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Sep 28th 2016, 12:24 PM   #1
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Nick Ienatsch - On a Fool’s Errand: Teaching Riding Judgement

Good read. Most of this info I've filed under "Well, duh!" but I've met riders that didn't get the memo.

Teaching Good Motorcycle Riding Judgement, Ienatsch Tuesday | Cycle World

Quote:
“Yeah, well,” a veteran rider will say to me when he learns what I do for a living, “ya can’t teach judgement.” He will then wax philosophic about all the skills in the world not saving a rider with poor judgement.

And since I’ve been working at riding schools for almost 20 years, I’ve heard this a lot and I’ve thought about “teaching judgement” a lot. Many of us gained good judgement along with bumps, bruises, scrapes, and worse. But many of us know riders who decided to quit riding after the above-mentioned physical injuries, so I’m quite motivated to try to actually teach riding judgement.

Riders gain judgement by observing. High-mileage riders have observed more and have a store of knowledge that allows them to judge situations based on past experience. They have seen crazy and stupid and unsafe and everything in between. The best way for low-mileage riders to catch up is to begin to be much more imaginative. Since they haven’t seen crazy, stupid, and unsafe in the first person, they must begin to see it in their imagination.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation talks about scanning and then interpreting what you’ve seen…that’s your imagination. It should border on paranoid.
Your imagination should do two things: picture a worst-case scenario unfolding, and picture what you would do about it. Mentally see your escape route or your control input if what you’ve imagined actually happens.
I have two examples that showed me this subject needed to appear on Ienatsch Tuesday as soon as possible. Each of these examples had me shouting “Heads Up!” in my helmet as what I had imagined began to unfold.
Last summer I was street riding in a large east-coast city with a friend who was new to our sport. We were zipping along a four-lane inner-city highway with him leading toward a green light at about 65 mph, just slightly over the speed limit. There were three or four cars lined up waiting to turn left across our lanes and my paranoid radar went off causing me to roll-off the throttle and cover my brakes as I imagined the first car turning left in front of our bikes. My friend didn’t roll-off, but rather continued at a steady clip toward the intersection taking for granted that the car saw him and wouldn’t turn.
The car turned. I had been yelling in my helmet for about three seconds. At the last possible moment, the car slammed on the brakes and my friend dodged to the right. Close.

The second instance that prompted this piece was last month as another (veteran rider) friend led me onto the freeway. As he accelerated down the onramp I could see that his trajectory would carry him right into the blind spot of a car angling over to exit the freeway. My alarm went off and I started shouting. Only a swerve by both vehicles at the last moment saved the day. Close.

In both instances, these riders learned from their experience and gained “judgement.” But do we need to have close calls or painful experiences? No, we need to kickstart our imagination and think about cars ahead getting ready to turn, cars wanting to get over to the exit lane that also serves as the entrance lane, and every other potentially dangerous situation. Imagine why a driver would make a move, predict how he would make it, see a way out, and don’t be there when it happens.

The second step that gains judgement from imagination is the rider filing away the experiences he or she sees. For instance, I was once a passenger in a van and we were whipping along in the right lane, flashing past stopped cars in the middle lane. A driver in the middle lane lost his patience and made a quick and unexpected move into the right lane forcing our van onto the (fortunately vacant) sidewalk. From that moment on, I imagined drivers losing their patience and diving into a lane that is open, and this thought continues to affect my speed, lane position, and brake readiness. I gained judgement from an experience observed as a passenger.

To build your riding judgement quickly and strongly, fire up your imagination every time you ride or drive. Imagine the worst and have a plan for dealing with it. Pay attention to traffic flows, corner layouts, driver types, vehicle appearance, and weather conditions affecting grip, especially when you are a passenger in a car. Store the stupid, crazy, and unsafe situations in your riding file and you will begin to painlessly gain judgement.
Sep 28th 2016, 12:36 PM   #2
 beansbaxter's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Seattle, WA

  Ducati + KTM
Very good read! Thanks for sharing this!
Sep 28th 2016, 02:22 PM   #3
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

There are a few good reasons to read Cycle World yet. Nick Ienatsch and Kevin Cameron are the top two. Not enough for me to buy it regularly though.

