When you start riding, fear reduces arrogance, so overconfidence is not usually a problem. Keeping upright and not falling off is probably your main goal. You need to get confidence, so for your first ride, go somewhere safe with someone experienced. First, just watch them ride and then ride on the back ride with them, just to settle down. Then have a go yourself. If you do it and succeed, don’t get too cocky. When you start, take it easy in the early days. You have to practice. Keep going to an empty parking lot or quiet cul-de-sac, where no one is around, and practice over and over. You learn better when you don’t have to worry about other people on the road.
There are three steps to any ride:
The riding part is easy, as anyone can turn an accelerator. Starting and stopping are the hard parts, so focus on them. The first skill is a smooth start. This means don’t trail your feet along the ground. Foot trailing on take off is dangerous. If your foot hits something, it can pull the bike over. Plus you can hurt your foot. When you take off, just accelerate, lift your feet up and go – no fear remember?
Once you get going, don’t ride fast. Your riding skill is not how fast you go, but how smoothly you stop and start. It is like flying a plane – anyone can fly a plane, but only a pilot can take off and land. The 9/11 terrorists only wanted to learn to fly, not to land, because they were destroyers not creators. When riding, your skill is how smoothly you start and stop, not how fast you go.
It is not enough to do basic skills once. In traffic, your mind is busy elsewhere, so basic skills must be “over-learned”. Like army drills, they must be practiced until automatic, then they will still work in traffic. Most of this site is not about basic skills, because you can’t learn basic skills by reading. So go to an empty parking lot and practice your basic skills until they become automatic. Over-practicing is not time wasted. Once you can ride around and not fall off, read the rest of this site, as riding is a lot more than just that.