Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

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Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby rwethairyet » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:04 pm

My name is Sherri, I'm 52 years old, work full time, married, empty-nester with 4 grandchildren and one more on the way.
About 10 years ago, newly single with kids on their way to moving out, some of the things I really wanted to do was hike more, camp more, and learn to ride a motorcycle. My soon to be new husband, however, talked me out of it...gave me a pretty convincing list of reasons why riding a motorcycle was probably not for me.
Last year the husband decided he wanted to get back into riding. Bought himself a small bike, enrolled in a class and started working on getting his skills back. He loved it. He then began to work on convincing me that I would love it too. It wasn't an easy sell. I remembered his list of why I wouldn't be good at it. I was 10 years older, many pounds heavier and not in any where near as good a shape. I lost my dad in an Auto accident a few years back (cause unknown), and have found myself in snowbanks on a couple of very treacherous rides to work. Lots of things that have served to undermine my confidence. But I finally agreed that I would take a basic rider course, check it out and see and signing me up for one was a christmas gift to me.
The course occurred last weekend. I really struggled at the beginning and really questioned why I was there. When It came to the point of actually putting my feet on the pegs and riding across the parking lot, I couldn't do it. I was ready to quit right there. I wasn't even sure why I was sticking out the lunch break, ha ha. But then one of the instructors took me aside at lunch, worked with me for a few minutes and some how got me going.
By lunch on the first full day I was ready to quit. By the end of the first full day I was just determined to see the course through--pass or fail at least I wasn't going to quit. By the middle of the second full day I was thinking that when I failed, maybe just maybe I would try again. Imagine my surprise when I actually passed the class. And I was actually caught smiling a couple of times.
So I have my endorsement. my husband has a suzuki gz250 that I can practice on, once it's out of storage (hopefully next week) and has agreed to drive it to a parking lot so that I can practice and develop a little more confidence. And much to my surprise, I"m looking forward to it.
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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby Maine Rider » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:39 pm

Hi Sherri,
Welcome to the WRN forum! Glad you stuck it out and passed the rider safety course and got your endorsement. That's just the beginning. It sounds like you have a good plan with your husband taking the Suzuki 250 to the parking lot for you to practice. I started riding again a few years ago after a 30+ year span of no riding. I had a motorcycle license in high school. At age 50, I decided to get a small 250cc and started riding again. I'm now 55 and have gone from the 250 to a 1200cc, and now have a brand new Harley that is 1690cc. It's a big bike, but so much fun to ride. I've done that in a 5-year span, all on my own. My husband does not ride, so no support there. You have the support from your husband, so I hope you will make good progress. Practice is the only way you can do that so take every chance you get to practice. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby Myspirit » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:27 pm

Welcome Sherri and congratulations on getting your M.

I also had never ridden my own bike. I failed the course the first time. I was ready to give up. Then my husband got me a 250 Rebel to practice on. The second time I took the course I did pass. Woo hoo!

It has not been easy and many times I thought about quitting. I read from other women that it takes about 3000 miles under your belt to get it. And that is true! This is my 4th summer and It is the first summer I got on without feeling like I was starting over. My rides have been great and I enjoy myself.

So even though you will get frustrated and scared at times, keep at it. Practice really does make perfect! We are here for you if you need support or have questions.
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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby Ametha Elf » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:34 pm

HI Sherry, your story echoes my own in a lot of ways. It took me 19 hours of actual lessons and months of on road riding (on a 250) with the hubster before I actually passed my licence. Along the way there were drops, tears, frustration, fear, and several serious thoughts about giving the whole thing away as a bad joke. You know what though, it was through groups such as this one that I kept getting encouragement to keep going, and now, 7 years later, Im confidently riding an 1100. You have a supportive hubby and the desire to keep going, so I have absolutely no doubt that you too can ride with a smile on your face. It does take time and its a huge learning curve to begin with but every hour in the saddle is invaluable and your skill level will grow every time you ride. Keep up the great work!!!
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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby dbsteffy » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:13 pm

Hello Sherri, welcome and thanks for your intro, glad you found us. You were very brave to agree to the MSF course and to stick it out. Congratulations on passing! While you're waiting for the bike to come home, go over the handbook again and check out the extensive beginners section on WRN, the internet has a lot of instructional videos, too. You'll have good practice sessions and not so good ones but keep at it, hours in parking lots and quiet streets is how most of us learned, you will, too.
I would suggest that you keep a small journal, jot down a few notes about your session, what was your goal for that practice, how did you feel at the end, it doesn't have to be a book, it's your personal riding diary. And you can share it with us, we get it, we've been there.


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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby BoggyGirl » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:51 pm

Hi Sherri and welcome! Glad you stuck it out and passed the class. Congratulations! Just remember, things are a lot easier if it's something you're enjoying doing. If you don't enjoy it, it'll be a lot harder to get the hang of things. Have fun!
**Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says "oh no, she's up".**

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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby KOfromCO » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:31 pm

Welcome from Colorado! Ditto what everyone else has said. I didn't have a great experience in my MSF class. It was in October of 2011 and it snowed the first day we were supposed to be on the range. Rather than rescheduling, they decided to "cram" it all in on Sunday. While I did pass, I also went down hard the first time in the figure 8. Got a severe burn on my leg, fractured the top of my tibia, and tore my meniscus. (I didn't know how badly I had injured my leg, other than the burn, as I thought I had "tweaked" my bad knee.) Not exactly a confidence inspiring entrance into MC riding. I got my first bike the following March (2012), which was a Yamaha 250. Fast forward one year (March 2013) and I was purchasing my current ride, a Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe. So, ride that 250 every chance you get and work on those skills. I promise that, at some point, the smiles will replace the fear.
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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby rwethairyet » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:01 pm

Thank you for the welcome and for all the advice. I am checking out the videos and articles, I had already decided to keep some kind of journal (the husband kept a basic log and found it really helpful).
I didn't check out any forums before heading off to the MSF class. When I finally did start checking them out, it helped tremendously to know that I was not the only one. It also helped to gain a little more credibility with the husband when I could read him something and say "see, I'm not the only one" and then read something else and say "gee sweetie, that was how I was thinking of doing it"
In the meantime the bikes are still being held hostage while the guy that owns it is off on a motorcycle tour of his own on the other side of the country, ha ha.
Thanks again.
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Re: Hello from a new rider in New Hampshire

Postby tlc » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:28 am

Hi Sherri and welcome to the forum :D

Good for you for sticking out the class and passing. It's so easy to quit sometimes.
I'm hoping you will get your new ride soon and start racking up some miles!
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