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    Its a Mental thing...

    (note: i just wrote this for my "blog" only to find that they blocked my blog at work.. lol... so i figured id post it here since its somewhat bike related....)


    Its a Mental thing...

    *click.* I shift into third..
    no, I donít know how fast Iím going.. its a good clip for a neighborhood, but not
    too fast for a bike.
    somethingís to the right ahead... headlights.
    I cover my brake and clutch.. then sure enough, like 100 times before, the car
    pulls out in front of me.
    *bzzzzzt* a sound only the sportbike rider really knows.. big crossdrilled brake
    rotors being clamped down by huge calipers. god I love that sound.

    I stop easily in time, and stare down the driver. they have that horrified "I'm
    about to be hit by a bike" look... I cant blame them, they just didnít see me...
    but Iím still going to give them the death stare. maybe they'll look twice next
    time. I wave my hand a little to remind them, they're still halfway pulled out
    into the road, and stopped in front of me. they pull away, and as I ride onward, I
    have a second to reflect on what just occurred.

    this is not a new thing to me. excluding a couple year gap, I've been daily riding
    since I was 18. in that time Iíve been ALMOST hit countless times. I owe my life
    to one thing. one thing that has kept me alive on motorcycles for years.... and
    its all mental.
    before I bought my first bike.. I took an MSF course. everyone goes "yea yea, I
    should take one of those"... I read online about people talking.. "countersteer"
    and "braking"... "wear your gear"...

    no. those are all great things you must know, but that is not what I needed to take
    out of it.
    it was the classroom that helped me.
    motorcycling is a mental sport. safety is a state of mind.

    on the surface, I am not a safe rider. I go triple digit speeds(or close to) thru
    corners. I accelerate fast. I brake hard. I toss the bike around like sheís my
    bitch. I scare people. my neighbor sees me turn onto my street at 45+, pop a
    wheelie, and stoppie into my driveway, and wonders how Iím not dead.

    Iím not dead because I learned to watch the sidestreets as I approach them. I cover
    my brake and clutch. I approach all intersections cautiously, regardless of
    greenlight status. I watch my mirrors. I have escape routes constantly planned..
    I notice when drivers are going to drift over lanes even before they do.
    I am not special. I did not come up with this myself. I have no amazing powers...
    Iím not saying Iím great... I just apply (most of) what is taught at every MSF
    course.
    its not just paying attention.. its a state of mind. I am not dead because I took
    that course. it is the best money I have ever spent in my life.

    ok, lets get off the MSF thing... thatís the how, this is now.
    I think back to when I was 18... I used to think "WOW!! this is great! this is
    what Iíve been looking for my whole life! EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS"
    now Iím a little older and I realize.. everyone shouldnít do this.
    99% of the population, doesnít belong on bikes.. most people know this, and most
    people donít have bikes. and there are guys that shouldnít be on bikes, that do
    have them. (you know who you are)

    its all 100% a mental thing.. I have friends I know, friends and family that I
    care about... and I know they donít have the mental capacity it takes to ride a
    bike safely. I know they wont think about that car approaching that intersection.
    I know they will freeze up when the pressure rises, push comes to shove, and you
    have to react NOW. I know.... they donít belong on a motorcycle.
    now... how do you tell them that?

    inevitably, if I try, the question turns on me.. what am I doing on a motorcycle?
    why am I here?
    the answer to this was answered almost immediately as I thought this.. even with
    the close call only 45seconds ago.. I enter the first light curve onto the main
    road... and its all too clear.
    it was a slow rolling left curve. a light pressure on the bars and she leans in.
    smoothly, flowing down and curving. a light roll of the throttle. smooth. exact.
    precise.. we're dancing... but at the same time, we're flying. corner is almost
    over now. ease the slightest pressure on the bars and she rolls back up.. I roll
    the throttle on a tad more, and she stands up. sometimes I swear my bike is tied
    directly to my brain. not because we ride well together.. not because she does
    what I want without thinking.. but because somehow, she knew the mental question
    I just had.. and answered it.
    that was why Iím out here.
    to everyone else behind me, thatís just a left turn onto rivers ave. even to some
    other bikers, that was just a turn out on the road...
    doesnít matter.
    to me, that was perfection. a dance. art. as good as sex, and as addicting as
    crack... and its all 100% mental.

    #2
    true that
    Avatar courtesy of http://www.elizabethraab.com/
    1988 Honda Hawk NT650 GT

    Comment


      #3
      :rockon:
      BIKES: Honda: RC31 Racebike/ NT650 Streetbike, DUCATI: None at the moment.
      Former MSF Rider Coach / Trackday Instructor/ Expert Roadracer #116
      "I'd rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."

      Comment


        #4
        I completed a MSF course yesterday to get my license. Great course and I highly recommend it to everyone (who has the mental capacity/drive to ride a motorcycle properly).

        Your story was something right out of the class material.
        1988 Hawk
        Shuriken 1000

        Comment


          #5
          Originally Posted by gred11
          Your story was something right out of the class material.
          yea, when i was sitting there in class, i was taking it in, but i was still under the impression.. yea.. how often does THAT happen?

          turns out... it happens alot. people pull out infront of you often. people will almost rearend you at stoplights. people will change lanes right into you... you really do have to MAKE yourself visible.

          when you add it all up, it seems nuts.. like they're TRYING to kill you.. lol.. then break it down from their point of view... that one lamppost hid your whole bike from their point of view... the quiet interior made it so they couldnt hear the bike next to them.. ect...

          when you add it all up... its nucking futs.

          its been six years since i had any motorcycle school thing.. im probably overdue for a refresher myself.

