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Today, I confronted my highway (and wind) riding fears

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by gundy, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. First of all, I'd like to offer up a big thanks to Goddie, who very kindly escorted me on my ride to breakfast and the learner session this morning. It was the first time I had ridden at $1.00 for more than a few minutes, and having an escort was a great, low-pressure introduction to motorway riding. I had been putting it off, and having the Goddie there was just the help that I needed, and was much appreciated.

    This afternoon, I felt inspired, and when my other half asked me to go and pick up some ingredients for dinner I decided I'd head to the local supermarket taking a 100km detour (bacchus marsh and back) to get in some more highway practice.

    TL;DR, I:

    • rode @ $1.10 for the first time
    • with 50km/h crosswinds
    • in relatively heavy traffic
    • and I was fine!

    Small wins, I know, but I was pretty happy with myself for getting out and doing it.

    What I learnt:

    • At $1.10, the desire to grip on tight to the bars and tense up was hard to fight, but ..
    • Using the "chicken-wing technique" definitely seemed to help me loosen up
    • The bike is a lot more stable, even in 50km/h cross-winds, than I previously felt comfortable giving it credit for.
    • Although I felt _myself_ being blown, as long as I trusted the bike, and kept my eyes on where I wanted to go, the bike seemed to know how to get there.
    • At $1.10 in the gusty wind, I could feel my neck muscles getting a workout as the helmet copped it.
    • It was very noisy with all the wind inside the helmet! Next time I'm going to try with the vents closed.
    • The VTR seems to cope better in 4th than 5th at those speeds (closer to peak torque), especially when going up hills.
    • Pulling onto the freeway in a $1.10 section, right in front of a road-train .. not recommended for the meek ;) As much as the VTR struggles > $1.00, I did pull away from him up the hill though =:cool:
    • My guardian angel was getting buffeted a bit by the wind, and I found that I had slow down at times to let her catch up.

    All-in-all, today was a good day.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Nice one :D well done on the nice long ride. I ended up splitting from one group that i rode off with and ended up on a miniride with someone else and ended up doing another eastlink/m1 run all the way back home again. Got home and nodded off on the couch i was that knackered lol.
  3. Yep. In most cases, you just have to get out there and do it. For the experience. Next time won't be quite so daunting. :)
    Well done.
  4. congrats on overcoming those fears. but, whats $1.10? i'm a lil lost :)
  5. Well done Dave!! $1.10 is 110 :) now if you had a small fly screen over those clocks it would have a 'little' difference to the amount of wind knocking you around, with the noise, you'll find that wind comes up between the jacket and helmet and that will create more noise, if you have a neck sock or a thin scarf to take up that space, it will be quiter, also, ear plugs help, mp3 with good ear plugs? actually not a good idea while you're learning, just good plugs.
  6. I assume he means 110kmh
  7. First night I got my bike i was off down the freeway, it's not that daunting once you actually do it! Over the last couple of weeks been on it quite a few times in heavy traffic and yeah not too bad! But I also decided to get a Suzuki GS500F because I knew I'd be on the freeway a fair bit so wanted something with a bit of get up and go still left in it at freeway speeds..
  8. Yep, sorry, $1.10 = 110km/h..

    As much as the wind noise is a PITA, I'm a little bit wary of isolating myself too much. I've found that my ears provide some useful information when riding too - for example, it's handy being able to hear the tyre/engine noise as someone is pulling up beside you, and use that as a queue to do a head/mirror check to see what's going on.

    I think I'll give the scarf idea a go, never really thought about how much of the wind comes in through that area... come to think of it, the helmet came with a little piece that fits in under the chin. That might help a bit as well.

    Re: music: I did try to fit my in-ear headphones under the helmet when I first got it, but that didn't work out so well (they stuck out too far and were really very uncomfortable). This is probably a good thing - the last thing I want to be doing as a learner is listening to metal, punk, techno, or any of the other high-energy aggro stuff I've been known to listen to =:cool: If I were to listen to music, I think I'd have to be very careful to load the mp3 player with only very slow, mellow, peaceful stuff.

    It would be just my luck that I'd head for a ride somewhere nice and curvy, get hit with something by "Offspring" on the playlist, and, well, you can probably guess what the outcome might be.. :/

    I'll keep an eye out for a fly screen too.. anyone know what they go for?
  9. i have a sony ericson phone the bug earplugs are good but can come out easily so neck sock over the ears holds them in
    you can get speakers for helmets if you want to listen to music
  10. Yep, agreed. Now that I've been out doing it a bit more over the weekend, I'm inclined to wonder what I was so worried about.

    I admire you & your gonads for heading out on your first night though!

    For me it's been a gradual process, slowly picking up enough confidence along the way to the point where I could do that. I think i may have had a mental barrier at about the 60km/h limit because that's about where I can get up to on my pushbike (downhill), and anything faster than that kind of felt unnatural :)
  11. Well done gundy.

    So, when's your first track day planned? LOL. I hear Phillip Island's lovely this time of year.
  12. On that note- did a few hours of highway riding this weekend, when I did headchecks at $1.10, my helmet would blow about 20 degrees across my head. Disconcerting feeling. More than my last helmet, which was about 25% heavier than my new one.

    Is there a way around this? Helmet fits well, but it's quite light (one of the RHOK ones). The cheekpads are a little bit looser than my previous, which were quite tight enough to give headaches (and still used to get pushed around at $1.10).

  13. Yeah I did an hour and half or so in the back roads, went home had dinner and then hit the main roads once the traffic had died off, that felt a bit daunting at first! So by the time I got to the freeway I was fine! I think having a bigger and sturdier bike does help though.

    I really didn't like the CB250 I rode at the training course...

    Gym membership? lol No idea sorry...
  14. What kind of a workout do you do to bulk up the muscles in your head?!? :-s
  15. Oh #$&^, just realised what I typed..
  16. These are the encouraging stories I like to read! My first freeway ride is gonna happen soon :)
  17. So long as you sorta know the road (might be a bit daunting in the darkness otherwise) just jump on it at night to get used to the freeway speeds first without having to worry about other maniacs so much so...
  18. i'm looking forward to mine!
    sadly i got no friends at all who rides..
  19. I think that's two from two :p. If your neck muscles support your helmet from blowing around, you're doing motorbikes wrong.