Building Up My Riding Skills

Now that the weather has improved, it’s time to get out and about on my motorbike and improve my skills.

Having passed my full motorbike test in September, it wasn’t long before I had put the bike off the road for the winter.  It was stashed in my parents garage 3 miles away and any good weekend I would head up there and go out for an hour or so.

There have been a few times in the intervening months where it has been difficult to get out, not because of the weather but because of my nerves.  Although within a few minutes of riding I normally felt much better.

Yesterday I did a 60 mile trip from my home to Lochearnhead and back.  This is a beautiful drive and has a good mix of straight and curves on the road.  Turns out, I don’t like the curves, not one bit.

Undeterred I went out again today, same road to Lochearnhead but then came back via Callander and Doune.  Again, a good mix of roads, again I don’t like curves.

Eventually I began to work out that if I looked where I was going, (Yes, I know, that’s what my instructors at Scotriders told me months ago) then it made things a bit easier.  However, this seemed to be nullified by my inbuilt road position of cutting a corner at the apex.  Even worse if there was a car coming towards me.

I know that I should not cut corners at the apex on a bike.  I know I should look where I am coming out of the corner as opposed to the actual corner.  It seems however that on roads I don’t know, I am taking some time to get that into my head.

Thankfully I went out late in the afternoon so the roads although not quiet, were not as busy as they probably were earlier in the day.

What is ridiculous is that when I was going around a couple of these bends and was screaming in fear, my bike held the road and I went around quite easily.  This has led me to believe that maybe my leaning ability needs to improve so that I can take corners more smoothly.

I will be going out again tomorrow, probably very early in the morning, so I don’t cause problems on the roads by going so slowly around corners.  I have thought of using different roads however, the smaller roads around here are not in great condition and for the main part have a surface of tar and chips.

The good thing in all of this is that I know I am an inexperienced rider and therefore I need to put in the miles and improve my skills.  I also know that I need to try and stay out of the way of those who have travelled miles to enjoy the roads that I don’t yet know.  I think I may become the “Dawn Rider” for the next few months as I get to know my bike and the roads and improve my skills.

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