Had my first "Oh S#*!" moment now my confidence is shot! - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Had my first "Oh S#*!" moment now my confidence is shot!

OK, so heres what happened: This weekend I was on only my second group ride and which was only the second time I hit up the twisties. I left with two other riders who know how I ride and were riding well within my limits. About halfway into the run we meet up with another group who was much more advanced than I was and we were flying through the twisties and my confidence is rising, i'm falling back a bit from the group but I felt that while I was riding faster than I ever have I was still within my limits. Well one of the guys I started with who was in front of me and I got behind some slower traffic on a small straight and he pointed to the side to signal that he was going to pass the slower traffic. Well somehow we both must have missed the 35mph curve sign as we were passing the slower bikes and were going close to 80 when we hit the turn. He went down when he locked up the back break. Somehow I was able to slow it down enough to stay on 2 wheels but I did end up off the pavement.

It really shook me up and now I lost most of confidence I had. The ride home I was scared to take turns faster than the posted speed, which sucks because I was having the time of my life before this. So I guess my question is how/when does the confidence come back? Is there anythign I can do to help get it back and get back out there and enjoy the twisties again??

-Ryan

"Let us celebrate our arrangement with the adding of chocolate to milk."
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 06:59 AM
 
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Easiest way to do it is just get out there and ride. It will come back, just dont be afraid to take it slowly. Also it sounds like though you were riding within your limits that you were real close to your limits with not much in reserve.

Always try to keep 10 to 20% in your back pocket for cases just like this. My guess is your bike probably could of made the turn at 80 mph just fine, its your limits that were exceeded there. Lets say you feel you could of made the turn just barely if you were going 70. That means your comfortable riding speed for the curve should be around 60 to 50. This way you have plenty in your back pocket in case something happens.

I know you were caught by suprise and it sounds like you did a fine job of saving the bike from going down. Just get out there and ride, just remember to keep a nice safety margin.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 07:02 AM
 
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Hi bittersweetryan-

Glad to hear that you came out of this situation OK while remaining upright. My sincere suggestion would be to ditch the idea of group rides and just go out on your own. Riding in groups (other than with 2-3 of your best friends...) gains you nothing and significantly increases the opportunity to be involved in a crash. Rest assured that your confidence will return in a reasonably short period of time.

~ Blue Jays ~
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
My sincere suggestion would be to ditch the idea of group rides and just go out on your own.
I thing that ditching the group rides is a good idea, I mostly wanted to go on them to learn where the good roads were and to try to learn a little more by watching others, but now I know a few routes I think i'm gonna fly solo for a little while until I feel more comfortable with getting the bike leaned a little more.

"Let us celebrate our arrangement with the adding of chocolate to milk."
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 08:38 AM
 
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First of all, being shaky after coming that close to crashing is natural. I did what the other guy did and I was taking it real slow for the next week or so, but then I got my confidence back and now I'm faster then ever. The main thing you have to do is keep riding, and learn your lesson and be more alert about road signs/conditions etc.

Second, I disagree with not riding with others. As long as they are not assholes and will wait for you at the end.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 09:21 AM
 
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I don't think they meant don't ride with a group, but you have to keep your group to a sizeable number. Case in point. We take off Saturday night for a group ride (20 bikes). 6 of us got split off at a red light. Light green-the guy beside me (with 30 day tags on his Honda 1000RR) decides that he is going to be the man and show me that his bike is faster than my R6. Dark road-bumpy, about 55degrees. I hung with him in the first couple of turns and then he pulls away in the straight. the next curve is a right with a tighter right. he ends up showing me and the others how fast you can put a Honda 1000RR into a ditch. He walked away with the tail of his bike cracked in half and his helmet split from the cheek to the chin. At least he was wearing some gear and didn't appear to be hurt. The best advice I can give to any rookie is to stick with 1-3 of your buddies and let them keep you safe. I have taught both my brother and my wife to ride now. If you have someone like this, they can watch out for you and keep you in your safe zone because an experienced rider will know the limitations of his group, whereas there is an unspoken pressure to keep up with the group when you don't know who you are riding with.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 09:24 AM
 
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Keep riding though. Oh sh** moments are learning experiences. One of the main things to try and think about is what you did wrong, which it seems like you have thought it out. The guy that crashed with us just said I don't know, she just got away from me. The bike never just gets away from you- 90% of mistakes are operator error. So if you can figure out what you did wrong, then you can learn from it.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 09:40 AM
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Eh, I think they did mean to not ride in groups. A partner seems reasonable, esp if you're concerned about going down solo. Not having ridden with a group, I have no actual opinion on the subject.

If you're not geared up already, that will help to instill more confidence. My leathers are a form of super-suit. Having gone down at least 3 times and off the road twice in my first two season, I recognize the reluctance. Accept that but don't let it stop you from getting back on, IMO. Time heals ALL wounds (well, except the deadly ones) so you'll get over it, probably. Or, take a break from riding for a month or so. Then get going again slow. Or perhaps get into another MSF course to rebuild your confidence.

Alternatively, perhaps riding isn't really for you. Accidents have, indeed, pushed some riders back onto four wheels. No shame, just personal decisions.

EDIT: typo

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 09:41 AM
 
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I agree completely with MSMYTH, those moments are great learning experiences. I've dropped my bike a few times and had a few scares entering curves too fast, both alone and while trying to ride outside my limits following someone. Each time after my heart stopped trying to leap out of my chest and I calmed down a bit, I thought it over and tried to understand what I had done wrong.

Thankfully I have never repeated the same mistake twice because of this. Now everytime I get in the same situation those little people in my head pipe up and start listing what not to do again because, "You remember what happened last time, don't cha!" So just hop back on the bike, take it easy, (that doesn't have to mean slow) and start trusting your bike and yourself again!

During my ride this morning I looked down at my bike and realized just how much i have come to trust my little blue girl so completely! It feels good knowing that your bike isn't going to just go crazy on you and it helps you concentrate on what's up the road.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 09:47 AM
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I think the best way to increase speed is not to look at the speedo at all. Eventually, you'll notice with good techniques, your pace has quickened and comfort level gone up. Take it slowly at first.
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