Journey to Biking

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Journey to Biking

Postby LeCreusetFiend » 03 Jul 2018, 10:19

Hello all!

I'm new! I've been lurking around for a few months, but I thought it was about time I bit the bullet and started a thread. I've only just started learning to ride, so I've got nothing of value to add, really, but I thought I might post an occasional update on how training is going until I've got something more interesting to say...

I'm in my thirties, used to be a lawyer (not a good one at the top of their game like Kwacky...), and am now a piano teacher, which is frankly much nicer for everybody concerned.

I did my CBT in December 2016, and it was one of the worst experiences of my life! I hadn't ridden even a push bike for about two decades. It was the coldest day of the year, and the DVSA had cancelled all tests due to the cold. Not because of ice or anything, but just because it was so damn cold. I was wearing just normal jeans, because I thought that was ok :^, and some dodgy walking boots that I couldn't feel anything through.

I was so absolutely and unremittingly crap that it was embarrassing. The instructor didn't seem to have any useful tips to give me except for constantly shouting "The bike will go wherever you look." This is true, but I couldn't even make my head turn as I felt like I was going to fall off. I had to come back for a second day. This was rather embarrassing after reading all over the internet how it was "impossible to fail a CBT". Anyway, on day two, we finally got out onto the road. The instructor thought it was funny to call you a "w*nker" every time you did something wrong. This may be funny when you're 17, but when you're 35, it starts to grate when you're paying £130 for the privilege. I was called a w*nker some 40 times that afternoon without any exaggeration.

After this experience, I sort of put learning to ride on the back burner. When I had asked the instructor about how I should go about doing the DAS, he basically said, "Yeah, you're too crap. I wouldn't until you've been riding a 125 for at least 6 months". I didn't really feel that I was safe enough riding a 125 without an instructor, so I just left it.

This last December, I thought, "Bugger it. It can't be beyond me. People learn to ride every day. I'm sodding doing this", and so I bought myself a cheap 2012 Yamaha YBR, and started riding it at midnight when the roads were empty. It took 2 weeks to feel comfortable enough to leave the cul-de-sac!

Fast forward a few weeks, and I'm reasonably comfortable on normal, quiet roads. I'm still struggling with slow speed control, but it's slowly getting better. I've booked my first proper DAS lesson on Thursday with RMT Motorcycle Training in Redditch. They're not the cheapest but they're pretty good by all accounts I've seen.

Anyway, I'll report back when I've had it. It can't be as bad as the CBT was......!

All the best to you all from your new Village Idiot, and apologies if this is a bit boring! :)
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby duke63 » 03 Jul 2018, 10:32

Never boring to hear from fellow bikers.

We all start at the beginning when riding bikes. Its a learning curve but the more you ride, the more you talk to other bikers, the more you learn.

No one ever stops learning about how to ride a bike better. Even Rossi has has to learn from watching Marquez ride.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Kwacky » 03 Jul 2018, 10:33

Hello

That doesn't sound like a great introduction to biking. Still, it could be worse, you could miss your test because you're spat off your bike and you crash into a tree, breaking your collarbone. Still, it wasn't as if your wife to be was stood there watching you fly through the air.......

As I said on Twitter, I'm happy to take you out for a short local ride once I've got my IAM test out of the way.

Enjoy the DAS. I think you'll find it easier on a quicker bike.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby C00kiemonster » 03 Jul 2018, 10:47

Welcome.

I found a bigger bike more stable, so DAS is the way to go. As long as you take things at your pace, all will be well :)
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Stonesie » 03 Jul 2018, 10:51

Sounds like your instructor was the w*nker to me.

One thing that I did to brush up my slow control was to find an empty car park, or just an empty section and find some rubbish like discarded cans to act as cones to practice the figure 8. With a few revs a combination of clutch and back brake got me doing much better. And the only insults for a screw-up came from within my helmet.

You will get there! Just wait for your first go on a das bike, mine was a GS500, and I thought it was fast...
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Cavetroll87 » 03 Jul 2018, 10:54

Welcome,

Everyone wobbles at first, and as for slow speed stuff, just go to a bike meet and watch how many "experienced" riders cant control the bike at slow speed, You will get there, I remember my 1st time out on a 125, it was terrifying, but you soon get used to it, and I would definitely take Kwackys offer up once he is free, nothing like learning from someone who knows what they are doing.


Look forward to hearing how you get on and hope you start being able to enjoy it soon enough!
Remember: If in Doubt use Full Throttle, It may not make the situation any better, But it will end the suspense...
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Monty » 03 Jul 2018, 11:31

Time, time and more time is all you need. Everything becomes automatic with time on the bike.

