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Nervous novice - fighting fear?


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So, here's the situation. Wanted a bike, great idea, ex had one, used to ride pillion all the time, amazing, love it. Bought myself a bike, totally unsuitable but I loved it (silly) DR125, kick start only, bit too tall to touch the ground well. Ex crashed his bike and nearly killed himself 3 days before my CBT. The instructor taking my CBT was everything I do not need, shouting at me, insulting me; "Come on! I'd normally have been round this car park 5 times and you still can't even pull away!" etc. etc. Had a panic attack, cried for about an hour, left to reattempt a few weeks later. Second attempt was worse, was grouped with someone retaking so fairly competent, I was absolutely bricking it about going out on the road. Broke down again. Dropped the bike, got shouted at again. On the road I got shouted and called a "Silly bitch" "Dopey cow" etc. in some form of attempt, I guess, to spur me on? I was riding round in a blind panic. Took a corner too fast and nearly rode straight into the front of a taxi. Got shouted at again. I failed my CBT because I was "too dangerous". I was determined to quit and sell up but ended up re-attempting with another instructor a few months on who was so kind and patient, amazing. But the damage was already done, negative associations made, all the while being constantly pressured by my ex. "If you're not going to ride it you might as well sell it", "I knew you'd do the same as [insert friends name who also got too nervous with same instructor]", constantly being shot down. Rode with him maybe twice, where he proceeded to have a go at me for being too slow, then pointing out everything I'd done wrong. Everything to do with bikes was horrible. I felt like a failure. I was terrified. Last year I bought another, CG125, bit more suited. Tried to ride again around August but the gap between first learning and trying again was about a year. Nobody to ride with either. Recently I've been trying to sell up, stop ignoring it in the garage and take action. Passed MOT no advisories and... I decided to keep it. Rebooked CBT for 7th of April.

I have to ride it to the CBT place, not far but havent really ridden properly, well, ever. I don't want to be afraid. I need this bike, I can't afford a car. But I'll be riding alone. A lot. I have fairly bad anxiety as it is and I'm really struggling.


Please can I just have a little reassurance?

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OK - here goes....without knowing you this is a bit broad bush but I've just trained someone who was ripped apart by their previous trainer and had their confidence and self-esteem totally destroyed. (Not training to ride a bike - but not far different.) The thing is that all I've done is to work on their confidence and let them try without overbearing criticism. End result is that they have progressed in leaps and bounds.


I do a lot of sailing which shares many characteristics with riding a bike. I know brilliant sailors who are dreadful teachers. On the other hand I know trainers who can take total novices and inspire confidence. I remember taking out one young lady who'd never been in boat before and she sailed it through Portsmouth Harbour in a gale with total ease. (I was gobsmacked to be honest) But I've also had novices who just need more assistance getting the basics under their belt. Once they've mastered that their off.


I suspect the issue is more with the trainers than yourself. Maybe you have to admit you're not a natural - not everyone takes to it like a duck to water. Maybe you're one of those people who needs someone to focus on the little things most of us take for granted. That needs a trainer with more skills as a trainer.


I'd ask around and look for someone who can help you gain your confidence in the basics of handling a bike. That will lay a solid foundation to work from.

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OK - here goes....without knowing you this is a bit broad bush but I've just trained someone who was ripped apart by their previous trainer and had their confidence and self-esteem totally destroyed. (Not training to ride a bike - but not far different.) The thing is that all I've done is to work on their confidence and let them try without overbearing criticism. End result is that they have progressed in leaps and bounds.


I do a lot of sailing which shares many characteristics with riding a bike. I know brilliant sailors who are dreadful teachers. On the other hand I know trainers who can take total novices and inspire confidence. I remember taking out one young lady who'd never been in boat before and she sailed it through Portsmouth Harbour in a gale with total ease. (I was gobsmacked to be honest) But I've also had novices who just need more assistance getting the basics under their belt. Once they've mastered that their off.


