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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 24 Apr 2006
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Cool Resources for women to get started riding

I apologize if there is a place where this thread would be more appropriate -- I haven't been able to find such.

I've been the happy, contented passenger on the back seat of my partner's motorcycle for almost five years now. But after many conversations, seeing so many women riders, and in attending a traveler's motorcycle gathering last weekend, I've realized I'd really like to learn to ride myself and have my own bike. I'm not saying I'll give up the back of the motorcycle entirely, but I'd like to be able to ride myself as well, so that we could travel to more places, and for longer periods of time, by motorcycle.

What I'm looking for is a web site where a woman talks about how she got started riding, and what it was like on her first travels by motorcycle. I've looked through various web sites by women motorcycle travelers, but haven't found the really basic information I'm looking for -- the initial challenges and how they were overcome, and a really good pep talk.

If there isn't such basic information on the web site, would any women bike travelers out there be willing to do an email interview with me, and answer some of my many questions based on your own experience?

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
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  #2  
Old 24 Apr 2006
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Smile Biker babe!

I find this website might be just what you're after:

http://www.bikegirl.co.uk/index.html

If you go here : http://www.bikegirl.co.uk/resources/resources.html there are lots of tips on women new to motorbikes, which first bike, and lots of tips that I found very useful when I first started biking.

They also have a forum and lots of very useful info for women bikers!

And of course all the females riders on this site! We've all been there! Good luck!

Cheers,

Maria
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  #3  
Old 24 Apr 2006
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Great site. I got to pass that onto my wife. She is going to ride with me in Africa this june. She had her first riding lesson for her license last week, She tipped the bike over on its side three times and popped two unvolunteery wheelies. She is not brave hearted by nature, but she is doing it, and she will hit the African surfaces with virtually no experience.

Riding your own bike is infinatley better than being a pillion, regardless of your sex. Once you get the taste for it, you will never ever want to be a pillion again, promise. There is nothing to it but overcoming fear, which even the wimpiest of us will get over quite fast.
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  #4  
Old 24 Apr 2006
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Smile Cindy Gross

I remember my daughter bookmarked this site when she first started riding.

http://cindygross.tripod.com/dirtbike.htm

The advice does not only relate to dirt bikes or women. Have fun.
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  #5  
Old 24 Apr 2006
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My wife started riding pillion about 7 years ago. She has done a few European tours and attended a few rallies when she decided at age 48 she wanted to learn to ride for herself. She took her CBT locally and we bought a 125 for her to practise on. Then she booked herself on a week long direct access course. The instruction and encouragement she got on the course were invaluable and although she failed her test the first time (u-turn) she passed about 3 weeks later. She now has her own Harley and which has nearly 10,000 miles on it after just over a year. We have a holiday booked to ride Enfields in India later this year.
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  #6  
Old 25 Apr 2006
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new women riders

Hi there,

So glad to hear that you are going to start to ride you own bike. I have been riding for 20 years now. My husband and I are just 4 months away from taking a RWT. I have done several other long distance trips. I ride a Honda ST 1100 and a KLR 650. We are going to take the KLR's on the RWT.
My advice to you is to start with a bike that is the proper size for you. If you start with a bike that is too tall, you will not gain the confidence as quickly. Take time to go out on your own and just muck around without anyone else watching or making you feel nervous. Take your time learning. Always remember to "ride your own ride" At times some people will try to push you to keep up or ride their speed, just remember it's not the destination but the journey and no matter how quick you go, you're still going to get there at some point.

If you would like to do a e-mail interview I would be glad to have a session with you. I encourage you to just enjoy it and relax. You will be great at it.

kella




Quote:
Originally Posted by jcravens
I apologize if there is a place where this thread would be more appropriate -- I haven't been able to find such.

I've been the happy, contented passenger on the back seat of my partner's motorcycle for almost five years now. But after many conversations, seeing so many women riders, and in attending a traveler's motorcycle gathering last weekend, I've realized I'd really like to learn to ride myself and have my own bike. I'm not saying I'll give up the back of the motorcycle entirely, but I'd like to be able to ride myself as well, so that we could travel to more places, and for longer periods of time, by motorcycle.

What I'm looking for is a web site where a woman talks about how she got started riding, and what it was like on her first travels by motorcycle. I've looked through various web sites by women motorcycle travelers, but haven't found the really basic information I'm looking for -- the initial challenges and how they were overcome, and a really good pep talk.

If there isn't such basic information on the web site, would any women bike travelers out there be willing to do an email interview with me, and answer some of my many questions based on your own experience?

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
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  #7  
Old 25 Apr 2006
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Red face Exactly what I was looking for

Thank you to everyone who posted! It's exactly what I needed to hear -- that you can be over 40, drop your bike while trying to learn to ride, flunk your test, be scared, and still learn to ride with enough confidence to do a long trip.

I'll be digging into these resources all week, and make take up the offer to interview Kella (I love the advice to "ride your own ride").

