So yeah, I'm new and riding on the highway is a bit scary. Any suggestions? Those semis really create a lot of pressure when they pass. Changing lanes is tricky because I'm not too comfortable moving my head to look far over my shoulder.
Any tips or sanity checks to get used to highway rides?
I was in a motorcycle accident involving a Semi. You are wise to be aware of them and what they can do. You are wise to admitting to be scared. Trust me when I tell you, it's not pleasant.
I recommend getting used to the basics first. Practice, Practice, Practice. Ride around your neighborhood, get used to stopping and looking and being aware of what's around you.
Whenever you see a car on the road, or a pedestrian on the sidewalk, or a dog you should be mentally asking yourself, what do I do if they do something stupid? Make a game out of looking for exits. Be aware of the traffic all around you, assume they are out to get you, and ask yourself what action you will take if they make their move. If the time ever comes when you really -do- have to act, you'll do it without thinking.
Truck Drivers don't want to hit you, but they are people. They get tired, they make mistakes. I don't pass a Semi if I'm going to be stuck beside one for a length of time. I stay aware of their blind spots. I always look for that exit.
Practice the basics. When you're comfortable with that, little things like the wind blowing your bike around a bit will actually be enjoyable.