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Peaches “she’s on the road!†update 1: the death of Pi

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Peaches, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    Had my first two “big road†rides this weekend – from Silverwater onto Paramatta Road, to Neutral Bay and back. (yes, yes, don't laugh)

    Saturday was sunny, balmy and the smog-filled Silverwater Rd was calling out to the squeaky clean wheels of the CBR125. :p

    Now bear in mind that I’ve never ridden/driven on major Sydney roads before, so I’ve been gearing up for this the whole week!

    Onto the freeway off Silverwater Rd (5 minutes into the commute) and BAM! Nearly merged into a coach. :shock: Peaches was squealing, my pillion pink pig slammed its head onto the handlebar of the back seat and I think Jeff (on a ZX6R) who was tailing me nearly fainted.

    Lesson number 1 – NO MATTER how nervous I am, always remember to do a head check before merging :? Anyhoo, I recovered. Slowed down, and merged behind Mr Coach. Strangely enough I wasn’t nervous at all…

    Got back to Neutral Bay. At the Ernest St exit, Jeff started giving me instructions on which lane to take when the light turned green and I stalled Peaches :( , causing a car to honk at me. Quite embarrassing and made me panic a little.

    The next day everything went smoothly – no stalling, no crazy coach courting death incidents.

    One thing however, made me feel as if I was going to die. The wind. :eek: I was literally swaying back and forth in my lane, trying to get it to go in a relatively straight line. Anyone else have this problem, or is it because I’m on a little bike that I felt this more than Jeff who was on his Sp-1?

    I also couldn’t “sink†behind the fairing because my helmet kept hitting the collar of my leather jacket, and my ponytail was in the way – choking me. Is there a way around this? Or should I just cut my hair short and try and get rid of the collar?

    I’ve also learnt that I’m horrid at slow speed maneuvering. Had to slip the clutch and “duck walk†Peaches a few metres along Parramatta Rd when traffic slowed to a crawl. Had a couple of guys in the car next to me giggle at what I was doing. Sigh. :oops:

    What’s worse, Pink Piggy got loose and was apparently continuously head butting the back seat handle, causing her to get squashed ears. She’s also got a black snout now (not sure from what). Sigh. Not happy. :?

    Also, Jeff will be off the roads for 5 months post May. So guess who is going to be on the hunt for a caring, patient mentor who won’t tear his/her hair out with my non-stop questions??? One who would be willing to ride with yours truly on the roads and show me the ins and outs of riding in the city and twisties? Fingers crossed I’ll be able to find someone from here… :cool:

    Gargh, sorry for the long post. Just thought I’d share my first experience on the road with fellow Netriders.

    Ride safe!

  2. Uh oh, the title was meant to read : Peaches “she’s on the road!†update 1: the death of Pink Pig.
  3. thank god the maths world would be up in arms if pi died.
  4. Re: Peaches “she’s on the road!†update 1: the death o

    Sounds like you were holding on too tight to the bars...let your arms relaaaax and allow the bars to move around on your grip a bit. yOU will move around...bikes do that in the wind...just allow yourself to get used to it, and don't try to stop it from happening too much. It's normal.
    As for how much they move...that depends on the bike and rider combination.

    I would'nt worry about tucking down too much Peaches...get used to sitting up there in the elements a bit and remain comfortable. Tucking down is not a natural riding position (unless you are hammering along) and you will not be able to control the bike quite as good until you get used to it.
    Just ride in the normal riding position for now. Tucked in just a little bit perhaps, but forget tank hugging. :)

  5. Sunday was rather extremely windy, especially in the afternoon. :)

    As for Piggy's nose turning black... Do you ride with black leather gloves on? My gloves' leather dye tends to rub off on my jacket when I adjust the fasteners, etc.
  6. Re: Peaches “she’s on the road!†update 1: the death o

    This is something good to take away from the incident. :cool: Maintaining your composure after "near death" experiences is absolutely essential in order that you don't end up as the proverbial hood ornament 100m further down the road.
  7. Re: Peaches “she’s on the road!†update 1: the death o

    Yes..."composure"...well said Snowy. It's often not thought about too much. Don't let your mind get hung up on what just happened...move on from it.
  8. The wind terrified me the first few times I had been subjected to it.
    ( I'm only a little guy, so the wind loves to throw me around )
    As raven said .. let your arms relax. Crouch down a little.
    A little excercise to do is flapping your elbows, it ensures your arms are not 'locked'. Gentle on the bars, lean into the wind and let the bike stabilise herself. They do this quite naturally, as I discovered a while ago.
    These things helped me big-time trying to battle crosswinds.
    Oh .. and drop a little speed.
  9. Thanks guys :) Excellent pieces of advice, will continue practicing trying to keep calm, cool, and relaxed.

