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Returning to riding after an off?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by stewy, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Ok as a few know, in the next week or so I am finally allow back on the bike, my question is though. Just before I came off I was riding twisty about as well as I had ever done before ie really trusting that front end grip the bike and the way it rode on all surfaces, now the closer I get to being able to get back on the more nervous I get.

    So the question and I know this is going to vary from rider to rider, but how long did it take you to get back to your level of skill that you were at before your off (I am not talking about riding around the streets but decent paced road riding)?

    I guess I have mixed feelings about my abilities as a rider atm, due to the way I came off, it wasn’t a fast off in some twisty backroad, but a slow speed in a suburban street. How have did you overcome it the fear of the last your last off. I know it’s only been a few months but I assume that’s a decent amount of time to loss a lot of road reading skills? I know most of this will probably be trail and see but would love to hear about how others have gone through this thought process do? Did you get back to the standard you were at?

    Cheers stewy

  2. I have only low slided once and that was while learning so I will be skipping alot of what you said.

    But with getting back into it, I think just starting slow and building up your confidence. I don't think that skill building will be as big of an issue then your personal confidence and self-doubt.

    After confident on normal roads, I would go on a basic twisty road, start taking the corners at the recommended speed and build up from there.

    Thats me though
  3. All depends on you mate.

    Being one of the guys I look up to on the forum, I would say don't be so hard on yourself about it. From what i remember you were taking a deep lean on cold tyres. I came off on cold tyres with no tread after going over a spot of oil in october. It's taken me up till around now to feel confident again.

    I reckon you'll get back to normal alot quicker but considering you have been off the bike for a bit, you might be up for a hurdle. Trusting that the tyres will do their job has been the hardest part for me but i've found that it helped my technique improve as i've spent time reading up on cornering better and practicing proper technique.

    There's no real answer for your question but I reckon you've got a pretty solid demeanour and should be back to telling every one else how shart they are for coming off and what they should have done in no time at all! :LOL:

    Good luck with it though mate, I'm sure you're just overplaying it in your head. Just make a habit to look at your tyres just before you leave home so you can psychologically prepare yourself for the time that you'll have to trust them (and to check that you don't have any slippery stuff on them).

    Cheers :wink:
  4. The "why" of my last little off the road adventure (hope it is my last too) bugged me for six months until I went back to the scene of the spill.
    What I saw without adrenalin pumping was not what I saw at the time.
    The road surface was crap. There was a bump at the crest (all resealed since then :eek: ).
    It didn't stop me from riding. In fact I rode 160km home with bits hanging off the bike but there was this doubt as to why & how.
    If its still bothering you go back and have a look.
  5. do a training course, preferably on someone else's bike (eg HART).
    spending a day concentrating on technique on a good surface fixes most problems.
  6. Sounds like the actual crash that brought you down was just one of those random moments, which is a bummer. Accept the fact it might happen again, or move on. :cry:
  7. It all comes back eventually Stewy. How you treat the situation, learn and understand it will all go towards getting past it as you can recognise the causes and stop it happening again.

    Speaking from my limited experience, since the off I had last May (you should remember it Stewy, you came and rescued me and Dougz in Dandenong with the rubber mallet for my gear lever) my skills have developed since then and I'm getting back the faith in the mechanics of the bike to do what I need/want it to do. That comes from what I said before about learning from the situation and from my own learning curve as a new(ish) rider.

    Don't beat yourself up over it mate, you're only human. It's just a matter of time until things feel right again :biker:

    PS: always up for a ride mate (like everybody else here!)
  8. I know exactly how you feel, because the ones that you can't explain are the ones you can't seem to learn anything from, and the front end letting go is about the worst sort because once it's gone, so are you.

    In answer to the specifics of your question, how quickly you get back to the skill and confidence level you previously had depends, I think, on the level itself. Racers regularly fall off, low-side, high-side, etc, and run back to the pits and are pushing the limit again within a couple of minutes. I think that's because they know what it feels like close to the limit, and have to be up there to be competitive. They also know that they ARE going to crash as part of that process. Johnny O or Stewy or others could probably express that better....

    Of course, they don't have to contend with traffic, numpties in cars, dopes who can't do roundabouts properly, and insurance companies and repairers, so life is a little easier for them.....
  9. ahhh... losing the front and the subsequent lowside, a subject I know alot about...unfortunately :oops:

    Just get on it and ride, you took a while to gain your confidence before you were throwing the SV around like a 2 fiddy, it will come back again, just get back on the horse and ride, ride and then ride some more, as you get back into it your confidence will improve as you go.

