Jump to content


Keith Code

Recommended Posts

The actions of riding one lap of a circuit, like our local training track, The Streets of Willow Springs in Southern California breaks down something like this:


Throttle position changes 50

Steering inputs 22

Gear changes 20

Clutch actions (downshifts only) 10

Front brake pulls and releases 14


Total 116


A lap at Laguna Seca is pretty close to the same number.


It's not physically demanding to roll the throttle on and off 50 times every minute and a half to two minutes; shift the gear lever 20 times; push on the bars 22 times? It's not a lot for one lap but over the course of 25 laps it adds up to about 2,900 actions.


It's the rider's timing of Where and How Much of each of the 900 to 2,900 actions that add up to a good event or a good day at the track. The only reason it can become difficult is the stress created by not fully understanding what the bike needs and when it needs it. Stress comes from worry, worry comes from lack of commitment. You quit worrying and get busy once you've committed to anything!


Despite the fact that a rider may be going twenty seconds a lap slower than a pro, the number of actions needed to be performed is the same. Quite often, however, it increases due to errors and corrections that a less skilled rider creates for himself.


This has a direct impact on the amount of time the novice rider has to identify and initiate correct and accurate control responses: he's often still busy fixing or dwelling on the last one. For any riding situation, the important inputs into the bike often take a back seat to the ones generated by the rider's own errors, corrections and hesitations to commit to the next one.


At just 60 mph that one beat of an elevated heart rate has you 44 ft down the road; all of a sudden it seems you are in a big, big hurry to perform. That's the cost of uncertainty.


Lack of commitment in the rider takes time and that time is chock full of things to do. It's too full to be accurate; too full to have the time to observe; too full to make good decisions; too full to make a solid commitment. There are some rules:


Getting to and completing actions is what buys you the time to observe and predict the results and commitment begins that process.


Being half hearted and non-committal on control actions only holds you back.


You can't easily predict the outcome of any control action on the bike until it is at least begun.


When you are hesitant, you are giving yourself less time to respond. It seems, on the Survival Response level, you are making more time but it's the opposite.


Being decisive with control inputs, with the smallest possible lag time, is safer in the end.


If you haven't got the inborn skills to ride as you wish to ride, take this simple advice: Get out with a trained professional riding coach who knows what to look for and how to bring you around to understanding and improvement. In the end, confidence and commitment are identical. Once you know why, when and how to commit riding becomes what you've always envisioned it to be.


© 2011, Keith Code, all rights reserved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

"Stress comes from worry, worry comes from lack of commitment.

You quit worrying and get busy once you've committed to anything!"


Now THAT is something to think about!



And whence does lack of committment originate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a fantastic article! I definitely overlooked this article until just yesterday. I read it yesterday and again today, and probably will again tomorrow. I can feel my brain working overtime to absorb this...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

And whence does lack of committment originate?

When humans try to learn something new, they become self-conscious of their actions. It is quite natural for them to doubt and second-guess their every move, including actions which would normally be second nature in a non-instructional environment. As a consequence, students can be quickly overwhelmed as actions which previously were being performed without conscious thought are now reassessed as they adjust to fit in the new actions. Thus, trust and faith seem like a more appropriate descriptors. Trust & faith lead to commitment. So it is important for the instructor to gain the student's trust and help that student build faith that they can successfully perfect the techniques and their skills will improve as a consequence. With that, comes commitment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...