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Fuzzpuss

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 17

Fuzzpuss says:

The Fear

Simple question, not so simple answer: How do you overcome the fear?

Backstory:
I've wanted to ride a bike for years and years. This year I finally saved up the money for me and my partner to do our CBT's and DAS' together.

We bought our own good quality gear (I'm a bit paranoid about using other peoples stuff, germs and whatnot), researched the best school in our area to go to and I even bought a bike. My incentive to get me through this (like a dieter and their skinny jeans).

Yesterday was our CBT. I woke up all excited, the day finally arrived. We get to the centre, laugh about our license photos with the greatest bunch of instructors you could ever meet, pass our eyetests and breeze through element A.

There were 8 people taking the course including myself. We go outside and are introduced to our partners for the day (Honda CG125's).

After a good introduction of where everything is, a walk around and a demonstration of how not to use the front brake (gentle good, yanking bad) we are invited to saddle up.

Onto the bikes we hop, engines are started, gears are changed upto first and forwards we go... Everyone except me. After three or so attempts and moving a grand total of 20 feet I'm shaking so much I have to get off. The fear has got the best of me.

By the time I've stopped shaking and am ready to try again everyone else has completed elements B to D and are ready for their on road session. I was devastated and still am.

I've been rescheduled to try again next week but, in all honesty I'm so angry and disappointed with myself I'm not sure if I can go through it again.

I guess I'm just looking for a little advice on how to get over this first set back. Any stories anyone else has are very welcome.

Fuzzpuss. xx

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  • Posted 5 years ago (08 March 2010 09:42)

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Ian Version 2.0™

Joined:

Aug 08

Posts: 100

My unpopular opinion

I know this isn't what you'll be wanting to hear but in my opinion not everyone is cut out to be 'bikers'.

I would seriously re-think what you're doing because when it comes to motorbikes you often don't get the chance to make too many mistakes!

Sounds to me like you need to find a field and an off-road bike to make yourself at home with a bike There you can stall it, drop it, skid it and crash it all you want without ever having to come face to face with a dustbin lorry.

The DAS is not an easy course to get through these days. Even the 45bhp, 500cc bikes feel like rocket-ships after the 125's so you'll want to have the process of actually controlling the bike well sorted before you move up in size.

I'm not trying to quash your dreams but you have to be realistic about these things and if your nerves got the better of you so easily during a CBT then you'll really struggle with the manoeuvres under close scrutiny that you are required to do in your test.

PS. What bike did you buy?

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triumphrider600

Joined:

Feb 09

Posts: 550

Try wearing

all your kit, especially the helmet around the house. Sometimes there are just too many inputs for people to cope with. If you found the helmet/kit restrictive, then that would be too much on top of controlling a bike if you haven't ridden before. Maybe you could postpone your courses until he has passed and do a few trips as pillion to get used to being on a bike in traffic and the motions that the bike will make starting stopping and cornering.

 

Good luck,

 

Tom

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bbstrikesagain

Joined:

Nov 08

Posts: 878

Take stock, and take heart

For what it's worth, it isn't easy for everyone, but it should be entirely possible once you get past the fear and frustration, and start to relax.  In the good/bad ol' days, when everyone learned the basics on a mate's smokey two stroke, it wasn't unusual for 1st timers to stall 10 or 20 times before they could get it off the line.  It can be something to laugh about years down the line.

Hours in the saddle, even if your just paddling it and sliding the clutch, rocking it back and forth on a slight incline - you can do this on your drive, without the incumbrance of all that kit, as your not going to go anywhere, it's just about familiarity with the sensation of engine vibes and clutch drag.  They say muscle memory takes around a 1000 repeats, so until you've felt the clutch bite 1000 times, it won't be truly instinctive.  It might be best if those first 1000 or so are on a nice little four stroke 125.

May sound silly, but is it just the engine and weight thing, or are you still nervous on a pedal cycle after that incident?

Can you rest both feet solidly on the ground?

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Fuzzpuss

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 17

Fuzzpuss says:

Pedal bike.

Haven't really ridden my pedal bike since, never got round to having the wheels checked after they collided with the kerb and got wrapped around my leg.

