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First solo ride!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by golgy, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. So after getting my learners permit I've had a little time to get accustomed to the bike I've purchased - Red/Silver 2000 ZZR-250. I'd taken half of last Sunday to ride around in the amazing weather with a couple of friends of mine. Tonight, after much internal debate I decided to ride my bike home from work - which is where I'd been storing it for possible mid-lunch puttering around :)

    So, at 7:30 at night in the dark and minimal traffic, I started off home through the eastern Melbourne CBD - Richmond for those of you who are down here! The thoughts going through my head were probably doing me in more than my ability to ride - need that little bit of confidence to get me going! Anyways, as soon as I got on the bike, and turned onto the road I felt a familiar sensation of having the bike under me and I turned my focus to the road ahead.

    I only had a short trip ahead of me - 25 minutes by car in peak, 15 at this time of night, but I took it slow and steady as to not panic myself and feel in control of the situation. No hairy experiences other than cars assuming that I am small enough to fit in ANY space that they allow for me which required some quick thinking as to not get squished between parked cars and cars right on my tail to overtake me.

    But as for my first learner ride, I came away with some hopefully important things to remember:

    1) Don't be too afraid, as you need that bit of confidence. ( keeping that paranoia that everyone is going to try and kill me, though! )
    2) Roundabouts and slow speed cornering needs to be improved upon, and will be my immediate aim.
    3) Cars will tailgate, and drastically misjudge the amount of space they need to give, so react accordingly and try and pre-empt a little of their movements.
  2. Congrats! :)

    Just curious about the part above; It can be useful to think of the possible causes for incidents and take measures to prevent them occuring again. Could you elaborate on when those situations occured?
  3. It was a dual lane road ( Hotham St ), and a fair few cars park in the left hand lane after posted/peak hours. One particular car was right on my backside, probably wanting me to scoot over so they could overtake the learner; I was doing 60 which is the posted limit and I had no traffic in front of me, biased towards the left of the lane which probably gave them the impression I was small enough to get around.
  4. I thought that may have been the case, yes. :)

    It gets mentioned here on Netrider from time to time - the importance of "owning your lane" confidently and giving other road users the impression that your bike fills the entire lane;

    As you suggested, yes - In general, it's best to stay in right wheeltrack as it (1) puts you in front of the drivers of vehicles behind, creating a visual barrier, (2) is a far more "bold" and confident lane position than cowering to the far left of the lane, and (3) forces them to overtake properly because there really is no room left for a car in the lane.

    (Bearing in mind, being too far to the right of the lane leaves a huge visual "I can fit my car through there" invitation on your left, too)
  5. we were taught at q ride to move around in your lane a bit. right to left to right and repeat.
    1 it gives you different perspectives on the traffic and allows you to see more of it.
    2. it lets more of the traffic around you see you
    (these first 2 are more applicable in peak hour where you can easily be hidden behind a truck or large 4wd)
    3. it makes the drivers in front, behind and beside you of you think 'wtf is that moron doing', which means that he is actually thinking about you and not how big a 'stacker' he will get from the hungry's drive through on the way home and even after he isnt near you, he may think about the 'wierd biker that keeps moving in his lane', which will keep him on the look out for at least the rest of the drive home (or god forbid later drives, we can only dream)

    Plus it can help stave off a bit of boredom. "weeeeee, i am moving!!!"


  6. Congrats on your first solo ride!

    Stuff will become second nature in no time at all as your skills and confidence increase.

    As for aggressive drivers behind, I noticed particularly one of two reactions from drivers when I had my L's on. Either they would leave enough space to fit a couple of semi's between us, or were right up my clacker (the minority).

    Somehow the L plate is a magnet to some people that want to give you a hard time/scare whatever.

    They obviously have little dicks and no lives.

    Once off my L's (don't have to wear Ps) the attitude changed completely. Now 99.999% treat me as just another vehicle on the road.

    That helps the confidence and if you demonstrate "lane ownership", "lane positioning" and confidence on your machine it sends a subtle message to the drivers around.

    Make sure you practice all your slow speed stuff and hill starts in a quiet place. It's really important to have those skills down pat for heavy traffic and filtering (if you so desire).
  7. nice one.. in no time it will be the only thing you want to do.. remember not to look at the roundabout.. its the black stuff that goes around it your interested in.
  8. Well Done on your first solo ride!

    I've been doing the same since I got my bike 2 weeks ago, just riding around the neighbourhood so far.

    You've inspired me to ride a little further today. Thanks.
  9. My pleasure. It's a huge mental task, getting out and riding and learning, but with the strength of some great advice on these forums, it makes it all the more bearable :)
  10. Congrats on your 1st solo !
    As others have stated, it's important to 'own' your lane.
    I have neglected this on a few occasions, when stopped at lights, only to find a vehicle nudging me to my right :shock:
  11. After reading your post I was inspired to take the step & head out alone for the first time. I've just returned :grin: & altho it was only around the neighborhood it gave me perspective on what skills I need to work on b4 going further.... hill starts, hill starts, hill starts :shock: :cry: hate em, but they're everywhere so gotta learn to luv em! :(

    Congrats on your milestone... its so exciting & rewarding 2 push boundaries :cool:

    Cezza - I agree with u, NR is an amazing resource :grin:
  12. I just got my new bike yesterday (2nd hand Honda CBF250) and am very hooked! Its still nerve-wracking, but so exciting, tense with a sense of freedom.

    I've clocked in over 100km already - had to get the bike from Footscray to the other side of town (Brunswick and then later Oakleigh), so that was a daunting task at first, but a friend was driving their car with me, which in hindsight wasn't neccessary but made me feel a lot more confident - but I find once I"m in traffic and moving along with it - just to the right of the middle, accelerating and slowing down at simular speeds as the other traffic - I start to feel safer, I know whos around me and we're all going forward together... rather than being slow and overtaken which feels a lot more dangerous!!! that was

    Today I went to some shops, busy car parks are the scariest thing yet!!! And I was having difficulty with my idling so stalled and rabbit-hoped quite a bit (very embarrasing, too many people around - it never happens when I'm alone of course haha). The wind was a worry on the 70-80km stretches, really don't feel up for the big 100 yet... but I'm in love with the idea of not paying for e-tag. Be another week at least or so I think until i'm riding to work in peak hour city traffic though.

    See you on the roads!!!
  13. WOW...you people are amazing. It took me a lot of riding around my local roads (hilly & full of cul-de-sacs) before I went out into traffic. I think being on the hills, which also happen to have turns that are even slow in a car, made it harder to start with so I didn't have much confidence.

    I am out & about now & love it but there is no way I could have done it on my first ride. :grin:
  14. Congratulations all the other learners that took my post as encouragement! I'm glad that my experiences can benefit those who are in a similar position. So far, I've managed to clock up 160km on the bike since my big Sunday outing, riding to and from work and out towards the eastern suburbs. First fill of the petrol tank for the bike and tomorrow I'm going to learn how to do chain adjustments as mine is a touch slack ( workmates who also have ridden for years and years are a great help! ).

    Must say that whilst I'm still finding my legs gaining confidence in myself and the bike, I am noticing small improvements - so keep at it! Just a matter of practice practice practice!

    For those of you who may travel the same route - I head up williams rd on my red/silver zzr250 proudly displaying the yellow L's in the mornings.