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Learners! - have a plan!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by raven, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. I see a lot of L riders, apparently get their L licence, buy a bike and go, " now, what do I do?" and they usually wobble off down the road hoping they don't get run over.

    At that point, "you have to ride enough to learn enough, to stay alive long enough to learn how to ride"

    So make a plan for yourselves. You know what you are not to good at and these need to be worked on immediately.
    You also need to get ALOT of practise on your controls.

    Write down a plan of action. Pin on the wall or something, and methodically work through each of them until you are competent with them. Do this in car parks!, or closed industrial estates.

    But make a sensible plan and get competent with one thing before you tackle the next, but ultimately know the controls with confidence, and then start to venture out onto the roads, where it will now be far less daunting for you.
    You learn nothing while your brain is overloaded, you are stressed, and riding like a numpty, surrounded by cars, in suburbia.

    Again...sit down, and make a considered approach to your riding by making a actual list on a piece of paper, and stick to it!



    Obviously, this not directed at all L riders, but the real inexperienced L riders.

    If you think car park work is for losers, then NOTE...experienced riders hit the car parks if something is bothering them, and they want to focus on it without interruption.

    It's real easy to get cocky if you know 'a bit', and just as easy look like a complete tosser by letting your ego decide what you do.

    You can still ride on the road a bit, but realize your very limited abilities and stay honest with your self.

    You've seen those riders...working the traffic like a maestro. Unflappable, controlled, vigilant, but relaxed.
    THAT IS YOUR AIM.
    And you won't get there just aimlessly riding around, with believe that it will all just come to you.
    Yeah it will - after 10 yrs or so, but you need to be there in a matter of a few months.
    Having a planned approach, supercharges your learning and consolidation.
     
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  2. I agree with you 100%

    I passed my learners and it's only been 2 weeks and I feel like I forgotten some of the things I learnt. I've booked in for practice lessons at HART and will continue to do one every week for at least 4-6 weeks. Once I can get the clutch/gears/shifting/breaking coordinated then I will look at buying a bike and just riding around my streets and in the carparks near by.

    While I am keen to get our there with everyone I am in no rush. I've been watching the roads more carefully since i got my learners. I've also seen some stupid riders with no protective gear(singlets and tshirts!!!! WTF)

    I'm also going to get some friends to accompany me when i do go on my first road ride :) I'm 32 and just got my learners, I'm pretty sure I can wait a few more months until I get on the road.

    Thanks for your post.
     
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  3. Great advice raven

    I've recently done almost exactly that, although it's not written down - I'll probably do that now, though.

    What spurred me to do it was when I suddenly realised, not long ago, that my NSW L's permit will expire sooner than I remembered, and I hadn't done much in the way of preparing for or even booking the MOST test.

    Having a purpose has motivated me more, given a sense of purpose when going out, for example, "today I'm concentrating on slow U-turns..." and so on. Makes it more enjoyable too... not that it wasn't before!

    I only wish I had thought of this sooner, or been advised.

    Once I get my Ps, I intend work on the next set of personal goals and work on that plan. In other words, there's no reason why post-Learners can't adopt something similar.

    Like I said, great tip!
     
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  4. Fantastic advise and very well put Raven, I wish I had done this when I first started to ride, 3 years on I am still trying to deal with stuff I should have addressed early in the piece. I truely believe I would have been a better rider by now..
     
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  5. Great advice Raven. I think it's also relevant for those that have moved from the dirt to the road. In my case a klx 250 to a cb400. I consider myself starting all over again - and a part of that is approaching the new experience with a plan - for me it's the braking - find that I don't do a lot of that up the bush if I want to keep up :D
     
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  6. awesome advice, and very similar to what a mate of mine gave me...
    I still go to car parks reasonably often :D
    And for the past couple of months, mainly been working on smooth throttle control over everything else while out on the road.
     
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  7. As usual [MENTION=16699]raven[/MENTION] you are prompting us all to think about being a rider and how to develop, it probably doesn't only apply to Learners. Well done.

    So what are the common areas people need to look at perhaps people can put up some ideas here is a start

    • Throttle/Clutch control
    • Slow speed maneuvering
    • U Turns
    • Emergency Braking
    • Correct gear selection for different corners

    More ...
     
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  8. Good idea! Let's help the very new riders get their wings.

    I would propose that THE first things to work in till your fingers and toes bleed, are the fundamental bike controls, since without them, you win't even get out of the garage
    1. The clutch and throttle co-ordination. Perfect it!
    Then introduce...
    2. The gear change up and down the box. Perfect it.
    Then introduce...
    3. Braking. Perfect it!
    and remember, that a little rear brake drag while working in the carpark is absolutely BRILLIANT for low speed bike control.

    Time to start concentrating on bringing them all together smoothly.

    I did not mention steering since you just passed your L's - and you should be good enough not to run into anything in a car park. Right?

    So...now you are controlling your bike pretty darn well, and are competent and confident in the basic controls.
    Time to introduce proper steering to the mix.

    4. Counter-steering. Perfect it!
    Push left go left, push right go right...

    Once you have the proper feel for counter-steering, you are prepared, confident and ready to hit the road, as a trained rider, for your passing out parade...time to go forth, ride smart and begin the real learning phase. Oh yeah, everything you've done so far has been done to get you to the "start" of your riding career.

    Well done! :))

    (yes I know you've been riding on the road out of necessity, but they were all unofficial rides)

    Now that's about how "I" think it should go, but consider it a guidebook, not the Bible. Ok.
     
