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Beware false confidence

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Comrade, May 26, 2011.

  1. It doesn't take long for a newbie to feel they've got it all under control.

    After a few outings you become smoother with the throttle control and gear changing. Your braking and cornering improve dramatically and you might figure "hey, nothing to this".

    Beware false confidence, it creeps up on you and might push you to ride outside of your limits. Most rides will go pretty smoothly and it might be argued, those are probably not the ones you learn most from. It's the ones that throw a challenge at you that really make you think, oh crap I'm a long way from having it all under control! and that perhaps you got out of that sticky situation more by luck than by skill.

    Took out a car mirror today and ran wide on a corner into oncoming traffic.

    Lessons learned:
    1. Low speed manoeuvring is harder than going fast (fast in a straight line that is)
    2. Haven't read the cornering sticky series by rob enough times
    3. Don't be over confident but don't lose confidence when you make a mistake
  2. did you stop and offer to pay for mirror?

    what happened with running wide? did you come off?
  3.  Top
  4. Good post. Thanks for sharing comrade.

    I'm just gonna broaden it out a bit.

    Riders can get themselves into serious trouble because of over confidence.

    Riding is an art and a skill that needs continuous refining. Time in the saddle helps, but time in the saddle while observing and critiqueing your own riding is better. But you need to have the right info in mind so doing courses or talking to riders you trust or reading skills stuff you trust is essential.

    While you're learning, if a bad piece of technique goes unpunished it will become habit and it's pitfalls might not become apparent until you move higher up on the performance curve. You might not know you have a skills deficiency, so not knowing any better, after a while you start to feel good about your riding. Now there's a genuine danger that your confidence will put you in over your head. You confidence could put yourself in a situation where your skills fall short and you could be in for a world of hurt.

    In aviation, there's a recognised spike in incidents at around the 100hr experience mark... this is due to over confidence. Motorcycling can experience kinda the same scenario - the riders attitude is the key to whether this trips you up or not.

    Why do you think you ran wide?
  5. Low speed riding has it's own techniques. Not especially difficult but like any new technique if it's never been explained and practiced it could give you problems.

    If you can get down to Sat morn practice in St Kilda, you can practice and get good advice on anything you may be having trtouble with or simply want to ask.
  6. Yes of course, it was completely my fault. The guy was fantastic and was actually really impressed that I stopped. Didn't give me any shit about it or anything, just told me to take it easy.

    Took a corner i take everyday a little bit too hot and didn't lean enough into it. The car driver to her credit reacted well and swerved in time to save my arse. That's the bit that shits me the most, I didn't get out of it, the driver got us out of it.

    I was still a bit mad at myself about the mirror, had lost a bit of confidence and didn't have my mind fully on the task of riding. Lesson learned, at this early stage of riding, it really needs to be 100% focus.

    Yeah thought I'd put it out there for fellow newbies, even if it just gets them thinking about reassessing where they are at with their riding.
  7. Mate, never less than 100% focus. Don't ever think you can get away with 90% - that will be the day the lady in the car doesn't swerve out of your way to save your ass.

    Good on you for stopping - many wouldn't.

  8. agreed!

    also, well done on admitting you were at fault, and posting this up to caution others, both newbies and long time riders.

    good message for all
  9. Hey mate good work, atleast your evaluating the situation and see it for what it is. I've always been fairly good on the bike because I started out in cars but when I had my Ps when i was 17 in my car I'd hoon around and I had number of times where I couldve had a fender bender but luckily the other car driver was on the ball and gave me some room. At the time I always dismissed it as a "close call" and only in recent times have I looked back and realized that it was someone else saved my ass those time. That doesn't cut it on a bike! Just constantly look at what your doing as honestly as possible and dont rely on luck.
  10. As soon I read the thread title i was think "here we go..."

    Thank your lucky stars mate!!! Most cagers would swerve into you (trying to avoid you) or just stare blankly at you as you both had a header :D

    Occasionally I get into a corner and find i've tightened on the bars and aren't getting it round tight enough. Overconfidence is a big pit fall and i've been lucky. The few times I was over confident I managed to get myself out of it and haven't had any moments that were almost death causing. I think its because i've got such a low opinion of my skills on two wheels & the slightest brown mark moments make me back right off where alot might push on.
  11. Totally agree with you about 'over-confidence', Rob. I think it can be insidious and catch us all out in our plight to further expand our skills and experiences.

