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Old 09-20-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
Remcycle
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Feeling afraid of the freeway.

Hey guys. I'm a pretty new rider, been riding about a month. I bought a bike to commute and save gas getting around.

Anyway, I'm having a hard time getting the nuts to get on the freeway. For whatever reason it just seems to freak me out. Anyone else go through this? I don't have problems being around other cars or at highway speeds as I regularly cruise around roads at freeway speeds.

Any advice?
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
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Seat time bro. Find some good people to ride with.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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Get accustomed to it in small doses. Get on the freeway, ride for a little way and then get off.
As you become more familiar, it will seem easier.

Keep in mind what one of the magazine writers said that has stuck with me for years...
"Fear should be a passenger on the back seat of your bike whenever you ride BUT, when it climbs on your shoulders and puts it's hands over your eyes, it's time to park it for a while".
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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Grow some nuts and hop on the free way. Its not that bad. I usually go a bit faster/slower (99% faster) than the flow.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:25 PM   #5
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I think what most freaks me out is getting on.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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I like getting off too!
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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Rem consider... riding surface roads, you have to worry about oncoming traffic and traffic from side streets, people ignoring stop signs and stop lights..

Freeway, all the trafic is moving the same direction

I'd bet that subconciously it's the speed factor that's getting to you... take it slow, try to hop on and off during/in low traffic areas to get comfortable with it and build some confidence.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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I did what others have suggested....got on and off in small doses.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I did what others have suggested....got on and off in small doses.
Yeah that's what I did too
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:41 PM   #10
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utilize the HOV as much as possible, but watch out for the ramps coming off, they're sharper then they look. a few have fallen off of them

seat time.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:43 PM   #11
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Cool guys. Very much appreciate the advice and encouragement.

I'm going to up and try when I can afford to get my new front tire mounted/balanced.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWCommuter View Post
If it helps, you're actually safer on the freeway than the side streets. Most accidents happen where traffic intersects. On the freeway everyone is going the same direction and hopefully the same or similar speeds. On side streets you not only have intersections but people pulling in/out of driveways, entrances, etc.
Agreed 100%. I would add to that the need to be aware of blind spots. Always be sure that you are in a position to be seen, in folks mirrors, or are up beside, or slightly ahead. Never cruise along in a blind spot, on someone's rear quarter panel. On a freeway, that task can sometimes keep you busy, as you must ride slightly fast, or slower, etc. than the traffic around you, to stay in the correct, and safest, place. Stay constantly aware, and leave yourself a way out.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #13
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MSF?
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:48 PM   #14
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scan agressively, constant quick head checks, know your surroundings at all times, ride like they all want to kill you...msf at its finest.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #15
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Statistically, you are typically safer riding on freeways than local streets. Average speeds may be higher, but everybody is going the same direction, there are no intersections for somebody to run red lights or stop signs. And there are no absent-minded drivers pulling out of shopping plazas.

Hwy rush hour traffic may be intimidating, but so are congested local streets. Drivers new to hwys typically will slow down when trying to merge into traffic from an on ramp, which is the worst thing you can do. That's the main mental block to overcome. You need to SPEED UP to be at similar speed s the traffic flow.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remcycle View Post
Hey guys. I'm a pretty new rider, been riding about a month. I bought a bike to commute and save gas getting around.

Anyway, I'm having a hard time getting the nuts to get on the freeway. For whatever reason it just seems to freak me out. Anyone else go through this? I don't have problems being around other cars or at highway speeds as I regularly cruise around roads at freeway speeds.

Any advice?
A month? I took all the training I could find and rode for 2-3 months before I attempted the freeway during the day. You need more seat time before you get out there again.

Do a trackday, get used to being close to other vehicles.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #17
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Beltway 8 feeder in many places empty Sunday morning. Practice higher speed stuff there and get comfortable with your bike acceleration. Practice braking and swerving too.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #18
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Oh and how's your clutch hand? It will get a fun workout in traffic ughhhh lol
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:56 PM   #19
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I like the freeway better for the reasons Volfy mentioned. What should worry you is someone cutting across your lane or making an illegal left turn on a side street where you have relaxed your riding.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:56 PM   #20
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It was weird at first. Back roads with few cars around is totally different. I try to read people. They tend toglance at their mirrors before changing lanes. You can anticipate the move even before a blinker comes on (assuming a driver will even use one).

You will get used to it. Just be cautious, and always leave yourself an escape route.
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