How did you get over the fear? - TwoWheelForum: Motorcycle and Sportbike forums
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post #1 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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How did you get over the fear?

I need some advice here... I'm still a fledgling rider. Got my bike up and running (finally) in November, and spent plenty of time practicing with my boyfriend in parking lots, etc.... (I completed my MSF last summer). My practice has been sporadic, though - he had wrist surgery so he couldn't ride for 6 weeks, then came the holidays, then when I finally hit the streets, I dropped the bike -- turned out it was faulty/dry rotted tires, so then I couldn't ride till I got new tires, then we moved, etc.... just one thing after another.

So now I'm finally ready to hit the streets (got new tires on her over the weekend), and while I've got the basics/mechnical elements down, I still get gripped with this over-whelming fear as I'm gearing up to ride. I mean BAD. It gets to the point where I actually tense up physically, my back hurts, my breathing is labored. And I don't know WHY!

Once I'm actually riding, I start to feel a bit better, but I've gotten myself so physically exhausted leading up TO the riding, that I don't ride for very long.

My other concern is SPEED. This problem is two-fold, really. I have a problem getting UP to any decent amount of speed.... Even though I know the bike is MADE for that, and that it actually operates/handles BETTER with some speed, that my control will actually be easier/smoother, it's counter-intuitive to me. I FEEL like I actually have a LOSS of control at higher speeds. Add to that, my bike is super-duper loud (Full Yoshi exhaust), and I'm comparing RPM's to that of a car, so I THINK (based on sound and RPM's) that I'm going a whole lot faster than I actually am)...

So my question is this... how did you finally get over the fear? I know SOME element of fear is good in that you have to respect the bike. But how can I get myself past this hurdle?
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post #2 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neebelung
I know SOME element of fear is good in that you have to respect the bike. But how can I get myself past this hurdle?
You said it right there. Fear will keep you moderately safe. Practice, practice, practice is the only way to get over it. Maybe you need to stay up late on weekends and keep ridding those mall parking lots till you get good and comfy on the bike.
I hate to tell you tho. If you have to much fear. It can hurt you just as quick. You get so over whelmed with fear of falling. You miss the little things and get clobbered or screw up causing a crash.
Keep it slow and ride at what ever pace is comfortable to you. You'll be buzzing those cages in no time and wont even realize it.
and be safe!

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post #3 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 09:49 AM
 
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w/ jeeps. Take it slow. If it doesn't go away after a while maybe this just isn't for you.





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post #4 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by marko138
w/ jeeps. Take it slow. If it doesn't go away after a while maybe this just isn't for you.

I asked myself that last night, but my boyfriend was quick to point out that as sporadic as my riding/practicing has been, I just haven't had a chance to build my confidence up -- and KEEP it up. *sigh*
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post #5 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neebelung
I asked myself that last night, but my boyfriend was quick to point out that as sporadic as my riding/practicing has been, I just haven't had a chance to build my confidence up -- and KEEP it up. *sigh*
That's what I told FierNIce when she started. Then she had her crash and basically had to start all over again.
Don't give up just yet but, If it scares you that bad. You would be safer in parking lots till your ready to hit the road.

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post #6 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 10:01 AM
 
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Just stay in that lot until you are comfortable enough to get out on the street. Work slow, don't rush.



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post #7 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neebelung
I asked myself that last night, but my boyfriend was quick to point out that as sporadic as my riding/practicing has been, I just haven't had a chance to build my confidence up -- and KEEP it up. *sigh*
don't give up quite yet! i still have the fear, but i think it is just a fear of the unknown. riding is risky, people are always out to get you on a bike. you can never be sure that when you leave the house, you will be returning safely later. but i also think that little bit of fear helps keep you alert. with some more miles under your belt you will feel better and the fear will begin to subside. however, if it is a complete body numbing, overwhelming kind of fear perhaps you should listen to your gut instincts. it may be fate trying to tell you something. so just keep trying and see if it gets better for you. if it doesn't, then you can go from there.
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post #8 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 11:27 AM
 
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I keep hammering on the parking lots...but if you do 200 to 300 miles in parking lots doing figure 8's and tight circles, your street confidence will improve dramatically.

The fear NEVER goes away...you beat it down so you can get out and have fun, but the fear and the rush are why we ride...

higher speeds will come as you get more seat time. I can remember when I was all white knuckles and purple fingertips when riding on the highway at today's interstate speeds. more seat time made it easier and easier...

DO RELAX...being all tensed up while riding will cause you to to make a mistake that can hurt you...

Last edited by bumblebee; 02-21-2006 at 11:30 AM.
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post #9 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 01:15 PM
 
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first thing, identify what it is that fears you. if it's a combination of things, then work on them one at a time.

i had a friend who was so fearfull of cars coming into her lane and hitting her. i had her focusing on what was ahead and not worry too much about the cars on either side. she eventually overcame her fear and was able to ride on the highways. it helps if other riders are with you. facing your fears alone is very hard.

it's also about trust, you need to trust your equipment and also trust other drivers. without this trust, you will always ride in fear.

to feel safe, i suggest full bodyarmour.

-a|ex
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post #10 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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full gear, head to toe, fingertip to everywhere else...... At least knowing u are protected with REAL riding pants and jacket, gloves and helmet, will help.

I guess its weird, i never had any fear at all until cars dont see me or something like that.
But ride parking lots, and when you do start, stick to 25mph zones with limited traffic. I've taught a couple of girls to ride on my old bike, and they both dropped it right away....But its a matter of trusting yourself on the bike. Go as slow as you need till you have that trust.

