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How long should new riders go out for?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by MagnumB, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Having not long had my first bike (today past 100km on odometer) I have just started going out for rides to practice and was wondering how long should learner rides be in the beginning. Third ride completed and about 30-40km seems to be a fairly comfortable distance (was cut short by rain today otherwise would have been over 50).

    Was wondering what everyone was doing or did in the beginning.

  2. I did about an hour at a time at the start. I found any more than that and I would start to get tired and make mistakes. You quickly build up to being able to do longer times.
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  3. I appreciate your enthusiasm, really I do, but don't try to run before you can walk. A lot of the answer to your question is bound up in your general road experience: do you already have a car licence, and if so have you done any long trips in the car???? If the answer is yes then my advice would be to ride just half of the longest car trip you've done: that gives you a good chance of getting home without being fatigued and making silly mistakes. Anyway, my two cents' worth....
  4. Aye, the problem is recognising when you get a bit tired and start making mistakes.

    The best bet is riding with a fairly experienced mentor/teacher, next best is ride with a heavy smoker..... they tend to want to stop fairly often for a smoke.
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  5. My thoughts exactly CrazyCamCrazyCam not thinking physical fatigue, more trying to make sure that I am home before any chance of mental fatigue. Going to have to befriend a few heavy smokers, wow this bike riding is getting tougher now.

    Thanks for 2c hornethornet been driving for over 20yrs, riding is a new past time though.
  6. Then I certainly concur with CrazyCam's advice to organise a rider/mentor....
  7. The trouble is, there isn't a "magic" number of minutes.

    If you go to a track day, and watch a first timer, you'll often see that, even a twenty minute session is too long.

    They can start out neat and tidy, but inside ten minutes....OK, a busy ten minutes..... they tend to look more ragged.
  8. Ive made the mistake of trying for more distance/time on the bike.

    I was already tired, weather conditions were hot and blowy, i had ridden through Melbourne traffic, hadnt taken enough proper breaks and was hurrying to get back to work.

    I fell asleep on the bike. Microsleep but bloody scary moment. Been driving for near on 30 years but only riding since September.

    I got away with it. That time and swore never again.

    So my advice is based upon all thise factors, weather, stress, proper diet, proper breaks etc.

    There is no set time or distance. If you feel fatigued or notice mistakes, you take a break.
  9. I did short rides (15-20k) pretty much every night after work and 30-40k on weekends. As well as the mental stuff, it also takes a while to get bike fit. Plus its good to think things through and work out what you've stuffed up.
    These days 200k non stop is pretty comfortable.
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  10. Definitely start out slow & work your way up as others have already said. Its not just physical but also mental -- you tend to be much more alert on a bike, which does become fatiguing after a while. If you go out and decide to turn around (i.e. the halfway point) when you begin to feel tired, you will be wrecked when you finally get home. One thing that may help is to consider throwing an overnight bag on the back of the bike as you start to be able to do longer distances, in case you need to call it quits early.

    In terms of the physical side of things, you will get 'bike fit' reasonably quickly. When I first got on a Daytona a year ago I thought my back would explode after 100 km. Last weekend I did 650 km on the Saturday and 400 on the Sunday.
  11. Only recently have I begun to understand the meaning of 'bike fit'. I had been on longer rides but last weekend or whenever it was I found my back was REALLY sore. I was only out for an hour and a half total and had been on rides of several hours but this one was due to the terrain I think. Because I was sore I also lost patience and all I wanted to do was get home which is important to realise. Finish up in a good mood and you won't do something stupid because you're angry or irritated. I agree with listening to your body. If you're tired, thirsty or start to get annoyed (because of being tired for example) I'd head home. This is something I want to work on because touring is on the cards and I need to be able to build up mental endurance as well as physical. To get to the stage where physical fatigue doesn't override my mental stability is the aim, within reason.
  12. When I first started I'd do lots of short rides - no more than 30 minutes (but maybe do a few short rides in a day), and in that time I'd practice specific things like emergency braking, counter steering, feet up slow riding etc etc. I'd also go out if it was raining, windy and I did quite few night time rides. Then slowly but surely over a period of a few weeks I started doing a couple hours on the bike. But, I live in the country so it's easy to spend an hour on the road and not really see another vehicle.
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  13. Why not just ride with someone who is prepared to take lots of stopping breaks? Surely those exist that aren't heavy smokers too?
  14. Because most folk want to be able to ride fair distances sooner or later, and, the way to do that is to work up to it gradually..

    We can't all be Ducati riders, only going from one good coffee bar to the next. ;)

    But, early on in the riding career (and later,too) it can be difficult for folk to notice that they are getting tired and starting to ride raggedly.

    That's where riding with a more experienced rider can, sometimes, help, although it adds to the work of the more experienced rider.
  15. I'm in a lucky position where I get to ride a decent distance against traffic to and from work everyday.
    Probably about 30-40km round trip, I have clocked up over 800km's now.

    At very first though when I got my bike I just went to parking lots early on the weekends and practiced throttle and clutch control and using you're back brake on a hill.

    I think it's important to eliminate lots of distractions and elements at first so you can get used to the bike without getting nervous about holding up traffic or ultimately falling off or repetitive stalling. So I would hugely recommend just practicing at a car park.

    Overall, have lots of fun! And wear all your gear
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  16. <sigh> Sorry if this comes across like a lecture, but...... the whole point of pre-learner courses teaching stopping in first gear, clutch in, left foot on ground, right foot holding bike on back brake, is that it is the same.... uphill...down hill....on the level.

    If you do the same, all the time, you'll find it becomes more or less automatic very quickly, but, if you choose to do something different, depending on the hill or lack thereof...... it makes things more complicated.
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  17. Oh sorry I didn't know they've done a pre learner. I never did
  18. My apologies, Kawasakiboy, I thought that Vic had a similar system of pre-learners to NSW.

    Isn't it wonderful how we can't manage to standardise stuff between the states?

    OK, how about you consider what I suggested as a helpful hint?
  19. Buy a nice camera and stop to take pics, works on scenic rides, not as useful around town. Drink lots of water and you will ensure that you put a limit on the saddle time you can do without stopping, also keeping hydrated will minimise fatigue and help you stay alert. As above, you can't pick a specific time. There is a lot of processing going on in your brain to ride defensively as well as controlling the bike well. How tired you get will depend a lot on how difficult the conditions are, how much traffic is around and so on. Just build up gradually.
  20. Mix it up. Do a bit of practice sometimes, a bit of a commute, a bit of a scenic ride etc but keep it short, sweet but regular.
    Try and join in the odd learner/p plater friendly group ride and if at all possible get along to a learner's session.
    If you start out and the ride feels like crap-go home- seriously.
    Do crazy things like sit on your bike with your eyes closed and then turn the indicators on and off, beep the horn, put your side stand down etc. it is good to be able to beep the horn rather than hit the indicator in a sudden situation ;)
    In my early days I used to beep the horn turning my indicators off...:( dicknose!
    Don't worry about kms as such...go for quality over quantity. I rode a lot of kays in the beginning but sadly discovered I was developing A LOT of sloppy habits.
    I then had to work quite hard to try and get rid of these.
    I did a number of country trips about 6 months onto my riding and continued to do so.
    Just enjoy yourself and the learning experience.
    Oh and please accept that some rare days you just may want to put a bullet in the bike...just go out the next day and enjoy.