Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

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Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby Lil Enigma » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:23 pm

Hi, Laura here, I'm 56, 5'6, 130lbs, single and live in Panama City, Florida. I been riding back all my life and have had the dream, now I'm working on livin it! I took my MSF class (private) May 14, bought my baby ((HD Slim 2012) June 14. I'm doing this alone, I have problems with confidence (actually my instructor told me before we parted ways...There was nothing to stop me...except Me!). So, Im still in the hood practicing, I'm only able to do slow, cant get over 2nd gear, alot of destractions...cars, people wanting to talk, etc...Since I am alone, I dont have anyone to bounce off of. If Im doing things the right/ wrong way, encouragement, etc...
It is so nice to meet you ladies and thx for all you do,
Lil Enigma:)
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby Ametha Elf » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:18 pm

Hi Laura. I have never been big on self confidence, so when that driving urge to ride became a possibility, I had strong doubts that I could do it, honestly thinking Id be a hazard to both myself and every other road user! But now, 7 years on, Im riding as confidently as anyone, and can honestly say that if I can do it then I believe that you can too. It really helps to have a group like this to share your experiences, as we have all gone through the same fears. There will be a big learning curve. There will be frustration and setbacks. But persevere with it and there will be the greatest fulfillment (and obsession!!! :D ) as well, once those butterflies have gone. Great that you did the MSF course, and if you can find a riding mentor for the first few weeks of building up those skills that would be excellent. Keep within your comfort zone at this stage, ride at non busy times of the day, and relax, you'll do just fine!!
Sue
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby Myspirit » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:00 pm

Hi Laura!

Hey I think riding a Slim for your first bike does show confidence! I am impressed! Those are nice bikes. I am starting my 4th season and I can't imagine handling a Harley.

Don't discount yourself. You definitely have confidence and you will learn alot here and the more you ride, the more confident you will be.

Welcome!
First bike 1998 Honda Rebel
Second bike 2009 Honda Shadow Spirit 750cc
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby Lil Enigma » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:41 am

Thank you for your words....I have looked for a mentor here, not a whole lot of ladies riding in my area except the lady that helped me find my bike, I have not called her because she lives an hour away, she works full time and travels alot. I have bought books and I use the internet. Smiles....
I have dumped quite a bit beginning with the MSF class, it totally embarrassed me, once I got over that, now. I can feel it and ease off and step off, I could not pick it up for awhile, but the last time I dumped I was coming up the driveway and slowed and it fell over, there was no one around to help so I tried the video technique I watched over and over....IT WORKS!!
I bought my Slim used with 5,000mi from the New Orleans HD dealer. He came with a windshield, crash bars, pipes. I changed the seat to a mustang solo which is really comfy, I think I may need to custimize the handle bars though and Im not sure how to do that. The front end feels like a tub of concrete, it feels very cumbersome, I dont feel like I have control, when I go to turn or go in the round about it feels very uncomfortable. This may be nothing to an experienced rider, it may just be me learning.
It's funny, when I look back I couldn't ride in the street, I couldn't and still cant turn around...lol I was useing everyones driveway, riding through peoples lawns just to get turned around and because thats where my bike took me. lol
I also didnt mention that I was ill, I have Hepatitis C, Bipolar 2 and PTSD, I have had to do 4 long term chemo's this has also effected my learning, I have had to be careful about riding when I dont feel right.
Hope you all are havin a wonderful day....and thx again,
Lil:)
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby dshinaut » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:23 am

I've always found riding fast to be a lot easier than riding slow myself :D Of course you have to work up to that but the Slim is much easier to handle at speed. Those fat tires that feel slow and heavy in the parking lot are very smooth and stable at speed. I've owned my Slim since last summer and have yet to attempt a figure 8 but he's a dream on the interstate. So hang in there. Once you get your confidence up to ride a little faster you're going to love your bike. Just remember the counter-steering you learned in the MSF and shifting your weight for slow speed maneuvering and you'll be on the road in no time.
Wished I lived closer (I'm in Nebraska). I would love to ride with another Slim owner-or any woman for that matter.
Good luck,
D Shinaut
Softail Slim Rider
Lincoln, NE
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby tlc » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:11 pm

Lil Enigma wrote:I have dumped quite a bit beginning with the MSF class, it totally embarrassed me, once I got over that, now. I can feel it and ease off and step off, I could not pick it up for awhile, but the last time I dumped I was coming up the driveway and slowed and it fell over,


Are you dumping the bike while turning (slow)? If so, you may be grabbing the front brake and that will cause the bike to "fall over" (I've done it myself :shock: ).

