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Old October 16th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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Indirect Skills that May Help You Ride Better

While I believe that there is no true substitute for actual road time and advanced training, I do believe there are things that we enjoy (or perhaps take for granted) that help us to ride. One of those things is regular play in sports. What am I alluding to?

Basketball or (Soccer)- I grew up playing basketball. Running the point requires a great deal of court vision to be effective in taking everything and adjusting or reacting. Passing, reading the defense, and dribbling all relates. This includes understanding the awareness of what's behind you. The more you play, the better you become at picking your spots on when to be aggressive or conservative. The game slows down the more you play and it just comes to you. Very similar to riding if you think about it. In addition, you'll never need to have someone tell you "Behind you" because you'll account for it automatically.

Football - Playing quarterback or safety usually requires you to see the field and make quick decision making. You learn not to be indecisive. You learn to recognize progression. It happens in 3 second intervals at a time. If you are really good, you pick up on the "signals" before they even happen and anticipate. You know exactly where you want the ball to be or where you want to be before it happens.

Golf - The way you grip a club is similar to how you grip the handlebars -- Firm but not tight. You learn how being too tight affects the muscles in your arms which cause errant swings. You learn to be loose and athletic in your stance much like you are when you are on a bike. You learn that even though it is unnatural to swing a club, the ability to focus on one thing at a time through focus and follow through, and keeping your eye throughout the swing, after awhile it becomes muscle memory and easier (with much less gaffes). You learn to let the club do the work (much like you let the bike do the work).

Shooting Guns - Shadowing the trigger cuts down on reaction time much like shadowing the levers on your motorcycle. Eye level, depth perception, etc. all relate to riding and seeing what's lurking ahead.

Relaxation - Staying loose naturally, not reacting negatively to stress even when the situation may be grim seems to effective for me.

Even the hand/eye coordination from video gaming may be helping to quickly process information and hopefully cause a favorable reaction.

My theory is that while riding is a different sport, different skills influence riding basics. For example, nothing can prepare you for a deer blitzing across your path or the car crossing three lanes without looking. But if you can learn how to anticipate the same way you learn how to anticipate a break in a pattern on the football field or a cut in the lane. I think it all relates indirectly. Anybody have any additional thoughts?
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Old October 18th, 2012, 09:07 PM   #2
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I hope to be getting a bike in the future and I am a drummer so I hope that it will come in handy as well!
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Old October 18th, 2012, 09:50 PM   #3
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most sports help develop focus, remove instinctive fear, and exercise quick decision making.

these will help with your riding only after you learn and practice the fundamentals.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 09:55 PM   #4
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Instinctive fear in a motorcyclist is a good thing. When you're experiencing an "oh sh!t" moment, that's that little voice in your head telling to you not be stupid.

The squids are the ones who ignore that and pay the price.

The great ones are the ones who ignore it and go faster than everyone else on the track.


Sure, background in drumming or sports might help. But experience on two wheels is the biggest thing. Just go out and ride.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #5
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Karate (or other MA) is a good one for crossover skills:
- Improved balance and kinesthetics help handling generally and especially low-speed handling;
- Sparring is good for mental flexibility, reaction time, and perception; and
- Ukemi (falling practice) definitely pays off if it all goes wrong.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Instinctive fear in a motorcyclist is a good thing. When you're experiencing an "oh sh!t" moment, that's that little voice in your head telling to you not be stupid.
riders call it survival reactions, i call it instinctive fear when instructing different skills.

it similar to flinching while firing a gun, freezing right before you get tackled, braking while going wide, target fixation, etc.
it is this form of fear that causes people to make incorrect actions.

the difference between an SR and rational fear is control over your actions.

SRs are detrimental to a riders skill.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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riders call it survival reactions, i call it instinctive fear when instructing different skills.

it similar to flinching while firing a gun, freezing right before you get tackled, braking while going wide, target fixation, etc.
it is this form of fear that causes people to make incorrect actions.

the difference between an SR and rational fear is control over your actions.