I suspect the issue is more with the trainers than yourself. Maybe you have to admit you're not a natural - not everyone takes to it like a duck to water. Maybe you're one of those people who needs someone to focus on the little things most of us take for granted. That needs a trainer with more skills as a trainer.


I'd ask around and look for someone who can help you gain your confidence in the basics of handling a bike. That will lay a solid foundation to work from.

 


Thank you! :) I've booked my CBT as one on one, the instructor is also a psychiatric nurse so he is very lovely! I find it very hard to recover from confidence knocks, I also ride horses and have bad confidence knocks from being pressured and berated that have taken me a long time to get over, but I guess I have got over them in the end! To the point I have my own now and the practice and consistency is slowly making everything easier.

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OK, first off, well done for booking the CBT and trying again! :thumb:

My advice would be to use a school bike if possible. That way the instructor knows the bike and can advice you on it if you are struggling - most bikes have their own little quirks to get them into neutral and such.

Hopefully this instructor is nice than your last ones (including you ex!). No teacher should be shouting and calling their student names in an effort to get them to learn faster. Everyone learns at different speeds. You are paying for a service, and so should be treated like a paying customer.


Where abouts are you? Someone here may be able to suggest another training school, or come over and help you out.


Can you get the bike to a quiet road? Or is the road you live on quiet? Try just going up and down a quiet stretch of road at different speeds, pull over and set of again over and over again so you can get used to the feel of the clutch.

It sounds like you need to build up your confidence slowly, so don't try to do everything at once. Brake down the different steps and repeat them until you are comfortable with them.

I spent a good while when I first got my bike just around around the cul-de-sac, just sitting on the bike, pulling away in first then stopping and repeating it again.

The nerves will fade as you come more comfortable and at ease with the bike. Once you are comfortable with the bike, you can then start working on your confidence on busier roads.

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The instructor here sounds like a total twat, confidence will come more with practice and it wont take you long to pick it up with someone behind you who actually encourages you! My CBT I had a shouty fella, it doesn't help at all and I felt similar on a lesser scale. As soon as I had my own freedom and could ride alone I found it much better, don't get hung up on mistakes everyone makes them - even people who've been riding 20+ years.

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OK, first off, well done for booking the CBT and trying again! :thumb:

My advice would be to use a school bike if possible. That way the instructor knows the bike and can advice you on it if you are struggling - most bikes have their own little quirks to get them into neutral and such.

Hopefully this instructor is nice than your last ones (including you ex!). No teacher should be shouting and calling their student names in an effort to get them to learn faster. Everyone learns at different speeds. You are paying for a service, and so should be treated like a paying customer.


Where abouts are you? Someone here may be able to suggest another training school, or come over and help you out.


Can you get the bike to a quiet road? Or is the road you live on quiet? Try just going up and down a quiet stretch of road at different speeds, pull over and set of again over and over again so you can get used to the feel of the clutch.

It sounds like you need to build up your confidence slowly, so don't try to do everything at once. Brake down the different steps and repeat them until you are comfortable with them.

I spent a good while when I first got my bike just around around the cul-de-sac, just sitting on the bike, pulling away in first then stopping and repeating it again.

The nerves will fade as you come more comfortable and at ease with the bike. Once you are comfortable with the bike, you can then start working on your confidence on busier roads.



Thank you! My area is unfortunately fairly busy :( Would love to find people to ride with, patient people haha! Based in South Dorset, SW Eng.

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The instructor here sounds like a total twat, confidence will come more with practice and it wont take you long to pick it up with someone behind you who actually encourages you! My CBT I had a shouty fella, it doesn't help at all and I felt similar on a lesser scale. As soon as I had my own freedom and could ride alone I found it much better, don't get hung up on mistakes everyone makes them - even people who've been riding 20+ years.

 

Frustratingly, apparently, she was harder on girls on the assumption that they'd go to her expect her to go easier on them? I'm fairly timid and not the kind of person to get on a bike and rag it around and need shouting at!

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Please can I just have a little reassurance?