Edited by HalcyonSon on Sep 28th 2016 at 02:50 PM
Sep 28th 2016, 03:00 PM   #4
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

This article is a lot longer - longer than I care to paste here. I know that my truck tires will howl at the edge of traction during braking and cornering. It's very rare to hear the tires on my bike "sing." In a real emergency, it's tough to hear the tires over the sintered brake pads whirring and the brake discs ringing and everything else around.

IENATSCH TUESDAY: A Practice Guide for Motorcycle Braking
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Sep 28th 2016, 11:03 PM   #5
 craiger's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Molalla

  2007 Aprilia Tuono Factory, 2010 Honda VFR 1200f DCT
Cycle World is just an "ok" rag in my book..somewhat informative, almost too technical in some aspects, but i'm nitpicking. I have a subscription, so I've read the aforementioned post, and I took it to heart even tho I practice exactly what he preaches on every ride without knowing it was a thing that needed to be taught. Low mileage riders, in my experience, are not in it for the long haul, just the immediate justification of the thrill, looking "cool" and showin off for their buddies. But the high milers know their shit, I listen when one has something to say. I'd say I have approx 150K street miles counting, but I'm not to good to learn and listen. Always have an open mind, and if anyone wants to listen, I'm more than willing to share "oh shit" stories, etc. IMHO, the British rags are the shit, but ya have to hit a Border's, or another bookstore, I rarely see one at Freddies, or any of the local box chain stores.

If anyone out there is curious or wants to learn by reading while it's raining (get out and ride in the rain, it's very liberating, not to mention fun filtering cagers, the looks on their faces is priceless, i've seen em), check out Ienatschs' book, Sport Riding Techniques. It's dated already, but very much applicable today, with great pics and excellent anecdotes. Great read and I highly recommend it.
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Sep 29th 2016, 06:34 AM   #6
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Quote:
Originally Posted by craiger
If anyone out there is curious or wants to learn by reading while it's raining (get out and ride in the rain, it's very liberating, not to mention fun filtering cagers, the looks on their faces is priceless, i've seen em), check out Ienatschs' book, Sport Riding Techniques. It's dated already, but very much applicable today, with great pics and excellent anecdotes. Great read and I highly recommend it.
I think I have a xeroxed copy around somewhere. That was a dry read. Informative, but dry. Probably have a copy of Lee Parks' Total Control too. I should dig those out again.

For the lazy:
https://www.amazon.com/Sport-Riding-.../dp/1893618072
https://www.amazon.com/Total-Control.../dp/0760314039
Sep 30th 2016, 04:44 PM   #7
 FZ1Mike's Avatar
 
  Sep 2016
  Kenmore

  2005 Fz1 The Fazer
I liked the braking article. It's something I know I don't practice enough. Especially for the speeds I some times travel.
Jul 18th 2017, 10:12 AM   #8
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

More good stuff by Ienatsch:

How to Survive While Motorcycle Riding with Distracted Drivers | Cycle World
Jul 18th 2017, 10:13 AM   #9
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

More good stuff by Ienatsch:

How to Survive While Motorcycle Riding with Distracted Drivers | Cycle World
Jul 19th 2017, 08:37 AM   #10
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Quote:
Originally Posted by FZ1Mike
I liked the braking article. It's something I know I don't practice enough. Especially for the speeds I some times travel.
I tell my students to initially approach the front brake lever as if they were shaking hands with their rich grandmother and they don't want to be tossed out of the will. As we move to the quick stop drills I advise them to still begin with shaking hands with Nana but behave like you find out that you're out of the will just as you shake hands and you just crush on in, using a 4 count to stave of a squeeze and grab.

There are a lot of students that have had "Nana...2...3...4!" shouted at them as they practice.
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