    Let me know when your heading out for a ride dude, I have an L plate and the training wheels here :p :grin:
  10. G'day mate. :)

    When you're giving things a push thru some corners, while itstill comes as a shock when you go down, it it "usually" an event you can rationalize and get your head around.
    When you're riding along minding your own bisuness and you cop a sudden and seemingly unexplainable event, it comes as a bit of a shock to the system...hard to figure, get your brain around, and frustrating as hell...it can leave your mind to wonder all kinds of things...
    That's probably where you've been at during recovery etc...and it has undermined your self assuredness.

    As the other blokes have said...once you are back riding you WILL recover much of your original prowess on the bike, but expect it to take a little while, as your confidence needs to regroup. It has'nt started yet coz you have'nt been able to ride.

    May I suggest one thing that has always worked for me, when for reasons unknown (not necessarily a crash), I have suddenly lost some confidence.

    Do NOT spend any time wandering around suburbia...get straight out into some well known twisites that you were always at home in/
    Reason...These types of corners allow you to be 'in the turn' for a longer period of time...so your brain has more time to consider what's going on, and you will have more time on the angle. Your confidence will return faster than zipping around reg suburban corners because they are over before you know it...no time to actually 'experience the corner'...
    Does that make sense? (hard to explain)

    You will find after a day out in the bends, when you return to suburbia you will be vastly more confident in reg street corners.
    It has nothing to do with ability...you can still do it all, of course, but you will be less likely to be thinking, what's this corner going to do to me.

    It's not going to fix you - but will help accellerate the recovery to full confidence and self assuredness. :)
    Any way...that's what has worked for me the last 2-3 times it has occurred over this past year or so..

    Like Bam Bam said...if you wanna head out for a spin...happy to come along as the support crew while you re-aqaint yourself with the bike. :)

  11. although my off was different... still in a corner. and i didnt have to wait a long time to get back on..

    i found i went through some easier corners, then a bit more... and then a bit more. i dunno how complex these would be considered as i am still a relatively new rider and havent had someone judge my riding :LOL:

    depending when n there, i'd also be up for a ride :)
  12. I think you need a few big km days doing some damn fine rds. Mojo should be returned by day two I reckon. Halls Gap hey?? :grin:
  13. FWIW, this worked for me...

    Logic. (you did it before, you did it fine, you'll do it again)

    Slaloms. (Repeatedly chipping away at the side that has the natural SR tension.)

    Technique (Take note of your technique and feel comfortable you're being the best rider you can)

    Corners. (...especially the side that tickles your SR's, lots of corners, start slow, build up, +1 Raven)

    Trust. (Trust yourself, bike and rubber)

    ...and finally, bedding down any scarec of a lesson that there might be to bed down. (Is there something you can do different...)

    SR's will probably make you tighter on one side than the other. Take note and actively work the matter... after a while the lizard part of your brain works out that it doesn't need to try to protect you from that side of the bike and it'll get out of the way... or you could prang on the other side and you won't be able to notice the SR's at all. :LOL:
  14. This is a pretty good point Rob...Using logic to overcome the SR should help to reduce their impact.

    Stewy, you know you ride and ride well, and have done so for a fair while...nothing's changed mate...anything more than that is just the head-game trying to unnerve you....kick it the teeth.

  15. Go to a race track.

    Oddly though, the more you crash, the easier it is to get back on and go quick again almost instantly. Riding is all about confidence. The longer you spend on the edge (ie. at a track) then the more aware you are of where the limits are. Any time that you come off then is down to factors playing out against you. You need to analyse those factors and incoporate them into your riding skill set to watch out for next time, but otherwise trust in yourself and what you were doing before. Nothing's really changed. It's all between your ears.

    What I usually find best is to go to a section of road that you're most familiar with, and most comfortable with so you're not jumping at shadows, and then ride it for an hour or so. By the time the hour's up you'll be back up to speed as if nothing had ever happened.
  16. cheers for your thought and advice guys, quite a few good points and things to think about.

    Am looking forward to getting out there again, feel like forever since i last rode, though now it's looks like all the good roads are closed for the time being, so may just get a few extra days rest :wink:
  17. Stewy,

    I wonder what shape the rubber in your tyres is in. Have they gone off or is the front tyre scalloped?
    If so a new set of rubber may help your confidence.

  18. Do the same as you always do - get on the fookin thing and ride it at speeds that you're comfortable with. Don't over-think things like some terrified n00b, you know how to ride a motorbike. Get a dog up ya.
  19. Good point Loz.
    I just got back on ASAP.
  20. yep g replaced tyres, hoping it's all just a mental thing (ie not being able to get straight back on) and the idea's of heading straight into the twisties make sense, instead of working back into commuting then onto twisties.