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Cobie Fair

Thinking Vs Doing

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Thinking takes a bit of time. While riding (or other high speed potentially lethal activities), that's too slow.

 

A few different pieces of this, but the first one is I actually applaud the guys that take the time to come to this forum, and work through some of the pieces of riding. There is a technology to riding. But for one to be able to look at the technology of riding, has to be willing to think it over, work through the pieces, do some study. That is for sure the first step. I'd have to say that this is more a thinking man's forum than some others.

 

Like I said, got a few parts that I want to cover on this, but are you all with me so far?

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You got my attention Cobie. This tends to be my #1 problem. I have a very analytical mind and tend to think about every single element of riding.

 

What's interesting is the idea of conscious and subconscious mind use. The subconscious works faster than the conscious mind. Unfortunately by the time you realize that the subconscious has acted sometimes you realize it took the wrong action. That's where training and some conscious thinking comes into play.

 

There's a balance. A balance I have yet to find. :)

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OK, so lets say the very first part would be an awareness that there is something to know, a subject that might (or might not) have a worked out technology.

 

Next is the quality of whatever technology is worked out. How good is it? Who has heard, "You can learn something from everyone/everywhere" or some such comment. Sorry, don't agree. There has to be an evaluation of the technology, how good is it, how effective is it? Does it work for just one person or application, or is it broadly applicable?

 

This point will overlap a little with the next point I want to get into, but want to see what you guys think of this.

 

CF

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If it's not obvious, I'm looking to interact with you guys on this. So even if it makes sense (or doesn't), a comment to that effect helps.

 

Besides, I don't want to just talk to myself, not that old yet.

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Ok. Here goes. :)

 

Not to be obtuse but I think you can learn something from anyone even if it's "this guy is an idiot" or "what a catastrophically bad idea".

 

I apply a similar "acid test" to any knowledge that I try to gain regardless of the source. If I'm brutally honest not everything I have learned at the school works for me out on track. It was worth hearing about and is good information but for my specific needs it did not work. (for those reading who aren't familiar with the school this is a TINY subset of what they teach and likely the malfunction is on my end rather than that of the school's) :)

 

The best information is stuff you can get backed up with an explanation. If you can explain the "why" in a logical way even if it's fundamentally wrong it's a lot easier to understand the thought process used to develop the idea and perhaps adapt the concept to a way that might actually work.

 

Science and technology is all built on millions and millions of wrong ways to do things. And even some of those "right ways" eventually became wrong ways when someone figured out a better way to get something accomplished.

 

My .02

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Rchase, there might be other factors at play...personalities and coaching is a whole subject in itself, and also a technology or system might not be perfect. For the sake of this thread, just looking at workability of a technology. For example on most any modern street bike, built for many years (that is a standard or sport bike) the front brake will lift the rear wheel off the ground. This is a fact, easily provable. So being able to use the front effectively is key.

 

A good point you make, sometimes looking at something and simply saying, "that doesn't make sense, or work." If backed up with solid observation, and honest trial, that's a good thing. (As a side comment, it's a bit of a skill to really observe and honestly try something--not everyone can put aside all bias or preconceived ideas).

 

Now, the next part to look at is a hierarchy of information: what are the MOST important pieces, what does one really want to understand well, and know like the back of one's hand?

 

Like Keith's observations on Throttle Control: understanding that bit of motorcycle riding technology has saved my ass so many times (and explained the problems I've had when I've had them). There are of course exceptions (very long turns, that tighten at the end for example). But the key fundamentals of good Throttle Control apply to any bike.

 

Still making sense? I see a number of views to this thread, but not too many commenting, want to know if this is clear, feel free to chime in.

 

CF

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Sorry Cobie I was away from the forum.

 

It's not so black and white. You also have the problem of paradigm or perspective. The ideas of Hierarchy of information works well in and ONLY when confined to a framework. Outside of that framework it may not be senior data or it may be conflicting data. With that said, I don't see the consistency in this discussion from your original post - IMO divergent concepts. But whatever road you want to take, I'm behind you man.

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Sitting here eating my imaginary popcorn and soaking it all in.

I hope you popped your own, cause I like mine a certain way :-)

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Eating popcorn, perfect!

 

Lets look at this as a concept: Approaching a turn, any turn (street or track) top of the list would be establishing where to turn the bike. After that would be speed at that location, one that will allow the turn to be negotiated with some control. Secondary to that would be just about anything else (what gear the bike is in, where the engine RPM's are, if the rider is hanging off or not, etc.).

 

When in Taiwan had a chance to talk with a world-class rider, Mike Jones. He's a real up and comer, won the Oz superbike championship in 2015, had electrical problems in 2016 on too many occasions, but was still so good he was put on a MotoGP team to replace the injured regular, and impressed the hell out more than a few team owners. While in TW, he was on a streetbike, and broke the lap record while we were there. In talking with him (he's been a student for many years of our school in Oz), he had an exact idea of what was critical to him.