 

Okay, it definitely sounds for the best he is now an ex!


As everyone else has said, there is no reason why you cannot succeed, especially with a good trainer and it sounds like you have found someone you are happy with. So see if he can give you some additional training after the CBT aimed at increasing your confidence.


But also try posting in the meet-ups section to see if there is someone near you on here who might be able to ride with you. In general the sort who post on forums do so because they love riding so many are usually happy to share their enthusiasm.

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Please can I just have a little reassurance?

 

Okay, it definitely sounds for the best he is now an ex!


As everyone else has said, there is no reason why you cannot succeed, especially with a good trainer and it sounds like you have found someone you are happy with. So see if he can give you some additional training after the CBT aimed at increasing your confidence.


But also try posting in the meet-ups section to see if there is someone near you on here who might be able to ride with you. In general the sort who post on forums do so because they love riding so many are usually happy to share their enthusiasm.

 

Thats a good idea! Thank you :) :D

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Honestly, sounds like you need to ditch contact with the ex because he sounds like a knob. How dare he pressure anyone and make them feel like that. Trust me - you are more of a proper biker than he will EVER be because we do not act like that towards our biker family and we NEVER EVER pressure them to go faster than they are comfortable with. That is how accidents happen and seeing how he had an off he should know better.


So moving on from that. Hmm bad instructors are a pest. I had a horrible driving instructor when I was younger who made me hate driving and I believed it was me and not her! Anyways finally ditched her and went with a lovely guy who spoke to me like a person, called me a knob when I did something stupid but TAUGHT me how do something I wasn't born with the knowledge to do!


As said, riding a bike isn't something we automatically know how to do and training is required. Also non of us ever stop learning and we all still make mistakes!


See if there are any meetup groups or facebook groups in your area you can get a bit of ride time with, and as I said to someone else don't go into it thinking I am going to ride perfect! Have a goal of doing a couple of perfect starts, a couple of perfect corners and take it from there :thumb:

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Honestly, sounds like you need to ditch contact with the ex because he sounds like a knob. How dare he pressure anyone and make them feel like that. Trust me - you are more of a proper biker than he will EVER be because we do not act like that towards our biker family and we NEVER EVER pressure them to go faster than they are comfortable with. That is how accidents happen and seeing how he had an off he should know better.


So moving on from that. Hmm bad instructors are a pest. I had a horrible driving instructor when I was younger who made me hate driving and I believed it was me and not her! Anyways finally ditched her and went with a lovely guy who spoke to me like a person, called me a knob when I did something stupid but TAUGHT me how do something I wasn't born with the knowledge to do!


As said, riding a bike isn't something we automatically know how to do and training is required. Also non of us ever stop learning and we all still make mistakes!


See if there are any meetup groups or facebook groups in your area you can get a bit of ride time with, and as I said to someone else don't go into it thinking I am going to ride perfect! Have a goal of doing a couple of perfect starts, a couple of perfect corners and take it from there :thumb:

 

He really was a knob, and really quite abusive in many spheres. I want to overwrite my association of bikes with him and replace it with positive self-confidence and a belief that I CAN improve and I WILL improve :) Baby steps, taking it from the top and starting again!

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I want to overwrite my association of bikes with him and replace it with positive self-confidence and a belief that I CAN improve and I WILL improve :) Baby steps, taking it from the top and starting again!

 

Top attitude :thumb: Most bikers I've met are bloody lovely - even the ones on here :roll: - so I'm sure you'll find some locally to give you encouragement :thumb:

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I want to overwrite my association of bikes with him and replace it with positive self-confidence and a belief that I CAN improve and I WILL improve :) Baby steps, taking it from the top and starting again!

 

Top attitude :thumb: Most bikers I've met are bloody lovely - even the ones on here :roll: - so I'm sure you'll find some locally to give you encouragement :thumb:

 

Even I find funny myself that I'll hop aboard an animal with a mind of its own but get really worried about a bike which I can control haha! I just have to remember I'm in control and I can minimise any risks and improve by practice and working to improve =)

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Guess who just rode her bike for the first time in like 8 months Wooo only had one major panic at a massive stalling session :D :shock:

 

Bet my stalling session when i first rode my 125 home with no geared training was better.


