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In the Deep End: First Ride and a Long Ride

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by JuzzyDee, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Howdy All,

    Ive been lurking here for a month or two now soaking up all I can info wise, and as things get closer, the more I read the more worried I am about my plans.

    So let me outline the plan that made perfect sense when I was making the arrangements for things. Being from the Rocky area, there's not a lot of competition around, which means sky high prices for absolutely everything.

    I have a one way ticket to Brisbane at the end of the month where I will do my qride, get my license, go get my new bike, and ride it home. Now I obviously have very limited experience on a bike considering I'm not licensed yet. I'd love to buy a bike locally and ease myself into it, but the fact is, between the training and the price of the bike, we're talking four figure savings, so here's my question:

    What do you recommend I pay considerable attention to, and do you have some tips to keep a noob safe on such a long first ride.

    My first thoughts are:
    Get well out of Brisbane before peak hour. Peak hour freeways are no place to learn to ride

    No riding at night, If I get away late, I'll stop in Bundy (any excuse to stop by the distillery)

    Wear a high vis vest over my gear. It gives of an I'm a noob aura and helps me be seen.

    Take it easy and don't push myself. If I'm going too slow, overtake me. I won't be pressured to act a fool by impatient cagers.

    Can anyone recommend anything else or give me a few things to look out for?

    Thanks Heaps!

  2. Deep end indeed mate! Thats a 700km ride.

    Can't offer you much advice beyond adding a additional day of instruction to your Q-ride. Something like this one... http://www.stayupright.com.au/manage_road-QLD.htm

    Actually its only a half day course but it's probably a good course for you given your first real ride is going to be around the world and back again :D

    Hope it all goes well.

    Good luck (y)

    Fun Ha!
  3. Sucks that Guy stopped doing the Q-Ride course here in Rocky, I managed to get in on the last group he did :p

    You should be fine, a mate of mine did a similar thing not long ago, minus the license, and minus the Q-Ride and plus an R1, then it started raining on his way up :( he made it up fine though. But he's a madman.

    The only thing is that I wouldn't try and do that all in one day (if that's what your proposing to do, I couldn't figure it out). If it was me I would definitely book a hotel for the night after the Q-Ride course. That way you can do the course, get your bike, have a bit of a ride town to get more comfortable with it and then have a good nights rest before riding back up. A 6 hour ride would not be fun, and it'll be shithouse if your already as tired as ****.

    That'll mean you can also leave early, which is good because the bike will prob be uncomfortable for so long so you'll want a few more, and slightly longer breaks. Night riding isn't the worst thing in the world but it's definitely not favourable.

    EDIT: Also, as much of a good idea a high vis vest seems, I wouldn't do it myself. You'll look like a retard (lol) and on top of that, cars, trucks, Winnebago's and everything else on the road is going to say "Oh shit, there's a retard on a motorbike, we better all overtake it no matter what in case it gets distracted by a sign or something and crashes into us" and you'll therefore have people screaming past you at the very end of overtaking lanes to get in front, only to drive at 90kmh once the lane closes. Same crap P platers have to go through.
  4. 700k's is deffo too much to do in a day as a novice. Find a nice spot to stay about half way and do the trip in two days. Break each day into smaller stints and your body will thank you.
  5. Thanks for the course info, I'm doing the qride through Morgan Wacker, so it'll likely be a day and a half just to get through qride and hopefully I can squeeze in a second course.

    The plan is to do it over 3 days or so. Depending on what time I can get through things.

    If I can have the licensing and bike sorted midway through day 2, I'll ride up to Bundy and stop there over night. Any later and I'll spend an extra night in Brisvegas and head home the following day.
  6. Sounds like a good plan. Decided what bike your after yet?
  7. Being a bit of a slow paced enjoy the scenery sorta bloke, I'm going with the XVS650 custom. :)

    Just doing the leg work to make sure she's all lined up for me when I get there this morning. Lotsa phone calls and such.
  8. I envy you! What an Adventure!! Treat it as that- relish the experience you're about to have, and just enjoy the ride itself. Don't push yourself, have plenty of stops whether you think you need them or not, so you fresh all the way home.

    At one of these stops, the realization that YES!, I'm riding my own freaking bike, is gonna hit and you be so wrapped, impressed, giggling like girl, from stress relief, thtat you'll be bursting at the seems.

    Take it all in, take it easy, keep your head in the game ON the bike and let all go, OFF the bike.

    With limited skills use what you DO have-judgement, common sense, and intelect to keep yourself safe. And just ride SMART!
    you'll be ok.

    You're a lucky bloke!!!! -ride the wave-take heaps of pics for the memoirs, and share some here with us :) but most of all keep it simple, ride within your comfort zone ALWAYS, and give in to moment and reeelaaax.


    It'll be the riding skill you will use the most on the trip, methinks.

  9. +1 to the make it 2 days. Im not sure i could do 700km in one stretch yet.

    I was going to say relax, but i think raven has covered it.
    Fact is, everyone deathgrips their bike at first, before you realise you can relax and just sit there happy as a clam.

    What the hell, ill say it anyway... even if you have to do it consciously, keep yourself loose and relaxed. Otherwise you are going to have sore arms and wrists after the first 20 kilometres, and the other 680 is going to suck hard.
    Just jumping on a bike and managing to ride it isnt hard. Its the concentration, awareness, observation and riding technique that you wont have straight away, so take it easy and dont go pushing it. Thats likely the same thing they will tell you at Qride.

    edit: oh, careful in your tense deathgripping not to clench your jaw. hurts after a bit ;).
    edit 2: XVS650... well you are going to be comfortable :D.
  10. Yeah 700k will be a nice adventure! Most i have done is to Hervey bay from my house which is 400k, on a cbr250rr.. stopping just for fuel! i had a sore ass after that :D but worth every bit! Much better feeling being out on the open highway for that amount of time on 2 wheels then being cooped up in a tin box!
  11. Another thing - Make sure you have access to some water to drink. Either at regular stops or carry a water bottle/camelback.

