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convincing loved ones...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by R0SSC0, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. I'm taking the two day learner test next week. I'm really looking forward to it. The only problem at the moment is my missuz. She's really scared and trying pretty hard to talk me out of riding. It doesn't help when every other time I tell someone that I'm getting my L's they have worried reactions and tell a nasty story about a friend of a friend (these people have usually never ridden)... often within earshot of my wife... which always ends up in an emotional discussion/argument about how much of a risk I'm taking.

    If my wife actually asked me not to ride I would probably give in. But she hasn't quite gone that far yet. She'd feel too guilty I think.

    I also have to be pretty honest and say that I am a bit scared about riding on the roads, especially after hearing a lot of nasty stories and observing Melbourne's sub-standard drivers over the last few weeks.

    This is how I have tried to rationalise the risk:

    Yes motorcyclists are over-represented in road accidents. However, in the majority of accidents riders are either doing something stupid (i.e. excessive speed) or not taking appropriate steps to predict and avoid a collision. If I don't do anything stupid, and I learn to predict and avoid accidents, then my personal risk is greatly reduced.

    Am I being realistic? Is there any data that shows how one can reduce the chance of being involved in an accident? To what degree can a rider reduce the risk?

    Finally, from experience, how have people managed to put loved ones at ease about their riding? Is there anything you can say or show them? Or is it just a case of waiting for them to become used to it and letting them see how happy it makes you?
  2. My girlfriend is much the same. To appease her (and for fun) I bought a 150cc to play around on whilst I wait out my restrictions and to mod up (to see how far I can push a small bike).
    Now she is saying that she would prefer if I were on something a bit bigger and noisier so cars can't help but notice me :LOL:

    She wanted me to get a Kawasaki V900, however I much prefer the Ducati GT1000's or maybe a Triumph Thruxton.

    Hopefully your wife will come around to the idea, just remember that you owe it to her to ride safely.
  3. Robsalvv has a good link in his signature called "Beating the Odds", which talks about ways to reduce your risk profile.

    Most studies usually turn up a figure of around 50% or more of motorcycle accidents being single-vehicle, so as you say, rider attitude can make a difference.

    Good roadcraft and well-practiced emergency maneuvering techniques (swerves, emergency stops) can help reduce the chance of a multi-vehicle accident.

    And should the worst happen, proper well-fitting armour, a good fitting helmet, proper motorcycling boots and gloves can help reduce your injuries.

    All that said, there'll always be a chance something will go wrong. Just have to manage the risks as best one can. Afterall, cars aren't risk-free either.

    And hey, a Cambridge University study in the UK found that per-hour of riding, horseriding has a 20x higher risk of serious injury than motorcycling. :p

    Edit: My mother was (and is) a bit concerned about me riding. But she knows I'm not on a 'boy-racer' sportsbike, she knows I do training courses and always wear armour. I think it helps that she knows a few motorcyclists at work. My father was initially more reluctant about it, particularly since his previous job often meant he had to change peoples' shifts around at last minute because one of his workers had wiped out on a wet roundabout on the way to work. But he's fine with it now.

    (Just don't tell my mother that beneath the Tiger's tame and practical exterior growls the monstrously burly engine, chassis and brakes from the Speed Triple 1050! :LOL: )
  4. Give it time. Make sure you do plenty of practice in quiet streets after your test. PLENTY. Practice E-braking, them move into busier scenarios. Learn how to assume you are invisible, and how to make sure you aren't in blindspots.

    Wear proper gear, buy a reliable motorcycle and watch out for changes in the road, because the surface matters much more on a bike than in a car.

    Good luck! Every learner feels a degree of anxiety at the start but it will go and will feel as natural as driving in no time!

  5. One thing you could say is that because 2 wheeled transport is increasing in record numbers, so too is driver awareness of them! (could be B.S. but sounds reassuring)
  6. see if you can talk her into doing her learners too or get her to watch a bit of it. she should relax a bit once she sees how safety oriented the training is.

    my wife rides :grin:
  7. Best method of convincing loved ones.. is to just buy a bike and ride it. I gaurantee they will stop talking to you about crashes and past incidents in attempt to scare you out of getting a bike. :)
  8. my gf did the same. i said 2 things. it'll be slower then my car anyway and too bad. :LOL:
  9. your gf will always be worri'd. regardless of time frame. but, after the inital stages of going out for rides and stuff...she'll become accustomed to the idea and notion.

    you'll find once you got your license and riding...people won't try to scare you with to many stories..but just tell you to ride safely
  10. dw shes jsut worried about it, but at the same time shes like its pretty cool that my otherhalf is getting a bike
  11. I realise that this will in no way help the OP, but it may offer a little hope to those experiencing this issue.

    I recently decided that life would simply not be worth living until I get my hands on a bike and a L plate. Once my excitement died down a little, I started to consider the practical side, the least not being the conversation with my girlfriend.

    And her reaction? Of course, the same as any loving other half. "But you'll get yourself killed..they're really dangerous!"

    I did pretty much what ROSSCO did, and rationalised it out to her. Within a day or so of me talking to her, she was pretty damn supportive, and even offered me a loan to save on interest. "Heck yes!!", I thought. What a girl.

    My advice would be not to sugarcoat the risks, and to reassure that you are not going to pi$$ bolt off down the highway at a buck eighty and stand on the handle bars while blindfolded and juggling a few medicine balls. If you're realistic, and she understands that your going to be sensible, then she doesn't really have a leg to stand on. Follow it up with a homecooked meal, the dished afterwards and a footrub. Bam. Good times for all.

