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Old 04-09-2008, 07:22 PM   #1
goodwill
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Help2 Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

Hi everyone,

We reach the end of a long winter here in Canada, and early next week I'll get back my bike, which had been stored for... 5 months now

I'm scared... A little ashamed to admit it, but... Scared is the word...

Context: I've only been riding for 6-7 weeks before storing the bike. With work and stuff, that probably adds to not much more than 20-30 hours on the street. But that's not the problem.

Problem is: I've been doing armchair riding for the whole winter, read everything about security, being seen, analyse the road and whatnot. I've read every tips given to beginner riders like me... I've read so many stories of bikers getting hit, seen so many pics of people getting hurt, and let's not mention the casual low-sides and deers...

In fact, I've read so much that it seems that the only thing I now see are the risks, and not the fun anymore. Thus the scary feeling.

So I'd need some of you Pashnites to tell me something that, deep down, I already know, but need to hear once again. Just tell me I'll be fine, that riding is more than just avoiding being killed. Tell me that everyone's scared every once in a while, but it's worth it...

I'm going on 35, been driving for nearly 20 years and did fairly well at the MSF-like mandatory course I attended. I also ride a bike that wouldn't pop a wheelie even if you threatened to break its neck, and I know I will take it sooooo easy when getting the bike back home...

So I should be fine...

Right?
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:35 PM   #2
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

Nothing wrong with pre season jitters. Go over your bike and inspect it and give it some TLC. Go over your gear and do the same.

When you get ready to take your first of the season ride, remember your MSF class. Go thru all the basics just like you did in the class. Find yourself a nice familiar road with no traffic and take it nice & easy. You can also go out to a parking lot and do some large circles and figure 8's just taking it easy. Don't try anything to radical. Just slow, east & steady. You will do just fine.

Look into taking the Experienced Riders Class as well. No need to be worring about doing wheelies etc. Leave that to the more experienced riders in a safe & appropriate place.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

You'll be just fine. I just got back from a 2 week vacation in Florida, hopped on the bike yesterday and rode about 50 miles. I felt a bit aprehensive for some reason so I took it slow, steady, and just felt the ride as it came. I was out today, ran a bunch of errands and felt much better.

Just hop on and dont force anything, have fun and ride smooth.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:02 PM   #4
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

Happens every year to every rider. Some more then others. Some folks will deny they even have a few first ride of the season jitters. Fact is, if they don't they probably WILL get hurt. Personally, I've been riding for over 35 years and I still get a few butterflies the first time out of the box at the beginning of the season. Like others have said, just take it easy for the first few days and build from there. Try to go over and practice what you learned in MSF course. Make sure you give the bike a good going over and check everything. Make sure all your fluids are at the correct level, check all your lights and the function of all the controls. You can even go so far as to just sit on the bike while its on the center stand (if your bike has one) and review what each control, button and switch is and what they do. If your bike is anything like mine, your have a reserve setting on the petcock. Re-familarize yourself with where it is and which way you need to turn it to turn on the reserve fuel. Check over your helmet,make sure the face shield on the helmet is clean and opens and closes properly, and no spiders or other critters have decided it would make a good place for a nest. Check over your gloves, jacket and any other gear you normally wear on a regular basis. Make sure it still fits properly and is in good order. None of this stuff will take a lot of time, but you'll find your confidence returning as you return to the training you received in MSF. Then get out there and start enjoying your ride.

Can you get hurt? Yes. Is it worth it? Thats a question each and every rider needs to answer for themselves. As for me, check my signature line.



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Old 04-09-2008, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

Greetings Dan!!
I know exactly of which you speak!! I always feel a bit apprehensive after I have been off the bike only a few weeks let alone an entire winter. I would just do as Syd noted and take your time, think of what you already know, and go easy. I would add to this and say give yourself some time in the parking lot, checking slow speed maneuvers and quick stops and then get right back where you left off and enjoy!!

The probability of injury plagues each of us, as the stats aren't good, but good riding gear, a clear head, practice and awareness make it possible for us to get back on our bikes every season!!

Take it easy, m'friend have fun and enjoy the ride that each of us so desire!!

btw, i love your avatar!!
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:26 PM   #6
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

Riding is a learning experience. Not just the first ride but every ride. You might stall the bike at a few lights or run low on gas and can't find the reserve or many other things but being careful and observant will help. As the other replies say, pick a slow road with little traffic and do a technical ride. Pay attention to shifting, throttle and the other small details and you should be fine.

Ride like your life depends on it, because it does. However, try to relax. Riding isn't rocket science. It's a driving skill. You can do it unless you're a terminal klutz. You passed the MSF course so that lets out "terminal klutz". Now, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and go ride. It'll all work out right.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:38 PM   #7
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

What I figured. Jitters is a normal evolutionary mechanism that forces you to be more cautious. Or should. Like someone else said above. Given that you "know this deep inside" already, I have a feeling you'll do just fine.

Godspeed.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:24 PM   #8
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

I hate to be the one to tell you this.....but Dan, Your gonna die.

Wear your gear, respect your ride, and build your skills slowly and maybe it won't be on the bike.

And above all, if you ain't havin' fun doin' it, don't!
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:30 PM   #9
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodwill View Post
So I'd need some of you Pashnites to tell me something that, deep down, I already know, but need to hear once again. Just tell me I'll be fine, that riding is more than just avoiding being killed. Tell me that everyone's scared every once in a while, but it's worth it...
You're gonna be fine. That you're even asking these questions bodes well, imo. Living in CA, there isn't a lot of down time for riding but every time I throw a leg over the bike, I understand the risks involved and I visualize, focus, and say a word to any deity that may be listening for a safe journey.

When the time is right, take your trusty steed out of the garage, give it a loving once over, and take a short jaunt just to reacquaint yourself with your long lost love. I'm guessing that the thrill and joy of the ride will remind you of why you wanted to ride in the first place and help balance out the jitters.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: Scared: please just tell me I'll be fine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
I hate to be the one to tell you this.....but Dan, Your gonna die.
Nice, Mr. Optimist.
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