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-   -   My first real ride today (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/learning-ride/15196-my-first-real-ride-today.html)

jeff10236 05-07-2010 05:30 PM

On tonight's ride I took a different route. On the route I took the past couple days there are stretches of road that I don't like in my car. I took it because there are some nice stretches of road beyond the ugly ones, but I never got that far.

Today, I was still on some busy streets (including Annapolis' main street- West St.) because that is what most are around here. But, it was a much better route than the past two days.

I started in the parking lot of the school next door practicing slow speed maneuvers for about 10min (mostly tight circles). Then I went through a residential neighborhood (not a nice one though) and got on West St (busy, but manageable) to come back to my apartment parking garage where I spent another 10min practicing weaving and emergency stops once I got to the deserted top level (getting there I had to practice tight turns to get up the garage). After that, the next 40-45min were on the roads.

No bad experiences this time. A few drivers made their turns in front of me a bit closer than I'd like, but nothing too bad. One road I went up was a ton of fun (big hill, minor curves). I was very confident up to about 40, OK to 45, though my heart rate went up a bit when my speedo said 50mph.

I had an absolute ball. Even the temperature cooperated more since it is in the low 70s or upper 60s (though not having to sit for 10-15min at the light at the top of the hill probably helped). Also, cracking my helmet visor a bit like AirHawk suggested helped a lot (more air, more sounds were let in which made me feel a tad less isolated).

I am about to head out to Home Depot, Loews or Walmart to get a fluorescent safety vest so I can get out there tonight. I didn't want to cut my ride short, but it wasn't too far from twilight and I didn't want to be caught out wearing only black at night. I'll probably ride (just the well lit main streets to start) for about an hour tonight. I also need to break out my sunglasses, or better, get transitions lenses- the time of the day I was out the angle of the sun was just right to blind you at times. I want to be ready to ride at all times of day.

I'm really looking forward to getting out again tonight, and I plan to get up at 6am to beat traffic in the morning.

(BTW- I'm still grinning like an idiot from that ride, I can't remember the last time I had more fun)

The_AirHawk 05-07-2010 06:53 PM

Don't get c0cky! That's when the pavement will jump up and bite you.......

jeff10236 05-07-2010 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_AirHawk (Post 241227)
Don't get c0cky! That's when the pavement will jump up and bite you.......

I'm trying not to. I just got back from the stores and buying a few things I needed (like the vest). Being Friday night, traffic is relatively busy so I'm debating whether I'm going to start night riding tonight after all or wait for a less busy night on the roads. If I don't get up by 6 I may not get any riding tomorrow since, even though we will mostly miss the rain (other than some scattered rain in the afternoon), they are talking about high winds (40mph gusts in most of the area, 50mph in parts) after 10am. There is no way I'm going riding in those winds so I need to get out early (traffic or not).

CMZemlin 05-08-2010 04:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 12er (Post 241163)
Kens right, they are out to kill you, never forget it.

some times that is more than literal, I have had a bronco pass me on the right on the highway then veer right in front of my bike to slam on there brakes for no other reason I could see but to kill me, thankfully I had a plan and was able to exicute it before I could even think, saved my life.

jeff10236 05-08-2010 06:56 AM

This will probably be my last ride update until I actually have something new to report (though I will respond to people posting here). I'm starting to feel pretty good in the saddle (though like AirHawk says, I am staying alert, resisting the urge to push it, and actively trying not to get overconfident).

This morning's ride felt really good. I was a little nervous again in the beginning, but that passed pretty quickly. I went out at about 7 and got back at 8:30 with no parking lot practice so it was all out on the roads. At that time of the morning on a Sat morning traffic wasn't too bad (though around here, it doesn't matter the time, there is always traffic). I didn't make a dry run to work like I wanted to since the wind had already started (not too bad, but there were some nice gusts) and I didn't want my first ride on a bridge to be when it was already windy.

After the first couple minutes, I found myself feeling quite comfortable up to about 40 again, pretty comfortable up to about 45, nervous but OK to 50. By the end of the ride I felt fine at 45 and OK but a little uncomfortable at 50-55 (on a road marked for 45 so not too bad). I drove on the roads that earlier were pretty bad (they aren't too bad this early) so I made it out to the roads that are nice motorcycle roads (drove out to the Bay, beautiful drive). The worst I saw from drivers was stuff I see when I'm in my car too (passing on the right from an intersection in a right turn lane and cutting me off). I kept a close eye on turning cars at intersections, especially left turners- I noticed that most that looked like they were going to try to push it didn't when I looked right at the driver and made eye contact with them.

I'm starting to really feel like I belong in the saddle. I do need some more season appropriate riding gear though. I felt OK when riding, but as soon as I got off my bike I noticed that my shirt was soaked through with sweat. I was wearing my black armored leather jacket, leather overpants over my jeans, and my black FF helmet. I'll have to have the mesh jacket I ordered from LeatherUp at the least before I can realistically think about riding to work (I can't have my shirt soaked through while teaching a class, and I'm not about to ride without gear). Unfortunately, I ordered a black mesh jacket- I may order another in a brighter color to reflect the sun and hopefully stay a little cooler (I may try that with the helmet as well, if it doesn't make a difference, at least I'll be more visible at night and other low visibility conditions).

A Star Ride 05-08-2010 07:20 AM

I can hardly tell if my helmet vents are open or closed, but I run a tall windshield so I'm getting alot less direct blast then most of yall.

Jeff, I applaud you for taking safety seriously, I wasn't as cautious a new rider and lucky to not have a horror story to end my riding experience. I bought a rebel 250 & after finally getting it started I was out immediately, no training, no gear at all.

jeff10236 05-08-2010 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Star Ride (Post 241248)
I can hardly tell if my helmet vents are open or closed, but I run a tall windshield so I'm getting alot less direct blast then most of yall.

Jeff, I applaud you for taking safety seriously, I wasn't as cautious a new rider and lucky to not have a horror story to end my riding experience. I bought a rebel 250 & after finally getting it started I was out immediately, no training, no gear at all.

I have a mild bad back and had heard that the windshield can make a big difference so I had the dealer put one on before I even started. That may be part of why I'm not noticing much air from the vents in my FF helmet too.




As for the safety stuff, a lot of that is that I started late. I turn 40 in just over 2 months. 20 years ago I was a bit of a daredevil and had I started then I'm sure the story would have been a lot different (back then my friends and I did a lot of stupid things, I'm probably lucky I survived my first 2 or 3 years driving). Anyway, I initially signed up for the safety class because it was a quick way to get my license. The class, and these forums (here and another I spend a lot of time on) influenced me to be more gear and safety conscious than I might have otherwise been. Though, being older and wiser than I once was, I wouldn't have been reckless (I have gone out once or twice without the leather pants and just jeans though- I need to find some mesh pants in my size, or order some Kevlar jeans).

A Star Ride 05-08-2010 09:34 AM

Nice bike, I had that same (Memphis Fats) shield on my Vulcan but the tour Deluxe has a factory shield. Having a bad back myself & a couple surgeries, and countless procedures having the shield up there helps on fatigue, and you eat less protein on the road too. I think the only time I hated it being there was in the rain at night last weekend. Try to avoid that if at all possible.


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