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Old 12-16-2012, 11:45 AM   #76
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I don't think so. You've noted that you would feel more comfortable with "more athletic" ladies versus "bumbling" ladies. You're already making judgments about their riding abilities. I'm saying that I don't get into whether they are a good rider or not, I am concerned about someone based on who they are, not what they are doing. Guys who are concerned about their wives or GFs riding should consider the reverse aspect and the impact it could have on themselves. ie - if wife or GF shouldn't ride alone because he is concerned about her, maybe he shouldn't ride alone either because she is concerned about him. It goes both ways.

I'm the wrong person to ask anyway. My risk threshhold doesn't track with most people's.
Katherine, in words - F650GSa - CBR250R (sold) - Super Sherpa - Nine Days in the Alps - More Alps: Finding GS Land
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:04 PM   #77
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that's twice now that you've put words in my mouth. I did not use the word bumbling. please afford me the decency of not trying to skew my position by incorrectly restating it with your own words.

I've made no judgements about fat clumsy girls' riding abilities vs. those of hot, elite athletes with riding experience. but since you've brought it up, yes, I would be more concerned for the reaction times of a known clumsy person riding a motorcycle.

you've clearly rolled over the main point I was making in the beginning in which I was saying that I can see this from both sides, and not sure how I would respond were I one of the guys whose girlfriend or wife wanted a bike of her own. it seems that you've instead focused on what you've mistakenly taken as a wishy-washy position and perceived criticism and judgement against women riders, and probably women in general. and for what? because I said I'm not sure how I'd feel about a girlfriend or wife riding, talked a little about it, and then gave you a supportive thumbs up for saying, hey I'm a girl and here's an example of how I genuinely ride for myself? so what? I thought it was cool, interesting, refreshing and surprising for your post to come at the end of a thread I'd just read, which was full, mostly, of my own familiar position of worry/concern for women riders well being - nothing about their abilities - and it changed my mind a little.

and yes, agreed, I did think earlier this morning about the reverse aspect and it was something I never really much considered before. it's probably because it's easier to trust one's own assessment of his/her own abilities than it is to trust the judgement of a rider who is just starting out and all the other variables.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:35 PM   #78
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As for why more women don't ride, I can't answer that question. Maybe they're intimidated by the power of the bikes, safety issues (probably a big reason), their SO doesn't want them to ride, and so on. I only know why I ride and the i satisfaction I get from riding.

There are some people who are truly not meant to ride.. Whether they're just stupid enough to ride outside their limits or cannot physically handle the bike, it's just not meant to be. I watched a beginner MSF class one morning while my bike was being serviced. There was a gentleman taking the class who just could not get the feel of the bike...and this was a beginner class. He finally bailed 1/2 way through the class. He was devastated, but he realized it wasn't meant to be for him. Will he go back and try later? Who knows.

When I took my class, I had never ridden before and passed. There were three who did not, including a gal who had been riding for three years and who had ridden her Harley to the class from 120 miles away. Will she stop riding, probably not.

As a mother, I was very nervous when my son started talking about getting a bike after his last deployment. We talked at length about riding and bikes on numerous occasions. He finally decided he really wasn't sure he wanted to ride. Would I have been worried about him....oh hell yeah! What parent wouldn't be? A beginner rider and out in California...yikes!

I think it's great that women are riding, and I would encourage more women to at least try riding. How will they know if they don't at least try? It's wonderful if they have a good support crew to help them out as they learn to ask questions of and help them through when there are issues. Things are going to happen and some are much more serious such as the situation with Infidel's wife. Thank goodness she came out ok. She's got a loving husband who will help her work through her decision to ride/not ride. The end decision needs to be totally hers, though.

There is nothing wrong with a man being protective and old fashioned. In this day and age, it's nice to know there are guys still out there like that.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:43 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by msgvb View Post
and yes, agreed, I did think earlier this morning about the reverse aspect and it was something I never really much considered before. it's probably because it's easier to trust one's own assessment of his/her own abilities than it is to trust the judgement of a rider who is just starting out and all the other variables.
Katherine, in words - F650GSa - CBR250R (sold) - Super Sherpa - Nine Days in the Alps - More Alps: Finding GS Land
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by msgvb View Post
okay, here's an example.

one of my best friends, Kate. she's always hurting herself doing stupid stuff, so she's a little bit clumsy at times, but she's also athletic and coordinated when she's engaged.

she rides pillion with her boyfriend, also a friend of mine, and they love and thoroughly enjoy that riding relationship. he's a great rider, but is reckless at times and has had more than his share of crashes, though none with her on the bike. she wants a bike of her own.

I support her getting a bike because it's what she wants, and she wants to start off reasonably with a Ninja 250 or 300, and I think she can handle it if she approaches it properly. her boyfriend backs her, too. but yeah, I'm concerned for her safety.

what do you think about that situation?
She should look into a school that will teach her the basics and allow for both on and off the bike instruction. From there, riding with an experienced rider(s) that will allow her to feel comfortable going whatever speed she is comfortable with is important. Since she is accustomed to riding with her boyfriend as a pillion, she will have a bit of an advantage over a rider who has no experience at all. The key to all of this is having situation awareness and some common sense. If she's feeling nervous and is feeling uncomfortable with the speed of a particular ride she is on, she needs to be able to slow down and ride her own ride and not feel like she needs to keep up. If she is with a good group leader, they will respect that and accomodate her needs, slow down and let her have an enjoyable experience. I have ridden with many new riders (both men and women) and enjoy this learning experience with them. Since I benefited from many other experienced riders as I was gaining my own experience and riding style as a new rider, I feel it's only right to give back and teach others.