And the idea of group riding is good.... its nice to be towards the back of a group that will ride slow for you so u can watch how they ride and learn form them too.
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post #11 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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Do you think it would help if you went riding on your BF's bike (on the back) and he took you around showing you how much you can actually lean? You could also peek over his shoulder to check out his RPM's too. Just keep al over the parking lots, and watch out for oil stains from the sleds. My girl just completed the MSF last week. She wants a bike already, but I keep telling her it's totaly different on the street, than going 20 MPH in a parking lot. I'm not a controlling type a guy, but I don't think I'll let her get a bike any time soon. The people out here don't know how to drive. We'll see though. My decision is not concrete yet. So stick to the lots, gear up and breathe. The more you do it, the more you'll come over the fear.
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post #12 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all.... I'm sure eventually I'll be fine. I think (as with most everything) I'm over thinking things. It's just my nature... that, and I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I'm probably a bit frustrated with myself that I'm not doing better yet. *shrug*

I do definitely gear up fully - even for just tooling around the neighborhood or the park/parking lot.

I did spend well over a year as a passenger, so the riding itself doesn't scare me (this was another point my bf was making to me last night -- that I was willing to put my safety in someone else's hands, so it should be easier for me to take responsibility for my own safety as a pilot).

I guess I am just expecting too much progress out of myself too quickly. While it SEEMS like I've been riding long enough to have better skills, I guess since it's been so intermittent, I really don't have THAT many hours in the seat yet.

I think it's just going to take biting the bullet and doing it, before I psyche myself out of it. As I said in my initial post, once I get MOVING, and I'm actually out there riding, I'm okay, and I really start to enjoy it... it's just getting TO that point where I freak out.

Thanks for all the words of wisdom... keep 'em coming!! (and wish me luck tonight -- we're hitting the road -- or the parking lot -- as soon as we get home from work!)
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post #13 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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I guess I never really had the fear of speed on a motorcycle. The day I bought my first bike I didn't jump right on the throttle, but I would still get on it pretty good. Hell I even raced a new corvette on the way home.

The confidence that I did have to concentrate on was the fear of flipping over backwards during a wheelie. As most things it takes a lot of practice, practice, practice until you've got it down and over come the fear.

Keep it up and keep it going you will eventually get comfortable with the fear and it will just become natural.
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post #14 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm still learning and still have a bit of fear though with me I think the fear was what I craved... I guess I'm just an adrenalin junky
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post #15 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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I don't really think I have a huge fear running 140+ for 10 miles on the interstate except the stupid cages in my way and they freak out and don't know what to do when a bike is rolling up on them and they feel like they are sitting still.
Also a fear is semi trucks that simply can't see you in a lane and they proceed to change lanes....I've had that one happen more than a handful of times...so I cross into the emergency lane and proceed to pass.
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post #16 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 09:20 PM
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First off, when I first started riding... I didn't have fear... I was too young and stupid.

Fear is a great guide to keep yourself safe.

Then lately (last year), I started to loose my fear for speed. Started to get too crazy in that sense...so I made the switch to slow down.

You should get lots of advice here!






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post #17 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 11:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Man
First off, when I first started riding... I didn't have fear... I was too young and stupid.

Fear is a great guide to keep yourself safe.

Then lately (last year), I started to loose my fear for speed. Started to get too crazy in that sense...so I made the switch to slow down.

You should get lots of advice here!

ok you said you didn't have fear starting out, then you went into you started to loose your fear for speed sooooo ahh when did you get the fear?
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post #18 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 12:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Man
First off, when I first started riding... I didn't have fear... I was too young and stupid.

Fear is a great guide to keep yourself safe.

Then lately (last year), I started to loose my fear for speed. Started to get too crazy in that sense...so I made the switch to slow down.

You should get lots of advice here!




When i got my first bike at 14 years old (suzuki gn125) i was pretty scared. But i got over it fairly quickly. Granted the first time i got on it i ran straight into a portable basket ball goal. well that put the fear in me, but i picked it up and went back at it. finally got the hang of things and became a better rider. Granted that was 9 years ago. BUT none the less it just took a little bit to get the hang of things.


And yes gear up every time, when i learned to ride that was the last thing on my mind and i have paid the price by laying my old bike down 3 or so times in the rain and swerving from idiot cagers and sliding 30 to 40 feet in shorts and an t-shirt at least with a helmet.

Just hang in there with it and you will do just fine.
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post #19 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Man
First off, when I first started riding... I didn't have fear... I was too young and stupid.
It's funny you mention that.... I was saying just the other night "How come there's all these younger, stupid people who are just fearless and can just hop right on and speed off without so much as a second thought?" And it was pointed out that they're too STUPID to be afraid of it (and that lack of fear will probably bite them in the ass one day).
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post #20 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeps84
You said it right there. Fear will keep you moderately safe. Practice, practice, practice is the only way to get over it. Maybe you need to stay up late on weekends and keep ridding those mall parking lots till you get good and comfy on the bike.
I hate to tell you tho. If you have to much fear. It can hurt you just as quick. You get so over whelmed with fear of falling. You miss the little things and get clobbered or screw up causing a crash.
Keep it slow and ride at what ever pace is comfortable to you. You'll be buzzing those cages in no time and wont even realize it.
and be safe
!
I started out by riding the streets/highways during less traffic hours like early sunday mornings and having a few experience riders with you will help ease the tension of riding the streets/highways.

Last edited by ne1469; 02-22-2006 at 08:42 AM.
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