          Comment


            #6
            supertrapp exhaust with 8 discs inside makes it so they can hear you with the windows up
            Avatar courtesy of http://www.elizabethraab.com/
            1988 Honda Hawk NT650 GT

            Comment


              #7
              Originally Posted by MasterBates
              supertrapp exhaust with 8 discs inside makes it so they can hear you with the windows up
              you would think that... but people tune out that engine noise sound.. especially if they're on the hwy..
              (oooh, but i'll rev at them..)

              riiiight. sure, 5 outta 8 people will hear that noise and recognize it as something is there.. but that other 3 will not comprehend it in time... most people are "trained" and expecting a horn.. not a "brrraaat!!"

              at the moment, im reminded how much i use the horn.. ever since i put my new radiator on.. (yes i took pics.. no i dont have a way to get them off my phone at the moment) ive had the horn off (temporarily)... i miss it.

              Comment


                #8
                it amazes me how stupid most people around here are. i almost get hit in my toyota pickup truck too. esp on sundays i try avoiding being on the road all together on sunday afternoon
                Avatar courtesy of http://www.elizabethraab.com/
                1988 Honda Hawk NT650 GT

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally Posted by MasterBates
                  it amazes me how stupid most people around here are. i almost get hit in my toyota pickup truck too. esp on sundays i try avoiding being on the road all together on sunday afternoon
                  bah.. people are stupid on the roads 24/7... doesnt matter what day it is.

                  go for a sunday ride and enjoy the afternoon..

                  Comment


                    #10
                    haha you would think so but around here in nor cal sunday is like all people who shouldnt even have a license are on the road simultaneously
                    Avatar courtesy of http://www.elizabethraab.com/
                    1988 Honda Hawk NT650 GT

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Killer post. Wow.
                      1988 "BlackHawk" project
                      1989 "RallyHawk" is Chuck's now!
                      1988 "The Gray" Tempest Gray Metallic stocker

                      I can't tell you how peaceful it is. Shinya Kimura
                      People who know ride Hawks. Riot

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally Posted by MasterBates
                        supertrapp exhaust with 8 discs inside makes it so they can hear you with the windows up
                        If they can't hear or see my firetruck with lights and sirens blazing what makes you think they can hear a loud bike?
                        BIKES: Honda: RC31 Racebike/ NT650 Streetbike, DUCATI: None at the moment.
                        Former MSF Rider Coach / Trackday Instructor/ Expert Roadracer #116
                        "I'd rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally Posted by Doc
                          Originally Posted by MasterBates
                          supertrapp exhaust with 8 discs inside makes it so they can hear you with the windows up
                          If they can't hear or see my firetruck with lights and sirens blazing what makes you think they can hear a loud bike?
                          lol, thats ALSO a good point.
                          i was a volunteer firefighter from 15 (officially at 16) until i was 18 and moved away..

                          people do not "see" firetrucks. they dont get out of the way.. and they're entirely unpredictible. ive never wrecked a fire truck but i came close twice.. once with our "new" pumper, and once with the tanker... ok, more then once with the tanker.. but you try driving something with a couple tons of water sloshing around... LOL

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It never ceases to amaze me. Maybe because I am a firefighter I see the trucks and pull to the right and stop LONG before others do, I even have people go around me because they don't see the on comig BIG FRIGGIN RED TRUCK WITH LIGHTS AND SIRENS!!

                            Maybe because I am a motorcyclist I see Bikes long before others too.
                            BIKES: Honda: RC31 Racebike/ NT650 Streetbike, DUCATI: None at the moment.
                            Former MSF Rider Coach / Trackday Instructor/ Expert Roadracer #116
                            "I'd rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Dude,
                              that is an excellent post!
                              You should actually think about extending a little if at all possible and submitting it to a magazine.
                              Totally right on pretty much all counts I reckon.
                              Cager's just simply don't notice and is all down to 'thinking'..

                              When you started riding and took this MSF course did you notice your car driving improve too?
                              I used to drive like a complete boy racer tosser until I got a bike. It kind of wakes you up to the fact that no matter how fast or close to the arse of the car in front you drive on average roads with average traffic you are NOT going to get there any quicker.

                              It amazed me coming out here to the west coast.
                              I thought NY state drivers were bad on freeways, in comparison they are all like a bunch of grannys!!
                              These idiots tailgate like CRAZY at really silly speeds, cut lanes and across people with literally feet to spare and honestly seem to look around 1 car in front!

                              I pride myself on having good road sense and when I have crashed (on the bike, touch wood no cage crashes for me) it was all "my" fault for simply not noticing/seeing what now to me is obvious.
                              Twice on diesel spills... Learn to spot it on the road and smell it too.
                              Woman pulling out in front of me from side street. Slammed on brakes as I was crossing a change in road surface, the second surface had less traction hence front locked up.
                              The near save in the underpass. Simply too fast and not awake enough to notice the gravel on the edge of the road...

                              All of these I think I would avoid now even though 3 of the 4 were technically 'not my fault'...
                              All down to what goes on in your head.
                              Looking through corners, looking further ahead than at least one car, covering brakes and clutch, looking at the driver and wheels of a car rather than their indicators and/or brakes, noticing that school is out and kids are running home.
                              All these and more things that just seem normal to me now and I see friends family NOT doing...

                              I always used to think that at least every cager should have just ONE day on a scooter as part of their road test but frankly that would just put the statistics for motorcycle crashes even more into the red!!!

                              Comment

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