View Full Version : First Times Alone - Stories

06-10-2006, 07:27 AM
Well, if any of you are like me, I got tired of riding bitch. You either feast if you have an old man, or fathom, because your buddies seem to get girlfriends all at the same time... I've always wanted a road bike, but could never really swing it raising 3 kids all my life (spread way out in age). Now I got one though!

I grew up with dirt, but that was many years ago (hey, wait? Did I say I grew up? SHIT!) Riding on the road is a lot different. I was always careful about who I rode bitch with & it is a faith thing... But now riding myself is to put faith in me.

I put the bike up after my very first, very short solo ride the other night. I was nervous & realized I didn't have my cell on me so I cut it short & came home. Working 2 jobs doesn't help with time to practice. Was hoping to be riding to work by now... But, have a couple hours tomorrow afternoon & all my kids will be at Blue Springs State Park & I'm home alone, so I'm gonna ride there as they are not expecting me. It is all back roads from here. I can do this!

I'm hoping you all will tell your stories about how you ventured out by yourself for the first few times. How about traffic, or interstates, bridges, especialy the corragated ones.... Do tell!

06-10-2006, 08:53 AM
Take your time being in a hurry on a bike is not a good thing...Stay on the back streets untill you feel comfortable.Ride as much as you can,good weather as well as bad. When riding in the rain go easy on the front brake... Keep us posted on how you are doing...

06-10-2006, 10:07 AM
my first solo was gettin the bike home to begin with on a 2 laner each way at 55, then thread thru moderate traffic to get it to the hanger. when ya gotta, ya gotta.
rain ridin suxs. is like being hit with sandblaster, and wet roads can be slick; especially at intersections.

06-10-2006, 04:40 PM
Good topic!!

Circumstances dictated that if I wanted to ride, I'd have to do it myself.. or begged/borrowed/stole a few minutes from my (sep.) hubby's 'schedule'. Bought a little 300 cc yamaha, got some cones & hit the back field for about 3 months. First time out on the road, I punched it into 2nd on a corner & skewed sideways across the road; blew the motor....siezed it up tighter than..... !! well, I had to get a truck & an extra pair of strong arms to help us lift it off the road, as the tranny was locked up as well. The rest of the summer he took pity on me, & I "got" to ride with him, fairly often, just to get my 'fix'..lol I think he helped me get my next bike, a 750 Shadow, just so he wouldn't have to answer any more questions!

I found this place, & drove everyone here nuts instead!

Having discovered I could in fact actually ride, the hubby figured I was good to go.. & so.. I did. Learner's permit clearly stated no solo, no 'regular' speed, no dusk. "2 out of 3 ain't bad.." :)

My first time out alone, I was afraid of one part of my (wraparound) driveway, so refused to try it, opting for the easier way. Cornering to the right still worried me, as I tended to go too wide on them, so, again, opted for the easier left turn. Avoided any & all hill-stops, the town area, ..lol.. I found a route that let me ride & feel safe, that had enough practice elements on it that I figured was ok to start with. Highway is easy, if you are in city limits to start with.. don't have to go fast!! No pressure...

It was an enormous loop; ( least it seemed so back then!) went from my place down thru a really dangerous 2-way stop-intersection, to a 4 way stop sign, to the stoplight. On the highway for about 5 miles, thru 2 more stoplights, over a corner-bridge, to a turnoff to some really straight backroads, that have 90 degree corners. Back to some corners of varying angles, ( none as sharp as the farmland though) through a construction site & then down a fairly steep hill, ending with a really sharp left turn & home Took me well over an hour at first. Probably closer to 2...I think I ducked with each bird that flew by, & every car that passed I Swore knew I "shouldn't be doing this!"

I ran that set-up for about 2 months, usually after supper, when it wasn't busy. Hubby would ride with me on occasion, but oddly, we never went where I did; he always found new places for me, & was THE best teacher; no sugar-coating with that boy! "What/why the Fck did you ____ ..." usually meant a new lesson! lol Lovely places, like booking around a sharp corner on a back road to discover you have 30 seconds to slow down before you hit the dropoff into 6 inches of loose gravel instead of road where the crews had started repaving; no signs, nothing. Pucker power!!! I learned how strong my arms are.. nowhere to go but thru it.. for about 1/2 an hour...lol Or on the main highway, where they had pulled the road up & had grooved it before repaving.. Damn! I never realized just how Much those little ridges will pull & push you! Very hard to 'relax & let the bike travel a bit' I felt like I was gonna puke I was so scared I would drop it! You can't go fast at all, but you also can't go Too slow... 2nd gear was too much, 1st too little. But once thru? Holy, Nobody could get the smile off my face! lol Cattleguards.. you know those little 'car-paths' across them? Well, they are meant for, Yup, you guessed it.. a CAR! they will pull you sideways so damn fast it's like no time to blink! Slow down a bit & run the bars themselved.. just Really watch there are none missing.. it hurts to pothole like that!

