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Walking and dropping the bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by guye777, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. So, now that I am an expert (4 month's L's and now 3 days P's plus one NR Day Trip Ride ;) ), I need to get my partner up to speed.

    For those not up to speed with my story; my wife got me into riding in the first place! We both got our learners together, and I bought us both VTR250s. The idea was we would be able to go on Sunday rides for lattes up to Narbethong or similar!

    Anyway, ironically I've taken to it like a duck to water, but she is a lot more hesitant. I find it difficult to get her to go out for a ride. She has not ridden by herself yet (I mean she rides her own bike, but not without me leading or following).

    I pressed her the other day and she confessed she is very nervous (der!) but not what I thought. She claims the riding is OK - she worries about dropping the bike while manoeuvring it BEFORE starting it, and also at very slow speeds.

    My thought was to do two things then:

    1. Manoeuvring
    a) Take her bike out on the lawn and drop it! Then teach her to lift it (using Loz's excellent method).
    b) Have her walk the bike around straddling it, walking beside it, even to the point where she can walk in front of it.
    c) See if she can master the 'turn the bike on it's side stand' method of a 180 turn.

    2. Slow speed handling
    a) Setup a witches hat course in a carpark like the one I did at the learner and license tests.
    b) Book her into an additional training course (can you do thee pre-license day?)

    Any thoughts? Comments? Offers of help? Loan of some witches hats :grin:
  2. Guy, it could be a size/weight issue?
    Not knowing your wife, is she smallish? can she flat-foot the VTR?
    I ask this cause ( as you know :wink: ) I am not what you'd call a big guy, and certainly cannot flat-foot both feet. After 10,000km I still am not 101% confident manoeuvring the hornet when stationary by my own steam. This could be her problem, and practicing those items you listed would def go a long way in the nerves dept.
    If I am wrong ie: She can flatfoot and isnt petite, then at least you have a better chance of her getting over her nerves a lot sooner.
  3. Rather than sit astride the bike to move it, she may be more confident standing beside the bike with her hands on the bars and leaning the bike lightly into her hip (like walking a push bike). By having the bike tipped slightly towards her it will want to fall on the side she's holding from, making it easier for her to keep it up as she can use all her body strength. :)

    More training and carpark sessions are an excellent idea. :nail: Practice makes perfect. :) Make sure that carpark sessions are a place for her to practice what she learns from her instructors rather than giving each other too much help/advice. You might otherwise teach each other bad habits. If she needs more advice after training, point her to the mentors thread. :)

    There's no harm in practicing to lift a bike. Once she's done it once, she will be more confident (do it on dry grass rather than wet to avoid slipping and hurting herself). :) Just make sure the bike doesn't leak fluids when you put it (gently) on the ground.
  4. Thanks fellas.

    Vinnie - she isn't tiny (5'4"), and can comfortably reach the ground well footed (although not both flat!). In any case, I've got her the bike already so ain't changing it :) But good point - if this was still the problem I could lower it further and/or scoop the seat lower, etc.

    Sean - good tip about the dry grass!

    I know you're right about walking next to the bike, but I think she is more nervous about that than standing astride because if it topples away from her when walking next to it she has lost it for sure! That's why I thought that if she could like it from the ground she might not be so afraid of dropping it in the first place.

    And I hear what your saying about the blind leading the blind - not exactly an expert really am I! And also it might help save the marriage. Ever tried giving tips to your partner on a golf course, for example?
  5. or even worse .. 'cooking tips' :shock:
    That one almost got me a saucepan shaped noggin :p
  6. try one of the hart practice sessions and tell them she wants to practice slow speed riding. she'll be on their bike with an expert helping
  7. forward me your wife, no charge.
    I shall return her confident, and able to whoop your arse :twisted:
  8. +1 to all of the above tips...

    and, take away her car keys, then she is forced to ride :LOL:
  9. nicely timed caz, i just know you are mainly referring to MY suggestion :LOL:
  10. What about getting her to walk on the right hand side of the bike with the side stand down? That way she has herself on one side of the bike to stop it from dropping and the stand on the other.
    I also have some witches hats if you want to borrow them but I am in Mulgrave :)
  11. I was more worried about dropping my bike in my driveway than anything else once I was licensed. I let my husband wheel it out for me, and set it down on the stand, then I would roll to the bottom of the driveway before starting. I would do a U-turn at the top of the culdesac while he parked and opened the garage for me! Almost like being chauffered :grin:

    I was scared of the stand sliding and my bike sliding 10 metres to the bottom of the hill :cry:

    So we moved :LOL: but seriously, I wheel the bike with my right hand on the brake, and the bike leaning against my thigh. If I feel like she's getting away from me, I pull the brake lever in and stand it up straighter, take a deep breathe and try again! When I put the stand down, I put my foot against it, and pull the bike back a little to make sure it isn't going anywhere.

    And at slow speeds - if in doubt, both feet out!! Just don't forget to cover the brakes!

    Good Luck
  12. If she keeps it slightly leant in towards her that won't happen. :)
  13. If a low speed drop does occur, it is always good knowing how to pick up a dropped bike without hurting yourself.

    If she is still in the process of getting her license, she can always ask the instructors to teach her the basics of picking up a dropped bike. It is better using their bikes with crash bars, than a new VTR250 :]

    When I did my Q-Ride, we were taught two ways in picking up a dropped bike.
  14. Just one more tip if I may ...
    When walking the bike, especially if the ground isn't flat,I keep it in gear with clutch in.
    To stop ( front wheel turned ) >> disengage clutch << acts as a rear brake.
    To stop ( front wheel at straight-ahead position ) >> use front brake <<
    Using the front brake whilst turning the bike usually results in 'dropping' her.
    As a rule, If I am walking her in a curve, my hand is OFF the brake lever.
  15. I think you are on the right track. :)

    Unfortuntely, there is no way around it...you're wife just needs to do it over and over and over again, until she builds her confidence and realizes that it was just a matter of getting a feel for the bike.

    Perhaps let her know that dropping the bike is not the end of the world. The sooner she can get passed this nervousness about slow manouvering, the sooner she can have the kind of fun, you've been having. :grin:

    Above all else, be supportive (as you have been - well done!), and be there to assist her while she is getting used to it all. Walk beside her and help catch the bike - that sort of thing.

  16. Thanks for all the support/tips dudes.

    Joel - when you say 'no charge', will you cover the return-freight to NSW? :eek:

    Twistngo - you mention the Hart courses. Is anyone familiar with the guys out at Armstrongs for this type of co-curricular course? I did my Ls and Ps there and thought they were quite good; what are they like for non-license courses?
  17. FYI, we've had a few more practice sessions since my last post, and it is getting back on track.

    Interestingly, the four things she has got the most out of thus far are:

    1) picking up the bike (thanks Loz)
    2) reversing :) - sometimes it is a bit tight to U-turn, like in these new courts without the circles at the end (the hammer-head court!). So rolling up a driveway with a slight incline, and then rolling back and swinging the back around the opposite way is handy. And because she is on tippy toes she just need confidence to get over the curb (when she almost loses touch with the ground). This has also taught her that she can lean the bike slightly and place one foot flat on the ground, which is better!
    3) slow turns at the end of normal round courts (or in fact anything about the diameter of a normal road width of-course).
    4) finally, getting the bike into our parking spot and out again.

    Plus we've done some local suburban riding to round it out.

    So things are looking up now. I think she will be OK now to go out on some small errands on her own this week, which will be the next big leap. Then she'll be fine.