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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Learning to ride - I had not rode my bike in over a month (was still in parking lots) waiting for a safety class which might be able to fit me in 9/26 (the classrooms are packed) so I got anxious to ride and try out my new ergonimcally correct clutch lever. Found an area near where my bike was stored to try it, had a few tight turns but tried it anyway. I was doing so good and then I turned wide on a tight left and bblaammm... got caught rubbing up against the curb and almost mated with a palm tree.... luckily there was a bush after the palm tree and dumped the bike in that. Well that saved the bike from some major damage. I did manage to hit the kill switch rather quickly. I took a few bruises but was more worried about the bike. Mirror bent and scrapped also my air cleaner scrapped a little and the rear tail pipe - Bike got off light. There was a guy behind me in a SUV who came over and helped me pick up my bike. Nice guy says he rides a Harley and he's from Oregon. He said I was probably not looking through the turn - which was true. I just got too confident and comfortable and really was'nt thinking when I made that turn. The guy suggested a safety course.... Good ... and said he was glad to see more woman riding bikes which cracked me up as he was helping me lift my bike up. Thanked the man and I got back on and rode it back. Lesson learned.... Ego relatively in check while acknowledging a very humbling experience.



Cheri
 

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EvilMonger
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medicinwoman;

Experiance takes time, I'm glad you or your bike were not seriously hurt. Don't take on more than you are ready for as on the road you have to look out for the other guy not just yourself. Be careful and good luck on your future rides.
 

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oops...

Laying the bike down in this sort of circumstance probably does more damage to your ego and confidence than anything else. I'm glad you aren't too badly hurt, and that your Sporty hasn't suffered irreparable harm. I guess you could look on the bright side and say that now that you've come off once, you realize its not the end of the world.

There is no quick fix for turning confidence, other than safe and repeated practice. If you can find some unobstructed asphalt you can make a practice course using styrofoam cups filled with water. Lay these out in a series of left and right arcs and practice making progressively sharper "corners". If you go wide in one of these corners you won't damage anything other than the styrofoam. Doing figure-8s is also good practice - it forces you to concentrate on maintaining constant speed and throttle through the corner. A lot of beginning riders tend to "coast" through corners, which is a generally bad practice. I remember years ago coming down a cloverleaf freeway offramp and losing track of which gear I was in - very disconcerting as I freewheeled through a decreasing radius turn, hoping to scrub off enough speed to be able to put the bike into first.

Also, you will be suprised at how far over you can lean the bike at relatively low speeds. Leaning the bike over is necessary at low speeds (i.e. 7-8 mph) in order to get the turning radius you need to make sharp turns.

Lastly, I doubt there are few, if any, riders who have never laid a bike down. A lot of people learn to ride as kids on dirtbikes, where crashing is part of the game. If you don't go that route you've got to accept the old low-speed spill as part of "paying your dues".. Fix what needs to be fixed on the Sporty, and get back out there!
 

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Glad you are ok kiddo !;)
 

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Just Like to Ride
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Re: oops...

VRodDrew said:
Laying the bike down in this sort of circumstance probably does more damage to your ego and confidence than anything else.
So true. Wife was trying to learn to ride the Dyna we had last year and just going around the yard and dropped it about 3 times one weekend(grandson ran in front of her once :eek: ). I never said anything or fussed about it. Just picked bike up and made sure she wasn't hurt. She lost confidence and hasn't tried since.

We have Road King now and she says she doesn't want to damage it. I told her damage to the bike wouldn't bother me. As long as she was wanting to learn how to ride, I wouldn't say a word or fuss at her for mistakes or if she dropped it. Maybe she'll get back on it soon. We plan on her taking course next year(if we can get one before they all fill up.
 

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Infidel
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medicinewoman said:
Found an area near where my bike was stored to try it, had a few tight turns but tried it anyway. I was doing so good and then I turned wide on a tight left and bblaammm... got caught rubbing up against the curb and almost mated with a palm tree....


Cheri
Slow, Look, Lean and Roll (on the gas)

I'm glad your ok.

Get back on your bike.

YOU CAN DO IT.

regards,

wyo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys - you are all great. Yeah, I'm ready to get back on it again. This time in the parking lots again and try those figure eights. Pretty sore today tho - I'm hurting in parts I did'nt even know I had. But I was really very lucky (the man upstairs is watching out for this novice). Shi^ I was happy as hell after I rode off and parked it. I was really in a good mood after I dumped it- I guess it was the fact that I lived huh? And the bike was ok. Also I was riding around alot of mercedes benz and parked BMW's I could have surely taken one of those out of commision and turned into their hood ornament. ;) Thanks again guys...

