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Don't stop flying the plane (Or how to not crash)
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windblown's Avatar
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Join Date: June 17, 2006
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Don't stop flying the plane (Or how to not crash) - March 20, 2017, 11:16 AM

Spring is rolling in and soon folks on sportbike riders will be out enjoying what sportbikes do best - carving corners!

I'm going to pass on some words not as a particularly skilled rider, which I'm not, but as one still alive and kicking after having screwed up in one form or fashion many times and been fortunate enough to live through largely unscathed, something far too many have not. Take it for what you find it's worth... Or just chalk it up to 2 minutes of your life wasted reading my ramblings.

Few things in this world beat the enjoyment and rush of riding a finely tuned motorcycle through the corners. The cavet here is that as the pace increases so do the odds of not having enough time to react to the unexpected. Almost all motorcycle accidents in the mountains are a result of failure to stay mentally ahead of the motorcycle they are on and "keep flying the plane".

The trick is to know when you're approaching the edge of your personal ability to mentally cope with the challenge. Some say "Newer riders don't know what they don't know so they are incapable of riding their own ride and staying within their personal limits". I say that's BS, anyone can ride their own ride successfully and come home at the end of the day in one piece.

How do you know where the bleeding edge is? It's pretty simple.

1) Sneak up the pace slowly.

2) As you ride are you feeling smooth? If not, then you're pressing against the bleeding edge. Think about this: If you're riding a pace that is keeping you from being smooth what do you think is going to happen when the unexpected occurs like a decreasing radius turn or unexpected road debris coming out of a corner, or an oncoming car encroaching into your lane? I'll tell you what will happen - you'll crash.

3) Be keenly aware of any small pucker moments and your reaction to them as you ride. The perfect ride is free of pucker moments, but let's be real, they will happen. A pucker moment is a warning from your brain that it's being stressed to maximum and it's time to dial back a bit before you have an "Oh Shyt" moment when ones brain stops processing riding instructions and you fly into a ditch or off a mountain. Read the above again. Fail to heed that advice plan to spend some time in a hospital, or worse.

3) Don't assume that just because you've ridden ok for a couple of hours that you can or should maintain that same pace all day. Our brains get mentally tired just as our body does, and when it does, it gets sloppy, just as fine motor control from tired muscles gets sloppy.

4) Burn into your brain that you can only react to what you can see. If your pace exceeds your reaction time to deal with the unexpected bad things will happen. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but at some point and likely sooner than later.

....and no matter what - Keep Flying the Plane, always and without fail. Analyze any moment where you came close to not doing this and beat yourself up soundly for any failure, even the briefest one.

The majority of sportbike accidents I've seen in the mountains were the result of the rider panicking and riding their bike into or off the mountain.

Have fun and get home at the end of the day in the same condition you started it in.

There's bold riders and old riders, but damn few bold old riders.
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Slow as a turtle...
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March 20, 2017, 09:06 PM

Thanks for sharing all of this valuable information and there are few, very important reminders in your post, which I'll always keep in mind.

---Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other---
---Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.---
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Groping is a skill...
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March 20, 2017, 10:14 PM

Good stuff! Sneak up the pace slowly is a wise wise advice.

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Mommy's Little Monster
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March 20, 2017, 10:30 PM

Green dot.

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March 21, 2017, 07:14 AM

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