Why am I having a hard time

I only passed my test v recently and I get nervous every time I start out on my bike but as the ride goes on and my speed goes up I calm down a bit. I still have problems with certain things so will have to work on them to calm my nerves.

Glad to hear your partner is supportive I imagine that really helps. Told my husband I got nervous and he said perhaps you should go back to your Vespa! He doesn’t like me riding at all.

Miles help and so does going out with someone else.

If you could possibly afford it a days training would be good and as someone else said try Think Bike I used them to pass my test and they were excellent gave me so much confidence.

Keep getting on it as much as you can, particulaly early mornings on the weekend, theres no one about. Sometimes when i get on my bike i ride it like i’ve been doing it 100 years, other times i feel very tense and nervous and ride like i only just learnt. Everybody has or has had the same problems, take your time and dont be pressured. Remember theres a whole bikeing community out there who will give you all the help you need, and if you need people to ride with to get your confidance up just let us know, we all love any excuse to get out and ride.:slight_smile:

Jade, I echo everything that everone else has said, why not put up a post in the mentoring section asking for people in your area to come over and give you a hand?

I always find that even now I will not lead anybody in a ride on roads im not familiar with I lose all concentration and i don’t enjoy it at all (ive been riding 2.5 years and had a restricted license for 2 of those years) so all of us have confidence problems at some point to some extent - these do get massively easier but it is exactly as others have said, push your boundries DO NOT listen to negativity you will be a fantastic rider we ALL have faith in you, nobody is born to ride a bike every single person has had to learn, we are all constantly learning new skills wether we have been riding 2 days or 50 years, we constantly look to make ourselves the very best and safe riders that we can be (I personally don’t know many car drivers that consistantly update thier skills in driving other than the emergency services).

When I was learning I done the following, I always rode with two friends - one in front and one behind it gives you a sense of security and you are less worried about going the right way and keeping the person behind you in sight. I done as much carpark riding as I could just to get used to starting/stopping I know it seems basic but it helps when you are on a main road and need to have these things down pat, and the funniest one i done was every single night I would come home and get kitted up (1./2 hour! lol) unlock the bike and ride 15 mins round the block, this took me from quiet roads onto main roads and back to quiet - it got me used to pulling into faster traffice and reading the situation and gradually built up my confidence - it may help?

Good luck hun, don’t ever think you can’t do it - you SOOO can hun :D;)

hey your not to far from me I’m only in sydenham.

Anyways get yourself over to elmers end, west wickham kinda way there are plenty of quiet roads, I learnt to drive there and that is where I’m teaching my other half to drive as well.

down the back roads I know, plenty of soft curves, long straights, tight bends you name it, plenty to learn on…

+1 on West Wickham.

I did lots and lots of practice for my test around here. There are plenty of turns for practicing lifesavers without fear of other traffic, and loads of nice wide, quiet roads to do u-turns in.

When you’re done on the back roads, head off down Wickham Way towards the Chinese Roundabout, hang a left and go down South Eden Park Road, left at the next roundabout and back up towards West Wickham. Left at the swimming baths, through the width restriction, down Red Lodge Road and you’re back at the quiet roads. It’s probably a ten-minute circuit, but all fairly sedate - especially at the weekend. :slight_smile:

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Maybe you could just join a weekend CBT course as a (relatively) cheap way of brushing up on some basic skills and building confidence? The aforementioned Think Bike! in Coulsdon would most likely let you join a CBT day, even if you don’t need to take the test at the end of it.

It does sound as if you could do with some practice in car parks etc. to help build your confidence on the roads.

There are some quiet roads near you- you could try going up from Norbury towards Streatham Common Southside (which is a dead end) and bimble round the side roads there.

Once you have a bit of confidence riding down to Croydon will be easy-peasy for you. The main thing is, as others have said, is to try to relax and to not expect Rome to be built in a day. Take it slow and build your confidence at the rate you are happy with. IMO its not worth pushing it just to reach your self-imposed restricted test date- it can always be put back. :cool:

Unlike Converted I was raised in Croydon but somehow managed to end up back there!A little word of warning about the route he suggested. It’s good but when you’re riding up Gravel hill there is a slight negative camber and a deceptive, subtle bend to the left about halfway up which can catch you out. I have nearly come a cropper there in the past. Also watch the speed camera as you go up the steeper incline at the top. :slight_smile:

I don’t think going back to the carpark after being on the road would help I think it would bring me backwards and I wouldn’t learn much as it is the same thing all the time but on the road it is always different. I know norbury to streatham really well specially that I lived in both areas and even the quiet roads are difficult nowadays as everyone takes them and there is a lot of one ways closer to brixton.

I would strongly recommend a few lessons - I know that you are finding it difficult financially, but the lessons will see you through the test and then you won’t have to pay for another one, as the instructors know the way the test works. Even one day of lessons will be better than nothing and you will have loads more confidence at the end. Motag in Crystal Palace are very good - google them - they can take you riding round your way too - they are fairly reasonable.

When I first got my 125 just over 4 years ago, I was bricking it every day and didn’t even go out of 2nd gear for ages. I remember thinking I was going to throw in the towel on the whole biking thing, as I was so totally crap, and even accidentally wheelied at the lights because I pulled the clutch out way too quick with the accelerator on!! Had it for a year and a friend of mine had to ride out with me and stop the traffic for the first couple of months, as I couldn’t turn right. After a year on the 125, with a few lessons thrown in with Motag (and a trip to Accident and Emergency) I took my restricted test and then had a 250 for 2 years before getting a 600.

