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Old May 16th, 2018, 05:14 PM   #1
Koala
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parking lot practice

I have a tendency to overthink things and not always feel confident when trying things for the first time, so please just bear with me on this.

I would like to start practicing on my new bike but I'm not sure how to do it. I have the MSF book that came with the bike that details all the exercises so I'm good on what to do just not how to get to the parking lot. The closest good lot that stays empty and is big enough is about 2 miles away. To even get off my road I have to go up a kind of steep hill and stop at the crest of it and make a left onto a busy road with a blind hill on the right. People come FLYING over that hill. Then I have to make it through 2 busy intersections and multiple other lights to get to this lot.

There isn't much room on my street now during the times that I would be able to practice (the neighboring twinplex has multiple cars parked on the road over the weekends, plus the potholes take up practice space as well.

All of you had to start somewhere....any ideas?
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Old May 16th, 2018, 08:02 PM   #2
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Do you have trailer?
Or have a friend ride your bike over.

When my wife was learning, I'd just ride her bike with her on back over to various lots (universities are best). Then take a nap while she practices.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 04:48 AM   #3
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I would start with just walking the bike and familiarize yourself with the friction zone in your driveway. Then work on starting and stopping, this will help you learn to not stall the bike. You stall on a steep hill and things can go bad fast (you will need to know how to hold the bike with one foot, brake and clutch if you stop midway up). I think you are trying to jump in to fast.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 05:18 AM   #4
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When are you scheduled for the MSF, and if the bike tips over before then, will you be:

a - understanding that it happens
b - slightly upset that your new purchase is now scraped up a bit
c - in a murderous rage for weeks

There's a very good chance that you'll have an oops on the bike while learning the basics. It's much more cost-effective to have that oops (even if it's just a simple drop at zero mph), on someone else's beater bike (like the MSF fleet).
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Old May 17th, 2018, 05:34 AM   #5
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Old May 17th, 2018, 06:21 AM   #6
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Not sure what msf book you have, but if its anything like mine there are major differences between the book and the range drills.

Does your book have you running over a 2x4?

Last futzed with by csmith12; May 17th, 2018 at 10:40 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 10:23 AM   #7
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Ohio does not teach MSF anymore so what your book is showing is not going to be exactly what you see when you get to class

but it should show you some of the basic stuff to get you going.

The MSF and the new BRC are a lot alike .

start in you driveway and learn the friction zone first , It will pay off

don't rush into being out on the street too soon .
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Old May 17th, 2018, 04:25 PM   #8
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I would love to start in my driveway....but I don't have one. I have a four car wide parking pad, two of the spaces are mine. The other 2 are occupied by trucks. Leading up to the pad is gravel at an incline, even the pad itself isn't too level, I found that out while sitting on the bike and wondering why it was so hard to get my right foot close to the ground.

I had the idea of asking a person I trust to ride the bike to the lot and help me for an hour or so, but no dice. One person ignored my message, the other simply asked "maybe you should try take the new rider course." To which I responded with how I am already signed up for it but due to work and the earlier classes that I would be able to get into being full, I'm signed up for the middle of July. 2 months away.

I understand that as a completely new rider my bike could get harmed in practice. I don't like the idea, but I know it can happen. I accept that possibility.

The MSF book that came with my bike includes the exercises of stopping in a straight line, quick stop, weaves, basic turns, normal turns, sharp turns without stopping, sharp turns from a stop, obstacle swerve, normal stop on a curve, quick stop on a curve, as well as a bunch of great riding tips.

I'm not trying to start out riding on the street. My area is WAY too dangerous for that. People drive stupid around here. That is why I described the way I would have to go to get to this lot. I was trying to show why there would be no way in hell I could get there at this moment without help.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 04:43 PM   #9
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Something to think about, would the other person riding the bike to get it to the lot be covered by your insurance?

The small area should still be enough for finding the friction zone, this is where you need to start. Then worry about the next step.