I've been pillion before once, that was exciting.

I'll admit the whole tank and engine running thing does feel very alien to me. And all the controls, 3 simple things which you can do in your head over and over but once the bike starts to move your brain just fudges it and you get the order wrong. You can even see youself in your head reaching for the wrong thing but are unable to stop it happening.

I'm definitely itching to try again, if it's not for me then so be it but I have to get past this first bit to find out. Kinda like my first tattoo, can be afraid of it all you like but you'll never really know how much you want to do it until you hop into the chair and they start the machine.

On the plus side, my partner is doing well on his DAS. He got hit in the helmet by a low flying bird yesterday while going about 40ish and he handled it really well. The bird wasn't quite so lucky.

Does that happen often? Suicidal wildlife?

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smoto5

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 4548

smoto5 says:

Hiya Fuzzpuss!

As a former instructor, one suggestion, which worked well for many people, is can you find an instruction centre which has what they call a two wheel trainer? with this you have a bike fastened down on rollers. This allows you to sit there and use throttle, clutch, gears, brakes and so on without fear of the bike running away with you or falling over! As it can't go anywhere, it's bolted/strapped down!  Once you have had a go on one  of these for a bit, I think you will find you feel more confident of staying in control!! After all the whole process of riding a bike is a bit like scratching your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, ie. hard to co-ordinate at first! Like most tricky things, if it can be seperated into stages you'll find it easier!  Bristol Motorcycle Training Centre used to use these, don't know how many others do.

Failing all that, if somebody can walk along side you to take control if it doesn't go to plan or better still sit on the pillion to take control if goes a bit wobbly that could work for you! It's all about finding solutions, and a good instructor will spend time doing that, not pushing you into something you don't feel happy with! A tatty bike that doesn't matter if it's dropped is always helpful, riding in a field may be the thing, keep trying and don't give up! How you going to know unless you give it your best shot?

:biggrin:

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Fuzzpuss

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 17

Fuzzpuss says:

Two wheeled trainer

You mean a bike on a rolling road? (Watches far too much Top Gear for a girl)

They don't really do those around here, but it's a nifty idea. I'll get my partner to ask my instructor tomorrow if they know of one I can go play with.

The instructors were great, not pushy in the slightest and very understanding. I'm glad I picked them over the other place a friend went to where they weren't.

Thanks for all the advice by the way guys (and girls), it's helping me feel better about it.

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smoto5

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 4548

smoto5 says:

Yeah, that's the kind of thing!

the rear wheel drives a roller when you start feeding clutch out, this drives front wheel, so a lot like being on the road, except you can't fall over/off it (unless you're some sort of kamikaze!) You can then feel effect of feeding clutch in or out, changing gears, braking etc.

 

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smoto5

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 4548

smoto5 says:

p.s It's vital to go somewhere you feel

comfortable with, so that's one less hurdle!

Also, the clutch is the key to the whole thing, not the throttle, not the kill button, once you pull the clutch back in it can't go! once you feed it out, the bike moves, once it's moving, it's much easier for it to stay upright! :biggrin:

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Fuzzpuss

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 17

Fuzzpuss says:

Lol

I didn't even get as far as the kill button.

They were teaching us the ABC's of stopping.

Accelerator (Close the throttle)
Brakes
Clutch (Pull it in)

Once I'd started to move I let go of the throttle, put both feet on the floor, grabbed the clutch then grab the front brake (completely forgot the back one existed by that point).

I was yelling at myself in my head as I was doing it (you numpty! not that one... oh no) but I still couldn't stop myself.

And they say women can multitask....

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Fuzzpuss

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 17

Fuzzpuss says:

Lol

I didn't even get as far as the kill button.

They were teaching us the ABC's of stopping.

Accelerator (Close the throttle)
Brakes
Clutch (Pull it in)

Once I'd started to move I let go of the throttle, put both feet on the floor, grabbed the clutch then grab the front brake (completely forgot the back one existed by that point).

I was yelling at myself in my head as I was doing it (you numpty! not that one... oh no) but I still couldn't stop myself.

And they say women can multitask....

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