Cheri aka medicine woman

Back to practice....
 

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Re: Dumped the bike:(

1st off! Glad you & your Sporty are just a bit the worse for wear! :D
It certainly could have been much worse (hood ornament?!? :eek: ).
I still hear my SO/OL, distantstorm, say the mantra occasionally!
She passed her MSF & DL in March, but has only graduated to the MEAN streets(out of parking lots & quiet, neighborhood streets) in the last month ot 2. :)
The step up from those itty-bitty 250's in class to her 883 was way significant!!!
I'm proud as punch of her, but I still see her being just a bit shaky in her corners.
To paraphraise the other guys, "There's no substitute for milage"!
Ya gotta do it 'til you litterally' "Do it in your sleep!"
I insisted she take the course because I would have been a poor instructor.
What I do subconsciously, after over 35 yrs of riding, I couldn't verbalize into a meaningful lesson.
Once she was ready to venture beyond 2nd gear & 15 MPH, & with a very sound foundation from the course, I'm able to monitor, encourage, remind, & most of all, enjoy her progress.
Distantstorm dropped her 883 also, although she was motionless at the time.
We missed a turn and were turning around on a country hiway that had a slight uphill bank to it.
It slipped out from under her as she had just about stopped to walk the bike through the tight 180, and traffic was approaching! :eek:
I waved the cars down so they could slow & safely get around her, then I got over to her, helped her lift the bike and get it out of the road.
We were 25 miles from home so, after a good, long, multi-smoke break, she announced she had calmed down enough to continue.
She had a few bruises on the inner portion of her leg, & I replaced her rear blinker lense and massaged the blinker housing back into shape.
We also found some small scrapes on the rear pipe & hiway-bar.
War badges, I say! :D
Like you found out, ego was the biggest loser!
Lifes most embarassing moments. :p
She made the trip home without a hitch and we've had a couple of 40-50 mile area rides since, and she still keeps gaining more confidence & improving her proficiency each time out.
Like I said, I'm extremely proud of her.
Although we have never met, I'm proud of you, also!
I know you'll climb back on, perciveir (sp?), and conquer!
GO, GET 'EM, CHERI! :D :D :D
Ride & BE Safe!
bear aka Don B
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Don for the words of encouragement. And Unome you too... Hopefully your OL will come around I think after you get her into the MSF class she will gain enough confidence to ride. Gee guys it is always good when a man gives his ol lady encouragement. Keep up the good work and you will soon see more women out there riding. Wweeeeee......

Cheri
 

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MDWoman,

It may not help your confidence, but you might think about getting crash bars for your sportster. No sense getting the ego, the body and the bike all nicked up just cuz of some grumpy curb. Crash bars work in the slower falls, believe me.

Good info in this forum. One piece of info I wish I would have known before I bought my bike, was get a small dirt bike to practice on first. But since I already bought the big Road King as a first bike, I am glad I have crash bars.

Good Luck!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
joleibiker said:
MDWoman,

Crash bars work in the slower falls, believe me.


John
Wow John ....Crash Bars??? The name struck me as funny. What are they?? Never heard of them before now. What planet have I been on??

Cheri aka medicine woman
 

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EvilMonger
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Harley calls them engine guards, they are not the most attractive but I agree while learning they offer great slow speed protection and will keep you from getting pinned under the bike. And you can always remove them later. Part #49018-88C $189.95. Page 116 in the 2003 parts/accesory catalog.
 

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Cheri,

The alien (from a Planet near here?) is correct. Engine guards are their catalogue name. You see them on the touring bikes. When the bike tips over, the only marks are small on the bottom corner of the bars. You can't see the scratches on them unless you kneel down. I think they are attractive, especially if the rest of the bike is decked out like a Heritage Classic with leather saddlebags, some leather whips on the clutch/brake levers. Hey, you've got yourself a Heritage Classic mini-me!

Good luck!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm almost finished with my MSF course. Passed the written test and the first riding class. My instructor said I looked like a professional out on the course. Hmmmmm a professional what?????? I've got my last riding class tomorrow. Hope to get my certifcate. The course was awesome. I highly recommend it. I had a pretty cool instructor too!!!! But I gained alot of confidence especially on tight turns...

Cheri
 

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Glad you are ok... Take your time and practice in areas where there are fewer moving cars. Resdiential streets after 9:00am and industrial areas after 5:00pm can be pretty good. And practice looking through the curves. If you have a windshield on your bike, take it off and ride a bit and my guess is you will feel better about focusing through the turns. Just remember to look to where you want to be, not right in front of your bike...
 
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