Learning to Ride at 75

Eatmore Mudd

Moderator
Staff member
Seattle has more rainy days than here, but your rain is mostly light drizzle. When it rains here in Mobile it pours. So we end up with a lot more total volume per year.

Not discounting Mobile at all.
Folks can call it light drizzle but I don't think they ever spent a whole wet season here. It rains a LOT and it's always always COLD.
I should shut up and be grateful it doesn't get Africa hot here.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
I did 40 miles today with about 1/2 covering new ground that I had not ridden before. I also returned the "Biker wave" twice. Up until now I haven't felt comfortable taking my left hand off of the handlebars while riding. But today I did it twice. Then when i got back I looked it up on the internet and found that there are all kinds of variations of it. All I did was extend my left arm out at about a 45 degree angle with my palm open. That seemed to be what everybody else is doing around here. But I didn't see that mentioned. It appears that I might supposed to be doing it with just two fingers out instead of my whole palm. It's hard to tell what the other bikers have been doing. So I'm wondering if I am doing it wrong. I might start doing it with just the two fingers out because when I put my whole palm out flat it catches the wind and if I'm going fast it doesn't feel all that safe.
 

Laserman

Well travelled
Staff member
Standard "biker wave" is 2 fingers pointed at ground, basically means "keep 2 wheels down, stay safe". There's no wrong way to do it, IMHO.

The best one is the "cross wave" from a bike passing you, the wave comes out under the rider's right armpit when he/she goes by :D

Won't be long before you're doing the wave mid-turn on the twisties!
 

Eatmore Mudd

Moderator
Staff member
I did 40 miles today with about 1/2 covering new ground that I had not ridden before. I also returned the "Biker wave" twice. Up until now I haven't felt comfortable taking my left hand off of the handlebars while riding. But today I did it twice. Then when i got back I looked it up on the internet and found that there are all kinds of variations of it. All I did was extend my left arm out at about a 45 degree angle with my palm open. That seemed to be what everybody else is doing around here. But I didn't see that mentioned. It appears that I might supposed to be doing it with just two fingers out instead of my whole palm. It's hard to tell what the other bikers have been doing. So I'm wondering if I am doing it wrong. I might start doing it with just the two fingers out because when I put my whole palm out flat it catches the wind and if I'm going fast it doesn't feel all that safe.
Two fingers, open hand, gentlemanly salute..whatever's clever.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
Today I decided to grab my balls and go. I did 48 miles 32 of them on I-10. I now have 1,516 miles on the bike. I went through the I-10 tunnel and crossed Mobile Bay on the long I-10 bridge. Then took the same way back. The I-10 Tunnel is actually 2 tunnels, one eastbound and one westbound. So you don't have to deal with oncoming traffic like in the US 90 Tunnel. But the traffic is moving faster. Traffic was pretty heavy on I=10 and the most I feel comfortable with is 65-70 on the speedometer. So I was constantly better passed as I stayed in the slow lane. That makes for an unpleasant experience. It would be better if I could move with the flow but that would require 75-80 and the wind blast is just too much for me. Add to that the insecurity of being on those skinny tires. Bottom line this bike is just not built for cruising the interstate. But at least now I know I can do it for short distances in a pinch.

 
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GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
Today marks 5 months since I got my bike. I read somewhere where the motorcyclists involved in accidents have a median of 5 months experience. So far so good. I've put 1,629 miles on the bike in 5 months with no accidents. :) Unless you count the 2 times I dropped it, once while practicing right turns in a parking lot and another making a right turn out of my driveway. :( Those two occurred in the first 100 miles of riding.

Today I put on 29 miles. 13 of them on the Interstate. The interstate part was scary as I figured it would be. The fastest I went was 70 on the speedometer. At that point the wind becomes a limiting factor for me. I feel like it's going to blow me right off the bike. And I'm not a small dude at 5'11" and 200 lbs. But even at 70, which is probably more like a true 65, the other traffic is blowing by me like I'm standing still. And that's more dangerous than if I were keeping up with the flow because it seems like every time I need to change lanes there are one or more vehicles coming up behind me at a rapid pace. I've been deliberately picking out situations like this to challenge myself and face my fears. I guess that's a good thing to do, up to a point. But it's not a lot of fun and that's really what motorcycling should be about. Both the bike and I are happiest cruising along at 50-55. I need to find some nice quiet back roads where I can do that.
 

Pressureangle

Getting there...
I may have to rethink taking that course. I got to the parking lot OK and I was doing pretty good practicing those turns. Then on one of them I must have let the clutch out a bit too fast and it stalled and before I knew it the bike was down on it's right side. 😕 Bent the rear brake pedal. Gonna hafta take that off and put it in the vise and straighten it out. And it took me about 10-15 minutes to get it back up. I tried the method they show you in the youtube videos of backing up into it and using just your legs but that didn't work. The bike went down on a slope so not only did I have to lift it, but I also had to lift it uphill. And I couldn't find any good place to grab onto other that the handlebars. There's only a grab bar on the left side. And the bike was lying right side up. Finally I just psyched myself up, grabbed it by the handle bars and muscled it up. I would have never been ale to do that if it wasn't for the fact that I lift free weights and do dead lifts on a regular basis. But my troubles were not over. Once I got it up it wouldn't start. :confused: I figure that by lying on it's side for so long some of the oil in the crankcase probably got somewhere where it didn't belong. So I waited about 15 minutes and tried again. And that time it did start. So then I drove it home using only the front brake and of course the mirrors were out of whack again, but I could still see behind me in the left one. It stalled several times on the way and I had to rev the engine to keep it going. That made the crossing of the busy road a bit nerve wracking as I imagined it stalling when I was halfway across. And it didn't help that there was a cop hiding by that crossing running a speed trap. But it didn't stall and by the time I got home it was running better.
You mentioned bicycle gloves.

