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How to encourage my Mrs

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by HeavyNinja, May 8, 2016.

  1. so long story short. My mrs wants her licence, 1st lesson she dropped bike and just putted around, no issue I gave her heaps of encouragement to keep going. Lesson two, by the end of it the instructor took her for a ride but she panicked going wide and powered which sent her on opposite side of road on top of a crest. This was worrying, what happens when she hits a bend and freezes, but I encouraged her to stick with it. Todays lesson we went back to square one, she couldn't even take off, the instructor ended up pillioning her so she could watch. However the wind became 40+ and he abandoned the lesson and re booked for next week.

    How do I encourage her, when I don't think she is suited to ride? I can't be realistic and talk to her about thinking if it is right as she gets defensive and angry. It doesn't help that she is shitty that I just got on the bike, had 4 lessons and aced my practical test. She thinks it should be easier than it is. Tomorrow I am going to get her to tell me how to take off whilst I am on my bike. Each step etc, then show her how to take off, but in all honesty I am just not sure she is right for it and encouraging her to percevere is just dangerous, but I need to encourage her for her own confidence.

  2. Yeah, that's a tough one.

    I know some here disagree, but get her on a bicycle. It really sounds like she is still working out how to steer the bike. Our brain can't handle learning 3 things at once, 2 is ok. Once she gets steering and braking automated, then you can put her on a motorbike and you can add clutch and throttle. it's will only take a week or two.

    If you are lucky, she will prefer bicycle riding anyway :whistle:
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  3. My son started riding just before me. I rode with him once in my very newbie days and it annoyed me to see how balanced and smooth he was. I announced I would not ride with him again because it was counter productive for me as we can't help compare and compete even against those we love.

    Looking back now, if I had a bad day at practice and came home with a whinge, my non riding hubby would simply say, 'Stop riding then'. Not to discourage me, but to point out that I had two choices. One was to stop riding. The other was to learn how to ride. His support was unobtrusive background support by not getting in my way.

    Encourage her to join NR perhaps? For me, it made a huge difference. Almost everything I learned in the early days was from reading incessantly, but that's my learning style. Theory first, then apply, apply, apply. Or show me once then get out of my way.
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  4. I'm sure Mr Button will have his own advice to give but for me a belief in my ability (even when there was non) was crucial!
    Mr Button revealed a year later how terrified he was for me but he never let on, even when I fukt up royally (and very luckily without serious consequence) he kept telling me to "get back on the horse"! And I did and I am really grateful he approached it that way because now we have heaps of fun together and it's become a huge part of our lives!
    Good Luck!
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  5. In furious agreement there!!!
    YouTube is a great resource!!!
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  6. Can she drive a manual car? If not, then understanding friction points can take some time to work out. When SibiSibi was first learning, she had good balance but getting the bike to move smoothly was an issue. I told her to not worry about over revving the bike at take off, the bike can handle it, just to her going and then "ride" to feel how the bike moves.

    As BjpittBjpitt said, maybe get her on a pushie for a bit to get her used to balancing and steering a two wheeled machine.

    She sounds determined and maybe a bit impatient. Maybe the lessons are not intuitive enough for her at this starting stage. Also, having you there might make her feel like she has to compete (SibiSibi can get like that a bit *runs*) so if possible drop her off at lessons then you go for a ride.

    Some people it just clicks, other like GoldenberriGoldenberri study first then put it into action, others try and will never get the hang of it.

    Just give her heaps of encouragement, be positive, but also try and get the message across that being in a calm state when riding is crucial (especially if she is getting nervous before a lesson).

    PSYKCPSYKC, I'm the same with SibiSibi, only now am I confident in her confidence on the bike, at first I was sh1tting my pants every time we rode together, and often not because I didn;t trust her, it's the fkrs in their cages that I didn't (and still don't) trust :)
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  7. 4 words. Parking lot practice, lots.

    Get her on your bike, and just get her used to the very basics - clutch in, into gear, ease away under light throttle. And bring to a stop and put back in neutral. Repeat x100 until she can do it in her sleep. Once this is done confidently, she can start to expand to actual riding around a parking lot, with a few gear changes, and basic cone courses etc.

    You have to support and encourage her, while reminding her not to be impatient, it may take her a while. But - if she is unable to master the basics, I would think riding is not her thing.
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  8. Lol! I hear ya! Nerves of steel you guys must have! Think it's a real skill trying to teach someone to ride on a bike, simply because unlike a car, you just not there when it goes pear shaped ... And it will!

