Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm going to go back and revisit a post from a few weeks ago.  It seems many people wish to talk about my statement that riding is as easy as driving a car.  

I'm sticking by that statement.  Reason for that?  Not one of the people I've had contact with have been able to convince me of anything other.

With each "for instance" I've been given as an example of how "hard" it is to ride vs how hard it is to drive a only an example of how hard it is to LEARN to ride...not the act of riding in it's self.

One person suggests "steering into corners and turns are harder than in a car"  Really? Even now? After a few months, years of still have to think about it? You still have to force yourself to lean into a turn rather than steer into it?  REALLY?  You mean to tell me that when you come to a blind turn, that you don't automatically find a track to take into and out of the curve?  I's ingrained in it should be with you if you've been riding for a while. 

He also suggests that pulling the clutch, up-shifting, and down shifting are harder than an automatic car.  Once more, I ask...REALLY?  Do you still today have to PRE THINK the actions of shifting? Or is it pretty much an automatic response to the situation your mind is able to discern? When a car turns suddenly in front of you really have to say to yourself...whoa, I gotta downshift, I gotta pull in the clutch. Man if that was true...YOU WOULD BE DEAD BY NOW.

Now what about braking? Oh oh...the motorcycle has two separately operated braking systems...that MUST be harder right?'s only harder as your learning to ride or learning a new bike other than the one you've been riding.  Learning to brake a motorcycle is difficult...but how many of you remember throwing your mom or dad or your driving mentor into their shoulder harness learning how to brake in your car?  Now tell me, do you STILL HAVE PROBLEMS DECIDING HOW TO BRAKE YOUR BIKE?  I'm betting it's an automatic response now isn't it?

Yes, making a mistake on your motorcycle holds dire consequences, yuppers, make a mistake about turning into small pebbles or sand in a corner and your paying the piper...but once a rider has some time under his/her belt...they are unconsciously operating the bike...they are conditioned to shift when they hear the engine pulling at a certain RPM's... Do you really THINK ABOUT IT?  Do you really think about balance once your past the fear of slow riding?  DO YOU?  I don't.  It happens naturally, the ride...for the most part.  

I look about me for safety outs, but it's ingrained into me to look. I don't say to myself..."Opps, it's time to look for a way out if someone crowds me..."  It's just done...before I realize it I have a plan.  It's ingrained in me, the same way shifting is, balance is, braking's all ingrained.  I don't have to think about's done.

It's not harder to's just a different way of "driving".  

Let me ask you northern drivers....
For approximately five months out of the year, your faced with the possibility of  driving in icy and snow clogged roads.  With less than 1 % of  motorcycle riders faced with the same possibility...what is the percentage of how hard it is to drive a car during these nasty conditions?  It's harder isn't it?  It's harder to remember which way to steer when your car starts to glide off the road in an uncontrolled slide.  Now talk about "counter steering". RIGHT?  As a four wheel WILL encounter these problems if you live or drive in the colder northern climes, and you take these  problems, you prepare for them in your mind, you practice what needs to be done, so that when and if the time comes you have to use these different driving strategies they come to you fluidly, easily and without much thought.  It's no different for you on your motorcycle.  It's all the same.  It's no harder to ride your motorcycle than it is to drive your that your looking at the questions and the statements properly.