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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by tennyis, May 26, 2013.
You were both too old already when you started.
Back in "the day" there weren't the dangers on the road there are now. Bikes didn't go and stop like modern ones either. Plenty has changed. I took my first course 20 odd years after learning to ride from my dad, uncle and grand father. All had been life long bikers. Not riders, bikers. They were all concerned about my interest until they figured out the kind of riding I fell in love with. What could a "course" possibly teach me they couldn't? Answer? PLENTY
I took it so a friend who had never ridden would have someone he knew in the class. I'm not sure I didn't get more out of it than he did. Lots of bad habits to break and a mound of info I didn't know. Never even thought about.
Too many teach, or try to teach a buddy to ride and it ends in disaster. Professional instruction isn't always the end all, but it is a good start. Are you one who think slow speed parking lot drills don't help in the so called "Real World" too. This faulted thought can't be farther from the truth.
I had a great instructor, so all aren't created equal, but it is time and money well spent, just go in open minded and ready for criticism. If you can handle it, the course is great. The ARC is even better, IMHO.
If you go back and read my post I suggested drills in an empty parking lot and to take the course.
As to dangers on the road back in the day....
My first bike was a 2 stroke with a power band about 2 seconds long, a front wheel that wouldn't stay down and brakes that provided as much stopping power as riding across a strip of flypaper. There were a lot less of us on the roads and less cars too, which also meant people were'nt near as aware that we even existed. Add to that wheels that were just a tad wider than most mountain bikes.
You can say any age or time was more or less dangerous...
But you'll never convince anyone near my age or older that a general pussification of the population hasn't occurred since.
We've all got stories of a person getting hurt trying something new.
Soon some people will be suggesting "why not go all the way and nobody fucking move!"
Get on the damn thing and ride or start taking estrogen.
LMAO, I'll bet you are a hoot at parties. Yes, you said take the course after a full out assault on anyone who thought there might be a better way. "Just throw a leg over and ride" is not always a good idea. We all have had our lumps. Learning wrong is still learning and still wrong. Chances are it will bite you sooner or later.
I don't care if you managed to survive for 75 years doing it "your" way. Probably no one else does either.
That doesn't mean you are wrong, there have just been better ways of doing thing found out during that time.
Some of us check out new ideas, and find out they are pretty good.
They are only new ideas to people that have no idea.
No kidding. I'll bet he feels that disc brakes are just for wussies too.
He seems to think that there is no reason or way to improve the learning curve, even though lives and/or limbs could be at stake.
Some people could take every class available on earth and still never be any good.
He might be smarter than you. You never know.
Many of us started riding at a time when there were no training programs for first time riders and no license endorsements existed, either. The fact that I'm still around and riding without ever having had a serious incident after 50 years can attest to my proficiency.
Training programs have their place, but a BRC can only do so much over the space of a long weekend. At the end, the students are told that they are now qualified to ride around an empty parking lot. They are then turned loose to ride anything they want. And they'll learn to deal with traffic the same way I did. On the street.
The driver's licensing programs of all of the states sucks big time. What we really need is a tiered motorcycle licensing system that restricts horsepower for novices and intermediates and provides for testing as the rider progresses.
i understand the concern for safety... but screw that.
my current bike is my first street bike ever. if I had some tiered level process to go through, it wouldn't have happened.
don't agree? don't need to. how is the current state of motorcycling in the US? how does the future look? over regulation such as that sounds like a nail in the coffin.
I imagine you'd be grandfathered and wouldn't have to worry. Feel better now?
If something like that was in place, beginners wouldn't run out and buy an R1 that they couldn't use. There would be plenty of used smaller bikes on the market for sale as riders progressed and moved up to bigger bikes.
I'm generally for fewer regulations instead of more, but allowing a 16 YO to ride a modern RR with a brand new endorsement and zero experience seems pretty stupid.
Congrats on the new bike. I hope you plan on taking the advanced MSF classes. Yes, some things will be redundant, but you will still learn and get more practictical experience.
I have something for you to think about in the area of mindset. You have to un-learn the cager attitude which is "fault"....as in "it was their fault". Now that you ride, your new mantra needs to be this: Any accident will always be my fault. It is now of the utmost importance to avoid any collision because on a bike it always cause pain. 99.9% of all motorcycle crashes were avoidable at the hands of the motorcycle rider.
The list is long and it seems like a daunting task, but we as riders are in charge of our own safety. Avoidance calculations begin when you get on a bike, they never stop...ever. We are human, we make mistakes and the idea here is to train yourself to make the absolute least amount of mistakes possible.
