Yesterday I sat down with Karryll Nason from Urban Moto SF for my interview. It was great! I always love sitting down with my fellow women riders to talk about anything/everything related to motorcycling. (Thanks Karryll!!)
We talked a little bit about riding in the rain. We also talked about my history and how I got into riding, how I literally fell into doing it and why I love it. One thing I told her was that with both my first Scooter and first Motorcycle, I just forced myself to do it. I knew that the only way I'd overcome my anxiety and codependency on my husband to help me, I'd NEVER learn to ride well. Nor would I learn to love it. Why would anyone? I mean, if you're having trouble and it's always stressful or difficult when you go out riding, why would you want to keep doing it again? Not that I never rode with my husband or anything, but it took 2 business trips for him to leave me in order for me to go out and ride on my own. When you're new to riding (women especially, although I know that men have trouble in the beginning as well, but it's just different for women.) there's so much hesitancy and trepidation. You're just not sure about things, you're scared you'll fall or drop the bike, or whatever else your mind comes up with. But that's one of the many risks you're going to take, it's part of the overall experience and it just makes you a better rider in the end.
It wasn't until he left for a trip while we had the scooter that I decided to take it out on my own and ride around the city every day while he was gone. That's all I really needed to boost my self confidence. Once I did that, I knew that I could do it on my own. (And I did it again when we bought a Ninja 250 the following year. The plan was for him to have the Ninja and for me to have the Scooter. Well that only lasted a few weeks. :D )
You just have to go and do it. Practice. If you don't take what you've learned (at your MSF class, of course) and apply it asap, you'll just end up losing everything after awhile. The only way motorcycling will become second nature to you is if you get out there and ride. You don't have to ride 1,000 miles, or ride on the freeway or go further than you want to go. Just ride in your neighborhood, where you're familiar. Minimize the stress by going somewhere you're comfortable and can predict the traffic a little easier. For me, I had no idea that I wanted to do it until I took the class. I absolutely loved it and wanted to continue riding. Who knew?
I think that sometimes we tend to rely a little too much on our significant others. We love them and we just want them to be proud of us, especially when we start on something as adventurous as motorcycling. But you can't do it for someone else, you have to do it for YOU. If you don't want to do it, then you have to be honest about that. Forcing yourself to do something as intense as motorcycling isn't going to work in the long run. Riding is something requires 110%. If you're not willing to give it that much, then I'd strongly advise that you rethink exactly why you want to do this. For who? For what?
If you'd rather keep scootering (instead of upgrading) or you'd just rather ride a scooter then do that. If it weren't for starting on the Scarabeo 5 years ago, I'd never be where I am today. As a famous person once said, Just Do It.