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First road ride experience

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by _Michael_, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Hi all,

    Yesterday was my first ride on the roads on a bike also a bike that I had not ridden before.

    I found it to be a pretty nervous experience to be honest my gear switching and breaking was very poor I stuck to back streets because of this and the first experience of having a car behind me felt intimidating is this normal?

    I know I need to find a spot where I can go slow and get used the the bike and everything guess not having ridden since getting my l's a few months ago didn't help.

    Also my experience with my mirrors was hard my left one my shoulder kept blocking the view but the right one was fine?

    Any advice or tips would be great.
  2. Hey Michael, I have just been for my first ride too and I just went up and down my street annoying the neighbours. So good on you for getting out on the roads. But I am heading to the Basic Skills Sessions on Saturday mornings which I think are a great idea for learners and free of charge. There is no way after getting the L's I would consider myself a competent rider ready for the roads.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Hi _Michael_.

    Aye, just beginning, strange bike, it's not that easy.

    If you were to be within Cooee of Beecroft, NSW, perhaps I could help you out a bit.

    That's one of the reasons you might want to tell us where abouts you are at.
  4. Thanks for the replies sadly I'm down in vic mate.

    With gear changing should I just sit on the bike and practice going up and down the gears? Or will that do damage without the bike running
  5. Welcome, Michael. Like most things in life riding gets better with practice; I reckon in a few weeks time you'll look at your first post and say, "What was all that fuss about?".
    Still, keep practicing, and try and get to the Melbourne Learner's and Beginner's rides, they'll help you a lot.
  6. Shouldn't hurt it, but its better to be riding. It doesn't take long to get the hang of it. Just riding around the backstreets in the evenings is safe and gives you plenty of practice at changing gears and stopping and starting. Car parks are good too and often empty in the evening.
  7. Welcome Michael. That all sounds perfectly normal for your first road ride, especially on a strange bike. You will get that feeling a few more times as you test ride towards your first bike purchase. Just keep practicing and don't over-extend too quickly.
  8. #9 _Michael_, Jan 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
    Thanks for all the replies guys. Sadly I'm to far away for the Saturday mornings sadly.

    As you all say practice makes perfect and will go for another ride this evening to practice more.

    Edit: also about my mirror issue I have seen some people having little round mirrors on the end of the handle bars are they better?
  9. Hi Michael,
    I'm a noob too! Well, I've been riding for a few months, but still on my L's so I know the feeling of riding around backstreets and having a car behind you. Major freak out first time that happened to me, especially when they decided to overtake in a 40 zone. I was clearly not going very fast, haha!
    Where are you located? Surely there's other riders around that could show you the ropes and perhaps take you on a short ride someplace to practice?
  10. Mirrors on bikes, ahh the contortion's you will end up doing so you can see in them.
    Some work great on some types of bikes but most will give you a great view of your armpits (sport bikes in general).
    Bar end mirrors can make it harder to squeeze through tight places ( lane filtering) just make sure you don't just rely on your mirrors, always turn your head.
  11. Sit on your bike and adjust your mirrors then start moving, get your body into your normal riding position and adjust them again. You'll eventually find a position that works.

    As for being nervous, that's perfectly normal. I've been riding for two years now and I still come across situations that make me nervous. When I started riding, I'd do whatever I could to avoid towns and main roads, hell I'd even get my Mum to buy me a jerrycan of fuel each week so I didn't have to go to the local servo to fill up. You'll eventually get confident enough that you'll hit the main streets because you have a reason, then because you feel confident on them.

    The first time I had a car behind me, I think I pulled over and let it pass. Even today, having a car behind me worries me quite a bit and I'll always be checking my mirrors to make sure it's still at a safe distance. Riding next to traffic on two lane roads is another worry of mine, what if the car didn't see me? I'll nearly always accelerate ahead or fall back a bit until I'm riding alone again.

    So yeah, pretty much everything you experienced is probably what I'd call normal!
    Where in Victoria do you live, if you don't mind sharing that information.. someone might be willing to ride with you which may help boost your confidence.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Thanks for all the replies I appreciate it. When out for another ride tonight done 8ks total felt a lot better tonight on the bike changing gears a lot better but my breaking is still not the best.

    Was going for the rear break all the time for some reason.

    Also was slowing down going down though the gears is that ok? Thanks for the link for the mirror things
  13. Definitely don't jump/grab on the brakes... just like letting out your clutch smoothly also practice applying gradual pressure to your front brake. Rear brake is mainly for emergency stops & slow speeds.

    A lot of bike riding theory really only makes sense once you're actually out and riding as opposed to reading it on a screen. Practice as much as you can & try to stay loose while riding, being all tense and nervous will only add to riding fatigue.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. I could tell after I got off the bike tonight I was fatigued from being tense also both hands were sore.
  15. Enjoy the ride mate, keep at it. It will definitely be worth it!
    Stay safe :)
  16. Sounds a lot like what I was rambling about over here. newbieacross posted a link to this youtube clip:

    Watching that helped. I didn't get a chance to go out and play last night, but seeing the guy do the movements fast helped with the mentality of it a lot.
    I've been kind of repeating the "taking off in first" actions when switching up.. slowly closing throttle, pulling clutch, switching, slowly opening throttle and releasing clutch. The delay and I think engine braking drops my speed a bunch.
  17. Hi Micheal, your experience is exactly the same as mine. I'm on L last 6 weeks and never ridden in my life before. I dropped my bike twice on the first day out practising ... luckily from stationary. Stalling, rough gear change, hill starts, nervous turning right etc were all orders of the day. Anyway spent first 2 weeks practising in my neighbourhood ... and have not looked back since. Enjoy.
    • Like Like x 1