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Repeated bike noob drops

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by PeskySheepy, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Heya guys,

    I'm a super mega ultra green noob ... I picked up a '98 Across about a month ago and have so far managed to drop it four times. It's starting to get embarrassing and a little discouraging. Anyone else in the multiple noob drop club?

    The first time was the very first time I sat on it, started it and rolled it forward two feet. I underestimated its weight and went over sideways with it on the driveway in front of my parents and both sets of neighbours.

    Second time, my first 'hill start' ... it was a 3 degree sloped portion of the driveway, I rolled back when I didnt give it enough gas and dropped it with me clinging on like a monkey on its mothers back. Couldn't pick it up on my own and had to get my mum to help me.

    Third time, practising figure eights in the back paddock. Locked the front wheel turning to tight, whacked the front brake on hard in a panic and clean forgot about the back brake and dropped it. This time scratched its brand new paint and snapped the indicator off. Again too heavy to lift on my own and so had to skulk back to mum and get her to help me lift it. At that point she suggests training wheels or a postie bike.

    Today, again in the paddock... It's not an ideal riding surface but I'm barely going over 10k's and the grass is clipped short and its dry. I somehow manage to lock the front up again doing a tight turn and down it went again. Bent the other indicator and snapped my clutch lever off at the base of the handle. I rage at my noobishness, wonder if I'm the only dumb bike riding noob in the world, get frustrated and amuse myself by watching fellow noobs do even stupider things on youtube.

    I love riding when its going well but when its not, its hoooorrible. I've booked in for a solid two hour lesson this week and next with an instructor so I hopefully they'll be able to straighten out my riding issues a bit or suggest I stick to the car.
  2. I watch my kids on their dirt bikes in our paddock, and sometimes feel the need to get my road bike out and join them. I watch my 6 yr old on his 50cc fly round corners that would leave me on the ground if I tried them at the same speed. Just not enough grip, especially when there is any moisture in the ground.

    Instead of a paddock, I used to use big & empty car parks for practising turns and emergency braking - then used to head out into the streets around home, looking for as many roundabouts and variations in the road conditions as I could. Just take it easy & let experience build incrementally.

  3. #3 cjvfr, Sep 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Hang in there. Firstly riding on wet grass is probably not good for a newbie. You may think it softer to land on but road bikes are not really designed for it and the tyres etc don't give a lot of purchase. Try slow speed in deserted roads or car parks to build up confidence. Loosing your footing at slow speed is a common newbie problem and you will improve.

    With regard lifting your bike there are some tricks, it is about using the power of your legs for leverage. See [media=youtube]UZ6_2VqSHBw[/media]
  4. That does seem like a rather unlucky spate of drops... would do you well to practice on tarmac rather than grass, helps with traction and grip for the tyres. Keep your chin up and have fun, it'll click soon
  5. Dude. It's a road bike. It will have bugger all grip on the grass. If you want to learn the basics first then do it on a more suitable surface, like a quiet street or a carpark.
  6. No dont give up, bugger cars, they're boring!

    I'm sure your lesson will give you some confidence. You'll see how much easier it is when you get off the grass :grin:
  7. Thanks for the tips. I hadn't really considered that the paddock was super bad for the bike. I just figured if I went slow and didn't rush things it wouldn't be too bad. But tyre grip is definetly an issue. I'll wait till after the lesson before I try the streets again... Falling hurts as I've discovered, even a light fall on grass with gear from head to toe so I'll glean a bunch of information off the instructor and try again. : )
  8. riding slow is harder than riding with a bit of speed up. we're like albatrosses. elegant when we are going fast but clumsy as **** when going slow. go for a gentle run somewhere at 60k or so and just relax.
  9. Hi Pesky,

    Wanna start a drop club? Three times in two days is my best effort (total drops = five). Would love to hear about how it goes with the instructor.
  10. Great video, Loz! Thanks! I'd been trying to lift it from the middle. I'd get about halfway up but couldn't right it.
  11. As others have said, get yourself on some asphalt it will be much easier. Good to get your drops out of the way now, & on the plus side, if you ever drop the bike on the road, you'll have no trouble picking it up.

    Alternatively you could get some knobbies for the across :)
  12. Pesky,

    The one thing I noticed in your description is that you are using the front brake on grass while going slowly and doing figure 8's. This is a recipe for disaster, whenever traction is poor (dirt, gravel, grass etc) and you are doing slow manouvers use the rear brake by itself. Anytime you are going slow on one of these surfaces the front brake is bound to lock.

    Get yourself to a car park and practice slow riding using the back brake for control.

    Good luck.

  13. Ive dropped my bike 3 times in the last year. Twice off the center stand and once while practicing U-turns for my P's test. Broke the mirror last time :(
  14. I've only ever dropped my bike once, and as said, this was while going slow on gravel and I was stupid and used the front brake. I instantly realised my mistake; DONT USE THE FRONT BRAKE if it's not asphalt. In fact, like everyone else said, get off the grass altogether. I doubt you'll drop it again any time soon.

    But that aside, how did you drop it on the hillclimb start? Did you have your foot on the rear brake and just focused your hands on the throttle? then once you've got power to move, release rear brake. I don't know if that's the best/official/proper way to do it, but that's how I do it from what I think is the common sense approach. I can remember some nerves the first attempt, but nothing but confidence since.
  15. I was being super nooby on the "hill" start. Alot intimidated by the bike initially, hadn't quiet got the hang of the whole 'clutch/throttle/brake...two brakes?!' thing. So I'd give it a tiny bit of gas, edge forward three centimetres and then roll back about a foot... I think it was in one of those roll backs that I freaked out, clonked on my old friend and nemesis the front brake on a gravel driveway and dropped it sideways with me still clinging on in fear.

    Good times.

    Anyhooo.... I'm about to head off on my first lesson so hopefully I'll return having conquered the alimighty noob mistakes I've been making over and over. :D
  16. Dropping a bike at slow speed is a bit like arguing with the mother in law. Sure the first few times it's unpleasant, after a while you'll get used to it and find new and exciting ways to do it. So don't stress too much. Build up some body strength so you find the bike easier to manoeuvre in the garage or catch before it falls. Lessons will help iron out any technique issues.
  17. Just out of interest, how are you dropping the bike off the centre stand? trying to get it on the stand or sitting on the bike geting off?
    when i had my gpx and was learning, i had bugger all knowledge of how to use the centre stand and stood way out of position and dropped it on its side softly, once i was shown how to use it properly it was so easy and i could easilly hoist my 150 kilo zzr with no problem
  18. Try to be SMOOOOOTH with your inputs.

    Two of your offs were as a result of hitting the brakes too quickly (and at the wrong time) and I'm sure the grass would have exacerbated the problem...

    Your other sounds like you didn't release the back brake slowly after finding the 'friction point' and throttle on smoothly, rolled back and ended up falling over on a hill.

    Two reasons that come to mind that have made me do similar things:
    1) Nerves
    2) Unfamiliarity - being new.

    Go take your bike for a GENTLE ride around a car park. Take your time, make turns slowly but confidently. Any time you see yourself making some kind of rapid movement with the bars, brakes, throttle slap yourself around the ears and try again. Feel where your brakes start 'grabbing' in a straight line by gradually depressing the brake lever.

    When I first started riding about 9 months ago I remember having checklists in my head for everything: starting, slowing down, stopping, cornering and they just became processes that I learned, now I don't actually consciously 'prompt' myself to do anything like that, I think that's the best way I can describe it.
  19. just curious, have u been for your L's yet?