    I grew up driving a manual and I agree, I think it makes a huge difference! I get in my car now and can't get over how little there is to do and think about compared to a bike!

    Kudos to all those teaching their partners how to ride! (y)
    Not easy!!! I know whose gunna be teaching my kids how to drive!
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  9. Actually yeah that's a bl00dy good idea, initially I had SibiSibi riding up and down a very very quiet back street (well not so quiet with the TwoBrothers exhaust on her bike hehe) doing clutch work, light brakes and some wide turning.
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  10. HeavyNinjaHeavyNinja sometimes it's not meant to be. My partner grew up riding horses and is a very confident car driver - she is quite happy bombing about the Island we live on on the postie bike with no issue so it seemed like an easy decision for her to get a bike licence to ride on the proper roads.

    She did one day of L's training and didn't really like it, then dropped the bike on day two and has never considered riding on the road since.
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  11. Hi HeavyNinjaHeavyNinja, patience is the key from you. Hope the Mrs continues until she beats it.
    Now PSYKCPSYKC, teaching your kids to drive is a totally different level of sacredness as they have 2 tonnes of metal at their disposal. I was the go to for my kids and some nieces and nephews.
    One liked to try to swipe mirrors off parked cars, one couldn't merge on freeways, one thought I was telling them off when providing advice, one always drove too fast, one forgot the car has indicators, one loved the "L" played V8 and drove me to school each day, one needed instructions about 3 times before you could detect a response.

    I survived!
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  12. Lol! Yup, that's why it's gunna be Mr Button's job! He has experience working with feisty females! :) Still I think one of my girls is gunna test him to the max! Lucky I've provided a gentle introduction, lol!!!
  13. HeavyNinjaHeavyNinja , I have been through this with my wife and son.
    Your mrs is very lucky to not have been cleaned up, when she crossed to the opposite side of the road on a crest.

    At this stage, she needs to practice all the basic in a quiet spot, away from other traffic.

    My situation.

    I had to come to terms with, my own responsibilities and expectations.
    I really wanted my wife to experience and enjoy the same passion that I have for bikes and riding, so we could go out riding together.
    Initially she seemed very keen to get into riding, as she 'seemed' to enjoy being a pillion and enjoyed riding around the paddocks.
    However, she would get anxious, frustrated and panic, if things went astray. I could sense she was doing it to please me.
    I really did not want her out in traffic, so I stopped putting pressure on her, and asking if she wants to get a licence.

    Then my son decided to get his 'Learners', he had been racing MX and Enduro for around 8 years, so had no problems with handling the bike or gear changes; however, what I found, was his road craft was not there, running wide on corners or trying to take 'race' lines through the bends, and I would spend the entire ride checking my mirrors to see if he made it around the last bend.
    So his Learner's expired and he never bothered with getting his 'P' plates, although, he still rides enduro's, only he will know when he feels ready to get his licence.

    However, I started to realise that it was more the pressure from me for them to ride, so I had to ask myself,
    "could I live with myself, if things go wrong and they get badly hurt or killed ?"

    Having ridden for so long, crashed and injured myself, had friends badly injured and killed whilst riding; I understand the risks associated with riding, and how quickly things can go 'pear shaped', it's how your react to these situations that will benefit you as a rider,.... panic is not a good reaction.

    I am not a believer, that everyone is suited to ride, even though I would love for everyone to enjoy my passion.
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  14. Cheers guys. 69SIM I don't hang at her lessons, I just drop her off. Chillibutton, I don't have oggy knobs and she can't touch the ground on my ninja so don't want her on it.

    She is one of the worst people for letting one error cloud everything, so this doesn't help. Until she can master basic functions all her lessons will be in a car park, but she must have been ok last lesson to go on the road until she made that error. It was her only real error, it only happened the once. But obviously the instructor decided it was enough of an error to go back to basics. I still encouraging her and today we will go out and run through taking off. I know the instructor said foot on brake, find clutch bite, then rev, release clutch and brake.