 

So for the sake of continuing this thread, let's say there is a hierarchy of information/some things more important than others. Everyone willing to go along with this, at least for the sake of this thread?

 

This brings up the next point, which overlaps, and this is actually understanding the information, truly and fully. One would think this might be easy, but in 30 years of training riders, haven't found that to be the case. It's the rare bird that is truly an exceptional student.

 

Here is a piece that will absolutely kill a person's ability to learn new information: if the person thinks they already know it, have fixed ideas on how it should be, how it is. That stops learning dead, right there. We observed a husband and wife at a firearms class. The husband was "coaching" the wife, and he had no clue what he was doing, and not willing to actually look at and try the material and concepts being presented by the world-class experts doing the training. They were actually dangerous as their fundamentals were so poor, they had to watched very closely by the instructor--and didn't even come back for the 2nd day of a 2-day course.

 

(Note: there are many pieces of this puzzle that are not being addressed, this could go on many tangents. I do have a series of pieces I'm looking to address, but I'm aiming to keep it along a specific vein).

 

Still good so far?

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OK, given "where to turn the bike" as the top of the list on priorities, if you are approaching a turn and have chosen a point, what conditions or observations would make you CHANGE your turn point as you are approaching it? (Aside from something obvious like suddenly noticing an object on the road that prevents you from using the one you chose.) Are you constantly re-evaluating your choice as you approach the turn point or do you pick one and just run with it?

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May I respectfully advance an INSERT?

 

On a lower level, I think the rider subconsciously evaluates where he/she presently is first. Next they look at the upcoming corner and makes a plan for the corner, their trajectory, the appropriate speed, etc. I think that after that's done can they then determine the proper turn point to be able to execute their plan.

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Good question Hotfoot, but I think one that is a whole subject in it's own right--why would a turn point be where it is, what would cause one to change it, etc. I'm going to leave that for now, just want to keep the core idea of simply having relative importance of information. For another, there might be something more important as they approach a turn than establishing their turn point.

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JB,

 

Seems like plan, trajectory, appropriate speed would all be based around the turn point...at least that could be one way to look at that. At any rate, for another rider maybe TP is not the most important, which is fine, but something is/should be. All I'm working to establish is not all information is the same value/importance as everything else.

 

CF

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The plan is subordinate to the objective.

 

Imagine your riding down the road and the turn is approaching. You see it and in your mind you've drawn a line to take you around it. You start at the end product and work backwards through the necessary steps.

 

Many riders have never HEARD of a turn point. How many people driving their car think of a turn point? I'll bet very few, yet they seem to get through it okay (mostly). Therefore, I surmise that establishment of a TP is not the most critical thing to be established in one's mind.

 

The benefits of having a TP are numerous. Starting with the fact that it anchors the other variables in a given turn to get the desired product.

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It's interesting reading this. As much as I overthink my riding I'm not as bad as I initially thought.

 

Many of my last minute turn point changes are automatic. If there's another rider where I want to turn "some how" I adapt most of the time without much real conscious thought.

 

Rather than overthinking perhaps I just have a lack of faith. Many riders have way too much faith while I have too little. I want concrete experience or data rather than just having the faith that there's enough traction. This is a catch 22 however since you don't have that experience or information unless you have the faith to put yourself there to begin with. That whole "knowing you can" rather than "thinking you can" and then perhaps finding out the hard way that "you can't". :)

 

Coby. On the firearms course thing. There's a fine line that you have to be careful not to cross when it comes to telling someone "the right way". You can be a world class expert at any topic but if you come across the wrong way people will tune you out completely. Your credentials no matter how impressive become completely irrelevant to them if you can't present your better way in a manner they can digest.

 

I have a friend that is an amazing rider as well as being a pretty decent firearms instructor. He has a very unique approach when he see's unsafe behavior at the range. Rather than do the typical "OMG That's dangerous!" he politely approaches them and waits to get their attention. Once he has their attention he says "hey let me show you something" and then gives them a mini lesson under the guise of helping their accuracy. He sneakily inserts some safety related stuff in there and demonstrates visually what can happen when you "do it wrong". People always thank him and almost always clean up their safety act. Not only do they gain the benefit of improving their accuracy and technique they are safer too and aren't insulted. Win win. For more egregious and dangerous behavior he obviously adapts the approach. Sometimes you have to be firm while still friendly.

 

Rather than perhaps people "thinking that they know it" you have people "thinking that they know some things and want to fill in holes" and then have someone coming across the wrong way and are completely shutting down the exchange of information. Rather than look at this as a malfunction of the people perhaps look at this as a malfunction of the person trying to present the information. It was their approach that put the learner on the defensive. If these people truly thought they "knew it all" would it be a logical use of their time and money to take your class? :)

 

Think of it this way. If you are a cat burglar wanting to steal the priceless art collection setting off the alarm is likely the last thing you want to do as the Police are on their way to stop you. People have unique protective mechanisms themselves much like an alarm system. Trip over one of those hidden laser beams and your mission of educating them is over. Our human alarm systems are our sense of self and our Ego's.