The more confident I became, the more he rode with me. I took my driver's, & "listened" to all the voices from HCG helping me the whole test.. ( at one point, I went around an uphill, slightly blind corner too close to the center line & I Swear everyone here yelled at me!! The instructor made me pull over & asked me if I was ttrying to talk to him via the headset, because if so, it wasn't working right, or was talking to myself was a new habit? He looked slightly worried when I said no, I wasn't trying to talk to him...I was just admitting to "the guys" that I messed up & realized it too late!)

I put 4000 miles on that wonderful bike... it taught me better than anyone could have, why you do NOT grab the front brake, & throttle & try to swerve at slow speed; I broke my collarbone & the tips off 3 ribs last year, also broke my new windshield, the taillight assembly & dented the tank...just added it to all the other stuff I've broken in the last few years... I literally went from a wheelchair to a Harley in less than 4 years...

Once I discovered I could not only catch up to, but keep up with, a RK, ( especially one with an angry rider!) I knew I could ride. I knew that I Would ride. I'm still apprehensive when I first head out, & there are still quite a few places I have yet to conquer, but it'll come.. & until it does, the guys here are fantastic, & the Safety forum is invaluable!

06-10-2006, 04:47 PM
Fantastic post, Calli! Bravo, girl!

06-10-2006, 07:33 PM
great post , and i hope you keep rideing through your fears

06-10-2006, 08:00 PM
Great post------I almost felt like I was there riding with you----I guess in a way, we all were...... Keep riding, and enjoying!!!!!

06-10-2006, 08:06 PM
some of the best roads to ride on are the roads less traveled by cages. twisties will help in learning just where ur limits are, but do urself a favor and be very conservative until u get a good feel of how the bike takes them. usually, gravel will most likely to be found at the shoulder, or about 2'' from the shoulder; at least it's like that up here.

things u most definately want to beware of besides gravel. oil: it'll drop u instantly.
'fairy dust': what this is is basically gravel that's been practially ground into a powder by cars. hit this stuff the wrong way, and it'll drop u very hard.
wet roads will be super slick in the first 10 mins of any rain from the oil being brought up.

look for roads that offer nice wide sweeper curves, and has a few switchbacks thrown in. if u really wanna explore, get a road map of ur county. i'm gonna be gettin 1 for columbiana county to recon for some twisty roads...the twistier the better. :P

06-10-2006, 08:27 PM
Just got back from a little ride. I put about 12 or 15 miles on. Found myself in some tight corners & stops, but I did real good until I got back to my driveway & hit some sand. That was a little hairy, but we stayed upright & parked just fine.

I appreciate all the stories & advice. Thanks everyone!

06-10-2006, 08:39 PM
i've hit a couple of pea-sized gravel when turning from intersections close by here, and yea, it does raise the pucker factor just a bit. but then again, it's good learning...gettin a feel of what a small skid feels on 2 wheels. but the same rules apply; look where u want the bike to go and if the back slides out any further, turn into it. i've had mine skate what felt like 6'' out from under me, but i still kept it up.

06-10-2006, 09:36 PM
This will be my one and only post, unless asked, in the Ladies Lounge. But I noticed some dudes post more here than in the other categories. Hmmmmmmmm????? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sandman?? :P

06-10-2006, 10:14 PM
hey what can i say....women who ride are soooooooooooooo dam sexy. ^_^ ^_^ :P whip ip

06-10-2006, 10:34 PM
This will be my one and only post, unless asked, in the Ladies Lounge. But I noticed some dudes post more here than in the other categories. Hmmmmmmmm????? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sandman?? :P

Theres a ladies lounge...... Where the hell is that, man what have I been missing.