    You'll do a fair bit of nervous sweating and will need to replace the fluids. Perhaps an electrolyte drink as well.

    Oh yeah and don't buy foods to eat you wouldn't be happy revisiting later through the smell of a burp in your helmet :D

    Fun Ha!
  12. Wow dude!, most noobs first ride is around the local car park, I can understand the solo ride back up to Rocky, Great experience to do. But it might be a good Idea to rope in a mate to ride with. (OR even following behind in a cage) Either way mate just take it easy, rubber down.
  13. Have you looked into getting the bike sent from the dealer?

    Taking into account airfare, petrol, etc it might work out the same cost wise (and what happens if you fail the qride test)?

  14. Thanks for the encouragement all. I've got a stupid grin plastered across my mug just thinking about it, especially after reading your post Raven!

    I did look at having it shipped, but the qride itself leaves change after airfares and accomadation, so the bike is a bonus. I've factored in and discussed qride with the guys down south, and have saved a space in the next days booking should I need it to complete competency. Worst case scenario, I'm still slightly ahead if I book a flight home and come back with my tail between my legs, but I'm not letting that sorta negativity creep into my mind :p

    I think I'll be right once I hit the open road, it'll be like the old days of crushing the paddocks as a teen, except the 650 may be a tad heavier than the 1978 XR75 I cut my teeth on haha.

    It will be an adventure though, and I think the prevailing message throughout the replies is pretty simple, use my brains, and stay in my comfort zone. I'd much prefer my new bike home in one piece one night later, than scratched and dinged a few hours earlier.
  15. Damn but I wish I'd had the opportunity to do this as my first ride :grin:.

    Others have already said everything I could offer, except good luck. Be sure to post an account when you've done it.
  16. 1) Loose and relaxed!!!!! I said RELAX, goddammit!!!!!
    2) Look where you want to go, not where you're going (Target Fixation's a biatch!)
    3) Treat the grips like they're small, fragile birds you're holding. Don't deathgrip!. The bike will shimmy and swerve/bump, wobble from time to time, but it WANTS to stay upright: Having a tense grip on the ...well, grips, only makes it harder for it to do what it wants to do naturally.
    4) NO COFFEE/RED BULL/ V/ MOTHER on the way back: (Basically, anything that's a diuretic! It's one thing to ride, it's something else to ride when you're busting for a p!$$!! TRUST ME, your speedo will be climbing up in no time, and you'll find yourself braving oncoming traffic to get to the neearest toilet
    5) Find a carpark somewhere and practice some figure 8's. Riding straight is the easy part, swerving/countersteering is the fun part
    6) STOP and REST at every McDonald's/KFC/Hngry Jacks you see after every 30 minutes (at first. You can increase the length you're on the bike after a while). You're MORE tired than you THINK you are: you just haven't learnt to recognise it yet. Have a rest! No rush!
    7) Get familiar with how to fill up the bike before you leave the dealership. Nothing more embarassing than to run out of petrol 'cause you can't figure out how to open the gas cap! :)
    8) Check your tires before you leave: Check tire pressure and If this is a NEW bike, the tires will be still slick/not warmed/scrubbed in. Be VERY VERY careful for the first 100 kms or so! (You can google for information on how to break in the tires.) Basically, go very very easy and be extra careful on the bends (since the sides of the tires will not have been scrubbed in)
    9) Get a mate if you can. Someone following in a car behind you can shield you form having to worry about cagers up your @$$
    10) RELAX AND ENJOY THE RIDE!!!! There's no feeling like those first few, butt-cleching rides as a new rider!
  17. Pretty much what Phoenix said, and you should be pretty fine. Particuarlly with the breaks. With cars they say MAX 2h stints. So first time riding aiming for the 30min intervals is a great idea.

    Doing the 2 day course gives you a fair bit of riding time, I did the stay upright one, but they are all much the same now. I was pretty comfortable after the end of it. Getting on and riding for 2-3days straight after while everything is still fresh in your head really isn't such a bad idea.

    The other thing, if you are doing this soon (ie still winter) make sure you have gear to keep you warm and dry. 100kmh on a bike, in rain its effing cold. Get the right gear on, and you'll be comfortable and warm. Its not good shivering on a bike!
  18. Thats a good point daveo.
    I imagine its warmer up there but during the day its only hitting 15s here. At 100kph 15c is essentially 0c.
    Im wearing...

    Head Neck: Helmet (duh), rjays neck warmer ($20... best investment ever. warm face and all. not so useful during the day but any other time yes please!)
    Upper: singlet, t, dri rider climate control with all the layers. if im riding at night ill have a jacket on under the dri rider too.
    Hands: i have a choice of motocross gloves with road armour on them (my fav) or regular leathers and also some heavy winter gloves with thermal lining.
    Lower: boxers :p, track pants, draggins cargo over the outside
    Feet: cotton or wool socks and rjays terrain boots.

    I ROAST when sitting at lights... but its just right when doing 80 - 100.

    Also got a dririder storm suit that goes over the top of the lot if i need it to... also provides a nice windbreak.
  19. One thing nobody has pointed out,,, you said a drop in at the Bundy distilery.
    I'm no tea-totaler but alchohol & bikes don't mix. You really need your wits about you especially on a ride like this.
    new licence, new bike, long distance.
    Even a mild hangover the next day is no fun & dangerous on a bike.
  20. Youll be fine. Just avoid peak hour Brisbane!