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Registered
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Discussion Starter #1
Well today i was out for a ride. everything was great the sun was shinein my guy was beside me well in front of me most of the time (LOL) I satrted to get a bit nerved up not sure why but i slowed way down got my mind back into what i was doing, or so i thought we came to stop sign was going left he went and as i started to go it was like my mind just went blank i forgot to turn let out the clucth gave it a ton of gas saw a stone wall in front of me then slamed on the front brake needless to say i went over!!!! thank god i didn't get to hurt just a bit of road rash on my hand and lower arm and a big black and blue on my hip. no big damage to the bike. all i could do was lay there and call for wayne. i couldn't move once i got up and walked it off (HAD A SMOKE) i was ok and going to get right back on and ride but when i sat on it i couldn't do it. i rode with wayne home and we went back in the car so he could ride it home.I now think i should have just done it becasue i don't want the fear to eat me up does this sound stupid? :(
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
Sounds kinda like you got a little too comfortable while riding, which let your mind wonder to things other than the ride. Ya gotta always stay focused!!
Sure, take in the sights, smells and wonders of the ride, but ALWAYS remember you're on two wheels and it's just you which determins your fate on the ride.

Glad to hear you or the bike weren't too banged up.
Stay safe out there!!
 

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HAWK
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2,576 Posts
Good Idea is to go in to a parking lot and practice where there are no other distractions.
Once you build up your confidence then do more on the road.
When I first got on a bike I rode around the block for a couple of months first.
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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1,114 Posts
Judging from your description of the situation, and what went on in your mind at that time.....if you have yet to take an MSF class, I would strongly encourage you to do so--ASAP.

If you have not taken the "Intro" MSF class, start with that one first.

If you have had the "intro" class, you might consider taking it again.

I've never talked to or heard anyone else say that they've regretted taking that class. It's the best investment you can make in safe, fun motorcycling.

After you take this mentioned class...practice your MSF skills some more, in a vacant lot--b4 going back into traffic.

Another suggestion: take the Harley Davidson (yes, I know that is forbidden language on this forum.....=)...) "Rider's Edge" version of this MSF class. It is oriented towards riders that are beyond college age, and is a bit more laid back than its competitors. Besides, their instructors have more training and prep to teach others.

After the class--do not buy a Harley! As long as you are learning, make your rookie mistakes on a much less expensive (and less expensive to fix, if you drop it) used, Japanese-made bike.

Hope this helps.....:smiley_th
 

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Lebanon, NJ
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437 Posts
Time and miles. I stayed local and worked/rode further and further out as I felt comfortable. I'd say it took a good 600 miles before I felt ok on the bike.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
X2 to all the above recommendations. They say if you get bucked off a horse, the best thing to do is get right back on. I think the same idea holds true with riding a bike. Don`t wait until next weekend to get back on your bike. It`s too late in MA to go back out today, but I suggest getting back on tomorrow and take a slow ride around your neighborhood, or an empty parking lot. The sooner you do it, the less time you have to think about falling down, and letting the fear build up.

When you read this try some "chair riding". Sit in a chair and hold your hands and feet in position, just as if you were actually on your bike. Close your eyes, visuallize and move your hands and feet, while going through all the motions of starting the engine, shoulder checking for traffic and moving off. Even make vrooom, vrooom motor noises if it helps make it more realistic for you. Do all the things that you do while riding; ie. shift gears, lean around corners and sweepers going both directions, slowing to a stop and moving off again.

Visualize the stop where you fell, and practice moving off and turning left again, doing everything right this time. Do it over again as many times as it takes for you to feel confident that you can do it for real the next time.

Make a few 3"X5" "positive affirmation cards", with things like:
"I am a confident, careful and proficient rider", or
"I can safely turn left, confidently easing the clutch out and gently rolling on the throttle", or
"I will feel confident of my riding ability as I approach, mount, start the engine and move off on my motorcycle."


