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Reading these comments has made me smile and literally laugh out loud at times. It's so funny how just hearing the exact same things from someone else makes you feel so much better. My introduction to riding a motorcycle came from my ex-husband more than 20 years ago.

We had bought him a Honda 600 CBR F3. Since "we" were paying for it, I wanted to learn how to ride it. Of course the first time I sat on it, he says, "give it a little gas and let out the clutch." Uh, ok. Good Lord! That bike jumped straight out from under my legs into the air and landed on its side. LOL! You should have seen the look I got!

After that, I learned not to "pop" the clutch. Driving a standard car is way different than a hand clutch on a motorcycle. He taught me "basics." The bike was light, so I wasn't afraid of dropping it. I learned enough to get it to and from work if he left it for me to ride because he needed the car. I was never comfortable on it, and never proficient. That was many, many years ago.

Fast forward to last month.My now husband (16 years) rides a Harley-Davidson Street Glide. My father rides a Harley Road King. I love riding with my husband as his passenger and have thought many, many times about wanting to ride on my own. His bike, however, is very intimidating and way too big for me to re-learn on. So, we went looking for a Harley of course. I bought a Sportster 883 Iron. It's seat height is perfect for me at 5 feet 4 inches and though smaller than his, it is still a heavy bike.

We've had it for a few weeks, now. I've been on it literally six times, got my permit, and passed my MSF class yesterday. We live way out in the country, so traffic isn't something I worry about much, but tight curvy roads are. Like anyone learning something new, I am good at some things and really suck at others. We have a boat launch three miles from our house that we have taken it to twice to give me room to practice certain things. We've been out on the open road three times. Once, just down to town to get gas and back and the second trip was to a different boat launch on the other side of the lake. Of course, as I went to stop, my foot peg literally stuck in the heel of my boot as I went to put my foot down. Over went me and the bike. My husband got the bike back up, and I rode back home. Got new pegs the next day ... no longer an issue there. No damage done other than to my pride and confidence.

Next ride was much longer ... around the entire lake ... it was a long ride, and I did quite well. I was proud. I recognized where I needed practice (gear for speed coming out of curves, etc.) My husband is wonderful, and I love him; but it is hard to ride with him as a learner. He expects me to keep up with him and gets angry with me when I make a mistake or fall back. All that does is hurt my confidence and put so much pressure on me. I don't have issues hitting 55 on a good road that I'm familiar with. There are times I will get a little nervous and my speed will slow, but "seat time" will help with that if he'll just let me learn at my speed.

After passing my class, we decided to take the bikes out for dinner in a nearby town. What a disaster. I'd gotten so used to the little 125s from class that I'd lost the feel for how much bigger my bike is. I overshot the left turn coming out of our driveway into the grass, which he saw. I didn't fall, I just told myself to keep calm and not do anything sudden and get back on the road. I did fine the rest of the way other than him not liking how slow I went on a very narrow back road. Then I couldn't see his turn signal coming into the restaurant and had to slow fast and make a right turn that was over 90 degrees. I didn't turn hard enough and a car (going very slow out of a parking lot) had to slow down for me to correct. He jumped all over me once we got where we were going, after having me park beside him on dirt/gravel area.

Dinner was nothing but arguing. Afterwards I got on my bike, went to lean it to bring up my kickstand, dirt shifts., bike shifts too far and goes over. Again, we had to pick it up. I literally wanted to walk home after that. I was embarrassed and frustrated but I had to ride home so I got back on. I put my mind on what I was doing and drove home without incident. Now I'm dead set on practicing every day back in the parking lot—turns from a stop, stops, etc. on my bike and not some tiny bike from class. I've also reached out to our local Iron Divas chapter. I need a support group that understands where I'm coming from. My husband is just not good in this area for me.

Cheri
Bloomfield, KY
Monday, July 31, 2017
I took the Harley-Davidson riding course and passed two weeks later. I bought a HD Sportster 1200 and started riding in my subdivision today. Need practice shifting. I will not leave the subdivision until I'm ready. I love riding, but very. very nervous right now. Need to practice constantly

Pam
Newnan, GA
Sunday, May 7, 2017
So my first post on this site was about how I failed my safety course the first time, but passed the second time around. Fast forward to now last night I took my first freeway ride. I waited until 1 a.m. when not too many on the road. I was a bundle of nerves but I made it through it! I definitely need to work on pulling my speed up and get used to the wind and elements; I think this was the biggest adjustment for me.

Marta
Houston, TX
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
My boyfriend shared this website with me and I'm so happy he did! I bought my Iron Sportster 883 about a month ago, and I've only ridden in various parking lots at this point. I'm taking my rider safety course this weekend and I plan to pass, ha! Reading the various testimonials has given me confidence knowing I'm not the only nervous one out there. I think with practice and patience I'll get there. Thank you all for sharing!

Andrea Kellett
Columbus, OH
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Editor Response
Good luck with the class. We know you'll pass!
Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
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