't have to worry about everything at once. He can take one obstacle at a time. So, he starts off confirming eye contact with the guy on the side street (yep, his gaze is following me - he sees me). Now, focus starts to shift toward oncoming traffic (all clear after the next car). While that vehicle approaches, the focus momentarilly jumps back to the guy on the side street (good, the guy is staying put). The oncoming car is about to pass and it's time to get ready to go. It's still clear and you execute. Now you deal with those road obstacles you noted before. You avoid the sand (now move on), execute the turn and it's a quick flip to the side and back again to avoid the manhole cover. Now, once everything is over, worry about cancelling that turn signal. One thing at a time. I think the problem comes in when you think about everything at once. There's a difference between noting things ahead; having a plan and thinking about every step at once. You're not going to hit the sand or the manhole cover or turn into oncoming traffic while the guy on the side street is an issue. Likewise, you're past all the traffic obstacles once the road obstacles appear.

In a way, you have to take on our "filing cabinet" approach to thinking, as opposed to the "post it note" approach I see a lot of women take. We have all the info we need, we just put it away where we can find it quick. On the other hand, I see a lot of women try to keep it all in front of them. Since you can't look at everything, you're not sure where to look. With so many things going on at once, it can make you unsure about everything.

Now, I'm sure there are plenty of men and women who think the opposite of what I've mentioned, but from what I've seen, that appears to be what is going on. So, yes, I think you might very well be overthinking stuff.

Perhaps a solution is to repeatedly practice one skill and perfect it. Are you rough with the clutch? Practice shifting while the bike is on the stand and the engine is off. Do you leave the signal on after a turn? Make a mental note to hit the cancel button every few minutes until you can execute turns for, say, a month without forgetting. Do you forget to turn your head while turning? Practice the figure 8 manuever using four spaces in a parking lot until you are well within the boundry. Don't tackle everything at once.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,838 Posts
I've never heard it put this way before, but it makes perfect sense to me and kinda explains what some ladies have been trying to get through to me. And the rattle and buzz analogy is dead on: if it's not an issue right now, forget it.

CTRider said:
.... It's the same with a motorcycle. He might momentarily wonder about an odd rattle or buzz, but once he realizes that it's not going to cause him to wreck, he puts it out of his mind until he gets back home (where he becomes focused on finding that noise no matter how long it takes).


In a way, you have to take on our "filing cabinet" approach to thinking, as opposed to the "post it note" approach I see a lot of women take. We have all the info we need, we just put it away where we can find it quick. On the other hand, I see a lot of women try to keep it all in front of them. Since you can't look at everything, you're not sure where to look. With so many things going on at once, it can make you unsure about everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Women tend to be compartmentalized thinkers and can handle more tasks and think about more things than men. Men on the other hand tend to be task focussed. It just takes a little training to get your head around to thinking a different way, but it can be done.


I talk to myself about corners, driving etc., and still think about where I want to be in a car or bike. Just make sure you do what's right and works for you and if it doesn't try something different. We under-estimate the capacity of our learning ability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Wow, what a great thread. Everything from tips for beginning riders (of both genders), and differences between men and women are intelligently covered. I especially enjoyed reading CTRider's thoughts on mental processing of men vs women.

What you are describing in the computer world is parallel vs serial processing. Serial is when bits of data are streamed in a single file line all at once. You process a bit, and then move onto the next. Parallel is when multiple streams of data come in all at once.

The thing is computers are machines designed to handle these tasks the same way 100% of the time. The human brain is completely different and each persons ability to process multiple input streams is going to differ.

I know its never good to generalize, but CTRider implies that men process serial, and women process parallel! :D

Anyway, I have a female friend who just got her M-license and is very new to riding, so I am going to send a link to this thread to her and hopefully she can gain something from it.

My last bit of advice (and this applies to men AND women) is that the MSF course is only one step in learning to ride a bike. Some people take it and think theyre ready to hop on the road and go. Although its true that some people are able to do this, that doesnt apply to everyone. It takes a long time to become an excellent rider, and taking the MSF course is one of the good first steps, but there are many.

As others have said, practice, practice, practice! :D
 

·
TV Guru
Joined
·
11,779 Posts
Constrictor said:
I know its never good to generalize, but CTRider implies that men process serial, and women process parallel! :D
LOL - in my defense, I did add that it is reversed in some people. Of course, the thing I didn't say is a few people are actually wired up to do both. I'm actually one of those, which is why I'm good at my job.

In the edit room, I have to pay attention to many things: the readout from the computer that controls the equipment, the video decks, the audio board, the video switcher, the video measurement equipment, the audio meters and the digital video effects (DVE) processor.

There are two types of thinking necessary here: the serial process, as you put it, where I check everything one piece at a time before starting an edit. However, when I hit the red button to start everything, I need to pay attention to everything at once. Are the video levels consistant, is the audio still at the right level, how far into the edit am I, is the switcher ready for the next source and is the DVE running the effect properly? My hands are usually flipping from one device to another in the course of an edit, adjusting and tweaking things on the fly. I often look like a busy short-order cook during complicated events. I'm also ready to abort at any second should something go wrong.