20 in a row till i revved hard, dropped the clutch and wheelied off the line almost falling off.


Now i can do gears no problem all these years later. Can't bloody wheelie if i tried though...


The instructor and ex where knobs. Keep at it, there's some lovely roads in Dorset/Devon area of the coast. Kinda miss them :(

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Honestly, sounds like you need to ditch contact with the ex because he sounds like a knob. How dare he pressure anyone and make them feel like that. Trust me - you are more of a proper biker than he will EVER be because we do not act like that towards our biker family and we NEVER EVER pressure them to go faster than they are comfortable with. That is how accidents happen and seeing how he had an off he should know better.


So moving on from that. Hmm bad instructors are a pest. I had a horrible driving instructor when I was younger who made me hate driving and I believed it was me and not her! Anyways finally ditched her and went with a lovely guy who spoke to me like a person, called me a knob when I did something stupid but TAUGHT me how do something I wasn't born with the knowledge to do!


As said, riding a bike isn't something we automatically know how to do and training is required. Also non of us ever stop learning and we all still make mistakes!


See if there are any meetup groups or facebook groups in your area you can get a bit of ride time with, and as I said to someone else don't go into it thinking I am going to ride perfect! Have a goal of doing a couple of perfect starts, a couple of perfect corners and take it from there :thumb:

 

He really was a knob, and really quite abusive in many spheres. I want to overwrite my association of bikes with him and replace it with positive self-confidence and a belief that I CAN improve and I WILL improve :) Baby steps, taking it from the top and starting again!

 


Well thanks :cry: I thought we could of give it another go ..... can I have my Spider-Man hot water bottle back











Please.

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Keep on going......you'll nail it...... 8-)


My OH and I go out together on our bikes, but I won't pressure her to ride faster than she's comfortable with. We have a kind of agreement that if I want to take a stretch of road a bit quicker, then I'll go off and do it and get it out of my system, and wait for her to catch up.....then we'll carry on together. So, you need to find others to ride with the same sort of agreement......just don't feel pressured into riding faster than you're comfortable with...... :wink:

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Guess who just rode her bike for the first time in like 8 months Wooo only had one major panic at a massive stalling session :D :shock:

 

Bet my stalling session when i first rode my 125 home with no geared training was better.


20 in a row till i revved hard, dropped the clutch and wheelied off the line almost falling off.


Now i can do gears no problem all these years later. Can't bloody wheelie if i tried though...


The instructor and ex where knobs. Keep at it, there's some lovely roads in Dorset/Devon area of the coast. Kinda miss them :(

 


I held traffic up for like two/three changes of the lights! Went out again for another hour or so after with a friend, stalled in the same place again :lol: :crybaby:

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Well done! Now just keep repeating that. a little each day and you'll get rid of those nerves in no time :-)

 

A difficulty at the moment is also finding time to ride with work, the horse, hobbies, "socialising" when I can be arsed! Work is so close it would take longer to ride w/ gear, locks, etc. etc!

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I held traffic up for like two/three changes of the lights! Went out again for another hour or so after with a friend, stalled in the same place again :lol: :crybaby:

 

Ah traffic can wait :lol: Sounds like you have a bit of a mental block forming at that junction though (we all get them!), take a deep breath you'll nail it :thumb:

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I held traffic up for like two/three changes of the lights! Went out again for another hour or so after with a friend, stalled in the same place again :lol: :crybaby:

 

Ah traffic can wait :lol: Sounds like you have a bit of a mental block forming at that junction though (we all get them!), take a deep breath you'll nail it :thumb:

 

It was good to go out with a friend because when I panicked he told me to keep calm and take deep breaths and that I was doing well, which is sometimes all you need! :)

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