    Disclaimer: Reader is not entitled to damages resulting from: Burnt down house due to poor time management in the kitchen, skin problems caused by dishpan hands, podiatric costs resulting from having never, ever performed a foot massage.
  12. Have u tried breaking up, buying the bike then getting back together? Worked for me! :grin:

    On a serious note though, don't keep her in the dark about the risks. Single traction vehicles are notoriously easy to turn from complete control to "Whooah duuude iii'm aiiirrrborrnee!" in a matter of seconds.

    You can however minimise the risk and your gear can do wonders. My gear looks in tatters but i'm still intact... and i've done a superman impression at a fairly silly speed so i think it definitely pays to let her know that even if you fall off it won't equal instant death. My dad still doesn't believe me even with the evidence of me walking away from a big and nasty without breaking any bits.

    *Note: Often times breakages are likely however and even in good gear, be prepared to cop some time off work if worst comes to worst. But this is all dependent on your riding style

    Good luck with it all man :wink:
  13. +1 to this. It will help put her mind at ease seeing firsthand the training course.

    Soon after getting my license, even though my wife was adamant for years I wouldn't/couldn't have a bike, she went for hers as well. She loves it.
  14. My g/f had no worries at all, strangely.

    She actually helped pay for my bike too :D

    Once she saw me take off the first time , her first thought, yeah he will be fine.

    My parents are a bit worried, but they dont nag me about it which is good, they know its what i want and respect my choices.

    They also know im not going to ride around like a d***k either.
  15. Ask her would she prefer if you went skiing or horseriding instead...

    When she says yes, then point out that motorcycling is 10 times safer than downhill skiing, snowboarding or horseriding. One serious injury is expected for every 1,000 hours of horseriding - one every 10,000 hours of motorcycle riding.

    In the US it's higher - one every 350 hours of horse riding and every 7000 hours for motorcycling - mostly because Americans are much less likely to wear safety gear for either.
  16. My girlfriend isnt' a fan of me riding, but she knows she can't stop me, so doesn't bother trying.

    One day though, when I was putting on all my gear, she asked how much it would help. I explained it all to her, and pointed out the padding etc., and let her give me a good whack in the back on the plate.

    She said that after that she felt a bit better, now that she's realised how much that safety gear can do if you come off.

    Also, if you talk to her and go through all the things you go through in your head while riding, positioning, working out choices and e-routes etc., she'll probably realise how much attention to detail you put in while riding to avoid a crash.
  17. I wanted a bike for years and always told my wife I'm getting a bike to which she'ld reply not on your life.
    After 15 years of waiting and now 40 we had a huge argument about it but I was determined to get a bike. I booked my learners which only caused another huge fight. Call it mid life crisis or whatever but there was this a little voice in my head that said it's now or never so I didn't back down.
    I went and got my L's and surprisingly when I got home that night she gave me a little smile. She wouldn't or couldn't admit it but she was kind of proud.
    After looking for a month or so at bikes I found one I wanted. We drove up together to check the bike out and again the following day when I went to pick the bike up.
    My wife still worries when I take the bike out but she realises I'm well past my hoon days so that reduces the risk somewhat.
    Now I'm sure if I have an accident it'll all start up again so I'm making sure I stay safe and upright.

    PS.. tell her that you are learning so much from this site and there are so many useful tips on safe riding, she'll see that you're not going into this this blind.
    Also tell her you know all the risks and how to reduce those risks and
    you'll buy the right gear and if needed you'll do an advance riding course.
  18. If it's any consolation I've had the same discussions :). Yes at the end of the day it's a risky thing to do but let's keep it in context and look at some hard data, rather than 'friend of a friend':


    Above link shows risk factors per Motorcycle Council of Australia for NSW. What's good about this is it's crashes, not just fatalities. Note particularly the presence of unlicensed riders, alcohol, speed, and fatigue in that list - all factors you can control and be responsible for.

    There are 430K motorbike licences in NSW, 300K active riders:


    Of those there are about 2400 crashes a year (reported, but presumably that's linked to injury/value). That's less than 1% per year involved in reportable accidents, and of course there's all sorts of issues with that interpretation (e.g. does 1 ride a year make you active vs riding every day in traffic?), but it does give an indication that although it's riskyish it's not insanely risky.


    is the Queensland one for fatalities. Again, factors you control are significant. If you do the safety course, ATGATT, obey the law, ride like you're invisible, and don't ride an insanely powerful bike while still learning you've got a fair chance of surviving.

    I did go to a motorbike show this year where the 'superbike' salesmen were surrounded by 18/19yos as if they were selling crack, and I did wonder how much repeat business those guys did.

    Interestingly, my wife was pretty happy for me to ride into the city on a bicycle every day dodging buses and insane delivery drivers - me not so much... I'd point out that the stats for cyclists aren't kept anywhere near as well as for motorbike riders, so we're particularly well-informed for this pastime.

    Don't know if anyone would disagree with my overall conclusion: yes it's risky, you can control some significant factors with your own behaviour to reduce the risk, and if you do such things it's not as insanely risky as some people might tell you.

    Which is NOT to say it's safe, like playing tiddlywinks in bubblewrap.
  19. Or you could go my route... buy two bike - one for him & one for her :)

    My other half did her pre-learners one month before I did mine.
  20. I had some initial resistance, but it helped that one of my friends is a new rider and he's doing really well after a year or so of riding now.

    Today is the second day of my prelearners, just coming home and talking about how much fun I had and explaining all the safety things we did before we even started moving the bike really helped her understand that really its all about how you ride.

    Now, if you drive your car like a maniac, and your wife consistently tells you "slow down" or "oh my god you nearly killed that motorcyclist back there" then maybe she's just afraid you'll take those habits onto your bike ;)

    Enjoy the prelearners! I'm getting a lot out of it, and having a good time also.