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Made it home on my first try

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by TheEvilPenguin, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Apologies for wall of text. The TL;DR is I got my bike home safely and loved doing it after some initial nerves.

    I just got my brand new Honda home from the dealer tonight. I was pretty confident when we were still up the road from the dealer, but started getting nervous when we got in the carpark. I'm planning on getting a beginner set of gear from Aldi on Saturday, so I'd borrowed some gear from a temoprarily bikeless rider friend. There was no way his boots were going to fit, so I bought a cheap pair of RSTs for the ride home.

    My friend left so I wasn't worried about being watched, and while I let the bike warm up I started to think I wouldn't be able to do it - it had been two and a half weeks since I got my permit, which was the last time I'd ridden. I started small, playing with the friction zone a bit, which gave me some confidence to take off. I decided to spend some time doing laps of the back roads of the industrial area. As 'I don't know if I can do this' went through 'Maybe I can do this' to 'I might be able to do this', I eventually decided that I couldn't put it off any more.

    The original plan was to take the freeway all the way back as I was going inbound, against traffic, but I decided to be a bit cautious and go a bit out of my way to take backroads. The first time pulling into traffic was a little thrill, but I got the feel for it quicker than I thought I would. The CB500X handles nicely enough that I wasn't thinking about the maneuvering at all, which was lucky because I was nervous about braking and downshifting. Braking went fine, and I started trying to blip the throttle on downshifts but fumbled it a few times and went back to slowly letting the clutch out as I braked. I never thought I'd say this, but I really appreciated having a slow car in front of me - no one wanted my gap, and it was a two lane road so no one tailgated too badly.

    About halfway home I decided that the freeway would have been fine, but I was happy I'd gone the back way as it gave me more practice riding smoothly and taking intersections.

    I only had two minor traffic issues. One ute tried to overtake me on a merge at the exit of a roundabout, and I would have had to brake too sharply for my tastes to get behind him, so I rolled on the throttle and made a quick gear change which put me up to the speed limit pretty quickly and put a nice gap between us. I stuck to the speed limit and didn't have any more problems. I was sympathetic because I know I was taking the approach to intersections fairly cautiously, but I didn't have a safer 'out'.

    One person tried to pull out in front of me, but then they saw me and stopped in the middle of the road. I saw them from a fair way back, and it was through the Altona shopping strip so I was already only doing 30km/h and it didn't bother me at all - I waved them on and followed them out at a nice distance.

    I can't ride tomorrow due to a going away party which I'll drive to, so my next ride will be on the way to Saturday practice.

    It's not quite a 'Journey from newbie to intermediate' story, but it's enough for me.
    • Like Like x 11
  2. well done it becomes easier then addictive :]
  3. Oh, I've been addicted since I did the intro course two months ago. I just need the skill and confidence to back it up now :)
  4. Well Done .

    The problem with being new is you can control things while everything is going well, but if things turn bad you can get out of control pretty quickly.

    Baby steps.
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  5. Good on ya !
  6. Good job mate. Take it slow and enjoy it.
  7. Good work..
  8. A+ for putting in. Plenty of "Dropped it 20 meters from the bike shop" stories.

    Saturday morning cones at Elwood is a good place to to show off the new bike & find out some of what you and it can do in a more reaxing environement.
  9. There were a few times I thought about calling my friend back to ride it home for me, but you only get to ride your first bike home once, and that would have been a really bad way to start out. Once I got on the road I felt silly for being so nervous.
  10. Well done. Be careful about jumping on the freeway. Stay left if your going to be doing 80. I tried it once on my 250 and a truck overtook me and nearly blew me off the road. I recommend staying off the freeway on your Ls if your going to do 80. I only tried it again when I had my Ps and sat on 100 minimum.
  11. 70 was no trouble on the road, so I can't see 100 being an issue on the freeway with wider lanes and (hopefully) a better surface. The reason I avoided the freeway initially was so that I wouldn't be stuck too scared to get up to the limit and too scared to be on the freeway moving slower than traffic.