SRs are detrimental to a riders skill.
Yes, I'm aware. Not arguing.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #8
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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #9
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- Ukemi (falling practice) definitely pays off if it all goes wrong.
judo helped me out a lot when doing falling drills, and grappling helped toughen my body as well.

everybody should take a martial art, imo.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 05:27 AM   #10
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Karate (or other MA) is a good one for crossover skills:
- Improved balance and kinesthetics help handling generally and especially low-speed handling;
- Sparring is good for mental flexibility, reaction time, and perception; and
- Ukemi (falling practice) definitely pays off if it all goes wrong.
Totally agree,

If you're good in karate you know to move forward when attacked, not back. (Applying the 40-60 ratio in a curve instead of backing off/braking)

You know that tensing anything other than your fists will slow you down and reduce your overall effectiveness. (Applicable at all times in riding, especially in an attack situation like hanging off in a turn - Of course I mean staying loose, not keeping a tight fist)

You have an awareness of your surroundings and your body at all times. (Good peripheral vision/reaction time)

Also I've found that the good lower body strength it develops helps you stay on the balls of your feet and gives you endurance on long rides in the twisties.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 07:43 AM   #11
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I hope to be getting a bike in the future and I am a drummer so I hope that it will come in handy as well!
I play drums as well. Yes it does help since your already used to your arms and legs working independently, and timing. Especially when you get into things like downshifting while breaking when comming into a corner.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #12
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I'm un-athletic and uncoordinated and ride infrequently. You guys should be fine!
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Old October 24th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #13
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if i gripped a golf club the way i gripped the bars, the golf club would go farther than the golf ball.. in fact it would fly away simply lifting the club back before the swing... instead of like a golf club think about holding a tiny bird or a rat or something...


i think videogames probably develop the most vital skills... hand eye coordination

being familier with how traction works how how it doesn't helps a lot
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Old October 24th, 2012, 02:32 PM   #14
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I play drums as well. Yes it does help since your already used to your arms and legs working independently, and timing. Especially when you get into things like downshifting while breaking when comming into a corner.
Sweet! If only I could convince my parents to let me ride...
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Old October 25th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #15
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I find that downhill snow skiing (not snowboarding) is the closest sport to riding.
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Old December 26th, 2012, 10:34 PM   #16
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I hope skills learned Mountain Biking will help one become a better rider (especially me). This coming obviously from an inexperience rider, but one has to choose their lines, look through the turns and definitely look way ahead of you and not target fixate.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:39 PM   #17
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Shell, those skills absolutely transfer! I mountain bike and ride and there are many parallels, especially when considering visual skills!
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Old December 27th, 2012, 04:43 PM   #18
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rock climbing helps... strengthens every part of your body, especially your core.

snowboarding has helped me, i'm a powder/cliff chaser, not a park rat. it's helped with my ability to use my brains over instinct, and a comfort with speeds, close objects, and avoiding target fixation, especially when ripping through the trees at high speeds.

honestly, anything you can likely be translated to help riding a motorcycle. hell, just walking has benefits.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 03:02 PM   #19
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Downhill twisties

I spent many years road bike riding and so I was much less intimidated by twisties, since I always had fun taking downhill twisties on a bicycle. I think motorcycle companies should be advertising in bicycling magazines--motorcycling is just like going downhill all the time. Countersteering, line selection, gradual braking, being smooth, body positioning, etc.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:15 PM   #20
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motorcycling is just like going downhill all the time.
Love this quote!
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Old January 14th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #21
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Drums, snowboarding, video games for me.

