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The good, the bad & the ugly

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by maplegum, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. I was really looking forward to riding tonight after work. 3rd time out on the road for the Suzi and I. My husband and I headed out and it was my 1st time on the highway. My lord, 100klm/hr is sooooo fast hey!? I've only ever got her up to 80 on previous rides. I handled the highway just fine. Even had a truck beside me and I coped just fine, I believe.

    Anyway, the trip turned sour. I don't know what happened and I still am trying to replay the moment in my head. We were off the highway, on the home stretch. There is a bend in the road, and it's an uphill bend. My husband was following behind me. Next thing he see's me shoot off the bend and into the gravel!! He pulled up beside me and I think the size of my eyeballs told the story.

    All I remember is going around the bend and thinking "I'm not going to make this". I found myself heading off the edge of the bend and onto the gravel area on the side of the ride. My husbands wise words popped into my head just at the right moment. I squeezed in the clutch and let her coast until I slowed down enough to apply a bit of brake. My hubby was so proud of how I managed the mess. I caught my breath, swallowed my fear and headed home.

    On reflection, we can see what went wrong. I didn't look at my exit point on the corner AND I'm not leaning into the corners. Back to the local train station car park for some cornering practce I think!

    It scared the poop out of me. :eek: But - I don't won't to let it beat me. I'm going to do that corner again and this time I will master it!

    So, that was the good, the bad and the ugly of my 3rd time on the bike.
  2. Good save, well done, and get back out there
  3. Keep it up maple. Mistakes happen and good that you got out of that one well.
    Ive run off on a few corners, moreso picking the wrong entry point then not looking through the corner, and going much too fast for the position i was in. Probably i could have laid the bike right over and ridden it through anyway, but at the time i wasnt confident in myself, my bike or my tyres (developing nicely now though :)). Also... all of the corners ive messed up were left handers, so thats what ive been spending lots of time practicing.
  4. glad you are ok... always look where you want to go! i have overshot corners and panicked.

    ive only just started riding regularly after crashing earlier this year, and am lacking a bit of confidence... but you gotta remember, when you are leaning over, look where you want to go. chances are, the bike and tyres will be up to the task
  5. Thanks for the support. It all happened so quickly. Kind of glad I had a scare like that and it ended with me in one piece. It shows that I really need to work extra hard on those corners! I wish I could 'replay' that part of the ride with some kind of onboard camera and site back to see where it all went wrong. I just felt like before I knew it, i was in the gravel.
  6. Did similar myself a couple of days ago... for me I think it was turning into the corner too early that put me wide.

    You definitely have the right idea, when you find something going wrong go somewhere quiet and practice.
  7. Have a read of the 'Cornering 10X' series if you haven't already
  8. Not only have I read the cornering series toadcat, I have it printed out! I was sitting on the couch reading it all the other night when husband said to me that I can read as much as I like but I need to put that knowledge into practice. It's true as it all seems so straight forward on paper. Out for another practice run to the train station carpark tonight. My husband has actually bought some of those orange cones and will set up a course for me try out. He is such a great support and is happy for me to do things at my own speed and pace.

    That stupid corner is also a tricky one in the car if you don't watch your speed. Uphill, tight bend. I know I won't let it beat me - don't do defeat too well. I just have to learn how to approach it. Next time around I'm going to park on the side of the road and watch my husband take the bend a few times so I can see how he tackles it.
  9. Sounds like you came out alright. I’ve done similar things when learning. Just keep practising.

    Approaching a corner at a decent pace, half way through the corner you think ‘crap I can’t make this,’ go for the brakes and turn wide... Common reaction for cars and it takes a while to retrain your brain.

    Once in Vietnam my gf was riding a scooter (me pillion) at about 80km/h into a slight corner. She freaked out, braked and headed towards a concrete barrier! Could have been very nasty. I’d hate to see the inside of a Vietnamese hospital. Anyway lessons learnt, don’t brake mid corner and, you can grab the bars and counter steer from the passenger seat :D
  10. Got back out on the bike yesterday after work. I added another 100klm of experience. Hubby and I headed to the carpark again so that I could practice my turns and also work on my body moving with the bike. I tend to sit bolt upright and fight against the turns. Ivan jumped on my bike to show me exactly what I'm doing wrong - he makes riding seem so graceful and easy! LOL. Anyway, kicked him of my bike - I'm very protective over her already - and did some more cornering around the town back streets. I'm still trying to master smooth take offs but Ivan did mention that my clutch sucks and does not grab until the last moment so he will look at getting that sorted out for me.

    From there we headed into Daylesford, which involved lots of winding roads. I travelled at 80kph even though the limit was 100kph. I feel much better at a lower speed right now. I had my first experience of a car overtaking me. Scared the poo out of me!

