Friday, 10 April 2009

Grab the Brakes!

You'll probabl have heard 'planning' mentioned if you've ever taken any rider training.

What you may not have realised is the amount of planning your instructor had to do.

Learning clutch control for pulling away.

Your instructor will have had to plan for teaching you to stop before setting you off on your own!

So now you're out riding on your own, you'll have learnt to plan ahead, and may even be working to develop the skill.

So here's an add-on to that:
Plan your way out of a situation, before you get in to it.

And that can be at many levels, from parking to high-speed cornering.

Another example of using this idea is with braking.

If you brake as a panic reaction to a situation changing in front of you, you're likely to grab the brales rather than apply them.

In particular, grabbing the front brake lever will apply a lot of pressure before weight transfer has taken place - so the front tyre grip is limited.

So train yourself to instantly release, then smoothly reapply, if you grab the brakes.

Perhaps you don't think this applies to you, you can brake quickly, firmly, but smoothly.

OK, here's a test:

Take one fresh hen's egg, place it on the kitchen worktop, then slowly and carefully pick it up.


Put it down again.

Now grab it as quickly as you can.

it's in one piece still, place it to one side, and instead get a well-past its sell-by rotten egg.

Repeat the 'grab', as quickly as you did before. That'll add the sort of mental pressure of a slippery road surface . . .


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