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  9. Rule number one, don't judge other riders on what they are doing or wearing until you have an idea of the reasons why, that statement you made can lead some pretty hardcore debates, usual suspects please don't go the poster on this one :)

    You have just entered a new world that will take some time to truly understand, I am almost 14 months in & have only just scratched the surface of what it actually means to be a rider.

    And on Raven's original post, that is sage advice, setting yourself goals & understanding where you are in your skills development are so important, from the perspective of someone who has just gone through that first 12-14 months of learning to ride, I know got ahead of myself a few times & nearly paid a high price.

    The best advice I ever got was take it at your own pace, some people develop the skills quickly, others are a bit slower & are more cautious, that shit doesn't matter, the fact that you ride does matter....

    Sorry for slightly drunk post :p
     
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  10. Great advice.

    I pretty much spent every night of my first week on my Ls in a carpack at night practising everything I learned from my pre-learners course before riding on busy roads.

    And I find myself revisiting these carpacks at night often to touch-up on my skills, and no doubt I will continue to do so for a very long time.
     
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  11. I resemble that remark, but couldn't agree more.
    However that isn't "Rule No. 1" ;)
     
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  12. Thanks @PilgriM

    I understand that some people feel that they can go out on the road with little protective gear and think nothing will happen to them, but each to their own.
    You're right I shouldn't judge, I hope they stays safe :) I personally will stick to wearing the proper gear....and definitely going at my own pace.
     
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  13. Ok I will bite, whats rule number 1????
     
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  14. I thought pretty much the same thing about protective gear when I started riding (only 14 months ago, how time flies), personally, I never go on rides without gearing up, that being my choice, this does mean on really hot days I won't go riding as it would be way to uncomfortable.

    The only time I have gone sans gear was a 500 metre ride to a workshop & when I hired a bike in Phuket for a day, as it was, I was wearing fairly heavy long shorts & a lightweight long sleeved shirt & I reckon I drank nearly 4-5 litres of water that day & was still dehydrated, if I had worn any gear I would probably have collapsed..
     
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  16. Dont die?
     
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  17. Heat stroke is a serious issue, but interestingly, you'd probably dehydrate less on a hot day WITH gear, than without gear.

    Why do you feel safer with gear on than without?
     
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  18. Timely thread me says..
    Noticed a few new netriders thrilled about just getting their L's who seem totally frightened about riding out their front door...

    Probably why raven felt the need to start this thread and one of the pluses of netrider and support you get here..

    Hey pilgram, good post... whatcha drinkin?
     
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  19. Without wanting to detract from Ravens post, which is appropriate to learning just about any new skill and damn important, the above is something that really needs highlighting - and I dont mean the ATAGATT debate.

    Its about thinking for yourself, evaluating for yourself and making the choices you need to make to stay alive.

    By getting on a bike, you've chosen to leave the safety of the herd. If you keep the herd mindset, its going to hurt at some point.

    Raven's talking about owning your own development, being an active participant in your learning process, rather than just assuming it will happen by itself (correct me if I'm wrong). The list idea is very important by the way - writing these things down commits you to them. Dont underestimate the impact of writing things down.

    What I'm also suggesting is that we need to also be an active participant in all our decision making processes out there, and we need to own that decision and its consequences.

    That includes everything in our riding from riding gear selection, preferences for filtering, splitting, speeding and everything else to do with your riding (including the actual riding - musn't forget that). Take on all the information you can, be prepared to throw out your existing preconceptions and reevaluate, and then determine what works for you. You cant take the risk out of what we do, but you can manage that risk to levels that are acceptable to you - what those levels are, is something you have to work out for yourself.

    Actively determine what you need to be doing at every point. Dont assume that just because the bike in front of you goes for a gap, that you have to as well. Dont assume that because someone filters you have to, or that you shouldnt. The fact that someone in front of you didnt filter can alert you to a potential issue, but ultimately you decide to proceed or not depending on your evaluation of the situation. Dont assume that following the road rules to the letter is appropriate for every situation. Make your choices about your entry speeds. They may be faster, they may be slower, but being as you're the one who wants to exit the corner on the bike rather than on your @rse there's no-one with more incentive than you to get it right.

    Moving outside the herd allows us to see. Thinking outside the herd allows us to live.

    Bleatingly Mooooooved...

    Dave
     
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  20. Ohhhh crap, now you've asked the sticky question...

    I suppose not having really gone sans gear in Aus it's hard to understand if I would feel less safe or not, thinking about riding in Phuket, it felt odd at first but after an hour I wasn't really focusing on it anymore, but funnily enough the traffic there seemed to me to be more rider friendly than here is...

    I would say for me, wearing gear all the time is mainly habit, I just associate going for a ride with putting on all my gear, there is still some part of my perception that says "I am safer wearing safety gear", despite the fact that I understand it has its limitations & should not really be a crutch.

    I can think back to the "ride naked" thread a while back as an example, I recall the discussion went along the lines of you should be able to ride the same way naked as you do geared up as you shouldn't be taking a riskier approach just because you are wearing protective gear.

    So at this stage, I would say I still feel a bit safer wearing gear as my experience level is still just over a years worth, I am not likely to make any rank beginner errors but I am still in that stage where I could make a blunder & go down, I like the idea of avoiding some minor injuries if its that sort of crash/off.
     
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