Keith Code Posted June 28, 2006 Report Share Posted June 28, 2006 The Barriers to Improvement While riding, the more we resist things happening to us the more likely we are to make an error with that exact thing. The areas we fear, the ones we do not understand the basics or the limits of, the ones that stick our attention, will bite us in the end. Squirmy Barriers It's really simple, if you put too much attention on how the tires are gripping, each little squirm of the tire can make you nervous. Later braking, better drives, higher entry speeds and everything else there is to riding, especially quick riding, follows suit. They all have scary parts that can stick our attention. Look over most of the riding forums and see what the majority of questions are about. The questions all relate to the barriers these riders experience. Good Starts Take starts for example. You try to get a good launch and the right hand is too nervous on the throttle; your attention is fixed on it and the start is bogged. Putting all of ones attention onto the throttle and resisting the impact it "might" have leaves no attention free to look after the clutch. Done properly, we bring the clutch out to just before engagement and pin the throttle, leaving all of our attention free to use the clutch and correctly meter the power to get the launch; no bog, no wheelie. Attention Barriers Attention nailed in place, on what is being resisted, becomes the real barrier. The moment attention goes to what we don't want to happen (the scary bits) we miss the positive aspects that would allow us to improve. Chopped up riding is the expected, but unwanted, result of our attention being spent on and becoming fixated on that which we resist. It creates "no-flow" and hesitant riding is the result. If you wanted to get some immediate improvement in your riding you'd write out what it would be like if the commonplace things you resist were overcome. In fact, take a look at any time you've had a riding uncertainty and you'll come up with an item that was being resisted. The control inputs that govern your traction, line, lean angle, surface situations and speed are the most likely suspects to investigate for that list. Bridging the Gap In order to maintain contact with what IS happening the important must be separated from the unimportant. Easy to say but how do you bridge the gap between the fear of things and achieving the desired flow? Here we are back to the basic idea of "A Twist of the Wrist, Volume I", how our limited amount of available attention is being spent. What's Important? In the tire squirm example: tire squirm is important to you but your control over the throttle is far more important. In the end it will be mastery of it that allows you to move through the tire squirming barrier and get to the point where proper tire spinning is comfy. As you bring the bike up out of the turn and apply more and more throttle the rear end tends to stiffen, as a result, the squirmy little mini-slides are more easily achieved. Because of that, the drive area off corners would be the important place to begin to experiment with squirm and spin. Why? It's safer. Tire slip is tire slip and the rules say that slip at big lean angles is going to get worse a whole lot quicker than if the bike were more upright. This is important for you to know. It gives a precise area (turn exit) and action (bringing up the bike) to coordinate with your idea of tire spinning and throttle application. Squirm Barriers If the rider freezes as he feels the squirm two things can happen that make things worse: 1) she stops bringing the bike up and 2) the throttle roll on stops. That is exactly the point at which it would begin to work if she had kept going with both. In this case, the timing of the two actions is what is important just as the clutch engagement timing is the key that unlocks a great launch. The Time to Improve Riding and life work like this: put your attention on fears and we produce fear and errors; put it on our hopes, we see hope. The only hope you have of mastery in these areas of riding is to sort out the underlying technical points, procedures and priorities which, when mastered, will pave the way to success. It doesn't mean that there aren't riders who are quick, smooth and consistent naturally, I've known many; but the questions you have to ask yourself are, "Am I quick, smooth and consistent?" "Can I make it in the time I have allotted for this sport"? "Will 10 more track days pull it all together for me?" Un-resist On a purely physical level a great example of overcoming fear and resistance is the technique for going down a steep, slippery dirt hill on foot. If you resist, for fear of your feet slipping out from underneath you, they tend to slip. The moment you lean forward and begin to run or walk quickly enough, there is no possibility of falling from slipping. Skiing is very similar. Resist and you lose control. There is simple physics that accompany this technique but the point is-it's foolproof, you can't fall from loosing your traction if you run or walk quickly enough down the slippery stuff. The flow you impose on it overcomes the barrier. The potential for a bad result evaporates completely and you are in knowing control of it. Un-resisted Riding Actually, riding off-road is the same principal, the more you resist going down the hill by over-using the brakes, especially the rear, the less control you have; pushing through that barrier and allowing the rear wheel to turn ain't easy for some people but it is a whole other world of control on the other side. That world opens up when you correctly place your attention onto what gains you control rather than resisting it. Similarly, your chances of wheelying or bogging goes way down when the throttle is pinned for starts; it just doesn't seem that way until you do it. Every barrier you blow through results in a satisfying and in-control flow of actions. If you think what I am saying is: you have to push through the fear barriers to get to clean riding, you are right; but the push comes after the understanding of where your attention should or should not be focused. Simple Route There are basic principals to riding. What you ride doesn't change them. Where you ride doesn't change them. How fast you ride doesn't change them. They are what they are: they are not based on my opinions about them, they are based on well defined and easily understood basic principals you will understand. You may discover these principals all on your own, you may also win the lottery. Considering the limited amount of time most riders have to devote to riding your chances are about the same. It has been our great good fortune to research, discover and assemble these technical points of cornering. It has taken 30 years of devoted time and attention to separate the important from the unimportant and to figure out ways we can trick ourselves into giving up the resist-error-resist-terror way of doing things in favor of the focus-flow-focus-go mode. We now know how to achieve this with ANY rider. Indeed, the huge amount of improvement riders can achieve in just one day of training still boggles me, even after 30 years of doing it. The Superbike School's program is not based on tricks and I can't say it is easy to overcome the barriers. I will say that our route is simple to understand, direct, to the point and it works. You will improve; past that I can't promise anything. Learn the skills, discover the art of cornering. Best, Keith Code\School Director ⓒ Keith Code, 2006, all rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the author. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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