Sorting out your confidence

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Confidence isn't just a 'preference of the habitual voyeur' as Blur would have it, but arguably one of the most vital parts of a rider's armoury.

Building it up as you start out, without straying into over-confidence is vital.

The first thing is you need to have confidence in your bike. That means keeping it properly maintained with tyres inflated correctly with plenty of tread, chain nicely lubed, effective brakes and an engine that runs smoothly.

Make it your business to know your bike, inspect it regularly and keep on top of any routine maintenance.

Once you've done that, try to treat every ride as a learning experience.

Don't put yourself into positions where you have to rush and so ride at the limit, but do consider concentrating on one aspect of your riding when you go out, like braking say.

Try to be smooth and get into the habit of spotting potential hazards ahead as early as possible.

As confidence is a 'head thing', read advanced riding books to fill your head with good ideas and fresh approaches, and also consider going on some advanced riding courses, like the Police bikewatch schemes.

If the awful does happen, and you have a spill, take the time to analyse what happened and why and that way you'll be confident you can avoid the same thing happening again. 

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