Make up some more of your own, but remember they HAVE TO BE POSITIVE. Start with "I WILL", or "I CAN" or "I AM", never "I will not" or "I cannot", or "I am not".
Put these cards up where you will see them several times every day, and repeat the words out loud, with feeling and belief, every time you see it. Repeat them a few times just before going to sleep at night. You can literally reprogram your brain to believe these affirmations, and then act upon them when you ride. I know it sounds kind of crazy if you have never tried it, but it works. Even if you are skeptical of these methods, try them for 3 or 4 days or a week, before giving up. What have you got to lose, except for a little paper, ink and a few minutes of your time. Do the chair riding in private if you are afraid someone may laugh at you. Or do it where ever you want, and just tell them some crazy Kanuck from Alberta told you to do it!

Good luck Pam. Get back on that steel pony soon and ride. Life is too short to live in fear. You can ride a motorcycle, and keep it under control. You know it, and I know it. Now you just have get control of your subconcious mind by using these positive affirmations, and you will enjoy riding again, even more than you have in the past!!!

Let us know how things go tomorrow, after the ride around the neighborhood.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to you. all I know one thing for sure i will ride again!!!!!! And i will not drop it again. road rash hurts!!!!!!!!
 

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Premium Member
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4,054 Posts
Pam, I'm not making light of your experience by saying this, but you see this happen over and over again on America's Funniest Videos, where someone just gooses the throttle and lose control of the bike. It happens all the time! I know it was mentioned about taking the MSF course, but I didn't see your answer to that. I highly recommend taking the course if you haven't yet. Sounds like you might have suffered from target fixation along with what ever else happened to start the problem. I believe the basic stuff that should be reflex, or a habit, like feathering the clutch when you are doing a slow take off, things like that are what you need to work on in a parking lot so you can get more used to and make a habit out of it. You just need some more saddle time on the bike building up that knowledge and reflexes and experience that will help you with your confidence. You'll be OK, and I'm really thankful you didn't get hurt too bad! Hang in there and we'll all be pulling for ya!
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
Pam, I just want to make one more point about the road rash on your hands and arm. I hope you aren`t riding without gloves. You really need to wear some gloves that are designed for motorcycle riding, with straps across the wrist to keep them tight and in place if you go down. Look for some with armored fngers too. Your hands are usually the first thing to hit the ground in a crash. You don`t have to slide on them very far before you are wearing out bones that could leave your hands permenantly crippled. Sure, good gloves are pricey, but aren`t your hands worth protecting?
 

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I have dropped my bike frequently at first. I got so I could pick it up without help (thats alot of dropping). Just when I thought I was over it my DH forgot to use the agreed upon hand signals to tell me he was turning earlier than the agreed upon destination and before i knew it my vulcan was climbing up his A#$ and i hit the brakes so hard that I fell over after comming back off of his exhaust (Rhinehart Racing). Well I yanked my vulcan up off the ground and then lit into him. needless to say I was ticked off. but my point is things can happen so fast and we have to stay alert. The best thing you can do if you want to ride is get back on that bike and practice. Hang in there!
 

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Now what
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400 Posts
There's nothing wrong with calling it a day after you lay your bike down. That's a big distraction and you need your whole head in the game when riding. Secondly, there could be damage to the bike you don't notice at first. I didn't secure my bike properly in my trailer and it fell down during the trip. It didn't look like anything was amiss until I started riding it the next day, noticed the mirror wasn't aimed correctly and came off in my hand when I tried to adjust it. Taking the MSF course is truly a great idea. You should also take some short to medium long rides over routes you're familiar with. Just stick to roads you know well and ride around. Probably a good idea to just go by yourself too. Riding your own ride is way easier when your by yourself.
 

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The Reanimater
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847 Posts
Taking the MSF Course Won't or Jumping right back on might not fix the problem.

For those that has never had them won't understand but to those that have or know someone that has, will.

What was described was a Panic/Anxiety Attack and the aftermath.

Been there. They come on for no rhyme or reason.

Under her name it says "Been on the back to long!" So maybe she felt safe on the back but her mind realized that she was all alone on the bike and it was in her control.
She was Out of Her safety zone, Panic sets in, Mind goes haywire...............Yup Been there.
 

