Funny thing, I watched a guy lane-split like an idiot yesterday on hwy 80 between Dixon and Vacaville. At least 35-40 over the flow. 15 miles later there is the same guy standing next to his destroyed bike and two cars in the center divide.
Great article Pete. I would love to take a class like this. [*] As someone who has to take classes every year to as you put stay gainfully employed, this class would make a great foundation of a larger tiered licensing and mandatory education program. [*]Just think of the demand for instructors that would be created. [*] longride and seruzaWa would have no reason to do the grumpy old man thing of ***** and complain. Instead, they would have the opportunity to share all of that street wisdom with less experienced riders..
There are milestones in riding that stick out -- points where you learned a technique that was an epiphany and transformed your riding. Learning to turn my head and look through the corner was one of those. It's something I share with every new rider I meet who fears twisty roads. Once they learn that technique, their confidence rapidly improves and they start to *love* twisty roads.
Even the MSF beginning rider course extremely heavily emphasises looking into the turn and turning your head. Old cheese if you've taken any of their salty old classes or read any books on riding technique.
One thing which people often forget to mention and which the MSF course didn't is that when looking through the corner, keep your head's axis perpendicular to the ground. If you tilt your head with the lean of the bike you lose perspective of the angle of the corner because the lean angle of the bike confuses you.
I learned the "look where you want to go" technique and lowering your head to the inside adds another 10 lbs or so to help tighten up a corner if you need.
I guess the biggest revelation to me was powering through a corner if you went in too hot instead of trying to brake which will stand the bike up and point you into the ditch. Just get as much weight as you can on the inside of the turn keep pressure on the inside bar end and power through.
That came to me when I started riding modern bikes with stiff frames and sticky rubber, back in the flexy-flyer frame and Conti Blitz tire days you just chopped the throttle and hoped for the best.
"I would recommend to someone that just wants to go out for a ride...don't. Whenever you want to go out for a ride, go out and work on something. Be obsessive in what you do and always strive to get better and improve. Don't go out [and ride] without a purpose."
This is sooo loadsa crap its unbelievable. Always thriving and striving. How to wrangle spirit out of biking.
Your last paragraph brought back unpleasant memories of my old Z1-B greasing around corners on the Conti twins. Once I tried Brit issue Dunlop K-81's. Generally an improvement except the knife edge effect whilst riding straight gave zero braking traction in the rain.
Man, you got that one right. Three weekends ago I was riding up the coast with my "newbie" buddy. I made the mistake of taking the cloverleaf really fast with him following. He panicked and jammed on the rear brake at the apex. He went right off the road and wound up on his back. Luckily no injury, and his crash bars saved the bike from major damage. I think he got a valuable lesson at a fairly low price...
He probably meant to say go out with a destination/purpose even if the ride is real reason, instead of just walking out the door and hopping on the bike to ride aimlessly. For some reason having an artificial goal seems to help keep me focused even during the ride... regardless of the distance or goal.
Varies from make the coffee shop by 7:30, to meet date at 1pm crosstown at the club, to reach to the Shasta trailhead with time to left to hike, or making it to the Mendocino coast by noon without getting a speeding ticket, with enough time for brunch. Doesn't seem to matter what it is, just that I have some purpose... even if it's just riding a big circular route with no stops.