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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hi, I’m a New Motorcycle Rider…..

Where can I find someone to ride with to get experience?

This question has been posed to me numerous times in the past few weeks.  I’m finding that women are having a difficult time riding in with other riders.   Many women ride with their partners—but what do they do when their partner does not ride?

These are women that want others to ride with so some type of group riding is in order.  One group of friends do not ride together simply because the experience levels don’t mesh well; everyone wants to ride their own and it turns into a big mess.

Certainly, it is my right to ride my own style.  However, it is my responsibility to encourage new riders and teach them the proper methods of riding—solo as well as the dynamics of group riding.  Yes, that means I can’t go screaming over Hoosier Pass with my hair on fire, but that is okay, the road will be there some other time.

Especially in light of the criticism coming from the non-motorcycling groups regarding the statistics in injuries and deaths in motorcycling accidents, it is my responsibility to contribute positively to the sport.  Rider education only goes so far; after that the skills shift to the rider to gain experience.  If my patience helps a rider from getting into an accident, it’s a step forward.

I have had the experience of wonderful group riding and quite the opposite—group riding at its worst.  It is confusing and dangerous and I’ll admit I wasn’t happy.  Perhaps I have been spoiled by those around me who took the time and had the patience to teach me, but I sure do appreciate their efforts!  It is only fair to pay it forward.  

With the number of new riders starting entering into the sport of motorcycling, the accident numbers will increase.  Couple that with manufacturers building bigger and faster machines and selling them to new riders does not help either.  There’s no blame or finger pointing at manufacturers, retailers or consumers; it is simply what it is.  I cannot do much about what the trends are, but I can do something about teaching my fellow noobie rider—that is if he or she is interested in learning.  And they should be.  

Pavement hurts!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine



Beaker said...

Good post - think we all need to take note of the following point..
"it is my right to ride my own style. However, it is my responsibility to encourage new riders and teach them the proper methods of riding"

When I started riding I was given plenty of tips on group riding & riding in general from certain members of a club that I was a member of - their pointers definitely made be a better rider.

I also rode with them on my first poker run. They told me what to expect and it allowed me to prepare and be aware of what might happen. Had I not been given this advice I think I would have dropped out and not ridden - some stuff happened that was pretty scary for a new rider.

Although I am no longer a member of this club, I believe that it was a great way for me to learn some of the finer points of how to handle a motorcycle from a number of riders.

...and I still pick up things every time I ride!!

The Snark said...

Good post Christine. A lot of times, more experienced riders tend to set a pace which leaves newbies intimidated, especially in the sportsbikes.

I bring new riders out, and follow behind them for a while. If I feel they can cut it, I let them do their own thing. If not, then at the next stop, I'll give them pointers and advice.

Have you considered becoming a motorcycle instructor? I think you'd be a good teacher. You certainly show the right attitude and outlook.

Christine said...

Thanks you guys, that really means a great deal coming from you! I'd love to be a m/c instructor...but when (grins)???

I'll catch them on the flip side...after the m/c instructors get them!!!

KT Did said...

Christine, this IS a good post. I knew no one when I first started riding until I met Stella and her friends a few months into it. I was really glad I did. I was shown different styles and by following I was able to gain confidence in certain street techniques that would have taken me longer to learn on my own. We now have a new rider in the group and are passing on to her the ride. As riders we need to pass on safety and to be mentors to those who are learning. You should be an'd be great--We need more women doing that too!

Mustang said...

riding is always best learnt on the road.. while in a group, all you need to do is learn and observe.. what i feel is that a newbie just needs the time to get used to how the group rides and then blend accordingly and of course, have a learning spirit..