I usually get looked at like a two-headed turtle when I suggest that you practice any worrisome motorcycle maneuver on your bicycle first. You're familiar with it already, it weighs nothing, it's hard to hurt yourself with at low speed, and you'll find you needed to improve those skills on the bicycle also. Body position is more important than most realize, and on a bicycle it's easier to attend without the worry of weight.
 

Caspice

Well travelled
Location
Here and There
... I also returned the "Biker wave" twice. .... Then when i got back I looked it up on the internet and found that there are all kinds of variations of it.


This is what I was originally taught in the 1980's
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The first time I was out riding and a passing motorcyclist gave a "wave" by pointing towards the ground with his left hand I was scanning the road ahead for hazards. Finding none I was left wondering what kind of #&^@ rides around signaling other riders about non-existent road hazards. :unsure:
 

bobbyj412

Well travelled
Location
Bristol, IN, USA
I usually get looked at like a two-headed turtle when I suggest that you practice any worrisome motorcycle maneuver on your bicycle first.
As I was learning to ride my Meteor, I realized that a majority of the things that I was trying to learn I had done previously over and over on my bicycles. Mountain bike and the road bike. Same concept, just a different saddle.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
I have extensive experience on a bicycle and while there is some carry over to motorcycling It doesn't help me much with my main problem which is fear of leaning. It's easy for me to be fearless leaning a 35 lbs bike, but with a 470 lbs motorcycle, not so much.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
Today I stalled starting off at a busy intersection when the light changed to green. That's the first time ever for that. Sure I stalled it a few times when I first started riding but all of those were in the first few weeks when I had less than 100 miles on the bike and none of them occurred out in traffic. But today with 1600 plus miles in, It happened.

I was stopped at a light and next to me was a big 4X4 pickup pulling a trailer with a big a big Harley on it. So I wanted to make a good impression by making a nice smooth cool and professional looking take off when the light changed. But instead I stalled it. Such are the perils of overthinking. Fortunately the bike started right back up and I was able to take off in just a few seconds but it was humiliating. :(
 
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Caspice

Well travelled
Location
Here and There
Rather have a motorcycle for the GO than for the show.

Not that I cannot appreciate the beauty of a well crafted machine, just never fell into the camp of spending excessive hours polishing chrome on a trailer queen. Spending off hours performing routine maintenance - absolutely (y)

My last HD had minimal chrome. The time saved not polishing it was put to better use riding it.
6744

Keep on riding @GJC
It's your ride so enjoy your time in the saddle.


If you want to avoid feeling humiliated - alway remember to put a foot down when you stop. Seen it happen more than once - a well seasoned rider falling over because they forgot to plant their feet on terra firma while stopped.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
84 miles today. That beats my old one day record of 62. I went down to Dauphin Island again. This time I took a slightly longer route down there so that I could hop on the Interstate for 5 miles and get some more experience of that. Then when I got down there I traversed the entire island. First going all the way down to the east end, then turning around and riding all the way down to the west end. Well not the end, but as far as the paved road goes. I considered taking the ferry from the east end across the mouth of Mobile Bay to Gulf Shores and then from there looping north to I-10 and taking that back home. Cars have to pay $15 bucks to take the ferry, but motorcycles only have to pay $7. :) However that would have taken most of the day and put me at well over 100 miles. So I decided to pass on that this time, but I'll put it on my to do list.


I now have 1,761 miles on the bike. That's more than some of the used bikes I see for sale.
 
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bobbyj412

Well travelled
Location
Bristol, IN, USA
I have extensive experience on a bicycle and while there is some carry over to motorcycling It doesn't help me much with my main problem which is fear of leaning. It's easy for me to be fearless leaning a 35 lbs bike, but with a 470 lbs motorcycle, not so much.
I felt the same way. I took a skills class, to get my endorsement, and that helped me to learn to trust the bike. Even if you don't want to take a course, find an open area, without traffic, and work on the things that you don't feel comfortable with. I did that with U-turns, inside the lines of parking spaces (18 foot box), until I felt good my ability to do it. The thing that I'm trying to improve, now, is my comfort level in curves. Not the leaning of the bike, but entering at the right speed.
 

LIGuy

Well travelled
This is what I was originally taught in the 1980's
View attachment 6683


The first time I was out riding and a passing motorcyclist gave a "wave" by pointing towards the ground with his left hand I was scanning the road ahead for hazards. Finding none I was left wondering what kind of #&^@ rides around signaling other riders about non-existent road hazards. :unsure:
Excellent chart. Thanks for posting
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
I turned my 2nd thousand miles today. I now have 2,017 miles on the bike. I've now had the bike 5 and 1/2 months. Looking back at this thread I see that it took me 115 days to hit my first thousand miles, but only 51 days to hit my second. I also started keeping track of my mileage after I passed the 1200 mile break in point. I got 717 miles on 11.6 gallons for an average of 61.8 miles per gallon. I'm going to call it an even 60.
 
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