The best analogy I think is to pretend you are stepping into a video game where everything is trying to kill you. Arm your mind with escape and evade tactics and couple that with rider skill in order to "win" the game.
Can't blame you for being intimidated, starting to ride at your age, better late and all that. Lot of good advice in the posts before, especially going for the course, is a good idea, people there will tell you what you're doing wrong or right, no book can do that. I was only a kid, when I started, so I can't tell you about being confident, the more you ride easier it gets, or should anyway. One reason which has kept my interest in riding all these years is that you're never quite 'ready', always trying to be a bit smoother, little quicker thru this set of bends, no matter what sort of mileage you might have under your belt, every ride is a challenge.
it would have to be really well thought out. I joined the military one week after turning 17 and bought my first house two years before owning a television. we all have to quantify things... but legislating the crap out of some can lead to their demise. telling a 25yr old he has to ride a bike that he has no desire to bother with, just to allow him to "move up" later? can't say that's a great idea. anymore than him running out and picking up a liter bike with no experience. I can't say the current regulations are perfect, perhaps there is room for improvement. perhaps such a thing would save lives. then again so would wrapping ourselves up in protective bubbles. seat belts, air bags, helmets, crumple zones... all aspects people bitched about but came to live with. perhaps this is another... heck I'm lol about the new European standard to protect pedestrians... but there it is. (the personal carry knife rule in the UK, oh so many others)
hey... question. do we get universal health care if we adopt these regulations?
funny reading through this thread a year later :) I have about 20,000km under my belt now and ride all over the place! I've taken my v-strom trailing riding, gravel roads, interstates, weekend trips, etc. Road through the adirondacks in a down pour haha. Couldn't have imagined myself doing that just a year ago!
I did have one close call on a blind left twisty bend, a truck towing a boat wanted my lane! Makes me a bit nervous now on those kind of corners but that's not such a bad thing :)
Interesting responses. I have always been of the 'be confident' mindset when it came to learning how to ride. And riding for that matter.
Im 50 and just started road rideing a few months ago. Only have 2000 miles on the seat. Mostly commuting to work and around town.
Slowly mastering the art of counter steering thanks to the good people here on ADV.
I have my days, Some days i am totally confident and others I feel like its my first week on the bike.
Im also sometimes in a fear mode thinking about the faceplant stories I read here.
Also have the what if that oncomming truck hits me head on thoughts sometimes.
Im getting better and know it will take time
Lie everything else, start out easy and work up to it.
First, be comfortable riding at freeway speeds. Get out on some rural 2 lane roads with decent speed limits to do that.
Next, take you first freeway ride when traffic is light, like Sunday morning.
Whenever you're behind a car on an on-ramp, leave PLENTY of room. If you don't, inevitably the guy/gal in front of you who decides not to merge at the last second will slam on their brakes right when you do your shoulder check to check the traffic you're merging into, giving you much less space/time to react.
Get comfortable doing it during the day before you do it at night. All of the lights behind you, in your mirrors and when you do shoulder checks before changing lanes, can be very confusing, especially in the rain.
If being tailgated then apply one of your brakes (I use the rear brake pedal.) just enough to light your brake lights without actually braking. This doesn't always work but many times will get cages to back off. Failing that standing up sometimes works. If the person is determined to tailgate you then change lanes and let them by.
You'll get lots of advice on lane positioning in heavier freeway traffic and this is solely JMHO but, IN GENERAL, I tend to be in the left side of the leftmost lane or right side of the rightmost lane. That way, if freeway traffic slows abruptly, you can check your mirrors quickly and head towards the shoulder in order to avoid becoming a meat sandwich if the driver behind you doesn't see cluster***k ahead in time and isn't braking hard enough to avoid rear-ending you..
I've been riding for thirty-some years and I feel pretty scared while riding a lot of the time. I think it's because I grasp the reality of what I am doing. I've been in many oh-my-god situations, but through luck and skill, have avoided hurting myself. (knock on wood) Statistics show that many riders are hurt after a first year of riding during which fears are overcome and confidence is bolstered. Double down on caution and care now and keep your eyes wide open. Keep that safety algorithm spinning in the back of your mind at all times.
Cabin fever is setting in and reminded me of this thread :) man am I ever glad I stuck with it and didn't give up motorcycling! The adventures I've had and the friends I have made have literally changed my life! Looking forward to the spring!