Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Art of Safe Riding - Mind Riding

While buckling your helmet and pulling on your gloves, take the time to visualize your ride ahead. Get into the rider's frame of mind, all focused. Run a mental equivalent of a video recording of the ride ahead if the route is familiar or just visualize yourself going through the motions of riding through the anticipated conditions. For example, if it is raining, imagine yourself braking and accelerating gently and steering your bike around obstacles deliberately. This mental previewing of actions primes your mind into focusing on the ride that follows. You are already in it, mentally. Don't wait for a near collision to shock you into paying attention. Start your mind early. On the road, concentration is your lifeline. Being skilled and not concentrating is the same as lacking skills.

In the majority of cases, the danger a rider faces, both within the city and on the high road comes from directly in front or to a side. And that’s the direction the rider should concentrate on. The potentially dangerous situations need to be prioritized, the scene rapidly scanned to assess exactly what's happening, predict what could happen and identify escape routes. Being mentally primed reduces the time the brain needs to start assessing and prioritizing the scenario.

Develop the sixth sense of a motorcyclist. It has rained last night in the hills you are riding through and you watch for mud or rubble on the corners. You see a dark blotch on the road ahead, could be a harmless patch of extra tar or might be the dangerously slippery oil from some failed engine. You are watchful and slow down. It was oil! A dog lurks in the tall grass and your fingers cover the front brake lever. On a quiet tree shaded street, you note a car stationary in a driveway with someone at the wheel. Two fingers slide over the front brake lever. Mr. Tuttoonwala backs out without looking, and is surprised and apologetic as you stop within a foot of his door. Become an active participant in your surroundings. You have to work at developing this motorcyclist's "sixth sense", his personal danger sensing radar! But once developed, it takes you unscathed through situations that could spell an injury for most that lack this awareness.

Step 1: Wear a balaclava and other initial gears
Step 2: Wear your helmet
Step 3: Wear your gloves, jacket and knee guards.
Step 4: Get ready to ride, create your mindset, all your attention should be on the road and your should be ready for any delays.

1 comment:

  1. Ok. I am preparing my mind for my second trip. Increasing from 27km(vandaloor zoo) to 40 km (mahabalipuram). But how to develop this sixth sense ?


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