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The first big ride...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Bill M, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    Not trying to spam the forums here, just have a lot of questions that might get lost under one thread!

    Been riding three weeks now and haven't gone very far at any one time - mostly due to other commitments. This Thursday I've got a day off, the girl is at work, and the sun will be shining - can't think of anything better than to go for my first cruise!

    Questions - is it advisable to go it alone, or best to have company? I will check in with the girl at regular intervals (she's starting to worry a bit), but as planned I'd be without any support if I come unstuck.

    Having not ridden for more than an hour before, any specific advice?

    BTW - I'm not at all adverse to stopping regularly for coffee/drinks/nibbles/photo opportunities :)

    Loose plan is to head on down the peninsula and along the coast roads, taking my time, learning the bike and experiencing the wind in my helmet :p

  2. If you can find someone to ride with then it would be good but there is no problem with riding alone. If you stick to the more traveled roads for the moment you will be ok. Riding alone you can set your own pace and rest without worrying about someone else. Regular stops, Thursday is forecasted at 29C so keep the fluids up, dehydration can sneak up on you.

    Take the Esplanade run down from Mornington up Arthurs Seat
  3. My first few longish rides were by myself - some 3-4 hour afternoon rides and then an all-day trip along Great Ocean Road - when I'd only been riding for a few weeks. cjvfr's advice makes sense, although the run to Arthur's Seat might be a bit nerve-wracking if you haven't had much practice on twisty roads. The first time I did it, I was shitting myself going down the hill, taking the corners at not much more than walking pace. Apart from that the peninsula is a great area for a first day trip.

    The other thing to be aware of is that when you're first starting, riding long distances is both physically and mentally demanding. I found I got used to the physical side fairly quickly (after doing a few longer rides) but the mental side more slowly. Towards the end of a long day of riding, my concentration is nowhere near as good as when I'm fresh, and it can be hard to notice that when I'm out riding until I actually slip up. Take it easy, and take lots of breaks!
  4. I did the vast majority of my early riding alone, but my wife did the vast majority of her learning period riding with 2 or more other riders.

    But, your choice, just don't let fear stop you.
  5. Yes maybe right, the corners on that type of climb or descent are the ones new riders have the most problem with. Particularly uphill/downhill switchbacks. Great views from the top though. :) During week days you should be able to set your own pace, Weekends you get a bit more pressure from the tourists.
  6. There's another run up from Dromana that bypasses the tourist twisty road which I might opt for. I remember taking a learner driver up that road thinking it'd be a great learning opportunity - I now see that I was young and stupid :p

    But no, the fear wont keep me from trying, but the logic might. I'll have a play around some of the other roads first. As said, there's plenty of good roads in that area, and on a weekday I should be safe to set my own pace.

    I do try to push myself with emergency braking, rain, night-time, gravel etc... all in small doses, all one at a time. I'll get to the really twisty stuff when I'm ready - Thursday might not be the day :p
  7. Enjoy your up coming adventure...(y)
    Riding alone is great, you can stop when ever you want, strangers tend to chat to you, and you just ride at your own pace. Also, leave when you want or don't go if the weather turn... no commitment.
    Most roads you plan to take are well travelled, so shouldn't be any problems there.
    If riding off-road (remote) then it is handy to have someone else with you, incase of breakdown or other mishap.
    Just let someone know of your intended route, and when you plan to be home. I usually send a text to my missus, each time I stop to let her know where I am and where I am heading.

    Enjoy your day.
  8. Sounds good dobbo - I've got it plotted on Google Maps and have told the grrl I'll do exactly as you suggest.

    Will hopefully get some good (phone) photos :)
  9. I went down to the Peninsula on Sunday just gone as my first ride as well and it was great.

    Could venture onto the freeways for some 100kph sections and back to the coast for some more scenic riding :)

    You will have a great time, I did.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Well that was exactly what the doctor ordered!!

    34 degrees, occasional light cloud, not a whiff of a breeze, and I've got the day off :) So yep, plotted my route, took off around 10am and took off down to the coast. Was actually pretty nervous to begin with. I'm new to riding, but don't normally get nerves for short rides, guess I must have psyched myself up... really don't want to end up in a ditch somewhere so far from home...