PS W@nker
PPS Sorry, couldn't resist.
Monty™© MCMLXXII
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby LeCreusetFiend » 03 Jul 2018, 11:46

Thanks for the encouragement, chaps - I appreciate it. I'll keep on practicing!

That's a very kind offer, Mr Kwaky - I fully intend to take you up on it when you're free of the IAM stuff (all the very best of luck with that, by the way!) - lunch will be on me (y)


Monty wrote:PS W@nker
PPS Sorry, couldn't resist.

**TRIGGERED** :@ :@ :@ :D

*forgets to cancel indicator*
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Cavetroll87 » 03 Jul 2018, 11:55

LeCreusetFiend wrote:That's a very kind offer, Mr Kwaky - I fully intend to take you up on it when you're free of the IAM stuff (all the very best of luck with that, by the way!) - lunch will be on me (y)


Never mind Lunch - Mr K is all about the cake!
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby kiwikrasher » 03 Jul 2018, 12:41

Kudos to you for pushing on after a crap intro to riding. Glad you have though, as you’ll find it’s a great past time and will make you infinity more attractive to the lasses (lol)

Really don’t understand instructors that behave that way, came across a few in the scuba diving world as well when I was active as a dive master. They do no one and the industry any good.
Happiness is not a destination. It is a way of life.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby LeCreusetFiend » 07 Jul 2018, 21:39

Just thought I'd pop a quick update in....

That first DAS lesson was one of the best days of my sodding life! Absolutely made the right decision going to this school. Superb tuition, and I was Figure-8ing like a boss by the end of the day!

Haven't been let on the 650 yet, but I'm more than happy to go at their pace. They clearly know what they're talking about. I was a bit worried about who I'd be paired with for the lesson, but it turned out to be a lovely lady in her 30s, who was pretty much exactly as good (bad) as I was, so that all worked out well.

Can't get another lesson in for a couple of weeks, but looking forward very much to getting back to it!

Interestingly, when I got back on my bike a couple of days later, I was crap again :o/ I'm totally blaming the bike, now.... :?
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Kwacky » 07 Jul 2018, 21:42

Switching between bikes takes some practice and much depends on what sort of a person you are. Some riders will throw their leg over anything and ride it, others like everything to be just right for them and can be distracted. As always being relaxed is key.

Glad to hear you've found a good instructor. That makes a huge difference.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Cavetroll87 » 07 Jul 2018, 22:02

Agree with kwacky, I always take time to gel with a new bike and need to get comfortable. Glad it went well!
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby duke63 » 07 Jul 2018, 22:52

Keep at it. Practice gives confidence and confidence is everything.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Rossgo » 15 Jul 2018, 15:04

Keep at it. Some people take to it very quickly and with no effort at all, others need to do it time and time again. This is where the instructors come into their own

Very glad to see you loved your DAS lesson, shame you didnt get a nice introduction to riding though


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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby LeCreusetFiend » 22 Jul 2018, 11:49

Had my second full day lesson on Friday, and rather pleasingly, we got transferred over to the 650cc bikes at lunchtime - Suzuki Gladiuses (Gladii...? :^ )

I absolutely loved it! I'm back to not being totally confident at slow speed stuff, and there were a couple of dicey moments where my foot slipped a bit on loose gravel and I thought I was about to drop it, but all in all, it wasn't as terrifying as I'd feared!

I have another lesson booked for mid August, and they've booked my Mod 1 for a couple of days after that, so fingers crossed!

After my CBT experience, I thought this would take me months to get the hang of, so I'm over the moon. My instructor is absolutely fabulous, and I definitely made the right decision going to this school.

Happy days :)
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Frankie » 22 Jul 2018, 12:18

Nice one mate, enjoyed your first post... I have to say the instructor using abusing language while you are trying to learn is the biggest W***er going. Not the best way to get the best out of a pupil. Glad you kept on with it...
best advise I can give is getting out as often as you can, relax and if possible get out with others always good to see other peoples lines, road positions etc,. Welcome on board.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby kiwikrasher » 22 Jul 2018, 13:10

You can never go wrong with expert training (with a suitable instructor of course!) at not just at the start of your biking life. A good proportion of us on here have done some advanced training at some stage and all have found it valuable. Even if in a full day you only pick up one new skill, you’ve still up skilled and become a better rider.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby LeCreusetFiend » 22 Jul 2018, 18:02

Thanks Frankie & Kiwirasher. Yeah - once I've got my test and a few miles under my belt, I'll definitely do the Enhanced Rider thing, then have a think about IAM... I've always meant to do the IAM in the car, but never got round to it. I think doing it on the bike would be a lot more useful.
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Re: Journey to Biking

Postby Rossgo » 22 Jul 2018, 18:31

Sounds cracking fella. Personally would recommend getting out with the IAM guys, They are fantastic bunch of riders and also people. Keep enjoying your training and taking it all on board

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