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Conquering the demons within

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by MadAzz300, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. I haven't posted in this forum for ages, but I think now is the perfect time to do so.

    A year ago today, I lost my confidence and my head space was not in a good place since then. Altho I have done many (many!) km's, I could not get over my incident at Galston Gorge.

    Here is what happened (mind the language):

    I was petrified going through the gorge. The stories I was told, the pics I had seen of stacks all came flooding back as soon as I went over the bridge. When I came up on that first 5 km/h bend I felt like the whole world was about to end, and I lost my sh*t so to speak.. I took the corner too fast, and too tight.. concentrating too much on not going into the oncoming lane put me exactly where I didn't want to be.

    SO after I got to the top.. tears streaming down my cheeks, me kicking my bike I swore off that dreaded piece of bitumen and told myself I would NEVER put my 2 wheels on it again (I did eventually try and go down with some of the awesomely patient blokes on here, but that was a big nup too). Other riders stories about how they nearly crashed, or did crash, or knew of someone else that crashed made me feel like my decision was right. The road beat me, and for a year, I could live with that.

    But my riding abilities were affected. U-turns (which I still cannot do), tight bends, going at a good pace through twisties was something that became alien to me. My SR's constantly kicked in, and I would avoid some pretty awesome roads because of it. The memory faded after a while, and my thinking turned to maybe I just didn't have the skill to be a motorcycle rider, and that maybe I should just give up.

    Over the last few months, fear had turned into frustration. I love riding, I enjoy every single nano-second of it. Rain, fog, heat, -0 temps.. bring it on! So I started rehashing all the rides I've done. What did I do wrong.. where did I scare myself.. WHAT did I do to.. WHERE was I .. and my thoughts just kept going back to the Day of the Gorge.. *sigh*

    Right. The Gorge. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking when I told @Wil02@Wil02 that today (being yesterday) was the day I needed to get over this ridiculous feeling. I almost choked on the the words.. lets go through the Gorge. Galston Gorge. OMG.

    Nerves. Breathe. Relax.

    I cannot express how much this has helped me. The relief and the confidence that I feel is amazing. All I can say is: if you've had a moment in time like I did, no matter how long it takes, or how many times you say "no, not yet" take a deep breath, find an awesomely supportive friend and conquer that demon. Don't let it win.
    • Winner Winner x 4
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  2. WHatyou did wrong in the first one as well was turn in too early. This is a common early mistake and we all do it sometimes still. As you had a rider to follow second you didnt do that.

    You should concetrate on the "start wide finish tight" mantra.
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  3. I've never ridden that road, I don't think I've ever done a 5 k corner, looks tight. You made a minor mistake on the first 5k left hander, you didn't hit oncoming traffic, so it never became a major error. You were obviously your own worst critic. You obviously learnt from your mistake, if you edited out that one mistake, the rest wouldn't be so bad, and of course the second run looked better again. We all need to keep learning, some (including me) more than others. I am tempted to try it if I ever get that way on a bike, to challenge myself. I have already searched for it on google maps.
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  4. Thanks @Vertical C@Vertical C :) I have put that into practice over the last 6 months or so.. and still have to keep telling myself to start wide.. finish tight

    One mistake, no matter how small.. is usually all it takes for me..
    Fear is the most powerful emotion and makes things seem worse than they actually are. I should have gone back the next day or week and not waited.. then I wouldn't have had year of so many un-enjoyable moments on the road.
  5. Tight and super tight corners are a big challenge particularly when you add in gradient but the only way to beat them it's to do them. I regularly see riders making a hash of the two hairpins on Macquarie Pass..
    Why don't you see if a kind Netrider will take you through the Gorge pillion?
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  6. On hairpins, start wide, turn late, finish tight.
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  7. I think what happened was you developed a Phobia,thats an irrational fear after your first event.Very easy to say get over it but just thinking about it and you develop the physical changes,adrenalin etc. It takes persistence and tensity to push this off. I know someone who did the same think about bridges,she wouldn't travel over them,big problem in Sydney.
    Its great you overcame this before it stopped you riding completely.The mind is a complected thing.BTW The Gorge on the Horsby side isn't a great bike road,way to tight for any fun,clutch in and softly dragging rear brake is my technic and relaxing your bar grip ,the other side is much better.
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  8. Next time I wanna see your knee on the ground... :p