 

A fun experiment. Ask someone who know's someone who's really talented about them. Try this again about just a normal person. Listen to the first thing that comes out of their mouths.

 

You will find that most often you will hear "Oh he's a great guy" or "What a jerk" first before ANY other information regardless of who you are talking about. No matter if you are a plumber or a brain surgeon or a motoGP rider your talent is most often of secondary importance in the way you are remembered. :)

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Got both the above, thanks for them.

 

JB, the point isn't if a TP is the most important thing or not, but that that some information is more important than others. Seemed like you are good with that, yes?

 

Rchase...I like your firearms guy, nice approach. For the sake of continuing in this vein, good with the idea of the information has to be well understood as a key factor? We for sure do get guys that come to the school and think they are know how to ride, and are there to just show us how cool they are...it happens!

 

CF

 

PS: Rchase and JB--you guys bring up many good points and factors (as did Hotfoot too). I'm not negating those in any way, I'm just sticking to this one vein, and the part regarding doing. Thinking/reasoning, working stuff out--this vital. I'm looking at some of the potential building blocks, before we get to the doing part.

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Willing to comment, but....... sorry, Cobie; it is not clear to me what exactly you want to discuss here. :(

 

My perception from your previous posts:

 

1) The physical and mental principles behind riding a motorcycle properly, as well as the technologies in the machine, are important to be studied and understood by the rider.

You called it "the first step" in your OP.

 

2) Some of those principles are more important that other because they are fundamental for the understanding and application of the rest.

You have called what "one really want to understand well, and know like the back of one's hand".

 

3) Few riders, couches, students, schools or free-advisers know or want to expend time and effort to learn and understand the "technology to riding".

The same persons believe that they know enough to teach others, who then believe that any advice is solid and good.

On this, you have stated that "There has to be an evaluation of the technology, how good is it, how effective is it".

 

4) Experienced/fast riders that attend your school show a high degree of resistance to learn or reasoning why things, bad and good, happen when piloting a superbike at high speeds.

They seem to be more doers than thinkers, and are not willing to switch that approach to riding/racing simply because they are firmly convinced that they have been doing it well for 30 years.

Hence your comment: "Thinking/reasoning, working stuff out--this vital. I'm looking at some of the potential building blocks, before we get to the doing part."

 

I fully agree with rchase; any invitation to changing that approach could hurt the sense of self importance of a rider who knows that he/she is incapable of understanding that information or who believes that his/her riding is already proficient without all that reasoning.

A person who wants to learn will always do all the research that he feels he needs to understand the principles and technology of riding: that is what Keith Code did when nobody bothered to think much about the science behind racing.

"Nah,.... there's gotta be something more here"

 

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Cobie. I'm also a bit confused as well to be quite honest.

 

If I had to "guess" where you are going with this it's how visualizing things in the minds eye can make it easier for us to do things. Like racers who can ride entire laps of tracks in their heads or athletes that use visualization techniques to accomplish their goals.

 

In order for this technique to work you first of course must understand what it is that you are trying to accomplish with all of the steps involved. You then think out the order in which you will do the steps and the timing. When it comes time to actually do this the first few times of course will be awkward but this eventually gets embedded into the subconscious and becomes "automatic.

 

Keith wrote about this in his books and used the $10 of attention. This is also $10 of conscious thought. Once steps are moved into the subconscious they become "automatic" but it still requires a bit of conscious thought to trigger these automatic things. While we don't think much of "how to shift" our motorcycles we do listen to the engine and decide "when" to shift. All of that takes CPU power in our minds. :)

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Hi Lnew,

 

Thanks for the response, that helps see what might be clear and what is not.

 

My intention for this topic was to cover a few points, and first just establish:

 

1. There is a technology to most things (sometimes one has to dig to find it).

2. There is an importance of information. Like with Rchase's friend, and shooting. Knowing the 4 rules of firearms safety is of top importance.

3. Understanding the information. This requires some study. Almost anyone on this forum, or that comes to the school has some willingness to learn, and that's all that's needed as a first step.

4. Next is practicing. Often we can provide a good environment at the School by providing a road with few distractions: no cars, cops, kids on bicycles, speed limits, traffic in the other direction, etc. But...sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes its just too fast, too much info, not enough time to practice. We have done some private training where everything was doubled. Instead of one session to practice a major skill, it was 2. Instead of 2 days of training in a row, it was 2, with a day off, and then 2 more! While this might be a near ideal training format, not possible for many, either time or financially.

 

Its pretty rare that we get someone at the School that is just there to show us how good they are, just come to ride the track or the bikes,or has fixed ideas on how to learn that don't allow them to take in new information well, but it does happen. In most of those cases we can make headway by simply presenting the information, show them how it works and let them try it.

 

Does the clear up where I was intending to go with this topic? (Not yet complete, but so far).

 

CF

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