New Gal from San Diego

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New Gal from San Diego

Postby dee » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:07 pm

Hi all!
I recently purchased my first motorcycle. I got my license a few years back, one of the few who actually took the driving portion of the test at the DMV. Did not drive anything other than a 125cc scooter for the past few years, and began riding on the back of John's Harley about 3 years ago. This year I really felt the urge to ride my own, part time, and got myself a Sportster Low.

Have taken a few short rides, and done lots of practicing in the local school parking lot. I am almost over the "I gonna throw up" feeling and am enjoying each ride more and more. Yesterday I did about 50 miles. At the half way point a car ran a red light, and fortunately, the driver missed myself, a car, and John on his bike. It was frightening, but I know the panic feeling now, I know how I react to it, and I know what to do in that situation. I said lots of prayers yesterday. I pulled over to the side of road, cried for a couple minutes, then got back on the bike and finished the ride. It was still a good ride, and I learn each time I go out. Hopefully my on my next ride, someone will yell encouragement and I will learn there are great people out there.......actually, I know there are.

Anyway, so happy to be part of the group!

Dee
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby Ametha Elf » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:16 pm

HI Dee and welcome. Firstly you did so well in a dangerous situation where you kept your cool and knew instinctively the best course of action. Id say you are no longer in the newbie stage, going by that. Every time you ride, your skill sets will continue to grow, and theres no better excuse to ride than that!. :D Congratulations also on the Sportster Low, they are nice bikes.
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby 7of9 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:56 pm

Welcome!

Wow...that must have been scary, but it sounds like you handled it like a champ. I find I'm really good at staying calm during a crisis situation, but right after the danger has passed, I also need to cry. All that adrenaline feels like it needs someplace to go and for me, it comes out in tears. It sounds like you gave yourself the time you needed to let that out and then you were able to continue your ride. I think that's definitely something to be REALLY proud of!

Ummm...pictures of your bike? I have a big crush on sportsers and softtail slims right now and then I can live vicariously through the members here who have them! :D
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby BtWoman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:20 am

Hi Dee, Oh man, as a new rider that must have been very scary!! I am soooooo glad no one was hurt! It's amazing how the survival instinct kicks in during real danger. Aside from being as shaken as you were, it's good to learn early on to be prepared for anything!
In the beginning, I also had that "I'm gonna throw up" feeling, too, and actually did once. :oops: I could not eat much more than a small salad and crackers and sip water at breaks, on my nervous belly, back then. This is just my opinion, I think that those of us who were very nervous newbies will always be cautious riders; not to be confused with being too slow or refusing to ride in the rain or the dark or anything, but always staying aware and being defensive. As soon as I am on that bike, no matter what else concerns me, I firmly tell myself, "Eyes and mind on the road, now!!" It's a great focus-reminder.
Looks like you are well on your way to becoming an excellent rider! I ride a Sportster, too, since 2004. Love it! I see myself changing only when she finally conks out and is ready to sleep forever, but as long as the bike doctor can fix her..........she's my iron horsey!!
Cheers and welcome!
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby lovelife » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:43 pm

Hi San Diego!
Wow, your story scared the crap out of me. I am a newbie, and my mind is always thinking when I am riding. Looking and wondering what will I do if.... I seem to look at EVERYTHING.

However, how can one see a red light runner coming??? You sound as if you handled it quite well. I can only hope I am able to do the same. I never feel like I am going to throw up luckily, but I am certainly scared (in a good way) of being out there so vulnerable. I too would have cried!!! I am glad to read everyone came out okay.
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby tlc » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:26 pm

dee wrote:Hi all!
I recently purchased my first motorcycle. I got my license a few years back, one of the few who actually took the driving portion of the test at the DMV. Did not drive anything other than a 125cc scooter for the past few years, and began riding on the back of John's Harley about 3 years ago.


Hi Dee and welcome.
Congrats on the bike and I hope you like yours as much as I like mine.
I'm glad you survived the near miss. It definitely gets the heart pumping and the brain working. It is amazing to me how much goes through a person's head in such a short time when faced with a situation like that.

Now for your 'lingo' lesson :D
You drive a car and you ride a bike. No bike driving, only bike riding. We all know what you mean but just gotta get you up to speed conversation wise (don't want those guys rolling their eyes :lol: ).
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby 7of9 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:37 pm

@tlc - The hard part, for me, is finding a linguistic way to differentiate between riding a motorcycle, as in being the person at the controls, and riding as in riding as a passenger. No matter how you try to put it, it's awkward and confusing! :P

English...is not the most precise language! LOL!
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby tlc » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:57 pm

7of9 wrote:English...is not the most precise language! LOL!


True! :lol:

Best way to remember or think of it, is to relate to riding a horse. You ride a horse no matter if you are in the front or on the back~ works for me :)
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby BtWoman » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:44 am

lovelife wrote:Hi San Diego!

However, how can one see a red light runner coming??? You sound as if you handled it quite well. I can only hope I am able to do the same. I never feel like I am going to throw up luckily, but I am certainly scared (in a good way) of being out there so vulnerable. I too would have cried!!! I am glad to read everyone came out okay.


Hey, lovelife. As you said, you look at everything. That's the strategy to see a red-light runner, too, in all intersections, blind or not.
When the view is very clear, when approaching an intersection, it is always smart to take a quick glance from side to side, even when you have the green light or no stop-sign. I know we all preach, "Look where you want to go", but the difference between a look and a glance, is that a look is longer, however just a quick glance at all intersections, lighted or not, or whenever a quick glance is warranted (in your mirrors, before changing lanes), is not going to throw you off course, like a more prolonged "look" likely will. For blind intersections, such as those in which your panoramic view is blocked by structures, trees, parked big solid vehicles, etc., it is wise to be in the lane that gives you the best "out", should the "unexpected" happen, such as the curb lane, where you can safely pull to the side of the road or make a sudden right turn. What is best will be dictated by the circumstances. Also, if needed, tap the breaks to make sure anyone behind you will give you the space you need, so that you can slow down enough to observe what other traffic is doing at or near the intersection, and then proceed when it is safe. I sometimes give a sharp "back off" motion with my hand, in addition to tapping my breaks which I found works, when a driver doesn't seem to get the hint by my brake lights alone.
I strongly advocate this personal strategy because it has worked, in fact it has never failed to work for me. My horn has "woken people up" who seem to not notice that I am there, and I keep my thumb just resting on my horn button when passing other traffic going in the same direction and when approaching and crossing intersections. My mind is expecting someone to dart into my path, so my body and mind are already "there", ready to push that panic button and let my (installed LOUDER) horn do my screaming for me.
Another strategy which works when riding through an intersection that's at least 2 lanes wide in each direction, is to ride beside another vehicle, through the intersection when you can. It does not 100% substitute for making sure the way is clear with your eyes, but the chances of others seeing that larger vehicle beside you and therefore, stopping for their red light, is greater.
There are a lot of "dreaded what-ifs" for the newbie,(Oh, I remember a loooong list of my own!) but with awareness and strategic riding, you will find they are not nearly as scary as they seem. As you grow as a rider, you will very likely be able to think of the best thing to do, this comes naturally with experience.
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Re: New Gal from San Diego

Postby dee » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:26 pm

Thanks for all the support, and the lingo lesson. :geek:
I rode again last night. In rush hour. I have almost 200 miles on the tires now, and as you all have said, feeling a little less like throwing up and a little more like smiling.
Dee
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