Thursday, May 28, 2015

Learn Something New Every Day You Ride

Experience is key but knowledge is the "master key". I have been riding for donkey years ... who cares. People ride because it's fun. But getting hurt is no fun. There is no shame in asking a new rider some technical question if you find out he has been studying so hard to perfect and gain confidence in his every day riding. You will be so shocked how much knowledge he has acquired.

I see so much interest in new riders these days and it makes me think far to the days I started riding the big CC motorcycles. Now let’s go back to the “Master Key”

Vision: As usual "Look as far ahead as you can" . Has any instructor told you what to look at, how you look and what to look out for? It’s simple; Looking ahead slows down the landscape giving you fewer surprises of the "shit" moment. There is so much to look out for every second of your ride making it impossible to memorize 70% of the last 10sec view which you don’t really need because you need to empty or reduce the load on the brain to be able to process more moving and stationed object. Like they say "360-degree awareness leads to the goal".

Be Visible In Your Movements: Again, speeds are higher on motorways, and you are not as visible as an 18-wheeler truck. So when you are maneuvering, make sure you are seen. Changing lanes, check you mirror on both sides and put out those indicators. Then check the mirrors again. You will find that there is always that car driver that is coming up faster than the traffic and before you know it, you will be intimately acquainted with him or her.

Do Not Let Them Tailgate You: It’s always a bad thing when a car or truck is riding a few feet behind you, but it’s even worse on a highway or toll road/freeway. Speeds are higher, and if you need to slam the brakes, vehicles behind you will crash into you. Remember that a motorcycle will stop in approximately 50% of the distance of a car. If some idiot is not giving you the space, flash your brake lights a few times or use your arms to tell the driver to back off. But whatever you do, do not do a brake check! If the idiot persists, change lanes and let the car pass.

Note: I’ve seen quite a lot of cases where bikers get road rage towards cars that tailgate. It’s hopeless! You are the weaker one. There is nothing you can do to make sure you survive an encounter of the third kind with a car. Always remember that. You will always lose!

When you need to slow down, and if you have the time, press your brakes intermittently, causing your brake lights to flash. This will warn the distracted car driver behind you that you are slowing down.

Crashes are avoidable: Yes they are. So when you hear something like that, you start doing a research. Like I stated above “People ride because it's fun. But getting hurt is no fun”.  Managing time and space is everything you need you do. Like Condon (the author of Riding in the Zone) said; Close calls are a warning. If you are having many close calls, you're doing it wrong. As you ride through traffic, your readiness has to be there. If you're just casually riding and not scanning, looking with purpose, you're more vulnerable. When you ride have it in mind that crashing is possible then you make the right management decision.

I personally recommend the below to improve your riding knowledge:

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