So, the other day I was talking to a friend and he was telling me all about how grueling the workout was with his trainer at the gym the day before and how much he had to work on before he saw him again. My friend really wants to have a killer body, even though he says he is just trying to keep in shape. After our quick lunch together he was off to the gym. This conversation got me to thinking…don’t get used to it I don’t do it all that often…
People go the gym to work out to stay in shape, some go for the social aspect and some just go because they made a New Years Resolution to get in shape or lose weight and remember that they paid a bunch of money to do it and the obligation/guilt factor kicks in…and there are those that take it seriously and pay even more for a private trainer that kicks your butt (sometimes literally) every time you see them and you’re happy afterwards. You lost an inch off your waist, gained some muscle and you look more attractive to the opposite sex. After all that work, you get on your motorcycle and off you go.
Wait a minute here, what about going to the motorcycle trainer? There are few, if any, consequences when you fall down in the gym but falling down on a motorcycle, well…thats different. A motorcycle trainer keeps you in motorcycling shape. A gym trainer keeps you healthy, a motorcycle trainer keeps you safe.
Getting good training is important in any endeavor so you can learn more, do it better, enjoy it more, be successful at it and in the case of motorcycling be safer. Motorcycle training isn’t just for beginners though, experienced riders also benefit from ongoing and more extensive training. Who are the best riders on the street? Motorcycle cops.Motorcycle cops go through extensive training (five weeks 8 hours a day) just be a motor officer and nearly fifty percent don’t make it through training. After they are on the street or highway they go through refresher training every six months to a year. They work at it. Well, so should everyday riders.
A friend, also a motorcycle coach, once asked someone how many years riding experience do you have? 15 years was the answer. NO the coach said, you have one year experience and fourteen of doing the same thing over and over. We all develop bad or lazy habits when it comes to riding, we figure that after a number of years and miles that we know how to ride and don’t need any training. Just because you have been riding a long time doesn’t mean you’re doing everything right. This is where a different set of eyes that watch carefully how you ride can help correct or modify certain riding habits.
A motorcycle coach will watch you ride then design exercises to help strengthen areas of your riding that could use some help. A prime example is the guy who has been riding for 20 years but is still afraid of making U-Turns, or parking on a hill this is where a good coach/trainer can help. Think about yourself, can you make a U-Turn in your own traffic lane? or do you have to make it a three or four point event? Be honest. How good are you at Threshold Braking, hills? There is a long list of skills that all of us, coaches included, could use some help with some of them. Sometimes it is just a matter someone pointing out something you already know but don’t use it. “Oh yeah, I knew that”. and then you start doing it consciously.
Motorcycle training can also teach you new skills. We have all seen a rider do something we can’t and say to ourselves “how did he do that?” Training and practice. Remember, you can’t use a skill you don’t have.
And lastly, the friend who was going to the gym but he had to work out at home too because the trainer expected it of him before he could go to the next level, well motorcycle training is the same way. After a coaching session you need to go home and practice and practice and practice. Repitition is mother of all skills.
Find a good coach or training class program and invest the time and money to be a better rider, it’s worth it. And remember, motorcycle training isn’t just for beginners, it’s for all of us.
Ride safe, ride far…and practice.