Doing the things in the book is not a good idea until you take the class, it is hard to break bad habits if you develope them,prior to going.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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Did you say there were 2 trucks in your driveway? Pick ups or semi’s?
If it’s pick ups, Can they load you up and take you over?
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Old May 17th, 2018, 07:48 PM   #11
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Ooh, that's isn't something I thought about. I would have to ask Progressive if another rider is covered.

i'm going to try and see if I get lucky enough to have some room on my street, that's my only hope right now it seems. I would not trust getting my baby into the neighbor's dodge ram safely or him driving with her in the back....nice enough guy but drinks alot and doesn't seem too responsible. the other truck might fall apart before it got to the parking lot


*just got off chat with Progressive....question still not answered. I've dealt with their customer service before and never had an issue. I think this girl was definitely not the brightest crayon in the box. first she thought I was asking about passengers, then she kept saying that if someone was going to be riding the bike regularly that they needed to be on the policy....didn't even bother asking about track day instruction...that one might have blown the 2 brain cells she had.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 01:25 AM   #12
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FYI.... Dont call it a "track day", it is advanced ride course or something like that. When you say track they think you are racing the bike....
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Old May 18th, 2018, 05:11 AM   #13
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If you are going to be asking Progressive about coverage, make sure you use these words.

"I will taking part in the Novice PTR Course at The Mid-Ohio School."

That sounds like a nice safe training course to make you a better rider and would normally be covered by insurance, but double check your policy for this type of excemption.

From Progressive.com: "any riding activity conducted on a permanent or temporary racetrack, racecourse, or during any closed course event."

Chances are, you will NOT be covered. :\
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:11 AM   #14
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Well, it doesn't sound very easy for you to get to any place that would be open and safe to practice with your Ninja.

I'm not a fan of a new bike for a new rider, but I understand your reasoning.

At this point, I wouldn't suggest taking the bike out.

The best way to learn the basics of operating a motorcycle is on a dirt bike IMO. They are small, light, durable, and easier to regain control when making mistakes.

I would search for some way to get on a dirt bike. Maybe someone that knows you from a forum or social media group would have a dirt bike and a good place to ride.

I just don't think it would end well for you to take your Ninja out alone and without proper instruction at this point.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:46 AM   #15
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Normally an insured rider can let a friend ride the motorcycle and still be covered. When I insured my 250 I specifically asked my agent if my licensed daughter would be covered when she visits and she rides it, and the answer was yes. Of course, if in doubt, ask.

Koala, I'm sorry we're not closer to each other, because I'd be happy to help you get to a safe practice area a few times. Maybe someone on the board who is near you will see the thread and help.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 08:05 AM   #16
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Are there any other lots in different direction that's a safer ride?
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Old May 18th, 2018, 03:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Are there any other lots in different direction that's a safer ride?
That would be taking me deeper into the hood....my street is on the edge of it, really the only good quiet street. going left off of my road towards the lot I'm thinking of (part of a shopping mall parking lot that's empty since Sears and it's auto parts shop closed) leads me away from the hood. Going any other direction gets straight to the heart of it. A small white girl with a brand new shiny bike in that area does not strike me as a good idea.

As for learning on a dirt bike, I only know one person with a small dirt bike. This person hasn't talked to me in 2 months because I told him to get his head out of his bum (not in those nice words) and stop doing coke.

@csmith12 thanks for the wording on how to ask about Mid O. I knew not to call it a track day but that sums it up perfectly. The girl I spoke to last night, I don't think she would have understood no matter how I put it. She seemed that dumb. that's why I didn't even attempt to ask.

I'll only attempt to do anything with my new baby if I'm feeling up to it and my neighbor is cool with watching for a bit in case something happens. Like today for example, would have been perfect. I got off early and the weather is nice, but I don't feel good due to leftover migraine from last night. I won't even think about it feeling like this. If I'm tired or off in any way , no chance. When I'm up to it, I think I will just have him help me get her off the pad to the street and step by step, walk with her and learn the clutch and break. Not rushing anything, just going in bits and pieces as I feel comfortable.