06-12-2006, 12:24 PM
Kat, you will feel your confidence growing every time go out. Just be patient and ride every chance you get.....just one thing though, one mom to another.......DO NOT FORGET THE CELL PHONE EVER.

Back roads are great, but don't get yourself too isolated either. People like to mess with women on bikes that are alone.

My first alone trip was to Florida. :lol:

06-25-2006, 07:38 AM
Kat, you will feel your confidence growing every time go out. Just be patient and ride every chance you get.....just one thing though, one mom to another.......DO NOT FORGET THE CELL PHONE EVER.

Back roads are great, but don't get yourself too isolated either. People like to mess with women on bikes that are alone.

My first alone trip was to Florida. :lol:

Yes, I agree, it is true about building confidence. Working 2 jobs & being a single Mom, doesn't help with the time factor of having time to ride...

I found the phone, of course, it was after I bought a new one!

Want more details about your FL trip! Whaddya mean? What happened?

06-25-2006, 02:10 PM
This will be my one and only post, unless asked, in the Ladies Lounge. But I noticed some dudes post more here than in the other categories. Hmmmmmmmm????? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sandman?? :P

they know when the getting is good--and it helps them THINK they will learn to understand us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

plus--we do appreciate the input from experienced riders--as long as it isn't critizing

my very 1st time by myself was around the corner--i live on a block that you can circle--no traffic so i used to ride around right turns and then ride around left turns and would just do about 5 miles that way--stopping and starting--level--uphill and downhill

then next was about 7 miles and again on less traveled roads until i built up to going over and under the 1 lane rr bridges that run by me and the delaware

i've gone now 100 miles on county roads here in western jersey and PA by myself

i will tell you that my 1st long ride of almost 400 miles with a group and all else in VA last weekend was what has made me feel much more comfortable--if you would have told me last year at this time i would have done this i would have told ya you were nutzy

Kat just take it at your pace---if you can have someone ride with you---NJBill rides with me whenever he can--it is great--he loves getting out and has always been patient with me--been with otheres that get impatient and want to hit the rds top speed instead of going at my pace

06-26-2006, 03:02 AM
My first solo was out my drive and down into the ditch...Rode the ditch till I hit the culvert...lmao....Ditch riding 101 done....lmao

Then around my block...several times...both direcrtions. 2nd or 3rd time, a car stopped and I stalled..down in a shallower ditch...Rode Thunder out and continued on....Ditch riding 102 done...lmao

The next time was home from his first service from the dealership, end of last season. Was gonna bring him straight home but felt so good I put 50 miles on...

That was the last ride of last season.....Shame facedly I say..he's not been ridden yet this season. Still haven't taken him out on the road solo. I say it's cherry breaking time eh?......

06-26-2006, 03:07 AM
Momma Char~
Ya know if I had passed I would be right there saying lets go....
but don't rule me out yet..... going to stop by the Ridley dealer in a few days... take the written test and see what happens.....

I might be down right now but I am not out... My heart still beats so I will find a way to ride my own!

Love ya Char!

07-01-2006, 08:39 AM
Char! You & your ditch riding lessons... LMAO Thank God I bought you a bell!

Alicia, You'll be in the wind again! soon. Give yourself time to heal. I waited all my life for this bike. When the time is right, it will be.

I've had the course & two episodes of coaching in parking lots. Mac took me out back roads & the most miles were gorgeous backroads. Gotta love my MacDaddy! He knows all the roads! The rest of my riding time has been by myself.

Finally took the bike to work! (Been raining like a bitch here, so I caged it lately.) Took the main highway too! And to top it off, I rode for the first time at night coming home - pulled into Dale's Ales just in time for last call. Got to show off my cold hard bitch to a few friends tonight.

Actually, is it a bitch or a man? It runs cold - LOL Maybe name it one day... Still got that stupid fox on the front fender... When I am sure I am not gonna drop it, I 'll get it painted. Any ideas for a name?

Julie was so right about building confidence. I felt so good about this time out. I got the weekend off & can't wait to get back out there! We got this freaking storm out there though (actually 2 coming from both directions, it looks) I get time off & it is gonna F'n rain? Another new one for me - riding in the rain!