    Yeeeesssshh my new peeve is the wind. I was riding along, perfectly fine when BAM :shock: the wind hits me in the chest, sending the bike careening quite a bit to the left. Freaky stuff. But now I know... relax... relax...

    Oh and Spots – that COULD be it actually. I’ve got black gloves, and I find sometimes that it leaves smears on my face. Making me look like an Asian Rambo.
  10. Hey Peaches,

    The wind blast is better if you can't hear it, at least for me it is. Try wearing foam ear plugs (and put them in properly - make sure they're practically all the way in, not halfway in). Aside from protecting your hearing, it will also calm you down by reducing the wind noise.

    I ride much better with the plugs in, so hopefully this helps!

  11. I found the wind a bit terrifying when I hit my first decent blow. I was a bit wary of crossing Westgate Bridge, because of it. But I found since I have loosened up a bit, it is much better.

    p.s. Bolte is way worse than Westgate :s
  12. :shock: :shock:
  13. Peaches,

    I thought I would add my 2c to your situation in this thread and others rather than the tailgating one as it is a bit off topic from tailgating...

    I have read a few of your posts (good on you for asking questions, trying to learn etc) and agree with the others when they say get some private tutition.

    I had some private one on one lessons with an instructor after i failed my L's (silly mistake that was instant fail), anyway in that hour of instruction i felt a million more times confident in handling the bike and learnt a lot more than I did in the L's and P's course. I actually feel grateful that I did fail as I think the tutition made me a better ride than I would have otherwise been.

    Being one on one, in the controlled safe enviroment the tutition is in is worth its weight in gold as far as I am concerned.

    If you are not sure where to do the tutition then have a look at peoples opinions of the training schools near you, even goto them and have a look at their operation, speak to some instructors etc. Find somewhere you like and feel comfortable with and go for it.

    Hope this helps.

  14. Sigh. Am I really that bad a rider?

    Jeff – the only person so far who’s seen me ride – has told me that I’m doing really well, that I’m calm and rationale on the road, and that all I need is more practice. We always have a debrief after each ride, I take mental notes, sometimes jot them out onto paper (me being a journo and all), and of course I ask a lot of Qs.

    It’s seriously depressing that some are questioning my being on the road and getting my license when they haven’t seen me ride. But everyone has their opinions, and probably everyone here’s more senior than I am, so I’m taking everything in stride. I’ll just do more reading, more practicing, and hopefully sign up to a course soon if/when I get a chance.
  15. I don't think anyone is saying you are a bad rider, I'm certainly not and as you said no one has seen you ride.

    My post was more about gaining confidence in a controlled and safe enviroment.

    Dont take the suggestions for tutition as an insult or anything like that, I think you will find it is because people around here are genuinely concerned for each others safety and want people to enjoy their riding.

  16. No-one is shit-canning you as a rider peaches ..
    But comments like this:
    Then this:
    BAD ADVICE !!!
    Nobody wants to see you become a statistic. IMHO You need one on one training with an instructor, then a heap of practice out there.
    Also grab a couple of books and start reading:


    US based ... BUT invaluable reading
  17. I'm glad PI's not dead too!

    Great to see you're getting out and practising, Peaches. Keep it up and keep enjoying yourself :grin:

    PS. Once you get the hang of wind, it can be pretty fun :wink:
  18. Neat, VCM! I wonder if they're available in Borders Pt St? I'll pop over tomorrow during lunch and have a look...

    Or do i have to buy it online?


  19. Peaches, I'm sure you're not a bad rider. Just inexperienced. Like many of us here. At least you're being proactive and logical about what you're doing. Asking questions, having a mentor, debriefing etc etc.

    Getting more tuition can only be a good thing and it's very valuable to learn from the pros out in a safe and controlled enrivonment before taking those skills to the streets.

    I'm only 10 weeks after getting my L's and even with 30 years driving experience I find my commute to work on the bike both excites and scares the hell out of me. I travel 50ks to work and half that is on the freeway (the scary bit).

    At least you've taken a big step (like we all do at some stage) in facing the uncompromising traffic on major arterials. First few times on the bike had me very anxious. I'm more settled with it now, but never less cautious! Complacency is the killer. When you're on the bike, concentration and focus are the key. I'm always reminding myself stupid about headchecks, relax in strong winds, distance to following cars, blind spots ad nauseum.

    It's also important to practice those things you will encounter often (like slow speed work, U turns, uphill starts etc) in a quiet area before having to do it out in public. Find an empty carpark and practice for a few hours every week.

    It helps with the confidence immensely when you can do those things easily out in traffic and hardly have to think about them.

    You'll get there in the end. It's just practice, practice and more practice.
  20. I bought em both online
    I am in NO way SHAPE or FORM, anywhere near as experienced as most of the guys here, I am only passing on things that have helped me from advice I have received here, as well as the limited experience I have as a commuter.
    Head up Peaches !!