    I paced myself, kept my mind in check and did the chicken wings thing a few times to loosen myself up - did the trick and I settled into the journey :)

    First stop, Mornington:


    Took the Esplanade down to Dromana, cut through towards Red Hill and up through to Arthurs Seat. Down off the south side and dropped into Cape Schanck:

    Couldn't resist the selfie :)

    From there, along my favourite semi-local road to Flinders - always wanted to ride that road. A hairpin, some nice gullys to drop in to, and all above the rugged coast line overlooking Bass Strait. I'll be doing this ride a few more times me thinks :p


    Headed north from here and peeled off at Merricks - nice roads in this area - had to stop for this photo-opportunity. The trees, the sunlight... even the smell - you just don't experience it like this in a car :)


    Had a great day, feel a lot more comfortable with the bike, with speed and even riding in traffic. All up was about the perfect day. Somewhat better than sitting in an office all day :p
    • Like Like x 7
  11. Nice one Bill, great pics.

    Look forward to your next adventure. Noice bike too.(y)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Bwahaha, sounds like you're addicted now! Glad it all went well. The BMW looks very much in its element out in the bush, too.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. The grin that's still plastered on my face makes me think you're spot on cameronp :D

    And yeah, the bike didn't skip a beat. Very happy with her.
  14. Great write up Bill and love the pics.

    I ventured over that side of the bay last November and had a bit of an explore around Flinders, Red Hill and did the road down from Arthurs Seat. Really enjoyed and sure you will do it many times more.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Nice work bill
  16. Good to see you getting out and about, perhaps its time to progress to a group ride next.
  17. Ahmen to that, i have done arthurs seat and flinders run, living in frankston there close, we stopped in flinders for lunch as well which broke it up nicely, yesterday i did my first big ride, 7.5 hours and 300k's going through the back of berwick to start and out to reefton, black spur, warburton, marysville and some mountain that is a ski resort in winter (cant remember the name but it wasnt bulla or baw baw and i cant remember what order we did the towns in), once fatigue started to set in i was letting my weight fall onto the bars under braking and cornering, i actually didnt realise i was doing it as bad i was till a mate that was behind me told me he thought i was going to die, i waved him past and slowed to 50-60k's for the rest of that leg, it was still another 15 - 20 minutes to the reefton pub for lunch which seemed to last 3 hours, i was ready to split with the group after lunch and cruise home luckily every one else was as worn out as i was (was a mix of experienced and learners).

    After leaving the pub i felt better so got back into it a little, fast enough to be fun but slow enough to enjoy the scenery, a little too much of the scenery as it turns out, coming into a bend at 80-90 i noticed a car coming the other way that was turning really tight, i had totally missed all of the hair pin signs, got on the brakes hard went straight ahead off the corner, over a grass hump and between some tree's and ended up in a small clearing, if that had been the same as 98% of the corners on those roads i would have ended up in or off the side of a cliff.

    Yesterday taught me a lot and luckily me and the bike came out with out a scratch, there was atleast 3 times due to fatigue where i was inches away from a hospital bed.
  18. Wow dude - pace yourself!

    Much as I'd love to tackle a ride like that, I know I'm nowhere near skilled or experienced enough to handle it. I know I can ride around corners, down straights and up and over hills - but stringing it all together all at the same time for hours on end... There's so much that I know I don't yet know, and to find out the hard way could make it my last lesson.

    So I'll do progressively longer and/or more challenging rides until I'm more comfortable in the saddle. As it is, I probably paced myself too much with the peninsula ride, but meh, there's no hurry for me. It'll come, better I let it happen than force it to.

    Slow down (not just speed), or you might find that there's no run-off options... BTW - it was probably Lake Mountain you were at.
    • Like Like x 3
  19. Says it all really

    "Don't ride faster than your angel can fly" (Dougism)
  20. It was not meant to be that long, left at 8:30 and was meant to be back by around lunch, that didnt happen..............
    I could still the angel, although i did have to look over my shoulder.

    Its all a learning curve, learnt a lot of things from yesterday, i need to do a beginners track day to learn just how far i can push it.