    Arrived at Daylesford safely. Filled up with fuel, all $3 of it! LOL. I could see that it wouldn't be long before night set in and I was not ready to attempt a night ride as it was only my 4th trip on the bike. There are plenty of kangaroos on the back roads heading home and lets just say that I would come off 2nd best if I hit one.

    As we were riding home I started to realise how comfortable I am becomming with her. We just 'fit' so well together. I read that many people have trouble trying to balance their bikes, that are they are too heavy etc. My bike and I don't have that kind of relationship. She's a steady girl. We are a team, what a great feeling. She travels so well and she is super comfortable although I guess I do need to condition myself as I was starting to stiffen up by the time we got home.

    My biggest challenge for the day was to tackle that rotten corner again - and I did it!!! Don't know how I managed to mess it up previously but I am so proud that I managed to stay out of the gravel this time. I actually punched the air once I knew I had done it! Woo Hoo!!!!

    So, that concludes ride #4 on my bike. Looking forward to some more adventures this weekend
  11. Good stuff maplegum, glad to hear you're developing as a rider. Pics of the ride?

    Cheers - boingk
  12. Keep practising. Ride more, and then when you think you've ridden enough, ride some more.

    Deliberately go for ride in the rain and wind. It's important to do this because you can never rely on the weather staying fine, particularly in Melbourne.
  13. Something as a learner that I have found really helpful and stems from my car training is vision and looking where I want to go. Had once or twice where I have started to go wide on a turn and a bit of vision readjustment seemed to help considerably. Probably as a learner myself, it is what I resort to in any stressful situation so far - checking I am looking in the right place.
  14. Thank you for the support. Wet weather riding is on my 'list to do'. I really do want to get out in the rain and see how I go. I've done the wind, got pushed around on my bike, she only weighs 145kgs (I think). Lucky my bum is hefty enough to hold her on the road. LOL.

    When riding yesterday, heading around a bend, I notice a neighbours car coming in the opposite direction. I had to FORCE myself not to fix my attention on him and keep my mind on the job - if I had continued to watch the car, it would have ended up messy I'm sure.
  15. :)

    My cockells are well warmed :)

    Your hubby is right, the info needs to be put into practice... and that's why I structured the articles the way I have. Don't move onto 102 until 101 is mastered... no seriously, don't. There's a rhyme to the reason. If you lock in the foundations, the rest will follow.

    You experienced a classic novice error. You lost your (visual) way in the corner, the corner "came" at you all of a sudden which is overwhelms the senses, you NATURALLY looked at what was about to hurt you which on a bike means you naturally steered the bike there. You probably rolled off the throttle and stiffened up as well. Good on you managing to keep it up right and avoiding an off.

    To be brutally honest with you, you weren't probably going that fast and your bike and tyres probably had bulk more traction available for a harder push on that inside bar... but these are the things we creep up on and get confidence with as our skills improve. :)

    You're hubby is a gem - reward him! :bannanabutt:

    In slow, out faster. Pick a good safe speed in a low gear that keeps the engine in the responsive rev range. Keep your eye on the prize, the exit.

    Right on the noggin! :nail:
  16. I've done a fair bit of riding on a bicycle and training in the car, so I have approached my first few weeks with the mindset of at least having 2 or 3 basics to fall back on that I can do without thinking. If something doesn't seem right, I just go back to vision and reset myself from there. I am also paranoid of dropping it, so getting on and off I have a bit of a process I go through to ensure each time it is properly done.

    From there, the basic actions for stopping, taking off etc (which I don't seem to have too much trouble with :p) are broken into some core basics that I can get by on without worrying about anything else. I figure, at least have the core skills ingrained, so even if I am not doing everything right, I'll just resort back to what will keep me upright and safe. When something doesn't feel right, vision, positioning on road and then mirrors before making any changes. From there, I can make some space around myself is traffic is nearby, or can pull over, or make a change as needed. I know enough about panic to try and avoid that situation where possible as to change the default panic reactions tends to take months, if not longer.

    Breaking it down into:
    Core Skills
    Recommended Skills
    Optional Skills

    tends to work for me from an Engineering perspective. Similar to a computer with processing time and cpu sharing. If nothing else, I try to ensure that the core skills can be done everytime before everything else, and I try and minimise them to be as little as possible so there is no risk of overload. From there, the spare processing time can be spent on the other stuff. If things start to get messy, I drop off the optional stuff, and if that doesn't work, then it comes back to the very basics of staying upright and non negotiable skills that if you don't follow will likely end in trouble. That may mean 80% of my thinking goes to concentrating on vision alone with not much else to distract. If you can't see.... you can't ride or drive...