Participating in some additional riding classes will also help benefit her. Depending on where she is located, she should be able to participate in some trackdays where she can learn valuable skills including throttle control, braking skills, countersteering, etc.

I wish her the best!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:30 PM   #81
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Some general info, followed by some general observations after reading this entire thread today.

My wife and I ride 30-40k miles a year. She rode before I met her, dirt and later pavement. She has ~200k of street behind her, I have about double that. She is a good rider, but not a great rider and could use more instruction. From my perspective, she can't keep up with my pace, and I'm not hammering or trying to ride the corners as fast as I can, etc. She slows too much, brakes when it's not necessary and yes, I stress about her when we ride together. She's crashed more than I have, but neither of us have crashed a lot. Basically, she is not as confident a rider as I would expect of someone that has 200k of street miles. Her low speed skills suck. Mostly because she won't practice them, instead of turning into a driveway, she will ride around the building to avoid a sharper turn.

I try to offer technique suggestions in a non-judgmental and constructive way. (I would never tell her what I wrote above in a direct conversation, for example) I also realize that I am not the best teacher for her. Often when I attempt to get her to practice with me on low speed stuff, she refuses to participate. This is very frustrating for me, as I would like her to feel more confident and become a better rider. She does acknowledge that she is weak in some skill areas, essentially what I outlined above.

I know quite a few women riders. Some are every bit my equal, others far better riders than I am and many not as far along the skill curve. That same description applies equally to the male riders I know.

I ride at a brisker pace when riding by myself. Riding together, I often set the pace and lead, but I'm never riding at my comfort level, but trying to ride at hers. We have comm, if she wants to up the pace, she'll tell me. Regardless, she rides her own ride and is very good about that. It's not uncommon in the twisties for me to end up farther ahead because I'm riding The Pace and she's braking into turns more than she should. I have to accept that I'm going to end up slowing down to wait for her to catch up.

To the OP, glad your wife is ok. I understand she's not thinking she wants to ride again at this point. IF that changes, the MSF and other organizations offer more than just basic courses. Offer to her that it wouldn't be a bad thing if you both took some of the mid level courses and then consider the advanced ones.

I'm overdue for a refresher course, but typically I take one every few years just to see if I've let any bad habits creep into my riding. I usually come away thinking the course was a waste of time, but the next ride I go on I realize I'm riding better, smarter, etc. IOW, it was worth the time and money to do it.

Consider reading about The Pace, and trying some of those techniques. With or w/o your wife riding, but try to get her to read the info to, and discuss the ideas presented with each other, rider to rider. It may sound like riding slower. It's not. A link to one of the better write ups is below. I ride this way, as does my wife, (but in her own form).

The Pace
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:05 PM   #82
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Sometimes, husbands can be the worst coaches to their wife. And some parents should "NOT" be allowed in the area when their child is being taught. (you can see this 1st hand at any sporting event where the parent thinks their kid IS the next Michael Jordan/ Tiger Woods/ Beckham etc and is shouting at their kid from the side line)...Now, with that being said, I taught my wife how to ride a motorcycle and taught my son how to ride dirt bike. He also aced his DMV written and driving test. (Proud dad!!)

Not everybody can be a mentor/ instructor. I saw this 1st hand when I purchased golfing lessons for my wife. She learned a lot and had a great swing...up until I showed up. She started trying too hard because she was trying to please me. Hook, slice slice.

For those of you who ride but just don't have the confidence and/or technique, I would recommend finding one of those "Ride Like a Cop" schools. The best info/statement is ...where you look is where you go. Look down, go down. They teach you how to keep your head and eyes UP and balance and maneuver.

My wife never finished getting her M1 and chooses to be my co pilot on my Harley. We are both happy that way and that's what motorcycling is all about...right?
ps, After 18+ years of marriage, I would be terrified if she started riding now. She is my soul mate and I wouldn't want anything to hurt her. I know I know mush mush, I'll knock it off now.

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Old 01-13-2013, 05:22 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Infidel View Post
She rode back seat for the first 4 years of our relationship. One day she up and decided to take the basic course on base and bought a bike... I was supportive- and she does like to ride ride. Up to this point, there hasn't been even a close call. She rides to work at least twice a week and we do weekend rides to Bisbee and Nogalas. She went from a Yamaha 250, to a Star 650, to the Ninja 650R. We had it lowered 1.5 inches for her to touch.

I like her on the pillion- but she has a bit of an independent streak.

I expect her to be back in the saddle soon.
What a trooper. Mine took the MSF beginner's course, but wouldn't ride enough to keep it going. So after buying a new DR200, and paying for an MSF class, she's calling it quits. That's OK, I'd rather have her safe on the back than watch her turn herself into buzzard bait.
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