If there is anyone in the greater Akron area that reads this that would be willing to help with instruction on my street I would be open to it. However, I think all of you guys that I know and trust from being on here the last couple years (some of you who I have met in person @csmith12 @adouglas as well as others) are too far....unless someone would like to take a break from coaching at Mid O on a Sunday *nudge nudge wink wink* I would pay....lol.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 03:33 PM   #18
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Do you have a yellow/red safety vest, put it on and go for it, it seems you are way to apprehensive, this brings up your nerves, increasing tension, just relax man, it's meant to be fun.

Bikes are easy to plod around on slow, once you get the clutch friction point right.

My advice, get to it
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Old May 23rd, 2018, 12:49 PM   #19
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It sounds like your street is a dead-end?

If not, does it connect to other residential/low traffic local streets where you can practice ?

Keep practicing on your street, until you are comfortable with the friction zone, shifting up / down into 2nd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koala View Post
To even get off my road I have to go up a kind of steep hill and stop at the crest of it and make a left onto a busy road with a blind hill on the right. People come FLYING over that hill.
Make a RIGHT turn at the top of the hill ?

Ride along, then make a u-turn at first flat / safe spot ?

If you haven't already found it here is probably the *second* best motorcycle site (after Ninjettes of course !) :

Motorcycle Safety / riding tips
https://www.msgroup.org/articles.aspx

https://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/default.asp

You might try posting a hello-anybody-near-me? message there.

Looking through the members list, there seems to be quite a few Ohio'ans.
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Old May 29th, 2018, 09:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koala View Post
I have a tendency to overthink things and not always feel confident when trying things for the first time, so please just bear with me on this.

I would like to start practicing on my new bike but I'm not sure how to do it. I have the MSF book that came with the bike that details all the exercises so I'm good on what to do just not how to get to the parking lot. The closest good lot that stays empty and is big enough is about 2 miles away. To even get off my road I have to go up a kind of steep hill and stop at the crest of it and make a left onto a busy road with a blind hill on the right. People come FLYING over that hill. Then I have to make it through 2 busy intersections and multiple other lights to get to this lot.

There isn't much room on my street now during the times that I would be able to practice (the neighboring twinplex has multiple cars parked on the road over the weekends, plus the potholes take up practice space as well.

All of you had to start somewhere....any ideas?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mst View Post
It sounds like your street is a dead-end?

If not, does it connect to other residential/low traffic local streets where you can practice ?

Keep practicing on your street, until you are comfortable with the friction zone, shifting up / down into 2nd.



Make a RIGHT turn at the top of the hill ?

Ride along, then make a u-turn at first flat / safe spot ?

If you haven't already found it here is probably the *second* best motorcycle site (after Ninjettes of course !) :

Motorcycle Safety / riding tips
https://www.msgroup.org/articles.aspx

https://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/default.asp

You might try posting a hello-anybody-near-me? message there.

Looking through the members list, there seems to be quite a few Ohio'ans.
Before I started riding, I did exhaustive research and reading on bike techniques and maneuvers. I then, ignoring the nervous jitters, started feeling out the bike in my back yard, getting to know the friction zone and brakes. Then, I picked a day where I was off and got up so that I would ride at a time that traffic was minimal. I then just got on and rode, going through the techniques which I read through, linked by @mst. I took my time, got to know the bike, I made my mistakes, and I learned. Looks like that is how you are going to have to do it, if no one can get your bike one way or another to the lot you have allotted for practice.

If you can't or won't get there on your own, try this link:

http://www.motorcycle.ohio.gov/basic_rider.stm

They provide the bikes, so you don't have to worry about your nice bike suffering the initial growing pains. You need your permit, if you don't have it already, it only costs $50, and they give you a waiver for the road test! I recommend you do this class either way though.
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Old May 29th, 2018, 03:56 PM   #21
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Thanks, I've got my permit, and I'm signed up for the BRC....for July 12th.

One of the things that makes me hesitant to do it the way you did, is I'm not too keen on playing dodge the pothole while trying to learn the bike. I'm just playing it by ear, I'll keep doing what I can on my street and eventually branch further out.
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Old May 29th, 2018, 06:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koala View Post
Thanks, I've got my permit, and I'm signed up for the BRC....for July 12th.

