Better Riding Up North : No Pain, All Gain

borderduc

Desmodromically delirious
Aren’t biking and sex remarkably similar in many ways ?. In both cases you grab a helmet, get a leg over and ride off into the sunset as fast as you care to go, hoping you’ll enjoy a great performance, that what should remain upright remains upright and that it’ll not end in tears.!. A bit crude, perhaps, but there’s a serious point to be made that what sets out to be a pleasure can end up in pain. Ouch !. Serious pain, too. Yes, we all have stories to tell about times when the tarmac bit back and it suddenly wasn’t fun any more. Trouble is, you can accept this as all part of biking and hope your number doesn’t come up on the next run. Or you could do something about it. Just think…

You play golf, so you work on your swing.
You play football, so you practice kickabouts.
You run marathons, so you put in the mileage each day.
You swim, so you work on your technique.
You ride a Ducati on the road, so what ?

Well, you’ve invested a decent amount of cash in this mechanical work of art, so you don’t want it bent. And you’re part of this Ducati Up North community, which doesn’t want to see you injured or worse when you should be out having fun with us, so this Better Riding Up North forum is where we can exchange ideas on how to improve our riding performance. Riding in groups or riding on our own. Riding in the wet or riding in the dry. How to reach the point of feeling in total control of your machine in any road condition, so you NEVER experience an out of control moment. In other words, no pain, all gain !.

In the Ducati Up North community we are lucky to have a wealth of experienced and knowledgeable riders who are keen to pass on tips and advice for those who might be fairly new to biking and need a bit more confidence. Nobody needs to be shy about asking for advice about anything about better and safer biking. It could be a lack of confidence in the wet. Maybe you find cornering tricky. Worried about holding the group up because you can’t keep up ?. Can’t understand why you nearly lost it on that bend ?. Had one of those Volvo moments ?

This is the place to get it sorted out. As well as an open forum where you can ask ANYTHING you think you need to know to make you a more controlled rider, you’ll see mention of key topics like…

- riding in groups
- getting in the right frame of mind for riding
- reading the road
- where I can go for training courses in advanced riding ?
- really getting to know your machine
- how can we practice this but still have FUN ?

So, as with safe sex, lets practice safe biking so as to avoid any of those unintended painful consequences. Oh, and let’s show these Southerners we’re Better Riding Up North !.
 

rockjock620

New member
'sfunny that, it was only this morning as I was driving out to collect some stuff for work that I was thinking on similar lines. Having done no more than a mile from home I had seen: 4x4 reversing out of narrow, blind lane into main stream traffic; two women drivers falling over themselves to let each other go first, holding up everyone else; white van parked (consulting map) obscuring junction signs; car cutting corner at T junction to get a better line (just where a bike would be parked when turning right), there were more in the remainder of the journey, too long a list for here, now.

My conclusion, thinking if I were to be asked what the single most dangerous hazard to bikes on the road would be - JUNCTIONS. Bends, corners, straights, bridges, road surface all pale into insignificance relative to junctions. The aforementioned "hazards" are all under the rider's direct control - they are benign. Junctions have the interface with other road users and others can screw it up for us.

So, OBSERVE to PRESERVE at junctions would be my mantra to help others. Always be prepared for the worst and always check the eyes of the opposition directly.
 

gordj65

New member
rockjock620 said:
Then we get onto groups - Ian, where is that thread you posted the other day? BIKESAFE was it?

an easy way to sharpen up your observational skills is to give yourself a running commentary.say out loud exactly what you see as you drive along.it makes you even more aware of whats going on around you .....
a rare sensible moment from me there
 

Scottch

Ninja Poopy Psycho
gordj65 said:
an easy way to sharpen up your observational skills is to give yourself a running commentary.say out loud exactly what you see as you drive along.it makes you even more aware of whats going on around you .....
a rare sensible moment from me there

You do this on the IAM car course - it's mental when you do it to start off with, but you just say out loud everything that you see.
 

borderduc

Desmodromically delirious
I did the advanced riding course with Edinburgh District Advanced Motorcycle Club quite a few years ago. It was the best £40 I ever spent. It covered about 10 weeks of riding with an observer, with a couple of classroom theory sessions too.