    Tomorrow morning's ride is going to be a short stretch of 100 before I hit the 80 section over the bridge, so I'll get a taste of it with an escort.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Well done, great stroy and welcome to the nut house. We are all united by the passion that is two wheels. Keep us updated with your progress and how you are enjoying the two wheeled adventure. Remeber, it's not the desitnation that matters, but how you get there.
  13. We don't have that issue in VIC. Learners can do the posted speed limit. :)
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  14. I hate u ;-)
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  15. Nicely put, @Senetor17@Senetor17. I'm with you.

    OP, are you sure you're THE Evil Penguin? I thought there were heaps of the little buggers. In any event, you told the story well, so keep us posted on your journey. Don't ride on the freeway 'till you're sure you're ready.
  16. Well done and nice bike as well.

    I thought we were united by a hatred of rain (raining in Cairns again. Seriously WTactualF - it's the dry season).
  17. #17 GreyBM, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
    Don't hate us . Hate your dickhead legislators who brought the rule in for you. Better still write to them explaining why it is a recipe for getting learners injured or killed.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. I don't much like rain when I'm riding, but I'd put up with a fair bit right at the moment.

    Drought bites deeper across eastern Australia

    A large swathe of eastern Australia, including coastal regions from Coffs Harbour to Bundaberg, is in the midst of its driest year since the Federation Drought more than a century ago, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

    The average rainfall over this entire region - stretching inland to Roma and St George - for the past 12 months has only been recorded lower once, in 1901-02, and the outlook continues to favour below-average rainfall until at least October.

    The dry conditions have brought forward the fire season in some regions, particularly north-eastern NSW. The Rural Fire Service has had to attend 444 bush or grass fires since August 1, with 40 burning on Thursday, said Matt Sun, an RFS spokesman.

    An area around Sydney has also been especially dry, with the city receiving below-average fall over the past eight months and little rain for the past eight weeks. Showers may bring falls of a few millimetres over several days from Sunday, the bureau forecasts.

    Blair Trewin, a senior climatologist at the bureau, said there are two main belts of drought. One began in mid-2012, mostly ranging from inland parts of Queensland in northern NSW.

    “From August (2013) onwards, we’ve also seen a significant rainfall deficiency developing further east,” Dr Trewin said.

    For instance, Coffs Harbour, on the north coast of NSW, has had its driest start to a year in records going back to the 1940s, Dr Trewin said. The town had about 566 millimetres of rain to the end of July or about half the average of 1184.

    A notable feature is that the dry conditions have extended over wide regions rather than leaving many areas in extreme drought. With some large river systems, that means inflows are low because the entire catchment is quite dry, Dr Trewin said.

    Fortunately, areas such as the upper Darling had good rains to fill up dams prior to the current dry spell, he said.

    Dry July. Photo: BoM

    Farmers in regions further afield are also seeing dry conditions. Moisture in the upper layer of soil was below average in the week to the end of August across a region stretching from northern Victoria to tropical Queensland, the bureau said.

    “If the soil is dry, the chances are the forests above them are dry too,” Dr Trewin said.

    Fire dangers

    Upper layer soils dry out: red regions are in the 0-20% of average moisture. Photo: BoM

    The RFS has brought forward its bushfire danger period for 14 local government areas to the start of August, as much as two months early.

    Fire crews on Thursday were attending to bush and grass fires from the Queensland border down as far south as Eden-Monaro, the RFS’s Mr Sun said.

    On Friday and Saturday last week, crews were attending to 90-100 fires each day – excluding the hazard-reduction burns underway.

    “It’s an unusual number for this time of year,” Mr Sun said. “The volunteers are ready to do the work that’s needed.”

    The past week’s fires have destroyed five rural residences, seven outbuildings and four vehicles, he said.

    Conditions in the Pacific, which remain about a 50-50 chance to generate an El Nino event in 2014, have contributed the relatively dry period.

    In El Nino years, temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific are warm relative to western regions, and rainfall tends to shift eastwards away from Australia and south-east Asia.

    The bureau’s latest three-month rainfall outlook “leans” towards drier-than-usual conditions over most of eastern Australia, particularly northern Victoria into southern NSW, Dr Trewin said.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/w...-australia-20140807-101guy.html#ixzz39pzrixW8
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Love reading stories like this.
  20. Way way way way WAY braver than me! Very well done, I bet you're gagging to get out on her again! :) How was Saturday practice?
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