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Another noob diary...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by guggle, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Had a great day yesterday with Doug, GreyBM, Niteowl, and about 4 other learners in the [Vic] Saturday Learners ride.

    We started off with a bit of a group ride because the car park behind the servo was rather full with cars and their boat trailers. So we rode through St Kilda, Albert Park, and into Port Melbourne to the secret location. The group ride was good as it introduced me to the concept of corner markers.

    Once there witches hats were set up and instructions given and we all went about learning the art of riding a motorcycle. It was a great day and well worth the time and effort - I'll definitely be doing it again.

    It was the first time that I had really got out on the bike, into traffic, and riding reasonable distances. Living in Dingley, it's probably about 20km's to the servo in Elwood and about another 10-12km's to Port Melbourne. Where we were was not too far from where I work so when I went home I took the route I normally take. It was a great experience because the weather encouraged many people to get out and go to the all the beaches which replicated the traffic conditions I'd normally drive home from work in.

    Some observations of my ride home/riding:
    - a Merc driver on St Kilda St impatiently poked the nose of her car out into traffic. I was a fair distance away from her but still had to brake quicker than I normally would have liked. She knew I was there and waved apologetically to me as she zoomed in front of me.
    - as I pulled up to a red light, I changed lanes without checking my mirrors or doing a head check. As soon as I did it, I realised how dangerous it was and gave myself a serve.
    - I found myself getting too close to cars in front from time to time and had to consciously do the "one-thousand and one, one-thousand and two, one-thousand and three" count. I guess this is a driving habit that I'll need to break.
    - some of my cornering was a little jerky and needs to be smoother
    - taking off and some of my gear changes need to be smoother as well. I don't know how forgiving the gear box on a CB250 is (anyone able to advise?) but I'm sure there were a couple of times that it complained to me…

    I went for another ride this morning and made a concerted effort to rectify the above issues with some success. Traffic was a lot lighter than yesterday, but I went down Beach Rd through Hampton and Beaumaris and the winding nature of it was great practise.

    I've now done about 140km's on the bike and after today's ride down Beach Rd, I can see why so many people like biking…

    Cheers, Michael.

  2. Firstly good work on the self analysis. If you can analyze what you are doing wrong, you are usually well on the way to fixing it.

    Try not to get too close to cars in front. Cars have four tyres compared to our two and have greater traction and can generally brake faster. This is especially true for new riders as you probably haven't refined your emergency braking skills yet. Better to give oteer road users plenty of room. Of course if you leave too much room some idiot is likely to move into it, so be aware of that too.

    Most learners aren't as smooth as they should be and this will improve with practice. Meanwhile the gearbox will be able to take so don't worry. If you want practice try finding a quiet back street where you can take off from a start go up though a gear or two and then stop and repeat till smooth. Also don't be afraid to give a little throttle during this and get up to speed quickly. Remember if you aren't accelerating at least as fast as a car would then cars will be sailing up your rear on take-offs.

    Remember it's all just practice and with practice your skills will improve.

  3. Try looking further ahead. I know this really helped me early on.

    Its all great fun, but, isn't it!
  4. (y) good write up...

    It's a journey that I'm sure you'll love and the learning never stops, ever!
    The bug definitely sank it's teeth into me...
  5. Hey Grey!
    Just wanted to say thank you for the time and effort, that you put in, to enrich and assist new riders. It can be a relatively thankless, task (which I know is not why you do it). Nevertheless, you dedicate your time to assist growing riders, and "I" for one, need to acknowledge you selfless involvement. Good on ya mate!

  6. Thanks Raven , I just figure we all need to pay it forward and am trying to do my bit at a level where I can help.

    I know you help out others at a higher level too.

    But basically isn't that what Netrider is about? A network of riders supporting each other.
  7. I rode to work yesterday and the day before. It's just a bit over 55 km's to work and back. I was feeling very nervous about it as it would be my first time in peak hour traffic. My nerves were not founded as the traffic, while heavy, flowed well and I gave myself enough room to feel safe. A couple of times cars poked their way into my path but I didn't panic and relatively easily maneuvered my way around them.

    One thing I didn't count on was the wind. The trip home yesterday was very windy and the bike danced around a bit. I found that if I leaned over the tank a little more than usual the bike was a little more stable.

    I didn't ride in today because the weather forecast was for rain in the afternoon and I don't have any wet weather gear yet. What a waste that was - practically no clouds in the sky on the way home and as I sat in the car watching bike after bike ride by, I felt withdrawal symptoms... I need a fix!
  8. Good diary Guggle, sounds like you and me are at similar stages of development. Maybe see you at the next learners session.
  9. I know it is hard but the secrret to riding in the wind is to relax your arms and not hang on to the rips like your life depends on it.
    Unbless you are riding in a Yassi type wind, all it's going to do is wobble you a bit. Typically a noob will react to this by gripping the bars tighter and locking your arm. Rather than preventing the wobbles this will amplify them, and then you will blame the wind which is not at fault.

    So next time the wind hits, say the mantra "I must not grip the bars", waggle your chicken wings to loosen grip and relax your arms and focus on gripping with your knees , which helps you to forget about hanging on with your arms.

    BTW Leaning over the tank is probably not a bad thing. Presents a lower profile to the wind, keeps your weight low and puts weight forward on the steering.
  10. Trained to give lessons?
    Or just another nerd following a total wanker.
  11. Thats pushing the boundaries of personal attack mate.
  12. He's a farkn troll. Don't rise to it. Would love to rearrange his dial one of these nights.
  13. I often don't agree with Blabber but he makes a good point. Just because someone (including me and including Blabber) posts advice on the net doesn't make it good advice.

    However, if new riders read posts here you will soon be able to get a pretty clear picture of whose advice is respected and likely to be good and whose isn't. Even then that doesn't make every single bit of advice they give good.
  14. Grey, you are wonderfully generous, always able to turn a negative into a positive, wise words.

    Bladder, we've already had enough rain here in Vic, go dribble on another parade.

    Guggle, great write up - well done!!! Look forward to hearing/seeing more. =D>
  15. Well, with yesterday and Friday being rained out, I was itching to hop on the bike. It rained a bit this morning, but by lunchtime, the roads were dry and the skies were relatively clear. I had to run by a house in Parkdale and then I decided to ride down Nepean Hwy to Mornington.

    No issues really except the wind again. It was much stronger than I had experienced before and quite a few times the bike wandered off its line. I was a little concerned riding through curves and travelling at higher speeds - there's a stretch between Frankston and Mornington that's 90km/h. I remembered GreyBM's advice to focus on gripping the tank with my knees which made riding the knocks from the wind a lot smoother. All up I did about 80k's....

    Other than the wind, it was a great day for a ride with loads of sunshine...