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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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Old 24 Jul 2010
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Location: Normandy,France
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Hi Jeanie

I hope your going to continue sharing your experience on here with us!

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Old 25 Jul 2010
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 108
Dreaded Tram Tracks

Greetings Jeanie

I first learnt to ride a bike in Melbourne and there is a trap there that makes learing to ride a bit more exiting than other cities in Oz.

Melbourne + rain + crossing steel tram tracks badly = sliding motorcycles

From painful (in)experience it's amazing how far bikes travel by themselves when the front wheel fails to cross over a tram track when making a turn.

It's something you never notice while driving a car but often the tracks sit slightly above the road and on a motorbike that can be problem.

The trick is to cross over the tracks at the largest angle possible and don't be timid about it. Not always easy but you'll get the idea.

At least you don't have to worry about getting a wheel stuck in a tram track. A push bike tyre will do that, and yes I did that when I was kid.

Have fun
Always have plan B, and maybe plan C
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Old 25 Jul 2010
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Location: Alcester UK & Idilevo, Bulgaria
Posts: 334
Hi Jeanie

I hit the road (not literally) as a sweet 16 year old in 1974 on my 50cc Garelli Rekord - thought I was the dog's bo****ks at the time. Since then I have ridden in many countries and many tens of thousands of miles and all this without accident (except the off roading stuff but falling off is pretty much standard with that).

Practice and experience is your best friend and inconsiderate, impatient drivers your enemy. Always assume that the drivers (or riders) haven't seen you and you will be prepared for most things. Anyway, in no time at all you will develop a sixth sense about what is about to happen around you - you'll recognise it when it comes !

Have fun.
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Old 25 Jul 2010
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My first venture on the road was 1970, on a '57 Matchless 600cc twin with a sidecar on it, for £28.
All my mates had C15 Beezers, a Tiger Cub and the odd Honda. Nobody we knew had an outfit, but we had a picture in a book of how to set it up. After a few near misses, I wrote it off and the '68 Ford Corsair that I hit.
Lying in the gutter, surveying the wreckage, I remember thinking how, a few weeks before, insurance at £14 had seemed expensive. From where I was lying just them it seemed damned good value!
I might say "those were the days", but thank God there are decent training courses available today.
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Old 27 Jul 2010
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Location: London, UK
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Well my first time seems relatively tame compared with what some of you guys have been through!

The only "mishaps" I had were stalling at traffic lights with a line of traffic piling up behind me - I bet all newbies do that though, eh? - and the bike tipping over while I was actually at a standstill by the kerbside taking a rest and enjoying the sunshine...one minute the bike was vertical, purring away, next it was horizontal on the tarmac!! My arms were aching too much from hours of riding to pick it up, but luckily some guys ran over from a nearby factory yard and got the bike upright for me.

Also can't believe I clocked up 235km just riding round my local industrial estate and suburbs! Hardcore. Africa? Bring it on!!

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Old 27 Jul 2010
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Sounds like your doing just fine.

My only advice: 'Ride Your Own Ride'

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Old 28 Jul 2010
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Ahh, the first time.

Did I miss it somewhere in the thread, or did you not mention what kind of bike you bought? What are you riding around?

Summer of 2006, Just south of Seattle Washington. I bought my first bike, a 1982 Honda Goldwing GL1100. It weighed 700lbs. I weighed 180lbs. It was 24 yrs old. I was 19. I rode it home on 60 miles of highway, cruising with traffic at 70mph. It was ridiculous. I stalled at 3 different intersections, pissed some people off, and started a history of motorcycle riding that will follow me the rest of my life.

Good for you for jumping on the band wagon and buying a bike. Well done!

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Old 28 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by jeanied1 View Post
Hi guys,

So I'm taking delivery of my First Ever Motorcycle on Tuesday - can't wait! And then I'm facing the nemesis of newbie riders everywhere...first time on public roads!

Does anyone have any advice - anecdotal or practical! - about how to ease into riding in traffic safely and confidently? I live in the city of Melbourne and luckily there are some quiet suburban roads near where I live to practise on. But what's the best way to go from a few laps round a traffic-free block to full-blown city-style traffic...and then freeways?

Would love to hear your stories and advice, y'all!

Hi there jeanie there is a fantastic ex police motorcycle guy who trains people in roadcraft . great course one on one on the road Chequered Band rider training on 94494493 if no luck give me a call 0428599331
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Old 28 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by SWift pedro View Post
Hi there jeanie there is a fantastic ex police motorcycle guy who trains people in roadcraft . great course one on one on the road Chequered Band rider training on 94494493 if no luck give me a call 0428599331
Hey thanks for the steer, SWift Pedro (sorry about that bad pun there!!).

Actually it's a small world, cos the guy who's been training me so far - and indeed sold me my bike - is part of the Chequered Band brigade! He's offered to take me out for some advanced skills work in a few weeks, once I've had a bit of time to practise on the roads, which will be great.

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Old 28 Jul 2010
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I'm riding a Suzuki Marauder

Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
Did I miss it somewhere in the thread, or did you not mention what kind of bike you bought? What are you riding around?]
Hey Alex, love your story, thanks for sharing!

In answer to your question, my bike is a black and chrome Suzuki GZ250 Marauder. I love it because it's got a low, comfy seat, simple controls, is relatively lightweight (except when it tips over!), and feels very forgiving on the road. Now I've just gotta make it look good...!!

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