One of the things that makes me hesitant to do it the way you did, is I'm not too keen on playing dodge the pothole while trying to learn the bike. I'm just playing it by ear, I'll keep doing what I can on my street and eventually branch further out.
Ride your own ride! No problem with that, take it as you are comfortable. No need to push it where you have concern. Good for you taking the MSF, you will not have to figure out how to get your bike there!
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 05:45 AM   #23
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Ride your own ride! No problem with that, take it as you are comfortable. No need to push it where you have concern. Good for you taking the MSF, you will not have to figure out how to get your bike there!
I'm just doing it like building blocks. Each time I go out on my street, I try a little more. Maybe it's because the bike is brand new and I don't want to hurt her lol. I could see if I had bought a cheapy beater bike to start with being a little more gutsy with it, but those weren't in supply in my area and it just made more sense to buy new money wise.

I'm happy with how things are going so far, and I'll keep updating my first ride thread with my progress/any questions I may have
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 06:25 AM   #24
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Look at it this way: I regularly abuse a $5000+ carbon mountain bike (I only mention this part because it's roughly equivalent to a new ninjette). I bought it knowing full well that it was going to be crashed. It has a couple scratches and nicks in the paint already. That doesn't mean I'm reckless and loose with money, it just means that I've accepted the reality of using and enjoying a product that I purchased.

Your Ninja 300 (400?) is your first bike and learning was always in its job description, as it will be for many many other riders. The first scratch hurts the worst, but everything after that is easy peasy. I dropped mine in the driveway twice, my dad dumped it in a trailer when we were unloading after a track day, and I even crashed it at speed on the track (on my spare body panels). It is what it is. That's a very likely reality of owning a motorcycle.

I guess what I'm saying is that every motorcycle touches the ground at some point during its life, even if it's just kissing the garage floor when the owner is able to baby it down and negate any damage. If you're really afraid of scratching the plastics to the point where you're significantly hindered in your willingness to ride the thing... scrape together $500, buy a beater dirt bike, and make this learning thing happen. Do you drive a manual transmission car normally or is learning to use a clutch also part of the issue?

Real talk:
Were you this afraid of driving when you were 16 and had your temporary permit and were learning to drive a car? Are you this afraid of driving on a daily basis? Likely not. So why is the motorcycle any different? Only way to learn is to go and do. Respectfully, that's my
/real talk


EDIT: I just read your most recent update post. Good for you!!!!!! Making progress and answering some of the questions I asked. Sorry about that!
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 06:34 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
Look at it this way: I regularly abuse a $5000+ carbon mountain bike (I only mention this part because it's roughly equivalent to a new ninjette). I bought it knowing full well that it was going to be crashed. It has a couple scratches and nicks in the paint already. That doesn't mean I'm reckless and loose with money, it just means that I've accepted the reality of using and enjoying a product that I purchased.

Your Ninja 300 (400?) is your first bike and learning was always in its job description, as it will be for many many other riders. The first scratch hurts the worst, but everything after that is easy peasy. I dropped mine in the driveway twice, my dad dumped it in a trailer when we were unloading after a track day, and I even crashed it at speed on the track (on my spare body panels). It is what it is. That's a very likely reality of owning a motorcycle.

I guess what I'm saying is that every motorcycle touches the ground at some point during its life, even if it's just kissing the garage floor when the owner is able to baby it down and negate any damage. If you're really afraid of scratching the plastics to the point where you're significantly hindered in your willingness to ride the thing... scrape together $500, buy a beater dirt bike, and make this learning thing happen. Do you drive a manual transmission car normally or is learning to use a clutch also part of the issue?

Real talk:
Were you this afraid of driving when you were 16 and had your temporary permit and were learning to drive a car? Are you this afraid of driving on a daily basis? Likely not. So why is the motorcycle any different? Only way to learn is to go and do. Respectfully, that's my
/real talk
I accept that she is eventually going to get harmed in some way, just doing what I can to not do something stupid to make it happen sooner.

