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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A new rider will quickly become aware of his comfort zone; otherwise, it may mean a long slide down the highway, feet and tires to the sky. Speed, road conditions, experience, size and power of bike---all of those things affect the way you ride. You will know when you're pushing it beyond your skill level.

"Pushing it" happens for a lot of reasons. Keeping up with your riding partners, whether it be one or an entire group, can be fun, competitive, exciting. Or it can mean a problem for you. When I was learning on the road I always felt most comfortable with someone who took the time to answer my questions and explain why they did certain things. A comfortable partner was aware of my limits and skills, but also knew their own expertise. At first I learned by riding with people who were content to ride a little above my limits, not theirs, so I could learn in my safety zone. I rode highway speeds, steep mountain roads, traffic, and wide-open spaces when I was learning. I knew my riding partners would come to my aide if something happened to me. That was my comfort zone and it gradually evolved into something larger.

If you are a beginning rider, choose your riding partners and groups carefully. Some people are better at riding with a beginner than others; don't worry, you'll catch up to them after you get some hours under your seat.


Ride safe.
 

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When I 1st started riding, I was always by myself for the 1st year. I would go out on roads with light traffic and kept my speeds at or a little under the speed limit. My 1st group ride was a benefit ride where it was an own pace ride, instead of 1 large group. I was a little nervous about it at 1st, but quickly got comfortable keeping pace with the group I was in at the time. The 1st time I ever really pushed myself was my 1st trip to the Dragon, after riding for 3 years. From there its all miles gone by. 2 miles into my 1st ride, about a block from home, I came into a corner too fast and crossed the center line by a good bit, luckily noone was coming from the other direction.The 1st time I drug my pegs scared the h*ll outta me at 1st, but thrilled me once I realized I just took a curve at the limits of my bikes clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
happens to everyone

All of us have had that "lucky" day. If you have a near miss or know you did something with damaging potential, you can learn from it.

We still practice slow riding on the arena parking lot. The skills come in handy in a gas station, especially, where traffic comes from every direction and you really need to control the bike near the pumps. I'm still practicing after having a street license for 18 years. My husband is either practicing or showing off--he's ridden since he was 14, which will be 50 years next October.

I was lucky because I had ridden dirtbikes/endure with my family and others in the desert for 10 years before getting my streetbike license. I was used to strange terrain and other riders passing all around. I quickly learned that asphalt is not as forgiving as dirt.
 
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