One for limb independence, one for learning to utilize your body properly, and one for training and improving reaction speeds. I think the last part may very well be the most important for day to day. Definitely need to be able to see, identify, and react to situations as fast as possible!
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Old January 14th, 2013, 04:24 PM   #22
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I hope skills learned Mountain Biking will help one become a better rider (especially me).
Quote:
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Shell, those skills absolutely transfer! I mountain bike and ride and there are many parallels, especially when considering visual skills!
Don't forget low speed control, and controlling the bike over varying ground conditions (loose, rocky, rooty, wet, dusty, etc) at different speeds. I've found that all that transfers over from mountain biking.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #23
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I'm all for video games that require a quick reaction time and visual analysis. This is my secret to near 100% hole shots from any row of a grid, plus I can read minds

My dad would walk into my room comment how the hell can you focus on anything with it constantly spinning around on the screen.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #24
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I'm all for video games that require a quick reaction time and visual analysis. This is my secret to near 100% hole shots from any row of a grid, plus I can read minds
There are lots of mind readers on Motorcycles. How else would you know the idiot on the cell phone will drift into your lane, or the person with the left turn signal is actually plans to turn right? And the stopped car at the "T" intersection on your right, yeah, he's going to wait until you're 30ft from him then he'll pull out in front of you to make the left turn--never mind there's no traffic behind you.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #25
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I'm all for video games that require a quick reaction time and visual analysis. This is my secret to near 100% hole shots from any row of a grid, plus I can read minds
Your about the 5th racer to say that. They tell me it works wonders for your passing skills.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 10:23 PM   #26
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Your about the 5th racer to say that. They tell me it works wonders for your passing skills.
I rule at lapping riders in endurance racing and lapping drivers during my daily commute

So this is how I view traffic all the time continuously, that's why I joke with my racing friends about turning on all 8 processing cores of your brain to keep you 4 steps ahead of the people around you.

Link to original page on YouTube.

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Old January 15th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #27
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I don't see traffic like that but lol!!!! I thought I was the only one who seen the lines, although mine is red.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:42 AM   #28
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I'm not sure this is a good video to view on being a better rider

Quote:
Originally Posted by rojoracing53 View Post
I rule at lapping riders in endurance racing and lapping drivers during my daily commute

So this is how I view traffic all the time continuously, that's why I joke with my racing friends about turning on all 8 processing cores of your brain to keep you 4 steps ahead of the people around you.

Link to original page on YouTube.

I hope you don't view it exactly like the guy in video. Yes, turn on all 8 processing cores of your brain, but leave the horrific visual results process at home.

Watching that video reminded me of being a new mother (28 years ago), in that - when your kids are doing something risky, a new mother's mind will run through all the possible harm scenarios with great graphics. It is funny to watch a new mother tense, grimissing, clinched teeth with all muscles of her body shaking and stiff.

While this video is funny, I think the mind set of the cyclist is dangerous, and you don't want to view the possibilities like this. When I first started riding, I did the same thing - playing a tape of horrific, graphic possibilities (seeing myself fly through the air, getting hit, etc.) which lessened my ability to focus on the ride as my muscles became tense. I would pull over and say to myself, "STOP thinking like that," took a big breath and tried to relax before continuing. This could be because I'm a women, and is possibly why there are not more women riders, because it is in our nature to keep from harm.

While I believe you need to have a healthy fear (I like the word respect better), please take it slow if you are the kind of person that thinks like this, because you will be tense and over-react to situations.

Sorry youngsters, 56 year old Ninjamomma sharing wisdom and don't want anyone to get hurt.

Much love
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 10:28 AM   #29
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I hope you don't view it exactly like the guy in video. Yes, turn on all 8 processing cores of your brain, but leave the horrific visual results process at home.

Watching that video reminded me of being a new mother (28 years ago), in that - when your kids are doing something risky, a new mother's mind will run through all the possible harm scenarios with great graphics. It is funny to watch a new mother tense, grimissing, clinched teeth with all muscles of her body shaking and stiff.

While this video is funny, I think the mind set of the cyclist is dangerous, and you don't want to view the possibilities like this. When I first started riding, I did the same thing - playing a tape of horrific, graphic possibilities (seeing myself fly through the air, getting hit, etc.) which lessened my ability to focus on the ride as my muscles became tense. I would pull over and say to myself, "STOP thinking like that," took a big breath and tried to relax before continuing. This could be because I'm a women, and is possibly why there are not more women riders, because it is in our nature to keep from harm.