07-01-2006, 11:13 AM
I see a lot of posts talking about riding the backroads. In my area,the backroads are full of log trucks and other big vehicles that like to take up the entire road on a curve. An eyeopener that will increase the PUCKER factor tenfold. I know I tighten up when I meet a car or truck in my car or truck and they have decided to use my portion of the road in a curve. I shudder to think what a new rider would do in that type of situation. I think its LOTS safer for a new rider to stay on the main roads of town!
you ladies be careful!..I salute you all for learning to ride..and I doubt no ones ability until you show me you have none.

GIRLS on motorcycles ARE SEXY..

07-01-2006, 12:24 PM
When we bought my sportster we could only afford one bike and we had to share it so any riding I did was alone. I started around the block and that went well except for those peskly little neighborhood boys on their dirt bikes that kept running past me like little bumble bees. Next I choose a path that headed away from town out to the river then back around to my house. It was a lovely ride with little traffic most days. At least untill the dump truck pulling a bulldozer on a lowboy trailer met me (on my side) in a curve and blew me off the road onto the shoulder in the gravels. I managed to stay upright but I'm not real sure how. It could have been soooo ugly. I rode nothing but this same loop then added a different road to get home sometimes. I think what gave me the creepys the worst was traveling alone and knowing if something went south no one might find me. Finally we had 2 bikes. Honestly that helped so much to have someone I could ride behind and watch techniqe. I've only been riding since October of 04 but I'm learning and I know you will too.

07-02-2006, 05:37 AM
Rode solo again today. Venturing a bit further... Made it over a bridge I was warned about. The bridge has a big curve & a stop light at the end, (of course it was red). I did ok on it, but then going down the road more the winds off of Lake Monroe were wicked & made me think the bridge was not a big deal compared to the side gusts.

Coming back, I stopped at one of my favorite local watering holes for one. Take off from there & doing the main drag (4 lanes & traffic). This guy on a nice hot bike comes up next to me & says hi. I pull out behind him, look at my speedo & it is only registering 20 mph - freak a bit because if my car does that - I've usually snapped an alternator belt & I'm gonna die soon. So, I drop back & figure I'll pull into Dale's because somebody there will know, or at least I can call someone & buy then a beer to come look at it. Doesn't the cute guy pull in before me! So we talk a bit, go wiggle the cables & go back in & he buys me a beer. Says he'll see me on the road - OK! So, I take my time drinking the beer & probably should have had another water before taking off again, but I was real close to home. The dang speedo works again!

So I had a good day! Had a sod trailer back almost into me while filling the tank, then a cage turn in front of me, made it over a bridge, didn't freak too bad over the speedo thing, took the wrong road & ended up in a cul-de-sac, and hit a turn onto the "right" road in 3rd gear... Safe & sound...

Tomorrow is another day & if the rain holds off, I'll be out again! Another fear - hard rain!

07-02-2006, 05:57 AM
Good for you kat! I love hearing shit like this. Its really does help inspire me. Have fun tomorrow. :D

07-02-2006, 03:10 PM
sounds like ur starting to become 1 with the bike if ur hittin curves in 3rd. i've takin curves in 4th, and 1 of em it turned out i rolled into it pretty hot.
i'll do a quick once-over of the cager; if i see a cell phone, i plan on him comin down with a brain fart and try to kill me.
suv's are sometimes the worst offender's for havin a case of 'head up the ass'. i never let a suv fly very close to me....i stay about a cage length back just in case they either drift over, or just switch over without even a signal. that will kill u for sure. the way i see it, a cager that's headin to a stop sign very hot, i practically expect them to just blow right thru it, and so far, dam near half of em do just that.
seems to me, the women are the worst offenders, then the teens, then the boom cages. and definately keep ur distance from cages that have kids in em..i've had em drift in my lane before. and those fucking cell phones...ooooh yea, there's a potential killer right there. and always check ur 6 when at a light. i put the bike at a bit of an angle to the cage in front with at least 1 bike length cushion. if a cage rolls in hot, i'm ready to duck...keep it in gear. i suggest u work a bit with the friction zone, and brush up on evasion from a dead stop.
what i mean is, being able to get the bike to the side of the cage in front and let that dude take the hit instead of u gettin turned into a sandwhich. havin to do a hard lean from a dead stop might raise the pucker factor, but would u prefer being turned into a hood ornament? thought not. ;)

07-02-2006, 04:23 PM
they just came out with a study here---ppl on cell phones and sleep deprived are involved in as many and as severe--i don't want to call them accidents or mishaps--not sure what to call them-- as those under the influence