Girlfriend, you did it! You took and passed the motorcycle permit test, passed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, and now you have your newly endorsed license in hand. You bought your first motorcycle and all the riding gear. You are an official female motorcyclist! Now it is time to throw a leg over your bike and ride, but you stall. How do you develop confidence riding a motorcycle?
Your stomach is doing flip-flops, your heart is beating fast, and you begin to doubt all your decisions, especially in regards to motorcycle riding. Up to now, you have been running on an emotional high thinking about becoming a lady rider. In reality, you are capable of taking a ride, but your confidence in your abilities has bottomed out. What now? Step back and take a deep breath.
What Are You Thinking?
The first step would be to get those negative thoughts out of your head. Let’s lay some groundwork for your thinking. First, you passed the permit test, so you have an understanding of the rules of the road as they apply to motorcycles. Second, in the MSF class, you learned the basics of riding with repeated supervised practice. Lastly, you were tested by professional, seasoned instructors and passed! You are a qualified motorcyclist, a lady rider.
You need to realize that you are not alone in feeling a “rush” before going to ride. There are seasoned motorcyclists with years of riding experience who still get those feelings before riding. Not everyone does, but it is not abnormal to feel that way. It could be the excitement of riding solo, the thrill of freedom, or even the power of your bike that gives you the “feels.” Every. Single. Ride. Bottom line: Quit thinking about why you can’t and start thinking about why you can!
Where Do You Need to Go?
Once you’ve got your head in the game, it’s time to make a plan! You may not be prepared to travel across the country on a road trip, even a daily commute may feel challenging, and that is okay. You have to start somewhere, so how about running short errands on your motorcycle? Do you need your hair cut on Saturday and the salon is only a few miles away? Take the motorcycle. You can do it.
You would be surprised at how many miles you can log and experience you can gain by using your motorcycle for errands. Take a short trip to pick-up a few things at the grocer. Be warned, you may need to buy a cool piece or two of luggage for carrying items on your motorcycle. Gear like this will always be useful!
Before heading out, think about the route you will take. What are the traffic patterns? Will you be making left turns at traffic lights? Can you get there using less traveled roads or do you need to take the highway? These are things to consider before heading out. Plan a route that you are familiar and comfortable with. Why? Because a successful trip will make you feel like a champion – a real confidence booster!
After a few rides like that, you might begin to think about taking a heavier trafficked route. Take your riding to the next level as you develop confidence riding and skills grow. If you think you can handle it, you can always take the longer route. Each ride improves your muscle memory and makes you a better motorcycle driver.
Who Can You Ride With?
Riding with another experienced female rider can make a huge difference in your confidence and ability to ride. Many people have found that riding with a friend has made the biggest difference in their confidence because of the honest feedback they receive. If you don’t have a family member or friend who rides, consider joining a motorcycle club. There are female motorcycle groups across the country.
The last recommendation is to find a riding buddy. This is a fellow female motorcyclist who you can trust to take you on rides and help you develop your skills. Find someone who you are compatible with and who has the same riding goals as you do. This is someone who will assist you in becoming a more confident rider rather than someone who will push you to do things you are not comfortable or capable of doing.
How to Develop Confidence Riding a Motorcycle
What are you thinking? Where can you go? And who can you ride with? These are three great questions to work through as you work to develop your confidence while riding a motorcycle. Don’t be discouraged if you have a friend that threw a leg over her bike and never looked back. Not everyone is confident from the get-go. Building confidence takes time and practice, and it should be done at your own pace.
Now get out there and ride with confidence! I am always looking for more stories like your adventure into riding. Your experience, knowledge, and insight will encourage women in their motorcycle riding journey! Fill out the contact form and let’s connect!