Over the years as a Motorcycle Coach one thing stands out with riders..Fear. It’s as simple as that. The fear of trying a new skill, fear of not knowing what to do in certain situations (like over-cooking a corner, finding yourself having to make a U-Turn on a hill, or riding in wet conditions) I have said before “riding a motorcycle is easy..controlling one takes a bit more effort” and the effort is well worth it. Too many riders are afraid to put themselves in an uncomfortable position.. a position they don’t like ( like U-Turns..)but..ya gotta do it.
” Skill is Greater Than Hope “. Yep. So what is a Rider supposed to do? Go find yourself a Professional Coach or a Class that can help you bring skills back into focus. A second view of what you are doing is always a benefit. That goes for ergonomics (how you fit on your motorcycle), your body position (are looking at where you are vs. where you are going ?) Soft touch?
Learn to put yourself into situations that may not be to your liking but are necessary…Emergency Braking, Obstacle Avoidance, Tight turns, anything you feel you are not good at. Work on these things.
Go to an empty parking lot with a friend and practice some skills, skills you may have learned at your MSF course, some you learned from an a more experienced rider than you and have your friend video what you did. When you look at yourself riding you see what you missed and where you can improve. Compare your video with some of the training / coaching videos you find on You Tube. How did you do? Then, the key is to practice…Take a morning or afternoon every month or so and go practice skills..U-Turns, Tight Turns, Emergency Braking, Swerving, Weaving..these are all important to help you use skill to overcome fear. It is a lot of fun to get to get a couple of friends together to these practice sessions then it is just as fun as it is work…Really!
Too many riders are complacent in their riding and think that just “Seat Time” is all you need to be a better rider. Ok. I was once asked by a rider who had put a lot of miles in…a retired Motor Officer “How many years of riding experience do you have”? 30 years I said..”No, he said, you have one year of experience and 29 years of doing the same stuff over and over again”.
It is important to get out and learn new skills, push yourself, be afraid a bit but try it..you’ll be surprised at how you come out of it with a great big smile on your face and saying to yourself..”I did it..that wasn’t so bad” and your coach will say..”Do it again”.
Practice is the Mother of ALL skills.
Ride Safe and Enjoy the Ride