Just ride with it. When I ride i forget im on a bike. I turn my right hand to go and my foot to shift and thats all I think about. If you just ride enough it will come to you. No special way to speed it up.
I practiced this weekend squeezing the bike with my legs in the braking bumps and the rough stuff. I am completely and thoroughly impressed how much easier the bike is to control and how well the bike & I felt. I tried squeezing with my upper legs around the top of the seat area and then squeezing lower around the frame guards, the upper squeezing seemed to work better, obviously you need to be standing.
Additionally, based on some suggestions from AJ I am pushing with the outside knee into the side of the radiator shroud when cornering and this helped tremendously in cornering the beast.
All in all, I did feel much more at one with the bike and additionally, for all you gutter mined people, no sexual innuendos please......
Crashing is just a state of mind
Once you feel relaxed on your bike you will feel like part of it. Before you can be relaxed you have to be able to trust the bike. Try landing on the front wheel (not too hard) or other near crash maneuvers to get a feel for how your bike will react in various situations. If you do this in a controlled way you will know how the bike will react in an UNcontroled situation. It’s like hitting your brakes on an icy road to see how slick it is so you have an idea how far you can push it.
Don’t get carried away but learn the limitations of your bike (and yourself). It will give you the self-confidence that you need to relax. This has helped me considerably. Practice, practice, practice... :D
I don’t have a riding problem...I ride, I fall down...NO PROBLEM!!
DON'T THINK! I went riding today and all I did was ride, nothing else. It was the best ride ever! Nothing went wrong and I had a blast. I felt at one with the bike. Just ride, have fun, relax and don't think too much.
For me, any aprehension or uncertainty is durectly related to one of 2 things:
[*] My current state of mind.
[*] How well I've tested the ability of my bike with me on it.
I am a huge fan of using a worm track figure out, and develope, the (me + my bike) equation. I will find a relatively flat area and use traffic cones to set up a course with as much of a mix up of hair-pin & sweeper turns(and everything in between) as I can manage. Starting out at a sane pace, I will work my way around the course making a point to swap between inside and outside lines.
Play around with it and have fun. Take a note of how long it takes to get around it 10 times. Play around some more, be unconventional, try stuff you don't normally try, and push yourself HARD(thats what all the body armor is for).
Take a breather, check your bike, review the course, then to another 10 lap time trial. Repeat.
As your worm-track rutts up, life will get more interesting and you will get exposed to more and more adverse riding situations. The harder you push yourself, the better an understanding you will develope regarding performance of you and your bike as a team. The better your understanding, the more comfortable you will feel on your bike.
Where's Your Focus?
Ever do any cross-county/trail running?
Do you stare at your feet?
Are you glaring at every tree because you're worried about hitting them?
When I'm on a race track, I focus on nothing. The thoughts running through my head are much like those when I'm running/sprinting through a woods trail: Head up, eyes forward, acknowledge obstacles(but don't stare at them), and use peripheral vision to find/evaluate moving targets.
Heck... If the rider in front of me was one of my own brothers, I most likely wouldn't even know it. I couldn't care less if it was Carmichael himself. The only thing about him being there, to me, is that he is just a dynamic part of the course(moving, non-stationary object) and my objective is to get past it. Period. If I'm taking the time to worry about exactly who is where, I'm out of my 'zone' and probably getting tired.
Like most have already said... ride, ride, ride, ride. Adrenaline is your friend. Use it to your advantage... :D
1st New England Race of 2001
....Southwick, March 25th....
... :D...!! BE THERE !!... :D...
[This message has been edited by KloudKicker (edited 01-19-2001).]
One thing many riders don't take full advantage of is setting the bike up to best suit them. There is so much adjustability to be had thru different bars, seat foams, levers, adjustable bar mounts, etc. and just fine-tuning what you have to best fit you. Taking the time to experiment with these variables can yeild real benifits in terms of your comfort, control, and confidence in your machine. Simple things like rotating the bars forward or back in the clamps can make a huge difference in the way a bike feels and handles, and have a direct effect on your ability to feel at home on your bike.
1992 KDX 250-FMF porting,two-stage power reeds, Fatty pipe, Power Core silencer,titanium rod,Wiseco Ultra-lite, Pro-Action suspension...Why didn't I take the blue pill???
One thing I have learned from Gary Semics the Great about standing up is to push your knees together (in), and push your feet (out). Not to the point where your feet slide off the pegs, but it is more like a lock on the bike with your legs. In at the knees out at the feet. With this you can ride fast and control the bike much better. Try it and you'll see what I mean, Gary means.
One more thing in addition to my previous, With this method, when u put one leg out around a corner, the other leg (which is still on the bike) continues to be locked onto the bike, while the other leg can support your balance.
OUCH! I rode about 2 weeks ago with a friend in the trails behind my neighbor’s house. The trails were slick, muddy and had several water crossings that were not there the last time I rode. Well I was tired but my friend pushed me into going, which was not a good idea. I learned that one cannot be “at one with the bike” when very tired. By the end of the ride I was ready to go home and let’s leave it at that. I had hit trees, logs, MUD, nasty water crossings and much more. It would have been a good ride had I not been so tired. I learned a few lessons that day. 1. My brake lever acted very well as a bark buster. 2. Don’t let friends bug you into going riding. 3. Never ride when you’re tired.
P.S. I am going to the front brakes fixed this weekend. I have been riding without front brakes for 7 months!