While I believe you need to have a healthy fear (I like the word respect better), please take it slow if you are the kind of person that thinks like this, because you will be tense and over-react to situations.

Sorry youngsters, 56 year old Ninjamomma sharing wisdom and don't want anyone to get hurt.

Much love
Two stages is the best way to describe it. Stage one is subconscious so its an automatic response with no graphic visuals. Stage one ranges from completely legal to pissing off those who have there brains turned off till they realized they're getting passed. Stage two happens when stage one fails to process a viable option and I consciously deem the execution of stage two protocols necessary stage two consists thinking outside the box and range from highly frowned upon to vagrantly illegal maneuvers.

Stage two is very rarely use but when it is use with a passenger the maneuvers is normally dubbed the Perez lane, Perez pass...ect and passed around by my circle of friends.

The Perez family have earned a reputation among our single processor friends because they can't handle stage one as a passenger

If you want to re-live the exhilaration of those first few years of motherhood I'd be more then happy to take you on a drive. I do ask that you cover any and all damages caused by over gripping handrails or the utilization of the non existent passenger floor brake
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 10:43 AM   #30
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Two stages is the best way to describe it. Stage one is subconscious so its an automatic response with no graphic visuals. Stage one ranges from completely legal to pissing off those who have there brains turned off till they realized they're getting passed. Stage two happens when stage one fails to process a viable option and I consciously deem the execution of stage two protocols necessary stage two consists thinking outside the box and range from highly frowned upon to vagrantly illegal maneuvers.

Stage two is very rarely use but when it is use with a passenger the maneuvers is normally dubbed the Perez lane, Perez pass...ect and passed around by my circle of friends.

The Perez family have earned a reputation among our single processor friends because they can't handle stage one as a passenger

If you want to re-live the exhilaration of those first few years of motherhood I'd be more then happy to take you on a drive. I do ask that you cover any and all damages caused by over gripping handrails or the utilization of the non existent passenger floor brake
Don't forget the puke on the dash and urine stained seat damage.
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Old February 28th, 2013, 09:24 AM   #31
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I hope to be getting a bike in the future and I am a drummer so I hope that it will come in handy as well!
Including me that makes 2 ninja drummers!

Anyone else on here beat the skins? :P
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Old February 28th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #32
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Including me that makes 2 ninja drummers!

Anyone else on here beat the skins? :P
3, you skipped over me
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Old February 28th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #33
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Old February 28th, 2013, 12:08 PM   #34
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3, you skipped over me
Ah my apologies Miles, and it would appear we both utilize video games as an additional skill set as well :P
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Old February 28th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #35
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I can hold a decent beat. It's great stress relief too!
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Old February 28th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #36
csmith12
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I would never, never, never, never say "beat the skins" though.
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Old February 28th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #37
Miles_Prower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiLionheart View Post
Ah my apologies Miles, and it would appear we both utilize video games as an additional skill set as well :P
Haha yeah!! Haven't played many games lately, though beating Crysis 3 right now, and have Tomb Raider on preorder. Gotta dive back into gaming!

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I would never, never, never, never say "beat the skins" though.
get your mind outta the gutterrrr lol
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Old February 28th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #38
thejaredhuang
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I'd also like to add bicycling to the list. Road biking to and from school helps a lot especially if you ride in the bike lane like you're supposed to. Lots of places in LA don't have bike lanes so I'm in the right most lane and it has helped me get comfortable riding in traffic. I don't think anything is as fun as lane splitting on a bicycle .

Almost everything from a motorcycle applies to a bike too. Pushing on the bars, braking with both brakes, gears, but most importantly awareness of what's coming up and what's behind you.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 01:35 PM   #39
YamiLionheart
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I would never, never, never, never say "beat the skins" though.
Haha, I was hoping to get a few laughs from that wording decision
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Old March 5th, 2013, 11:01 AM   #40
allanoue
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Link to original page on YouTube.

skip to 3:52 where I am practicing my mid-speed crash and slide technique.
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