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New member, new rider, a little anxious.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by PranK, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    I have decided to get my bike license after god-knows-how-many years of umming and ahhing over it. The problem is that I now have a daughter and no doubt more in the coming years and I am a little more anxious now about the dangers of riding.

    I have always had reasonably quick cars. I just sold my '97 GTR (omg.. I'm still heart broken) but can tell you that I've never been caught speeding, I dont run people from the lights, I dont give a toss what people think of me, so I wont be *that* kind of rider. I consider myself an exceptionally safe driver, I know my limits, I know the rules, I drive cautiously (but not nervously) but even with that knowledge of myself and my own skills I cant help but continue to be anxious about riding and the dangers involved.

    I know that a lot of people tell you straight away that its terribly dangerous blah blah and they have never ridden a bike while other mature aged bike riders have never had an incident.... I know that I am not going to appreciate anything about riding until I start.

    Anyway, I'm not looking for reassurance or anything, I am just venting to people who I know will appreciate what I am saying as I dont know any riders personally to chat to about this stuff.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Mate, hopefully welcome aboard!

    We all ride because its a passion. Attitude and your behaviour on the road will go a long way to make your journey safer, but we all understand the associated risks with our sport.

    Take your time, get good training and gear and enjoy the community as much as the riding (eg. events, shows, even tyre kicking) you'll find it adds to the fun!
  3. Driving a car is dangerous too - funny how most of the population prefers to ignore that fact though.
  4. O.K. Reality check. Riding is more dangerous than driving… Any one who tells you otherwise is full of it.
    But it is now the certain death that most wowsers would like you to think it is.
    Most of your safety on a bike comes from what is going on in your head. (Because you sure don’t have any crumple zone) it is about reading what is going on around you and placing yourself in a position where you have an escape route or have your breaks covered. Where you have seen the stupid things people are about to do well before they do it.
    An example… there are two lines of traffic, one is backed up and the other has a big gap in front of you. you move over to give yourself some space and bleed some speed assuming someone will move out of the other lane into you. it might not happen, but better to be ready for it to happen and be pleasantly surprised than the other way around.
    Learn slowly, give yourself room to change your headspace and riding can be made a lot safer than the statistics might indicate.
  5. Could not agree more - do the training.... prcatice....get the licence....
    practice...... do an advanced riding course.... practice.....
  6. Welcome Christian. I'm in Narra myself so not too far off :)

    Being 28 you can't make use of the mature aged rider (ie. you can't go straight onto a big bike. So you'll have to do your time on a learner approved (less than 150kw/tonne, as per rta list) bike. I'll assume you've been driving for a while so you won't have to start roadcraft from page one, meaning learning won't be too much of an issue.

    Of course riding is more dangerous than driving, BUT you can minimize this danger significantly if you wear proper gear, develop your riding roadcraft to the highest level you can, don't take unnecessary risks, don't push yourself too much too fast, and assume EVERY car is about to merge/uturn into you.

    My advise is to go do the L course if you haven't and you'll know straight away what you want to do. If you enjoy it you'll go get a bike and that'll be that. Either way, as I said - Welcome :)
  7. Thanks mate. I'm hoping to eventually start hitting the track on the bike as I did a lot of track days in my old skylines. I'm keen to get really involved in the community.

    Getting hit by a bus at 40kph in a car has very different consequences to the same accident on a bike. The dangers on a bike are above and beyond the dangers in a car (for yourself - obviously running into pedestrians and bike riders doesn't fit into this equation).

  8. +1. Being proactive about your own safety really helps I think.

    Admittedly I've only got two years of motorcycley experience, but the few near-misses I've had, most of the time they were because I'd had a lapse in being proactive and was deep in a blindspot or passing through a blindspot - no way that the other vehicle could have seen me. No harm no foul.

    It sounds like you've got a good bit of road experience through cars, so you probably already do many of the pro-active things. Anticipating the wants/needs of other road users, etc.

    Anyhow - welcome to the forums!
  9. Wow, thanks everyone. I wasnt expecting so many responses so quickly.

    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    I do plan on learning slowly. What has pushed me into finally doing it is the idea of communiting on my bike but I am certainly not planning on doing that immediately. I kinda thought that for the first few weeks I'd just do a few quiet night rides to palm beach and back and just get a feel for it without being surrounded by cars.

    phizog, I saw a post of yours in another thread and was wondering what part of the beaches you were from. :) I dont think I could wait for the mature aged rider scheme, but thats fine with me as I am not looking at jumping on an R1 at any time soon. (A nice GS500 grabbed me in the bikes for sale section).

