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Ride Smart!
Ride Safe! Ride Often!

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The Beginning

You’ve been watching your friends have fun riding motorcycles. Maybe you even have some experience of your own from the back seat. You have decided the time has come to join the fun and learn to ride your own bike. And you figured the best way to learn was to go through a beginner’s riding course. Now you feel excited about having successfully completed the course and about receiving your motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. Now what?

You understandably feel good about how far your skills progressed during your training, but you also realize you mastered few, if any, of these skills. You know what maneuvers you feel comfortable performing and what things you really need to work at doing. You also rightly question if you are ready to ride with traffic on the road. So what do you do?

"Each time you go out, your skills will get better and your comfort level will increase."

The answer is practice what you learned and build on it. Start somewhere relatively safe, like a parking lot if necessary. As you begin to feel more comfortable transferring your newly acquired skills to your motorcycle, you may be ready to venture down the familiar roads of your neighborhood. Each time you go out, your skills will get better and your comfort level will increase.

As your riding abilities get stronger, you’ll know when it is time to begin venturing outside the relatively safe environment of your neighborhood. Now it’s time to try something new every time you go out for a ride. Maybe it’s a road with some sweeping curves that you often travel in your four-wheeled vehicle. Perhaps it’s a two lane road with a little more traffic; then on to a multilane road. Maybe it’s a group ride with two or three friends.

You’ll know when you’re ready to move on to each new challenge. You’ll also know what you are comfortable trying. The important things to remember are to stay within your personal limits and to ride your own bike. You learned in class that responsible riders know their limits and stay within them.

Your challenge will be to not let what others do influence your riding. If those you are watching or riding with do something you don’t feel good about doing, don’t do it. You may think you should be able to perform a maneuver you see others do; but it’s OK if you can’t yet and don’t want to try it. The day will come when you’ll do it without a problem.

 Celebrate what you can do. Keep working at the rest, but don’t beat yourself up over it. Every time you ride, it will get better and better. Just let your skills grow at your own pace. Stay within your comfort level and the skills you struggle with will come soon enough. You’ll have more fun riding and that’s why you decided to ride in the first place, isn’t it?

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!