    I still find sometimes that oncoming traffic can really throw my line into disarray. It is hard not to be distracted wondering whether that ol' bugger in the Camry is gonna wipe you out.
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  9. #9 caz64, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
    Hey totally agree with the mind thing..freaked myself out on Jamberoo mtn rd and since then have this thing about ever going on it again!!! Have 5000kms up (nothing like your 46k madazz!) still have issues with cornering...going to have to beat it one day. Am like you love riding but sometimes think am I really equipped to do this???? Am not giving up!!! So what if I am the slow, careful plodder behind everyone :) I know my capabilities (which aren't much atm lol )....don't know if I could ride the gorge....
    When I f**k up I do the exact same thing....shake my head and swear....at least we know where we go wrong and try and rectify it.....
  10. Hi MadAzz, I am glad you are getting over your Galston Gorge phobia.

    It is interesting to me, since I have dealt with a few learners who have said:"Why do we have to learn to do U-turns in a wee box?"

    My standard answer is:"Have you been through Galston Gorge?"

    Yes, some of the corners on that road are tight....especially when the other lane is filled with cars.....but, the mechanics of doing those turns is exactly what you were taught in pre-learners.

    If I can possibly help you with those turns, I'm happy to spend the time, but I am only a free man during weekdays, when my wife goes off to work.
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  11. #11 Brmmm, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
    Hi Madazz,
    Have you thought about doing a course. I've done the HART advanced one at St Ives. I think you'd get a lot out of it.

    Probably worth adding, in case you're not aware, that the course is on a closed circuit. Nice little tight track with some downhill hairpins. You get a lot of practice on the same corner over and over. The instructors draw a you a nice line on an example corner.
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  12. I know what the problem was, not enough popcorn at the top for you.:)
    Good to see you riding out the demons.
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  13. Thanks mate.. I may take you up on that.. I am doing a full day course with skillmaster to concentrate on the issues I have.. hoping that it'll work out

    Ive done some courses twice with HART. The first time was pre-mindfk which was great.. the second time I couldnt do the twisty bit course.

    There's never enough popcorn ;)
  14. i remember watching that video when you first posted it. it actually made me feel better about my riding. at the time you were a couple of levels above me and you were doing similar things to me(i too thought i was an ordinary rider).
    to me the second video shows confidence, you were chasing him down. two thumbs up (y)(y)
  15. Thanks mate. I hope that people who feel like me don't give up or give in. It's the best feeling to be able to do something that you thought you never could again.
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  16. That's what my daughter tells me when we are anywhere near a Bungy Jumping site, she is so wrong .
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    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. Hey @MadAzz300@MadAzz300, thanks for your willingness to expose your fears publicly here. Gung-ho fearless types aren't a realistic model for all of us, and for those who have (or at least admit to) some fears about riding, it's very helpful to see real examples of people getting over theirs. Managing fear through smart persistence is one of life's great satisfactions. Well done!
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  18. #18 RRdevil, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2014
    Just go down or up corkscrew road off gorge rd you'll then be able to say you've done some 5kph bends. Although corkscrew isn't even signposted. I think that once you start getting down to 10-15kph corners it's not really where a sports bike geometry is made to work. Sure you can do it but it'd be much more fun and easier on a grungy motard

    And madazz fear can also be a very powerful motivator
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  19. #19 MadAzz300, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
    That it can @RRdevil@RRdevil and I would say that it did motivate me to keep trying.. but it was getting past the threshold between fear and *holy shit I can do this* that I couldn't (or wouldnt allow myself to) get over.

    Everyone that I have met, both in the 3D world and on here have helped in some way, and for that I am grateful.
  20. Good job anyway. You've conquered them. Now to send them back to the hell they came from. I expect a knee down vid on thsi road in a few months ;)
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