View Full Version : New Riders Beware ~ Freedom & Independence Do Not A Safe Rider Make!

Gas Man
03-09-2012, 06:51 AM
Wrote for a Women riding editorial but I think it should apply to all noobs!!

New Riders Beware ~ Freedom & Independence Do Not A Safe Rider Make!
by Liz Jansen

Freedom, empowerment and confidence are the first words that spill from new riders as they describe the feelings of riding a motorcycle. We've all been there. We're ecstatic and it feels like we can do anything. And we can - if we have the skills. Conversely, irrational fear can distort our confidence. In all cases, caution is required. http://lizjansen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Caution-300x225.jpg (http://lizjansen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Caution.jpg)
Although the focus here is on new riders, these hazards and the strategies to deal with them, are not in their realm exclusively.

Here are the issues to Be Aware of - and what to do about them:
Inappropriate first bike. Too big, too powerful, too high, too uncomfortable
Why it happens:

An emotional, impulse decision
Improper advice from an experienced rider or salesperson
Lack of knowledge about what features to look for.
Proactive Strategies

Start with a bike that is suitable for your skill level. Ride it for a year, develop your skills and confidence so you are ready to move to something larger.
Take the basic rider course (CSC, MSF) before purchasing. You'll have a much better idea of your skills and preferences in riding styles.
Listen to your intuition. Experienced riders often lose sight of the fact that for a new rider, even a 250cc bike can seem gargantuan and unwieldy.
Group Rides - In this case, a group is any more than two or three other riders. Special caution is urged for large charity rides, rallies and events which attract large numbers of motorcycles in motion.
Why it happens:

Leaders who don't manage groups safely
Skill level of other group members
Pressure to ride beyond your skill level
Proactive Strategies

Ride with one or two other riders for your first season. It gives you company and there is not so much to keep track of.
Ask about a group's safety procedures before riding with them.
Ride at the back of the group so you're not holding back more experienced riders.
Ride at your own skill level. If a group is pressuring you to exceed that, look for a new group.
Riding too fast - i.e. beyond your skill level or what's reasonable in the situation.
Why it happens:

Questionable judgement
Proactive Strategies

Practice in parking lots. They're great for developing quick stop skills, figure eights and slow speed maneuvers.
Slow down. Much power is harnessed in a motorcycle. All of it controlled by the rider.
Choose your roads wisely. Pick the least busy times and streets to get adept riding at speed. The fewer distractions you have, the better.
Riding too slow. Riding below the posted limit or unnecessarily slowing down for corners.
Why it happens:

Lack of confidence
Lack of skills
Proactive Strategies:

Practice. It may sound repetitive, but it's imperative to have the skills to ride safely. And practice develops confidence.
Stretch yourself. If you've got the skills, increase your confidence with small, gradually larger successes.
Choose your roads wisely. Pick the least busy times and streets to get comfortable riding at speed. The fewer distractions you have, the better.
Rites of Passage. Riders are drawn to certain roads because of their technical requirements - i.e. Tail of the Dragon.
Why it's hazardous:

Requires skills a new rider doesn't have
Attracts many riders pushing their skill level
Other traffic, especially oncoming
Proactive Strategies

Ride at least a season before attempting these attractions
Avoid going at peak season
Make sure you are in good physical condition, alert, well-rested
Being able to ride a motorcycle is a gift and learning to ride is a tremendous accomplishment. Tempering that initial euphoria (or fear) with physical reality creates more mindful and skillful riders and long term enjoyment - for yourself and everyone around you.
There's no substitute for expert instruction, continuous learning and saddle time to develop safe riding habits and muscle memory. Adept handling is a challenge for any rider, so the more you prepare, the better your chances of a safe outcome.
If you don't have the motorcycle, skills or confidence to ride with traffic, you're putting yourself and those around you in peril.
It's true; empowerment is all about choice. That means an informed, wise decision and solid technical skills. You'll be amazed at how it enhances your ride!

Liz Jansen

Liz Jansen is an author, speaker, coach and rider extraordinaire. She's thrilled that her work now brings her experience in the corporate world together with her love of adventure.

Her mission:to create the environment for others to discover their personal power and grow - using the motorcycle as a means of transformation. Through her practice, she has served hundreds of clients and her network reaches across Canada, the US and to Europe and Australia.

Liz has worked directly with individual and corporate clients, in both private and public sectors. She has contributed articles to the Toronto Star, several national magazines as well as online ezines. Her expertise has been sought for interviews on television, traditional and on-line radio, magazine and newspaper articles.

www.lizjansen.com www.trilliumtours.com

Bagger Dave
03-09-2012, 07:07 AM
yep....read that on the FB page! :dthumb:

Gas Man
03-09-2012, 07:21 AM
Yeah but some aren't on FB... and I thought it was worth sharing!!

Bagger Dave
03-09-2012, 07:26 AM
Yeah but some aren't on FB... and I thought it was worth sharing!!

:cheers: :dthumb:

03-09-2012, 08:21 AM
All good advice. I have warned a lot of riders about the dragon. I certainly had never seem anything like it. If people look uncomfortable turning around here.......

03-09-2012, 03:27 PM
Good article :dthumb:

Mad Dog
03-09-2012, 07:24 PM
Great Post. A good read for all.

03-09-2012, 08:13 PM
Great article. Lot of good stuff for everyone.

03-10-2012, 10:29 AM
Very good advice and thanks for sharing