At first I wondered whether it was a waste of time, with lots of theory and plenty of discussion - perhaps just the sort of thing we go biking to escape from - but I stuck with it and towards the end of the course it all started making sense. Going out on group runs with these guys was a lesson in control and smoothness - it was still fun ! - and these guys certainly knew how to "make progress" . None of this racing up to corners, misjudging speed and position, fidgetting to settle the bike and gassing it hard out of the corners. I was truly surprised how quick and smooth these guys were, always looking in control. Forget the notion of fluorescent-belted jessies pussy-footing around on bikes !.

The other thing I found was that at first the observation seemed like 000s of bits of road information coming at you, which they teach you to assess and deal with. It's a bit frightening in some ways when you force yourself to think of everything that's going on around your bike, but a course like this teaches you to deal with it in a second-nature way - a bit like counter-steering, which you do without thinking too hard about it.

I'd definitely encourage an IAM course to anyone who's not done one.
 

Gizmo

Forum Geek
rockjock620 said:
that's the sort of thing I was meaning - I did the IAM too, it works. It's still blue though!

First lesson of safe riding Pete, observation...............

try reading the stickies at the start of the forum :D :D
 

Derek

Elite Member
Subscriber
Scottch said:
You do this on the IAM car course - it's mental when you do it to start off with, but you just say out loud everything that you see.
Yes. I did a police driving course about 20 years ago and had to do commentary driving. I still do it every now and again to keep my attention to what's going on around me up. When I did that course the copper training me remarked that generally motorcyclists were far more aware of what was going on around them than car drivers -not surprising really, it's a skill you need to survive as a biker.
Why is this thread Sports Classic Blue?? I tried to change it and said "Invalid thread link"
 

Nimue

New member
rockjock620 said:
'sfunny that, it was only this morning as I was driving out to collect some stuff for work that I was thinking on similar lines. Having done no more than a mile from home I had seen: 4x4 reversing out of narrow, blind lane into main stream traffic; two women drivers falling over themselves to let each other go first, holding up everyone else; white van parked (consulting map) obscuring junction signs; car cutting corner at T junction to get a better line (just where a bike would be parked when turning right), there were more in the remainder of the journey, too long a list for here, now.

My conclusion, thinking if I were to be asked what the single most dangerous hazard to bikes on the road would be - JUNCTIONS. Bends, corners, straights, bridges, road surface all pale into insignificance relative to junctions. The aforementioned "hazards" are all under the rider's direct control - they are benign. Junctions have the interface with other road users and others can screw it up for us.

So, OBSERVE to PRESERVE at junctions would be my mantra to help others. Always be prepared for the worst and always check the eyes of the opposition directly.
Your ladies reversing is nothing Pete.
Try passing a frisky horse with rider - and loose dog - uphill blind bend, lots of gravel and running water on narrow road and a car coming the other way! Oh yes, in the rain.
 

Screwy

New member
Nimue said:
Your ladies reversing is nothing Pete.
Try passing a frisky horse with rider

I can safely say that Ducati,s and horses do not mix , Ive come very close to a sound horse whipping on quite a few occasions trying to get past a horse on various Dukes :(
 

rockjock620

New member
I get the horse whipping when I fly past on the mountain bike. It hurts, my it hurts, lovely it hurts - why do I keep doing it?:) :) :)
 

ST4s-duc-996

New member
increase your fitness levels, improve your balance skills, develope muscle groups, get out on a pushbike. you can even have a few beers if you stay off the roads.

if you can go a couple of hours on a pushbike, it will make any motorbike feel like an armchair!

this link has a few nice ideas

http://www.roadracers.co.uk/pace.htm

The number-one survival skill, after mastering emergency braking, is setting your corner-entrance speed early

The Pace emphasises intelligent, rational riding techniques that ignore racetrack heroics without sacrificing fun.
 
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