Hello everyone, as a new rider I was wondering if there’s such thing as “this is a sign you shouldn’t be riding”. Recently while practicing I ended up falling,
Is this normal? Positive side is I’m looking forward to practicing again, am I trying to hard to ride? How do you know if this is or is not for you? Obviously I don’t want to break anything or crash on the road. Thanks for your honest opinions in advance.
Are you ADHD or impatient person? Want everything "right now?"
Question that I have to ask is, "Why do you want to ride motorcycle?"
For me it was:
- excitement of speed!!!
- competitive nature, I started in friend's backyard on dirt-bikes and we always challenged each other to see who can get around course fastest, who can jump the highest and farthest.
- pride in mastery - accomplishing something few people can do
- sense of freedom, taking off going anywhere I wanted to (had to wait years until I was old enough for road licence)
Imagine yourself in future having conquered this difficult contraption. You hop on and take off to your favourite ride, feeling the acceleration when you take off full-throttle! Snick - snick - snick as you flip through the gears. Feeling the air pushing past you. Smelling the different terrain as you leave city boundaries, leaving all your worries behind... It's just you, bike and road ahead!
You can do it!!!
It just requires going through training steps and stages. You've heard of "journey of 1000-miles starts with single step"? Well, people often leave out next step, and one after that, and 10,000th step and 100,000th. I've been riding for 40-yrs and I'm still
training and improving!
Practice makes perfect! Training works. We train astronauts, firemen, commercial pilots so they can do good job. It may take years, decades. So don't be too hard on yourself. You're doing awesome for such short time at it!
You should set up more structured training programme. Similar to "do your own ride" for group rides, you want to practice on skills you need to develop, not follow someone else's ride. Here are some specific topics I had my wife do in parking lots before letting her out on road:
- throttle control
- absolutely most important part of riding. You're scared and timid about throttle. I had my wife go in straight line in long lot and only
work on throttle. No clutch, no shifting, no brakes to distract. In 1st gear, go 25%, 50%, go back & forth between them. Turn around, do 50-75-100%
throttle, then back down in reverse. Up, down, more less throttle, hold at various openings. Get comfortable with 100%. Also at standstill, hold 2000rpms for couple seconds, then 2500 for couple seconds, 1750, 3500, 2500, etc. Trains your brain, your hand to control the bike and make it do what you
- being able to get maximum-braking safely will give you confidence that you'll be able to handle anything that comes at you. There will always be unexpected obstacles and being able to extract maximum braking-performance from bike can save your life. Again, controlled environment that you create for yourself. Practice using both brakes harder and harder.
I raced bicycles for over 10-yrs many decades before getting into moto racing and there are many parallels because physics of 2-wheels is exactly same. Some basics to start:
1. seat height and KOPS-
use this guide for setting saddle height:
British Cycling head physio Phil Burt talks through how to get your bike position right
Too many people have seat too low and risk permanent knee injuries due to rubbing IT-band on bone. You shouldn't apply force to large knee-angles, it's not efficient and causes damage. They mis-represented Lemond's technique, his saddle-height is actually 105% of inseam. Beginners should start at 100% (heel on pedal with straight legs), road-racers use 105%, I prefer 109% for velodrome racing for most power and efficiency.
bike is exactly same as moto. In other thread, you had issue with putting foot down when stopping. Same on bike, stand up on one pedal at bottom of stroke with all your weigh, hang other leg/foot off other side, and gradually lower yourself by bending knee on pedal leg until other side touches down.
- due to higher centre-of-gravity on bicycle, there's faster weight-transfer to front tyre when you apply both brakes. More likely to fly over handlebars on bicycle whereas you're more likely to lock up front-tyre and slide on moto. But braking control and modulation is exactly same. Practice increasing braking force on bicycle until you can achieve shortest stopping distances.
- cornering and countresteering
- due to lighter weight, bicycle is more responsive to steering inputs. Nice thing is both hands are equal, don't have to manage throttle with right. Most people don't even realise they're countresteering on bicycle because it requires so much less force on bars than moto. You can get feel for countresteering by removing one hand from bars and pushing forward with remaining one and notice which way bike turns.
Sorry for long-winded. Bottom line, take it easy and relax. Don't try to advance too quicky. More parking-lot practice on single item at a time and master it. Then go out on road to tie them all together. But plot your course ahead of time. Drive it in car 1st and look for any sections that may cause you problems. Then practice it in parking lots until you master it. Lots of your issues can be overcome with more throttle