Maybe that's why I adapted to riding as quickly as I did. While others were still shakey at the end of the rider's course I took, I felt great by the middle of the second day. There are times when everything seems to happen at once (shifting gears during acceleration, stopping while downshifting, etc) while other times things definitely happen one after another.

However, even when things seem to be happening at once, there's an order. Though it seems like your body is doing 4 things at once while shifting, it's really not. You're rolling off the throttle, squeezing the clutch, making the shift, starting to roll on, easing out the clutch and finally rolling on fully to accelerate. Though a couple of those things do overlap a bit (clutch and throttle, for instance) it's still a series of steps. If you consider the process and not the actions as a group, it's much easier to tackle.

Don't think about everything you need to do, think about the steps in order. Your mind knows what's next, you don't need to concentrate that hard to do it.

There's a set of baseball videos that gets advertised on our network a lot. In the commercial, you see some of the techniques shown in the video. You see a lot of shots of kids doing everything in steps (planting their feet, getting the glove up, catching the ball, adjusting their feet to throwing position, getting the arm back, making eye contact with the target, then throwing the ball). That may be a good technique for those that are having trouble getting things working together. Sit on the bike, with it turned off and on the stand, and count off the steps. For example, you can smooth out your shifts by practicing the steps in slow motion. Eventually, you'll have the process down so you can speed it up. Then visit that parking lot to make it fluid. Shift up, then down and repeat it over an over until it's automatic. In my BRC, I practiced shifting any time we would head over to the staging area. I'd shift up and down during those short rides as we sped up or slowed down. My shifts were very smooth by the day's end.

Tackle things slowly out of the way of traffic. This way, it's one less thing to think about out on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
CT, perhaps what you are describing is the ability for men to be able to switch between parallel and serial processing. Perhaps women are perpetually stuck in parallel mode, or at least have a more difficult time changing between the two.

Perhaps their natural instincts are to always keep accepting input from all around them and that causes them to overanalyze something whereas men can work a video editor machine or fly and airplane and think of multiple things at once, and then go home, sit in the Lazy-Boy, turn on the boob tube and watch a football game shutting out the rest of the world for a couple hours.

Interesting points have been brought up in this thread. I have bookmarked it for future reference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,780 Posts
You know, there's a great joke on irony in this thread title - but I ain't about to go there!!! I like my teeth too much!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,780 Posts
BamaVulcan04 said:
You know, there's a great joke on irony in this thread title - but I ain't about to go there!!! I like my teeth too much!!!!!
Well I see I am not the only intelligent man here!!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
RNMama as in (nurse)?? I'm a ER nurse and i'm brand new to riding as of 10/31. I took the MRS course , adventured out from my safety zone (my neighborhood) Today I followed my husband on his Harley and me on my 2006
Ninja 500 EX, we drove a total of 82 miles round trip, first time in "real" traffic for me, i was a nervous wreck, but i DID IT !! I feel soo good about this. It is sooo true, the practice gives you big confidence!!! I usually see the bad side of the not so lucky bikers in the ER, it's nice to have support here then with my coworkers that don't support me at all !!! Thank you !!!
 

·
Hallo, mine name iz Gretchen
Joined
·
8,826 Posts
I thinnk fro me I over think it all as well but if I just throw myself into I tend to do much better. If I have time to think about it I will be more likely to screw it up so just throw it at me quick cause I'm a pretty good catch.
I was so nervous about riding the first time, the cost of the bike the fact it was new and all those things adding up in your head. But I commited to trying that day so I got on went around the block and when I got back to the house I didn't want to get off. put about 200+miles on it that day, mostly downtown, now that was scarey, Gene's idea not mine I was just following.
 

·
Back again!!!!
Joined
·
601 Posts
I think every ride is a new expierence, therefore you learn all the time....and to learn you must think....so I believe they go hand in hand.... practice is a great thing....you'll only get better and ride safer
 

·
rain is here
Joined
·
2,793 Posts
newbie guy here (if you didnt gess by the name) lol

I started riding less than a week ago. First 10 miles I found myself confident enough to get on the freeway to ride home. I have stalled countless times at lights, and the honking from cagers definately didnt help!

I did ride my bicycle to work before I got a bike so maybe that helped me.

First day I had to ride from work back to my house in the dark happend to be the very first day that I had my bike. Yes I did find myself out of breath!

But hey with practice it started feeling much better. This friday night (after doing 140 miles since i got my bike) I was not so nervous about riding at night I even volunteered to go and drop some stuff off at my friends house located a few miles away from mine.

I gess the key really is practice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Nope, you're not alone I took the Msf course on June 6-9 th this month and I'm still nervous about riding even though the instructors kept telling me you're a rockstar I still don't have that confidence yet and just last Saturday I rode up front to the Dollar General which is like 3 minutes away and came back and my husband was like go to the gas station for me and get some lottery tickets and I was nervous because I was like I just took a ride and he was like go take another because he knew I just needed that shot of confidence...even though before I left the first time he said be careful like 5-6 times...lol. But I understand what you mean by it took your breath away because I was out of breath when I got off the bike like I had been running.
 
21 - 40 of 41 Posts
Top