Thanks again!
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  #8  
Old 27 Apr 2006
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I am a member of WIMA.....womens international motorcycle Assn....in Australia. There are clubs in Europe....and America.
There is one in Germany and you should get the contact details from their web site.
The Belgium club has as members Iris and Trui who used to contribute to this site on a regular basis....they did the round the word thing a few years ago. If you have no luck finding a contact e mail me direct and i will give you more details. I don have the details with me at the moment and am not sure of the www name.
Welcome to 'women on wheels' i have a sticker that says ...Id rather be riding my motorbike than in the kitchen!!!!!
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  #9  
Old 28 Apr 2006
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A co-worker friend just bought a new Harley at Christmastime. He rode with his wife on the back all over southern California and up to the Grand Canyon on a recent trip. She got the bug, and wanted a Harley, too, but had no experience at all. I told him to look into one of the new Chinese cruisers, and he purchased a Yamaha Virago 250 clone made by Lifan for around $2000 US brand new, shipped to his home. She began learning on it, and is now fairly good at riding it, although she has a way to go before she is ready for a Harley like she wants to get. (My friend owned a Yamaha V-Star 1100 for a few years, so he was used to large cruisers). The ironic thing is my co-worker has started to ride the little bike around town as well, and uses it for chores, such as running to the market rather than "lugging" his Road King around, as well as exposing it to everyday "danger." I think those very cheap Chinese enduro dirt bikes would also make for a good learning bike if you are leaning towards one of the "adventure"-style bikes (I am not a woman, but I thought my friend's wife's experience might help you out).
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  #10  
Old 30 Apr 2006
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a thousand thank you's

Fantastic advice from everyone - thanks. I'm currently living in Germany, but will go back to the USA for a long visit to take the MSF course (probably in Austin, Texas). Then I'm going to look for a little beat up motorbike to get experience with (and that I won't absolutely panic over dropping -- and I will drop it). And then... who knows?!

But I'm going through all the web resources you've posted as well and continuing to learn a lot.

I may still want to talk to some of you, so don't be surprised if you see an email from me at some point. But, for now, I have a lot of reading to do.
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  #11  
Old 30 Apr 2006
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Character building

Dropping it gives it more character

And besides, how are you supposed to learn how to pick it up again??

Don't forget that women novice riders are in exactly the same position as many male novice riders (apart from the underwear of course). Not all men have ready mechanical knowledge and instinctual riding ability. And believe me, the nerves are the same too!

I echo the 'it's your ride' sentiments mentioned earlier. My instructor told me a few times 'Ride for yourself'. You ride to your own ability and learn as you become more experienced. As long as you can be within speed limits (as opposed to 'granny riding'), you have hours and hours of entertainment ahead of you

Enjoy every minute!
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  #12  
Old 8 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David and Cheryl Laing
The Belgium club has as members Iris and Trui who used to contribute to this site on a regular basis....they did the round the word thing a few years ago. If you have no luck finding a contact e mail me direct and i will give you more details. I don have the details with me at the moment and am not sure of the www name.
Their old site is http://iris-trui.be/

There are links to WIMA et al.

Trui's email is truihanoulle at yahoo.co.uk

Since you are in Germany check out http://netbiker.de
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  #13  
Old 7 Jun 2006
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while here in America i have purchased a pair of leather riding chaps. They are wonderful. Have never bothered to get myself leather riding pants before because i seem not to stay a constant weight (more up than down sad to say) but the chaps are great....so dam adjustable.....perfect for women riders ...I love mine. They cost $110 at a Route 66 store so could /will be cheaper at a regular bike store.
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  #14  
Old 8 Jun 2006
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[QUOTE=Shells]
Don't forget that women novice riders are in exactly the same position as many male novice riders (apart from the underwear of course). Not all men have ready mechanical knowledge and instinctual riding ability. And believe me, the nerves are the same too!
QUOTE]

well said Shells, given that we are supposedly living in an enlightened age why should there be a different set of rules/advice/tips for female riders. I haven't found a single control on the bike that I can manipulate with my John Thomas whilst riding along (plus there are certain parts of the male anatomy that are definitely 'inconvenient/painfull' when landing/hitting large holes etc). I only know two girls with bikes in the UK at the moment, both of whom totally shred the tarmac on a tuned-up R6 and CBR600 RR - and neither of them have ever said to 'but its so hard - I'm a woman'.....

To quote a Boddingtons advert 'you want equality - it's your round'
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  #15  
Old 9 Jun 2006
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pre-rider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shells
Don't forget that women novice riders are in exactly the same position as many male novice riders (apart from the underwear of course). Not all men have ready mechanical knowledge and instinctual riding ability. And believe me, the nerves are the same too!
Sorry if I offended anyone with my question. I certainly believe I'm as smart or nervy as most of the men I've known. But, even as an avowed feminist, I know that I don't have the upper body strength that my partner does, and in observing him with his bike, I've seen him do a lot of things that I know I could never do, not without a tremendous amount of working out for months and months, if not years -- and while I do want to learn to ride a motorcycle, I'm not sure I'm ready to make that kind of excercise commitment. My fear around riding comes primiarily from that, from being in a situation with a motorcycle that I cannot handle physically. My other fear is having a wreck, but that's more from a fear of car drivers.

Also, I know that I'll like riding "for myself", but I also really do love sitting on the back of the bike, something most of you seem to loathe. I understand that -- but I really do like it. I guess it comes from having to be in control of absolutely everything -- this is one of my opportunities to let go and let someone else deal with decision making, while I get to just enjoy the ride. So, while I really do hope to learn to ride for myself, I probably won't give up the back of the seat altogether. Hope that sentiment isn't so outrageous that I'm booted off the board.

Unfortunately, it's going to be a long, long while before I can learn to ride -- I'm in Germany, and made the mistake when I moved here from the USA of not getting my driver's license in the first six months while here (I expected to be here only one year, and don't have a car anyway -- I take mass transit). Now, the only way for me to get a license is to take the exhaustive and intensive German driver's course and test, entirely in German, and my language abilities are just never going to be up-to-par to do something like that. I've found a place I'd like to take lessons back in the USA, and then get my license, but it will not transfer to Europe because I've lived here so long. Very bummed about it, but still hopeful that, once I move back to the USA someday, I can get going on this. In the meantime, I'll be reading some of the books recommended here, as well as a few others that have been suggested. Thanks again.
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