So the road to biking can be long and drawn out and do believe me you won’t be as crap as I was, so keep on going, get a mate to go out with you on a few rides and get a few lessons. I am leaving the country onthe 9th Sept, but may be able to fit in a couple of hours to help before then, so do give us a shout - and keep on going!!

Hels

I was really nervous even after passing my DAS.
I used to ride around an underground carpark for 20 minutes every time I wanted to go out and that was only when one friend was free. He was only one that could see the point in driving around aimlessly in front of me early on a weekend morning when everyone else was in bed hungover! He actually did it in a car as he was bikeless at that point. This was in Edinburgh though so the roads are better and people have licences/insurance etc and obey the highway code! My best friend lives in Norbury and riding to hers from East Finchley was awful so I dont envy you having to learn there.
Could someone take you to a carpark to practise at night???
It took ages to feel confident on the roads and I had to start from scratch this year after a break from the bike and moving to London. But its funny because about 3 months ago I said I could never ride a sports bike because was so used to being upright on my hornet and then 2 months later bought a cbr after a couple of test rides.
Keep on trying. Good luck.
The next time I’m in Norbury, I will PM you.
Anita

There’s no easy way of saying this but if you are too nervous to ride down a one way road safely you really should get some more training and practice away from the roads. It’s not just your own safety to think about but that of other road-users. Having said that, if you can find someone you trust to ride ahead of you on a route you are confident with then maybe thats the way to go. It might be a bit harsh to say it but you seem to want your cake and eat it. You want to magically improve your riding overnight but you don’t think it’s worth paying for even a days extra training. You aren’t confident enough to be out on the roads on your own but you don’t want to bother with gaining confidence away from traffic. What’s the big rush anyway? By gradually building up your confidence you’ll enjoy the journey as much as getting there.:slight_smile:

There’s no easy way of saying this but if you are too nervous to ride down a one way road safely you really should get some more training and practice away from the roads. It’s not just your own safety to think about but that of other road-users. Having said that, if you can find someone you trust to ride ahead of you on a route you are confident with then maybe thats the way to go. It might be a bit harsh to say it but you seem to want your cake and eat it. You want to magically improve your riding overnightbut you don’t think it’s worth paying for even a days extra training. You aren’t confidentenough to be out on the roads on your own but you don’t want to bother with gaining confidenceaway from traffic.What’s the big rush anyway? By gradually building up your confidence you’ll enjoy thejourney as much as getting there.:slight_smile:
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Only lessons I have is the ones that goes with my test and I don’t exspect to do it over night or a cake to be handed to me I know that it takes time and I will have to train hard. I have my reasons for doing it in a rush but also my test is the mid of September…I use to go to a industrial place which was great at first until I keep doing the same thing which I thought was pointless at the moment I go out on the roads at night with my partner in Shirley of which is quiet roads.

Sounds like a good plan. Keep at it…practice makes perfect.:slight_smile: What bike have you got- I’ll look out for you on the road :wink:

Despite a lot of motorcycle riding over the past xx years, I was very nervous when I got back on a bike after a long lay off. I was so bad that I did think I was just too old and should quit.

I’m still not back to where I should be/where I was once, after a year or so back on a bike. (That’s perhaps an age thing and I never will be again.)

The best thing I did was to take a mornings training and then, seems crazy, ride down to see some friends miles away using old roads. Slowest ride there ever, but by the time I got home I’d stopped … myself and was reasonably confident. It’s the “once started it’s just got to be finished” school, but worked for me.

Still can’t stay with lessimore on the twisty bits, probably never will now, but I’m reasonably happy with where I am and the learning curve is still on it’s way up.

It’s just a confidence thing and either more training, or going for self enforced longish rides or going out with some sympathetic others will get you there.

I totally know how you feel. I did my DAS training and passed my test a month ago - and was really confident - loved the 500 I learnt on and loved riding!! But the night I passed my test I went out with my boyfriend on my FZS Fazer 600 - big difference from the 500 I was used to - my feet could hardly touch the ground and was quite scared by the power of the bike. I ended up dropping it twice when standing still (luckily had crash bungs - so no bike damage) but I lost all my confidence. I got the seat lowered so I could get my feet on the ground - so couldn’t use that as an excuse anymore!! But I kept making excuses not to go out on the bike again until my boyfriend bribed me into going to a supermarket carpark on a Sunday afternoon when they were closed. For an hour I rode around practicing my stopping and starting - until i was confident I could do it.

And today i rode my bike to work by myself for the first time and I’m on a massive high and I love riding again!! I was really nervous and my legs were shaking before I left home - but I told myself as long as I felt confident starting and stopping then I can handle almost any situation. if someone is going too fast behind you - pull over and stop. If you need to think about where you’re going - pull over and stop. As everyone says it comes down to experience and you can’t get better without doing the miles - but I would highly recommend spending time in an empty car park if possible and just working on the areas that you are nervous about - then your confidence will start coming back :slight_smile:

Well done Suskia! my first commute was terrifying as well.

Bloody well done girl (Im also verticly challenged and seat shaving is a fantastic way of getting more confidence) :smiley:

I have a 2005 blue Honda CG125