Iíve been reading a few posts and hearing in the news recently (and every year) about accidents, close calls, and people wondering how to improve their skills or feeling a little nervous about their skills and what best riding practices are. Itís for those reasons I repeat and expand on something Iíve discussed before and believe in very strongly: Riding instruction. Youíve spent a lot of money on a motorcycle and hopefully good gear. In my opinion, before buying fancy tires, suspension etc; invest in yourself and your skills so you learn Best Practices from those skilled professionals that can teach you properly rather than bad habits learned from others that have been lucky so far! Or worse; trying to keep up with others!!!
I've been riding a long time, taken several speed & racing programs, feel very confident about my riding ability and likely able to give most anyone a run for the money without ending in disaster. The fact is though; most of us including me are for the most part riding in urban areas with traffic, parking etc. In other words: city riding and survival! You donít need to know how to drag a knee to commute! But you do need to know ďBest PracticesĒ and the correct skills/reactions to implement them for the best chance of surviving amongst the cagers and creating a worse situation for yourself because you reacted wrong!
I attended a http://www.roadcraftacademy.com program a few weeks ago that has opened a whole new riding experience for me; skills I thought I already had but obviously didn't! Itís not a beginner course or a course to get your licence but you donít have to be an advanced rider, either. The program really challenges and corrects those manoeuvring and "autopilot or reaction" skills that we have, some of those bad habits that can get you hurt or worse! It's mental, physical and a hell of a lot of fun! You may think you know it but you probably don't. In particular for me was learning the correct combination use of the rear brake, throttle & clutch for slow speed manoeuvrings. I hardly ever used my rear brake! It is hard to change my habits and Iím still practicing but the course proved to me how valuable the skill is for manoeuvring quickly in as limited space as possible! Prepare to be humbled while enjoying yourself too! 2 1/2 days of riding and instruction gave me far more than my money's worth! For the price of a set of sticky tires (which youíre probably going to wear out in the city!) you may avoid a future ďI crashedĒ posting! Thing is; you wonít know Ďcause you avoided it!
For you cheap bastads: One of the radio stations has a contest and part of the prize list is a Roadcraft school program : http://www.shore104.com/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=400
I am not associated with Roadcraft or any other school. My business has nothing to do with motorcycling. Iím just a lifetime student. The only benefit I get out of posting this kind of note is hoping all riders will learn proven best practices and enjoy this motorcycling pastime as much as I do. I think itís important to get the message out!
And remember; track days are for everyone! Where else can you ride as passively or aggressively as you choose to (with similar minded riders on the track when you are) without any surprises on the road ahead? Squire offers an excellent track day if you are feeling a little intimidated about them: http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/sh...&postcount=117 If nothing else, ride out there and watch one! Talk to a few of the n00b riders attending. You will soon realise there is nothing to be afraid of...unless youíre afraid of fun!