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Old 5th January 2013, 07:13   #1
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Default Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

I searched for a post on teaching someone how to ride (specifically the wife!), but there were none.

When we got married several years ago, one of my first adventures was attempting to teach my wife how to ride. Why an adventure? My wife has never learned to ride a bicycle. Plus the first day I took her out and then allowed her to sit in front, she held the handle so tightly that we ended up in a ditch! A few scratches to the bike, a small bump on the wife's head and few scratches here and there on me put a stop to any more attempts to teach her. This experience was enough to show me why married life can be perilous!

I did inquire with driving schools, but most of them didn't have lady instructors. And when they did, their charges seemed unreasonably high. It's that demand and supply thing. Their teaching methods weren't very inspiring either.

I've read on these forums that when a family member tries to teach driving, the student is often not serious enough. Unfortunately, in India at least, women don't have too much of a choice. Especially when it comes to learning a two wheeler. It helps if you have maintained a 'serious side' that your wife can recognize. They'll instantly understand that learning to ride/drive is a very serious matter. You could get killed, or you could kill someone. But that doesn't mean you don't have your fun. We've laughed so hard at the different things during the learning process. But at the end of the day, you can't say that trying to learn something from a family member does not always work. It really depends on a lot of things.

Life continued with me in the driver's/rider's seat. Married men whose wives don't know how to ride or drive can empathize with me. You've got to run around for everything. They are totally dependent on you for transport. Add to that, Bangalore is not exactly known for an efficient public transport system. And the auto drivers, gosh, the less said the better.

About 6 months back, I mustered enough courage and determination to make another attempt. You could say that the wounds had healed. We had been to Mangalore (in-laws) and there's a ground near Lal Bagh, that when not hosting exhibitions or fairs, is used by driving schools. There are a couple of lady instructors (real hefty ones) who teach women how to ride a bike. We just observed them for a while and got the idea. Most students knew how to cycle and in a matter of a day or two, they were riding on their own. Their charges are reasonable and if you are from Mangalore, they'll help till you get your license. We couldn't register with them as we had to return to Banglaore early.

Back home, we tried again. We first went to the RTO and got a learning license. We then found a deserted road. Really difficult to find deserted roads, I must say! So what we dis was practice in the night after 9 P.M. I sat behind my wife on the scooter (an Activa) and told her to hold the handle as well. Then I moved the scooter and she just held the handle (not very tightly this time!). The road had a gradual incline. So we used to go up the road by accelerating and come down with the engine switched off. Initially, it was only me doing all the steering and the balancing. Then as the days moved on, she would sit alone on the seat (with the engine switched off), she would keep both her legs on the ground and waddle to allow the scooter to roll. I would hold the scooter straight and walk behind. Then slowly, (this took several days), she started the scooter and instead of using her legs to propel it forward, gently accelerated every now and then. Both her feet were still on the ground and I'm still checking if I can hold on to 8 horses from behind! This went on for some time.

Then a friend of her's offered her Scooty to practice. This is a much lighter and shorter (in height) vehicle. In just a week of 'waddling', she had both her feet up and had learned to 'balance'.

My facebook status on that day went like this

Proud of the wife, (tagged the wife)! Almost learned how to ride a two wheeler, in spite of never riding a bicycle before.
Warning: ALMOST learned. Stay out of RT Nagar between 9 and 10 PM!

Her learning license was for both two and four wheelers. She enrolled herself in a driving school to learn how to drive. For those around the RT Nagar area, I would highly recommend Illiyas, the driving instructor from the New India Driving School. He's a very decent guy and knows his stuff. No touching, or any other hanky panky. (You'd be surprised at the kind of people doing this for a living. Even if it's an old man, be careful. Be very clear with them about these things.) We had to do no such thing in Illiyas's case, he kept his distance. He's a good teacher and will make sure that you get your basics right. Right from every little light on the instrument panel, to mastering the clutch, reversing and parking, he patiently works with her till she gets it.

Disclaimer: I don't have any stake in this driving school, nor do I benefit in any way by recommending Illiyas.

Ever since she's started driving school, the car is driven on all kind of roads, high density traffic, narrow roads, inclined roads, bad roads, highway, yeah, you get it... and she's developed more confidence while dealing with the two wheeler. Why, initially, I had to take the scooter out of the house, start it and hand it over. Now, she takes it out on her own, rides it to the driving school, completes the practice and rides it back! All without killing someone on the way. That's what she's assured me.

Awfully proud of her. I never thought it could be done. The only sad part is that I'll now have to think of a new signature on TBHP! Damn!

Last edited by triedeverything : 5th January 2013 at 07:21.
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Old 5th January 2013, 08:01   #2
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

, your adventure reminded me of 2001 when i decided to teach my wife how to drive a car. She already knew how to ride cycle and scooter.