    I think I'll buy gear before a bike, that way I wont be tempted to skimp on the gear for an extra few hundred to spend on the bike. :)

  10. Err yeah, kinda already knew that one from personal experience.

    Point was that it's ironic how much of the population fixate on the dangers of riding, yet prefer to remain completely oblivious to the dangers of driving - and these are the people that are the main reason why riding is so dangerous.
  11. Welcome Aboard Christian !
    IMHO, the only real advantage in beginning to ride a little later in life I feel, is the fact that most of us are over our 'hooning' days by the time we approach 30, have a family etc...
    Ok, we may be behind the '8-ball' in regards to skill levels when we compare ourselves to others that have been riding since they were able to walk, but we ride knowing that with experience comes skill.
    What am I trying to say?? :? Buggered If I know, I kinda forgot the point I was trying to get across :p :p
    I started riding less than 12 mths ago, I have 3 kids, 1 grandson and another grandchild on the way. I know the risks involved and TRY to reduce those risks by taking 'control' of the situation and being aware and prepared for potential dangers. ( some of which may be unavoidable ).
    Take care.. always be 'on the ball', don't rush and most importantly ASK many questions, then ASK more .. take heed in the advice and tips others may share with you.
    I know the amount of knowledge and experience here that has been passed to me in way of feedback has definately INCREASED the odds in my favor. For this I will always be grateful to NR for.

    Listen .. practice.. practice some more .. don't rush.. be in control, make safety your No.1 priority and embrace every Joy this wonderful sport has to offer.

    Again .. Welcome Aboard !
  12. Hi Christian,

    I am in very much the same situation as you but a few weeks in front! I have 18 years driving experience including some performance car experience, just took my L's and got a bike 2 weeks ago.

    Definitely a sensible approach to practice on quiet roads for a few weeks before starting to commute, that is what I have been doing. Balance on a bike is not a problem for me but coming from a manual car to a bike you will find the whole foot hand coordination thing mind blowing! Not helped by the fact that clutch and gears are reversed - left hand clutch, left foot gear change - on a bike, takes a while for that to feel natural I can tell you! But if you understand the mechanics of gear changing, as it sounds like you do, then like me you should pick it up quickly.

    The other thing that I will need to time to adjust to is how damn close cars seem to you! Of course in reality they are probably leaving the same gap between them and you as they would if you were in a car but on a bike the back of the bike is almost your back!! Scary.

    HART at St Ives is probably where you will take you pre-learner course, it is ok but all you do is ride around an area the size of a basketball court and never go higher than 2nd gear, it really does not prepare you for riding on a road.

    Oh and the practice DKT on the RTA site is that actual DKT, so just keep running through that over and over (the questions change) and you will be right for the real thing.


  13. If you start riding, the only way to learn is to get out there!

    Pretend your invisible
    Take it easy - Always ride within your own limits
    Prepare for the worst case scenario - ALWAYS
    Always wear gear - Spend good money buying gear that will outlast your bike
    Get first hand advice from experienced riders

    and lastly ride as often as you can as everything soon becomes second nature.

    I got my L's and have not looked back. Rain, not hail and definitely shine you'll see me battling Sydney roads.
  14. Welcome

    I came from a very similar background to you. fast cars, track days and advanced driving courses.
    If there is one piece of advice i can give you, it is be confident in your own ability and then ride within that ability. Don't be scared of the bike or of cars trying to kill you, it'll move your concentration from where it needs to be. Just focus on the road and make sure you enjoy yourself as that's what riding is all about really.

    good luck!
  15. I know where you're coming from. I've only been riding for a few weeks, but have driven all types of cars competently for years. When I first got out onto the roads I had to hold my nerve just to get the bike to go 50kph! (too fast, too fast) Just remember - take control. You dictate when to get out, where to go and what pace to ride at. It worked for me. Take advice from more experienced riders on this forum, take it easy, and every little improvement in your riding skills will be a rewarding experience in itself.

    p.s. Practice makes perfect I guess.

    p.s.s. Riding can become addictive :grin:
  16. Christian, welcome.

    Click on the beat the odds link in my sig.

  17. Thanks everybody, you have certainly helped my anxiousness a lot. While I understand an appreciate the risks involved, I was hoping that by riding sensibly I could lower that risk and it seems that is the case.

    robsalvv, great read. That is being emailed straight to my wife (who is still relatively anti the whole 'bike thing').

    Thanks again everyone, great advice and its good to know there are people who seem to feel the same way as me (or at least, used to).

  18. Hey Prank,

    Whereabouts in the Northern Beaches are you at? Neutral Bay girl here, and I'm a very green rider (I've got less than 200 ks clocked on Peaches and that was only done in uni car parks)... Let me know if you're riding about the North Side on weekends and I'll be keen to come along and learn to ride with a new rider :)
  19. I am in Neutral Bay as well Peaches, I will PM you with contact details if you want to meet up.

  20. Damn, not enough posts yet to PM, and I guess you don't have enough to read PM's either. :(