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ptcbob
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79 Posts
Pam,
I agree on target fixation. More than once I have had to force myself to lean into a turn. I do not know why, but it is common. More miles will help. There is nothing wrong with you. Ditto safety items.
Bob
 

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I've got to agree with JT, it sounds a lot like a panic attack. Once your in a panic attack its like only half your brain is working, so your co-ordination goes. Things like target fixation become very likely. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. If you ever get the feelings again, pull up, take a deep breath, hold it a long time then blow out of your mouth slowly until your lungs feel empty. Do this a few times until your head starts to feel clear. If you can, take a five minute break. Then you should be able to concentrate on riding again. Don't be scared of the bike or the feelings, just give yourself the time you need. Take things at your speed.
 

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Glad you're ok Pam and that the bike is too. Best of luck, I hope to hear that you're back up and ridin' soon. Take 'er easy you'll be fine out there, you know how to ride just ease back into it...
 

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Premium Member
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Pam ,don't feel bad as long as I have been riding ,there are situations that come up that just work on my nerves for no reason ,I just start feeling like something bad is going to happen and I don't know why ,Like was described earlier you have to concentrate and focus on the task at hand which is riding safely.You will have to find out how to deal with it in your own way.I start giving my self a positive talking too,and tell myself that I can do whatever it is facing me and concentrate on what I know I can do.Whatever it takes to get you back in a positive state of mind. If you have to pull over to the side and smoke or get a cold drink and gather your self back together.If any one says they have no fears ,don't believe them.We all just keep them under control in different ways.
 

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former lurker
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159 Posts
I'm glad you and your bike are safe. There's always a silver lining to be found, and I think you're well on your way to finding it.

This probably isn't a big consolation, but I dropped my bike yesterday, too. I was practicing starts and stops in the empty local schoolyard, and as I came to a stop I must have had the wheel turned too far to the left. I either forgot to put my leg down soon enough, or it was just the weight of the bike, but next thing I know we're both headed down. I was glad I had all my gear on. Only thing hurt on me and the bike was my pride. I took off my helmet, took a deep breath and picked up the bike and set it on the kickstand.

I did learn a couple of things from this. One, I had considered just wearing a t-shirt, no gloves and sneakers for my short little practice session. After all, the school lot is only 1/2 mile from the house. What could happen? I'm sure glad I decided to don all my gear. Not a scratch on me.
Second, square up the bike when coming to a stop and make sure you put your feet down.
After the mishap, I took five minutes to think about what had happened. I decided to get back on it and to keep practicing my stops and starts. Like someone else said, you gotta practice, practice, practice.

If you haven't taken the MSF class, please do. I took it and I learned that I need to really refine my basic skills, and I'm talkin' basic! Like starting and stopping!
So I believe there's always a lesson to be learned, or some good to come out of every situation. I hope this works out for you as well. :smiley_th
 

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Frank makes a good point; there's always something to be learned in it, and then practiced on. Practiced on once we get our wits back about us, one of the keys is getting back on and riding again though. I'm glad you and your bike came through ok, and try to remember many, many riders have dumped it at some point, so as was also mentioned by someone, it doesn't mean anything is wrong with you. :)

A couple years ago I crashed at speed out on the road and jacked up some of my body parts, so a number of weeks passed before I was physically able to ride again. Soon as I was able I went for a short one mile ride and it scared the hell out of me, just about turned me right off of riding. I came home and parked the bike and didn't even look at it for a few more weeks. I had the "mental willies" from it bad. It was long after when my body and brain let me know it was time to get up and try again, and I was jittery, but not afraid to almost panic.

You'll get there too, like the rest of us have. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am so glad that i found this site and all you guys. you have no idea how much it helps to hear that someone else knows how i was feeling. I DO PLAN ON TAKING THE COURSE ASAP. I know that i can ride but i am still a bit scared. I have been around and on bikes since i was 5 just never had the urge to get my own. I have been through way to much in my life to just give up. But i do want to send out many big thanks to all of you. I was a bit scared about posting anything about it for fear that some would give me the women shouldn't ride line which i got this morning from a guy a work. I wont tell ya what i said to him LOL. As far as the gloves go i am going to get some before the next ride.
 

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Chucklehead
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1,050 Posts
the women shouldn't ride line....
That's as close as I'll come to using it (show me who started it so I can kick them)...... I've been riding for years and still have willies coming to a corner due to scraping the center stand five years ago and ending up on the far side of the ditch. We all must overcome what scares us at one time or another or curl up and die.
 
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