How much riding have you done since you bought your bike?

I read that you have been having quite a few medical issues and I can certainly understand how that could effect your riding (and confidence). Huge, huge obstacles but you are pushing forward~ YAY. I have had confidence issues myself so can relate.

I would encourage you to post your concerns (problems, mishaps or whatever else is on your mind :D ) in the "Beginners" section and here is why. With each "topic" you post, there is probably someone else that has had the same issue or is having the issue now. You will get LOTS of support and you will also be helping someone else (newbie) out either now or down the road. We see this happen all the time. We like to pass along as much help as we can as we all need some from time to time. Issues like this can get lost in the introduction threads and we really want to help you out even if it's a shoulder to cry on or a good pat on the back.

Anyway, I'm happy you joined our group here on WRN and welcome! I'm just a year older than you so at least we have that much in common from the get-go. I'm looking forward to hearing (and helping?) more about you and your bike. BTW, we love pics!
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby Kelly » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:12 pm

Hello Laura or should I say Lil Enigma

Congratulations on your new chapter in life. Learning to ride can be intimidating especially when you are doing it alone; however, the fact that you wanted to learn tells me you are looking to break out of your shell and let yourself let go. It is easy to over think when you ride. You ask yourself things like "can I make that turn" or "ok, now, downshift, break and let off the throttle". There is much to riding, but sometimes the best rides are when we get out of our heads and just ride even if it is around the neighborhood. As you learn, your confidence will increase and you will find that this confidence in riding then translates into other parts of your life. Goals become achievable as crazy as that sounds. Riding empowers us and gives us freedoms we do not necessarily enjoy in our work environment or even sometimes are family life. For me, riding allows me to be me, release stress and worry and forget about all the physical pain I feel on a daily basis.
Kelly
2008 Harley Sporty XL1200L
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby BoggyGirl » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:55 pm

Hi Laura, I live about an hour from you and I'd love to come ride around if I had a bike. I'm even looking at the same bike you have now. Confidence will come in time...sometimes faster than others. Once you get the hang of things, you'll love it and you'll be pressed to keep yourself off the bike! Best of luck!
**Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says "oh no, she's up".**

"Filter/Sexy Beast" - 2015 Harley Davidson XL883N Iron, Sand Camo Denim
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Re: Hellooooo from florida...new rider needs help! Smiles...

Postby KOfromCO » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:20 pm

Hi Laura

I ride a Softail Deluxe. I looked up the specs for both our bikes and they are nearly identical, including the size of the front tire, the rake (32.1 degress), etc. Sometimes bikes with more rake feel "weightier" in the handlebars at slow speeds, especially in a turn..like into a parking space. I had a Honda Shadow Aero 750 before and it had a 34D rake. I felt it more in the handlebars at slow speed than I do the HD. Of course, as someone noted elsewhere, the bikes with more rake are very stable at speed.

Do you still have the original levers on your bike? I put on adjustable levers and that enabled me to set them where I want, so they are really easy to pull and it helped me control the friction zone. That is an important factor for slow speed maneuvers.

One more thing to consider is the handlebars. If they are too wide or too far away, it will make slow turns more difficult to maneuver as well. Your HD dealer can work with you to get the bike set up in such a way that it addresses any of this things that may be contributing factors.

As others said, the comfort comes with time in the saddle. You will get there!!
Current: '17 HD Street Glide Special (crushed ice pearl)
Prior:
'13 HD Softail Deluxe (3/13 - 9/17) (red)
'11 Honda Shadow Arrow 750 (6/12 - 3/13) (red)
'11 V-Star 250
(3/12 - 6/12) (black)
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