Very boldly i gave her the wheel, and had one hand on handbrake (Thinking all is in control, just need to pull if she looses direction). First time on a car she was jittery, and wanted to take things slowly, a bit too slow in clutch and accelerator department, and the car would stall.

Thats when i made a mistake, i motivate her i asked her to push the accelerator harder, and she went "Peddle to metal", the car rushed forward, not on the road, but towards the wall.

The super confident in me said to myself "No problem" and pulled the handbrake full. The result, rear wheels locked, but front wheels kept pulling . The car went into spin, two rounds of the road on the same place with the rear wheels dragging and front ones pulling made all our hearts go F1 racing. I immediately sent her for driving lessons, today she is a very safe driver.

On the two wheeler thingy, i would recommend do ensure your kids learn cycling first. We spent good 4 weekends on this project and its pleasure to see my daughter riding her cycle all by herself. The learning from the episode, husbands are usually not the best of teachers.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 5th January 2013 at 08:04.
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Old 5th January 2013, 09:05   #3
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

triedeverything,

Fantastically narrated! Loved it.
I guess, we all have one such story. But few like you, have the skills the narrate it.
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Old 5th January 2013, 14:46   #4
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

Start with a low powered scooterette. A Scooty or even better a Bajaj Sunny.
That way you can avoid unpleasant incidents.

I taught my wife to ride her Scooty some 10 years ago on the (then free) streets of Gill Nagar in Chennai, early in the mornings. Initially sat behind her and then as she had better balance, would let her ride solo with me running behind to avoid any falls etc. She learnt in a few weeks and got her license. Now is a good/safe rider and also drives AT cars. Need to start teaching MT car driving since the A*-AT is mostly used by her Dad and so she needs to learn to drive our Swift.

Before that, have taught my sis to ride the Kinetic Honda we used to have. She picked up pretty quickly. Maybe because she had been riding a cycle for years.
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Old 5th January 2013, 21:21   #5
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
The result, rear wheels locked, but front wheels kept pulling. The car went into spin, two rounds of the road on the same place with the rear wheels dragging and front ones pulling made all our hearts go F1 racing.
Seriously? I've always wanted to try that But I've never had the guts or the confidence in just holding on to the handbrake. Especially after knowing that several people forget to take off the hand brake and are able to continue to drive! So unless it's an open ground, you wouldn't catch me dead in the co passenger seat with just the handbrake between me and someone who's learning to drive!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
On the two wheeler thingy, i would recommend do ensure your kids learn cycling first. We spent good 4 weekends on this project and its pleasure to see my daughter riding her cycle all by herself.
I completely agree. Please teach your daughters to ride a cycle... and to swim! No hard feelings against Father-in-laws Other than not knowing how to ride, she was perfect for me! I meant still IS perfect for me. Whew!
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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Fantastically narrated! Loved it.
Thanks for the encouragement SDP, I've read a few of your posts, you have a great style of your own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Maybe because she had been riding a cycle for years.
Knowing how to cycle is more than half the battle won. But if she doesn't know, don't let that discourage you or your wife from learning how to ride. With a little bit of patience and encouragement, anyone can ride.

And yeah... if there's any way we can help please feel free to PM me.
Free consultation for TBHP members!
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Old 11th February 2013, 18:09   #6
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

Quote:
Originally Posted by triedeverything View Post
I searched for a post on teaching someone how to ride (specifically the wife!), but there were none.

.... Married men whose wives don't know how to ride or drive can empathize with me......
Saw the title, your ID and that made my day

Empathize I will, 'cause have been there, done all that and more. In my case I bought a new Activa just for my wife. 5 bangs & a couple of years later, we are still at square one.

The plot was same for 4 wheels as well. Driving schools in 2 states were pulled in, but to no avail.

But today she is a confident driver on the Bangalore roads, though a couple of poor chaps on the road would disagree (she managed to park the car on their feet, literally .... B'lore traffic!). What helped the transition? Had wheels at home but no drivers for a long duration. So the only option was either learn to drive or learn to live the hard way. Luckily she opted for the first. An old M800 was bought and put to pastures on roads with sparse traffic. Rest, as they say, is history.
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Old 11th February 2013, 18:57   #7
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

A quick update, she's since got her driving license. But only for the 4 wheeler. She's assured me that the RTO inspector is still alive

So a question to the experts, since the learning license has expired, (the LL was for both 2 and 4 wheeler) she needs a new LL for two wheelers. I think she doesn't have to take the test again. Since she already has a DL, she needs to submit a copy of the DL and get an LL for the two wheeler. Is this information correct?
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Old 11th February 2013, 20:38   #8
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. I think she doesn't have to take the test again. Since she already has a DL, she needs to submit a copy of the DL and get an LL for the two wheeler. Is this information correct?
Yes, it is correct. For me, it was the reverse. I had a 2W license and had a 4 w LL after submitting 2W license copy. Anyway, my experience is in Kerala, but I presume that this part of the procedure is uniform through out India. Take care.Bye.
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Old 11th July 2013, 20:46   #9
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

I am going down the same path over the next few weeks. Managed to find a lady instructor near my house who would teach the wife how to ride. For a 7 jours course over 7 days, the charge is 2k. I thought the charge was high, but I checked with her about the fact that THE WIFE has never sat anywhere near the steering/handle of a motorable vehicle and she was confident that she would be able to learn.

