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Where do I go from here ?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Praz, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. So heres the story so far,
    At the start of this year, sick of public transport I suddenly became obsessed with bikes. Over the first semester of university my intrest increased. Fueled by the passion of my friends I feverently started saving for a bike.

    A few months later we were in the midsemseter break, I went to team moto and recived three days of training plus a few single hour lessons on a bandit250 about 2 and a half weeks later I had my RE license. I enjoyed every second I was on a bike.

    My search began for a bike gpx's, zzr's , zx2r and finally fzr's.
    I found myself a beautiful 91 fzr in pretty much pefect condition for its age. I loved the feeling, the freedom, felt a llittle unstable but was having the time of my life.

    I rode to uni that day and then back home that night, my parents grudginly accepted my descision and it was all good. The next day I made it to uni in record time, didnt pay a cent for parking and it was all looking great. Class finished and i thought i'll pay my mate a visit.

    I cruised over the story bridge keeping a car and a bits distance between me and the next driver. When suddnley 2 cars merged at the same time into my lane. One about 7 meters ahead of me and one less than half a meter. I reacted quickly and pulled on the front brake. I leant way forward but i was too close, the handle bars twisted and i fell to the right with the bike sliding about a meter. The incosiderate fool infront sped off into the distance.

    A passer by helped me up, luckliy I was unhurt but for a scrape on the knee. I made it to my mates place after much swearing. I got to my mates place and fixed my mirror observed a few cracks in the fairing requiring plastic welding, a bit of paint and a new crank casing would be all that would be required.

    I waited a while and then rode back to uni, I went to the nurse who bandaged me up and applied an SSD treatment. On the way home my bike stalled in heavy traffic and refused to start, I'm guessing just some wires out of place. RACQ towed me home.

    As far as i can see it this days events were just a sign to get out while I could, but my dream of riding around on a bike were all gone. I am paranoid about traffic and people not seeing me.

    Ive been seriously thinking about what I could have done to avoid yesterdays events, but nothing comes to mind. I am now contemplating fixing the bike and keeping it for some fun on the weekends but the idea of parking where I want and travelling to uni and work are all gone and I feel dissapointed to know that I have failed.

    So all I ask you lot is, where do I go from here?
  2. dont ponder on it .
    sometimes accidents are accidents .
    if you think you find you have made a error , learn from it .
    in saying that then get on the bike.
    you will know inside yourself if you want to continue riding .
    then make the desicion , not before getting your bum back into the seat and riding around the block for a couple off times.
  3. Bugger , not a good ending to the day huh :?

    Sounds to me like alot of bad luck, and your not at fault 100%

    seems a pity to give it all away just as your starting out.

    personally i'd file it all in the SH*T happen's file, put it all behind and keep going. you wont regret it in the long run.... Trust me :)

    AS the saying goes, when you fall of a horse you get straight back on :)
  4. for starters, dont quit riding. you've come this far, at least give it a few months!

    then, by the sounds of the situation, its just a learner thing. had you been riding for longer beforehand, this would have caused no more than a shake of the fist and some profanities.

    what you need to work on first is your emergency braking. you never hit the car so its fairly clear that there is room for improvement there. dont think that riding isn't for you just because you're not an experienced rider straight away, even those that've been on the road for 30 years still learn new things :wink:

    secondly, you need to start paying a bit more attention to your surrounding traffic. this isn't as easy and is something that you cant really think your way into, its a habit that you have to learn over time. basic jist of it is to never relax while there is traffic around you and always assume that a driver cant see you. if someone flicks on an indicator while right next to you, back off or accelerate out of the way. its no help knowing that you had right of way when you've been put in hospital :?

    basically, riding is something that takes a while to learn WELL, its also a fairly dangerous sport. just keep at it and keep your mind on the game and you'll learn good and quick :wink:
  5. Listen to Glen and the others
    Accidents by definition are accidents
    If you can't identify anything that you did wrong, and anything else you could have done right, chalk it up to experience and start from there.
    Here's an idea; what about some kindly Qld Netrider take praz out for a ride somewhere this weekend, help him get his confidence back (if you were in Sydney, mate, I'd stick my hand up)
    Hang in there buddy it's happened to us all and it's not the end of the world.
  6. Truth is, you were in the wrong, somehow. sometimes it will take a lot of experience to work out where, but that is what you need to do, to avoid it happening again.

