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Fun... but hard work!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by capri727, May 23, 2005.

  1. I've gotta hand to you guys and gals who make motorcycling look so easy!! I've only had my L's for about a month, and I now admit that it's much harder than it looks.

    I've been a pillion on my hubby's bike many times over the years, have had my car licence for, well, quite a while.. and have even ridden bikes off-road a little, but I never really expected riding on the road for myself would be as physically demanding as it is. Do other new riders find this, or is it just me??

    Of course, I've been blaming the vacuum cleaner for the sore back i've had since I started riding. (Surely it couldn't be the bike.. )

    I also didn't realize how intimidating the traffic would be. I hate having cars behind me, especially females in cars who seem oblivious to the fact that they might be making someone feel uncomfortable. They seem to be the worst, because most male drivers seem to back off a bit and respect my L plate. Maybe I'm imagining it..?

    Anyway, apart from all of that, I'm having great fun learning, and manage to learn something new each time I go out, so it's all good.
  2. Could be your riding positioning, i have ankylosing spondilitis and find that riding my bike is a hell of a lot better for me than sitting all crunched up in a car.

    The more practice the better, dont be scared of the cars im sure theyre just as worried about you as you are of them (apparently we are unpredictable pffft!!).

    Good luck and remember to have FUN!!!
  3. Dont worry it gets easier, you just have to relax a little and it wont be so hard...

    I'm still a learner had my L's for about 5 months and once you learn to relax and just enjoy what you are feeling then it becomes fun and not work...

    On the road i find that the young guys are more intimidating, they always seem to want to drag with me or try to keep up..lol

    you will get used to the traffic like you did when you got your car licence.... it just takes time... (i know.. it feels like forever)....lol
  4. You will find that riding either comes natural or it doesnt. A mate who i frequently ride with and i are both natural riders and can subconciously monitor traffic while just riding normally, etc...
    Another of my mates got his learners on bike, he learnt to ride but it just didnt come naturally to him. Granted you ride better with experience but he just could not reasonably predict traffic, know how to handle bike, etc...

    Dont flame me, this is just my honest opinion.
  5. Try taking weight off your hands and at the same time bracing you knees against the tank and balls of you feet on the foot pegs so that you can sit more upright and take your weight with the core of your body rather than leaning on your hands.

    This has a threefold effect I find:-

    1. With less weight on your handle bars its is much easier and quicker to steer.

    2. You are putting less stress on your back (also found a back brace can help here, had an added benefit of rugging up your lower back so that you don't get a cold draft)

    3. Sitting like this its is very easy to relax while riding long distance, to the point where you shoulders and between your shoulder blades completely relaxes and gives an almost euphoric feeling as you are riding.

    Doing the above I found that on the ride to Mt beauty while arguably on the least comfortable bike I only become sore about 10km short of our destination (about 400km down the road) while the others were complaining of being sore well before that.

    This doesn't help as much in traffic but if you are able to get a take up a good relax posture automatically on the bike then you will be better able to deal with the traffic around you and protect your back.

    Think about your seating position and find a quiet road to try a few options to find the best posture for you. Then as you are riding around do a quick mental check every so often to make sure you are in that posture. At some point it should become innate.

    But don't worry sounds like you are progressing normally, early on you a spending huge amounts of conscious focus to keep track of everything. As more and more become unconscious you won't get as fatigued and your body will begin to adapt to the demands. Keep at it and it will eventually click into place.
  6. Just like Athame says.. don't worry it will get easier.. with time. Try and relax your body and steer with your hands not your body. You could be sitting too rigid on your bike. Check out 'A twist of the wrist'. Its a great read and can offer loads of info.
    When I changed bikes, the top of my right foot was numb when every I rode for the first few months. It could be your body just needs to adjust to the position.
  7. The first couple of months (depending on how often you are riding) can be tough. You are learning the mechanics of how to control the bike, understanding the physics of why it doesn't fall over and seeing cars in a whole new light.

    Some tips.
    - worry less about what is happening behind you, more on what is beside and in front of you. They are more of a danger to you.
    - when coming up to stopped traffic or slowing traffic, set you brakes up early so at least your brake light coming on may snap the driver behind you out of a trance.
    - don't stop close and directly behind the car in front, you have nowhere to go if you hear brakes squealing behind you
    - ride with a plan, evaluate where on the road gives you the best options to weave if something unexpected happens (eg. on a freeway, the emergency lane can be your friend)
    - keep plenty of distance from the car in front.
    - be super cautious of vehicles slowing for no apparent reason or pulling off to the side of the road...U Turn candidate...
    - be cautious of cars drifting in their lane on a freeway, they are probably going to change lanes and then indicate or the driver is pi#@ed, stoned or texting someone

    Some realities
    - bikes are not as comfortable as a climate controlled car
    - bikes have less tollerance for road surface changes, solid objects
    - bikes are a hell of a lot more fun than sitting in a car in peak hour traffic

    Enjoy your riding, stay safe, stay alert (but not alarmed), enjoy