In all honesty, I was afraid to drive. I didn't get my license until I was 17 and my parents bought me private driving lessons instead of having me do driver's ed. I didn't go through having temps at all, just did the lessons and took the test at the DMV. I love driving now, can't imagine life without it. It's not so much that I'm afraid of riding my bike, just wanting to be careful. Maybe I'm being too careful. All I know is that I refuse to let her just sit until my BRC in July, and that is why I am getting on her and riding her on Sundays. I just don't have much time during the week due to work or I would be on her more than that. You are right, going and doing is the way, and that's what I've been trying to do

Oh, and I've been driving manual transmission cars for 17 years. No problem there. I think that is helping me here.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 07:16 AM   #26
snot
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MOTM - Apr '15
Consider buying a set of frame sliders, if you drop the bike it will protect most of, if not all of the plastics.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 08:28 AM   #27
Koala
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snot View Post
Consider buying a set of frame sliders, if you drop the bike it will protect most of, if not all of the plastics.
they came with the bike
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 09:26 AM   #28
Triple Jim
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I think the most important advice I can give you is to be extremely aware of what's around you that can do you great harm, and put that above all else. When doing something like concentrating on letting out the clutch smoothly while feathering the throttle, that should be the second most important thing on your mind.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 10:35 AM   #29
choneofakind
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^^^^ werd to Jim. Learning defensive riding as a motorcyclist is harder than learning to operate said motorcycle, IME. It will change your view on how you drive as well and you'll be a better car driver.

Think like a bicyclist. Everything is bigger than you, likely doesn't see you, and likely has preconceived anger towards you because of every other interaction they've had with a motorcyclist or every story they've heard about dead motorcyclists or their neighbor who's a nurse and preaches about "murder"cycles... side note: why are nurses always stereotypically so ant-motorcycle. I mean I get the fact that they see gore and all, but at the end of the day, I'm not making them ride and it's really just job security for them...

Anyhow. Cautious learning is good and I think you're off to a good start. I really think you'll benefit a lot from the MSF when you finally get there. just remember the bigger picture part that Jim said.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 11:16 AM   #30
Koala
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I get what you're both saying, thanks or the great advice

When it comes to nurses, one of my regulars is in her 80s and used to be a nurse. I told her about my bike and showed her the pictures. she thought it was awesome, but kept telling me to be careful. Said she had seen too many people come into the ER having to be put back together due to motorcycle accidents.

I do my best to keep on alert to what's going on around me at all times. Like this morning, for example. I'm at the end of my street, sitting on the bike talking to my neighbor as I wait for a car to come by from behind me. I see a red mustang by my side street and it's slowly swerving all over the road. Eventually almost coming nose to nose with the other vehicle while taking up the middle of the road. the other car manages to get by, and the mustang again slowly swerves all over the road, going up the wrong side and over the curb and back down again before coming to a stop a few car lengths away from me. I looked at my neighbor and told him to wave him on. I was not moving an inch without knowing what the hell he was doing. It was almost like he was drunk. I didn't know where I could go to get away from him, my only solution was to stay put and hope for the best. He drove by and I realized it was my other neighbor. Old dude has no business behind the wheel at all.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 08:58 PM   #31
MLR
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Always be ready for the unexpected, in saying that I expect people to run red lights, change lane on me, run up my rear, pedestrians to walk out onto the road, oil to be on every corner, rocks and other rubbish on the road.

That doesn't stop me riding, or having fun, it does stop me from daydreaming and not paying attention to my surroundings.

My mantra to life is "expect everyone and everything is trying to kill you".
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Old June 4th, 2018, 10:11 AM   #32
CaliGrrl
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"Everyone is trying to kill you" - yeah, that's kind of how I approach it, too. I look for where I can go to stay out of where they can hurt me. Try to minimize the times I have to sit tight and hope for the best.

So yes, defensive driving for the win.
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Old June 6th, 2018, 06:04 PM   #33
Abu_Mishary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
There's a very good chance that you'll have an oops on the bike while learning the basics. It's much more cost-effective to have that oops (even if it's just a simple drop at zero mph), on someone else's beater bike (like the MSF fleet).
Yup. And nothing beats the "oops" feeling the best when you are out on your weekend ride and basically try parking at a bikers' hang out place.

I'll just start my bike and ride away.
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