    Best of luck and get back on it as soon as possible. You may decide to concentrate on riding the roads less busy until you have built up more confidence and experience.

    One thing with motorcycles is that you do have to create a very real presence that is noticed by all other road users around you, otherwise you'll find some people will just drive right through you.

    Don't drive in the car drivers blind spot and give yourself plenty of space, this will mean that you have to go faster than the other road users at times, be timid and it's all over.

    We've all had plenty of stacks (well probably most of us that have been riding for any amount of time) and sometimes it takes a long time before the realisation sinks in as to what we did to cause the accident.

  7. Pete The Freaks' Guide To Getting Back on:

    1) Get Roaring drunk
    2) Watch: Easyrider, Stone and Big Trouble in Little China (Kurt Russel rocks when you're pissed)
    3) Read up on the statistics on how many people die from animal attacks in Africa every year.
    4) Watch the news and thank christ you're not one of the poor victims of what ever disaster has befallen mankind this time.
    5) Realise that you might as well be riding your bike around, because everything else is just as liekly to kill you...

    6) Start enjoying life again.

    Seriously dude, I've had a couple of bloody scary scrapes in my time, and I've reassessed my philosophy on bike-riding on many occasions. You've got to ask yourself, what's more powerful, my fears and worries or the exhilaration of flying along at 80k with only 150kg of various metals and plastics between you and the road...

    Look deep, find the bit of you that says "Weeeee, let's do that again!", then shut out all the other voices in your head... 8)
  8. BULLS**T thing is you can do EVERYTHING right and still come unstuck.

    its called SH*T HAPPENS and everyone who rides 24/7 will agree with me. Sometimes you come off. end of story !!
  9. Firstly, bad luck on the off.

    Secondly, unless you are totally, 1000% against the idea back on the horse and ease back into it.

    Being paranoid about traffic and people not seeing you is pretty much where we all stand I would think. A lot of people say things like "ride like you are invisible", I like to take it a step further. Ride like everyone on the road is actively out to kill you right up until the point that they see you (and even then you should be suspicious).

    How could you have avoided the situation...well that's hard to say without being there. I'm guessing the guy didn't see you at all and didn't headcheck when merging which sounds like about 1/3 of drivers by my experiences. Best solution tends to be making sure it's you doing the merging or you controling who you let merge. Plenty of drivers out there are idiots but they are fairly unlikely to turn over the top of you if you are sitting off their A pillar with the zorst pointed at their window....well most of the time anyway.

    Riding aggressively is a good way to kill yourself but riding assertively tends to save your skin in my experience. I realise that's hard to do when you are knew and got a million other things you are trying to manage (like me :p ) but it's worth trying.

    Did you have your headlight on? Sounds silly but I swear it's saved my butt a number of times and don't be timid in giving people a mirrorful of highbeam and an earful of horn. Just don't do it at the expense of saving your own hide.

    Finally, it does sound like just inexperience got you into more trouble then someone else would have. If you can come off in a straight line and still not hit the car then 99/100 you could have stopped with the right skills under your belt. Nothing to be ashamed of or worried about as we've pretty much all been there (says me who very nearly dropped a bike because he forgot to put his feet down :oops: ) but it does sound like your braking needs a bit of work and a bit of experience (as does mine frankly).

    Maybe a weekend or night in a quiet industrial estate practicing technique would be good both for your skills and your confidence at this point. Having some space to yourself with no-one to run into, a decent amount of run off and no-one pointing and laughing when you flap up is handy and it's something that I found invaluable when first starting to ride as well as drive. Ease into it and work your way up until you feel going further would be uncomfortable and then come back next week and see how you go again. As you gain experience and stop scaring the crap out of yourself with things that shouldn't (like every learner) you'll be able to improve your skills.
  10. Thanks so much hey, you guys are awsome.

    Well I think I'll just have to wait for my knee to heal and then get my
    bike fixed up. Need a new right hand indicator and need to weld the fairing and maybe i can polish up some of the I'll run round the suburbs for a while and am going to practise all the basics again, especially emergency stopping. I guess the 'fault' in a sense is mine. I probably threw myself in the deep-end far too soon. Oh yeah and i did have my headlight on. I think I may have saved my self almsot all the fairing damge with some oggy knobs or something similar.
  11. Yep, I agree with everyone above and add that experience helps you to avoid situations like that, and that experience helps you to stay on your bike in situations like that.

