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Newbie Musings Episode Four.

  1. With each trip out, I push myself to try something new, or practice skills. Today was no different. New boots needed breaking in and I was itching for a ride.

    I haven't done any highway riding yet, so that was an easy destination. I accepted a social dinner invite from a girls riding group, so I thought, kill THREE birds with one stone. Break in boots, ride on the highway and time myself so I know how much time I need on friday night.

    The first nerve wracking task of any ride is to manouvre my bike out the garage without hitting cars. There is barely enough room with the virago. Any bigger and I would have to start moving cars.

    It all went well, getting the bike up to 100 wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I expected the buffeting and did my best just to relax and stay loose the whole ride no matter what. i also practiced my downshift blips so all in all, a good ride.


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  1. Ebonyrose
    Hey Rob, thanks for the comment and the great advice.

    Three greatest fears?
    1. Having the bike fall over under you when learning. Did it three times while I was a newbie and apart from the bruising and broken levers (!!!!) I survived.
    2. Take the speed increments slowly if you need to. I had the luxury of sticking to 60 zones, then I did 80 and last weekend 100. There is no rush, be comfortable and then tackle it.
    3. Another thought, not fear but it's ok to take a moment and breathe before you set off. My ritual is I stop at the end of my drive way and I take that half a minute to breathe, get into the head space of being alert on the bike and I get into the groove, so to speak. Obviously I wouldn't do this at traffic lights, but I'm safe at the end of my driveway.

    And yes, I set myself challenges every time I ride. It might be as simple as do as many roundabouts as I can but I gain a feeling of accomplishment and reinforce skills. But it's not the goal of the ride. I found when I was learning, the hours of grinding practice really depressed me. It was boring and tedious and no fun whatsoever. Almost gave up. I made a lot of mistakes and slowed down my learning progress because I was bored and distracted. One day I insisted we go for just a cruisy ride, no lessons and the love of riding started for me. I think it's important for learners to regularly swap the skills training (u turns/slalom/braking etc) with FUN riding, otherwise what's the point? Obviously they need to be at a level where they can ride on the road safely.

    So, hope that helps.
  2. roadcraftrob
    Hey well done, it can be very daunting out there. Its great to hear you comment on practicing, everyone should have the same attitude. Virago is a great bike to start on and lots of fun. Keep up with that 3 second gap, head up and lots of buffering. treat yourself as if you are part of a "Frogga game" every ride and make it fun. If I may ask, what are your 3 biggest fears when you get on the bike? I am trying to formalize a training course for newbies and would love the thoughts of those living the moment. Be good and safe...rob