    I told her unless she is on a hill, forget the brake for now dragging it can make you stall and for now is an added step. Not sure bout you guys but when I leave my house I have my right on peg not brake, and in traffic if flat, I don't as if I need to escape, the brake is an extra step. Also will show her how to rev at the same time as releasing clutch. All well and good to find bite point but just a smidge past that and you can stall, so bring revs up before you get to it.
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  15. I don't want to give differing advice as the instructor knows better, but I used same instructor and first lesson I took off his way, after that I did it my way, not sure he ever knew. He was great but sometimes in the name of teaching all steps he over complicated things.
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  16. #16 XJ6N, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
    Given the same situation, I would leave all instruction in the the hands of the riding instructor - or choose a different instructor if the instructor's style doesn't suit.

    I've had a similar situation when my wife started to learn to ski. I learnt fairly quickly years before her and was keen for her to get up to pace so that we could enjoy some beginner runs together. Her one-on-one instructor was good and my wife enjoyed the learning experience. She found it quite difficult to master some of the foundation skills and her progress was slower than mine. I am fairly certain that any direct input I might've given - other than to answer questions off the slopes - would have resulted in frustration for both of us.

    I like the advice already given about "unobtrusive background support" - give your partner the room she needs to progress and or make decisions about continuing independently. That way, she owns the decision and the progress made. Whether you end up riding together on two motorcycles or on one, you've both come to that point on your own terms and saved some arguments.
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  17. I always wanted to ride a motorbike. When I mentioned "I wish I had a bike" to my partner, he just snorted back to me "you can't even cycle, what are you talking about!" So after he acquired an Ex title, I was free to pursue my dream. I had to face the fact that I couldn't cycle, that bit was true, so had to learn the basics as an adult.

    I've got my L's just over 12 months ago. Failed first attempt as I dropped little CB125 I was practicing on 5 or 6 times within first 3 hours. Instructor sent me back to learn my balance riding a pushy and if possible ride a dirt bike. It took me 10 weeks of daily cycling and as often as my friend could accommodate me riding her son's little DRZ125 in their flattest and biggest paddock to try again. I also had 3 one on one lessons with Stay Upright instructors. I did pass my second attempt with no incident, and was let loose on the streets by myself.

    My very first ride ended in crashing my bike into a kerb, I didn't quite make a left turn. We picked it up, checked it out, and I rode it back home. I went again the next day, at night and by myself....

    Without turning my post into a novel, I'd like to point out couple of things. Few people are born to ride, the others have to work bloody hard for it. Some of us remember Minority153Minority153 and this thread Enough bicycle skill to start learning on motorcycle?. This girl had a trashing and was told she was not suited to ride by so many people! She surprised them all in the end.

    I second few suggestions made already. Start with a parking lot and quiet streets for mastering the basics. I knew nothing about the physics of movement of a "two wheeler", so I found reading both parts of "Proficient motorcycling" and TOTW-2 very helpful. It answered lots of "why's" and "how's" I had. And I learn best when I understand the reason behind the rule. She needs to learn to handle a bike at slow speed first, it is the hardest part.

    I presume she has a car licence, so good roadcraft and hazard perception is not new to her. She would also understand that the outcome of a mistake on a bike is much less forgiving than in a car.

    Definitely offer her to join this forum. She can talk about any issues she's facing with any of us who's been through the same without being judged. I know you don't judge her, but because riding is so easy for you, she might feel very different about you seeing her struggle. If she is somewhat a perfectionist, it is very hard to be seen to be "not perfect" by your loved one. She can PM us any questions she might not feel like asking you. Several of us, women-riders, became good friends through NR, supporting and encouraging each other, going through the same issues.

    12 months later, 4 more drops and one more failed corner, me and my bike travelled together just over 12,000km, and it only gets better. You will need heaps of patience, nerves of steel, a habit of counting till 10 before you comment, a skill of keeping your temper under control and your voice nice and calm. Hard to master, but you will be glad you did, when your wife will become a rider, and both of you will share this terrific pastime. Best of luck and keep us posted.
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  18. I would ask her to join, but if she sees this thread I will be well and truly murdered.
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  19. I found this instruction of taking off with no extra revs very difficult to master, I kept stalling and getting frustrated. I add plenty of revs every time I take off, I do use my foot brake, just had to learn to release it at the same time as the clutch.

    All bikes are different, all instructors are different. Rules might say one thing, but there's nothing wrong with adding a bit of extra-revs to prevent stalling and dropping the bike. That will wipe a learner's confidence off and set them back to square one. You are doing great HeavyNinjaHeavyNinja, she will get there, just keep faith and give it time.
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  20. That's the sacrifice you have to be willing to make as a loving husband. After she sees this comment of yours, I feel your chances of survival would increase dramatically (y):happy:
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