I think 2k is a good deal, instead of me running behind her on the access holding the scotter in one hand and the kid in the other hand. Not a very pretty/safe picture this. Will post the details of the experience after the show.
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Old 12th July 2013, 08:09   #10
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I think 2k is a good deal, instead of me running behind her on the access holding the scotter in one hand and the kid in the other hand. Not a very pretty/safe picture this. Will post the details of the experience after the show.
Not to belittle anyone, but if she (instructor) can do it in 7 days... it would probably be the next best thing since creation

My kid is almost 6. So there was no need to carry her around. Your case is different. Looking forward to your report!
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Old 12th July 2013, 10:37   #11
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

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Originally Posted by triedeverything View Post
I searched for a post on teaching someone how to ride (specifically the wife!), but there were none.
You guys are brave!

Reminds me of an incident from a while ago.
Location : Parking lot of my fiancée's (now wife!) apartment.
Vehicle : My bike. Shes insisted on having a go.
Explained her the basics , and after some of her gung-ho confidence rubbed off me, even sat behind.
Result?
One of the most violent lurches I had experienced in my life. It was a massive heart-in-the-mouth moment. Like being flung off a flight of stairs .
About 5 feet later, I realised I really am not brave. Infact I am quite the opposite. So I got off and dropped the idea. She hasnt though...

Must say she is quite a good scooter rider, with an above average sense of balance.

EDIT : This might help.

Last edited by sajo : 12th July 2013 at 10:39.
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Old 12th July 2013, 17:50   #12
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Not to belittle anyone, but if she (instructor) can do it in 7 days... it would probably be the next best thing since creation

!
7 hours is what she quoted, I have my own doubts. If she can atleast give THE WIFE the confidence that she wouldnt get killed while ridiing, the 2k is well spent. Training starts tomorrow at 11am.
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Old 25th July 2013, 20:00   #13
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7 hours is what she quoted, I have my own doubts. If she can atleast give THE WIFE the confidence that she wouldnt get killed while ridiing, the 2k is well spent. Training starts tomorrow at 11am.
The training is almost complete. I must admit that my wife is able to ride the scooter on her own and on roads with little traffic too. This from someone who has never rode a bicycle.

The trainer actually did not do much, on the first day she just made wifey push the scooter (resulted in wife complaining of muscle pain for 4 days) and then just sit on the scooter and push it with her legs. She accompanied her for a small ride the next day and wifey is able to ride on her own since then. She still struggles to climb up the small incline towards my apartment, however she has gained confidence, and that for me was worth the money spent.

All said and done, few things worked in my favor.
The trainer showed me a empty ground near my house, where she teaches the student. I now take my wife regularly there
Wife is serious about learning coz I already paid the money and told her, it would be a waste of money if she doesnt learn. (This had the maximum impact)
Bangalore Autowalas contunue to harass people, so this is my wifey's revenge on them.
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Old 25th July 2013, 20:38   #14
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... Bangalore Autowalas contunue to harass people, so this is my wifey's revenge on them.
Thanks to autowalas, i think we can generalise here for its because of them my sis gathered courage to drive a car some 50 kms roundtrip every day! I had tried to train her to ride a kinetic honda 10 yrs back but she being the pampered kid wasn't showing any progress even with much of cycling expertise on Lady bird to Rockshox cycles. My fear of our roads didn't want her to try again .

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Old 11th August 2013, 14:56   #15
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Default Re: Teaching the Wife to Ride a Scooter

Kya baat hai? Did not know that there can be a thread like this. Guys, please share your experience in details. Particularly those whose wives are successfully riding alone in city now. In my case, just started the session day before yesterday, after much cajoling, and a good 2 years and 8 months of buying the vehicle (TVS Wego). Wife complains that this is very heavy for her. For proper perspective, she is 40+ and last rode bycycle a good 25 years back. Yesterday, the second day, she had her first fall( could not apply break while facing a car, swerved to left and fell down). Even after that, she managed to get up and practiced for another 20 minutes. It was 11.10 pm last night. Expecting some better results today.
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