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A Street Consideration


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Fresh out of CSS it is only reasonable that I was working on riding skills while commuting to work on my bike.  Visual skills in particular, with emphasis in picking turn in points, pre-apex, end points.  Thinking 'big picture' and then picking points on the road surface.

Great idea, but this was not a track, it was a road.

When I was a kid we were taught defensive driving.  My instructor would do stuff like slap the rear view mirror out of alignment and then ask you how many cars were behind you, what color?  Gaining or falling back?  The same questions about who was ahead.  Watching for brake lights five cars up.  Is the road wet or dry?  Are there leaves down?  What was last night's weather like?

My favorite was being asked to imagine you are a bird 200' above the car.  Can you hold a mental image of where you are and what is around you, and who is on the road with you?  In the military they train Situational Awareness, or SA. It's similar, but basically requires you to learn to assess and consider what and who is around you at all times.  It's not easy to do, but it's surprisingly informative if you work at it.

So, there I was on my commute, carving corners and focused on the road surface, and I passed a deer on the shoulder doing around 70.  Me, not the deer.  And I had to shock myself back to reality.  Yes, big picture on turns and lines is important, but out on a domestic roadway, the even bigger picture focus on your local environment is much more likely to keep you upright and healthy.

This was, I think, an untended consequence of the CSS experience, and I only post it here for your consideration as a reminder to stay in the 'here and now' of your daily riding.



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