    Some things I have leaned that are unique to motorcycle riding are

    Always have an escape plan. Even though this sounds silly it will save your life.

    Road positining so you can be seen, and having an escape plan.
  12. dont go thinking it was your fault either. they still caused it, you just didn't quite have the right stuff to avoid coming off :? like bob said, sometimes shit happens and you cant do jack about it....
  13. Slightly OT but what were you wearing for pants?

    Because if it was just normal jeans be aware that they'll often tear along the seams if they don't wear through and generally offer sweet FA protection in an accident.

    If you can afford it invest in some draggins. They won't save you like leathers but they'll save your hide fairly well at city speeds.
  14. Mate, sorry to hear about your off, but your not the only learner to throw your new bike down the road, myself and alot of other have also been through it. There was a thread not to long ago talking about how people have dropped there bike (might help lift your spirits knowing your not the only one), and there seems to have been a few rider down threads laterly, all of these are good reading as it's one way to experience others offs and hopefully take something from their mistake. As other have said, don't give up because you have had an off. I will leave the rest of the advice to those more experienced :)
  15. You are now ready to be a rider.....we are all paranoid about traffic and being invisible because essentially we are to cagers. Take that lesson and build on it is the only way you will improve.

    Sounds like you were probably in the second cars blind spot, which is generally not a good idea. Another thought is that you weren't completely vertical when you slammed on your brakes, if you were vertical than the front wheel would have been unlikely to buckle under you unless there was something slippery on the road surface.

    Was there any sealed shoulder on the road? If so you could have merged away from the car. And a blast on the horn could also have alerted the driver to your presence and stopped him from changing lanes.

    Start out slow...build up your skills in a low traffic environment and then expose yourself to more active traffic conditions as you get better and better at reading the traffic. The best thing I ever did to protect myself on the motorbike was to send 3 years riding the push bike through the CBD and learning about all the stupid shit that cagers do.

    Also training and reading are another good thing to look into.

    TAC has just released a Ride Smart CD which is free from the spokes website. If you are able to get the CD then you will also recieve a Ride On video which would be another great source of info for you. Obviously these will take a while to arrive so in the meantime read all the safety tips on that website, probably even be worth giving the whole thing a read.

    Another good source of info is this website, the articles have been condenced into a Riding Bible
  16. don't let it beat you, get back on. From this experience you'll be better rider, god knows I am as a result of my off. Ride as if every single person out there is deliberately trying to kill you.

    Go get 'em tiger !!!
  17. I was wearing my fav pair of jeans, thickish ones but yeah they didn't tear, I just copped a burn. I will definatley be getting a pair of leathers with some knee protectors now. Sure it may look ricey but I like my knees. I was doing quite well with my running trainng too before this, but now thats not gonna be on for a little while too maybe a few weeks
  18. Praz - I had my off in my Draggins. I also have the additional knee and upper shin protectors in them, which velcro in and are easy to pop in and out. Not a mark on them, not a mark on me other than a bump to my right leg which was pure impact. Check them out, you won't be disappointed.
  19. This brings up another very important point.

    If you'd been wearing FULL gear this wouldn't have been an issue.

    You need:
    Helmet - snug fit is the key here (might be worth checking it didn't take a knock because you might need to get a new lid)
    Gloves - secure fitting leather gloves are your friend, don't get anything to thick while you are learning since it reduces your 'feel'.
    Jacket - Crodura for protection from weather and road surface, Leather for extra road surface protection
    Boots - solid ankle high boots will do for starters but think about getting a decent pair of motorcycle boots for extra protection, could be the difference between a healing ankle and one you'll never walk on again.
    Pants - minimum I wear is draggin jeans for short trips, on longer trips I break out the cordura pants (weather and abbrasion protection) next step up in abrassion protection are your leather pants.

    you might also want to have a read of this thread
  20. Hey Praz I hear what your saying and I just recentley been there myself. I had a near miss last sunday on freeway when a car and trailer jacknifed accross 3 lanes of traffic. I slid a bit and stopped. (my bikes to big to throw) I was lucky and it was no fault of my own but better application of my brakes would have stopped me from sliding sideways.
    I bricked it !
    Like stewy says.....we all been here and if like me your paranoid of other road users then I agree too but for me going around city it helping me make more sense of what going on around me and what cagers are likely to do.
    Escape plan is always on my mind as is my braking when needed.
    Get back on and enjoy......dont wait for something to happen on the road just be aware and be prepared for anything that does.