    Whilst I have heard of the '100hr' mark for pilots, the 'milestones', if you like, which we huddled around and talked about were :

    1) 100hrs total flying
    2) 200hrs total flying (or near enough once obtaining 'Commercial Pilots Licence' - confidence boosted skyward at a rapid rate)
    3) First 1000hrs total flying - this was the 'killer'. Getting one's first tonne is a memorable milestone - I could tell you exactly where/what day/what time and who was aboard the aircraft with me the day I achieved my first 1000hrs. Heck, I even shared the event with my 2 female passengers who looked at me sideways after hearing me scream with joy and (what I thought) silent 'woohooos'. A pilot obtaining his/her first 1000hrs signifies 'they're on their way..up'. This can catch out many and the reason (with aviation) why charter/scenic flight companies themselves have a minimum experience level of ~500hrs total flight hours for even a relatively 'simple' aviation job...

    Like riding, we all aim to achieve certain 'milestones', one for me being getting a knee down recently. Though ecstatic of this achievement (under the guidance of one of our very esteemed, respected top Netrider blokes), my confidence in this area has 'evolved', but becoming over-confident at this level, through my upbringing, years of disciplinary theory/practical training etc would be plain idiotic.

    In the words of a grand achiever :
    "Well, I think we tried very hard not to be overconfident, because when you get overconfident, that's when something snaps up and bites you.. "
    Neil Armstrong
  12. :) More reinforcement for the point the better Nickers. :)
  13. I don't concern myself with anyone else's riding Ninja. I have plenty to think about and correct in my own technique first.
  14. That's me exactly.
  15. This is something that can happen to us at any point. I had a big moment about 7 ~ 8 years ago, chasing another fast rider into a closing gap, and the driver he was overtaking was like 'Oh, you wanna play, huh?' and upped it after him. I was hung out to dry on the wrong side, into a left hander, as another car hove into view from the other direction... The only reason I'm here to talk about it is that both car drivers were fully switched on and made room for me. I owe them my life.

    Peter Brock crashed a racing car and died after how many hours racing cars? Joey Dunlop aquaplaned off a public road circuit in Hungry or Estonia or some place, after winning the IOM TT how many times? Ayeton Senna - Mike Hailwood - Wayne Rainey - (and just for Knickers) Paul Mantz ...
  16. KD, I hope you did that deliberately, to use an example that doesn't demonstrate the point at all. There's a difference between false confidence and getting in over your skill level and riding/driving on the edge of physics where it only takes a small bump to upset the apple cart.
  17. [shrug] It was overconfidence. I really shouldn't have followed him. It very nearly killed me. I assumed that when a litre class sports bike howled past him, our motorist would either keep doing the nice legal stuff he was doing, or cringe a bit and lift off. He actually did neither - he floored it. That left me in a very difficult spot indeed.
  18. No dude, I meant the Senna and Brocky examples. My bet is that they weren't being over confident when they binned it. They were on the ragged edge of physics - doesn't take much to upset the apple cart in those conditions.

    Your difficult spot incident was eye opening no doubt!
  19. Be judged by how you perform when it all turns to crap...anyone can ride a bike while everything is going along honkydory.

    And it's good that you're being honest with yourself, and taking on what you can learn from it.

    Word to the wise...it does'nt take more than a few times into oncoming traffic, before your first flight or first sudden stop, with a twist....the odds catch up with you and luck disappears like a rat up a drainpipe just when your skills have failed you.

    SO!...having got out into the oncoming traffic, what did you do to avoid it and get back where you should have been?...or what should you have done specifically not to get there in the first place.
    They are rhetorical questions...that you need to answer to yourself...

    Glad you got away with it. :)
  20. Senna crash was a control arm failure. Still think of him as the best of the best.
    Bikes are like planes a bit. Keeping kewl when it all goes to crap will save you.
    In a car you can just hit the picks and wait for the pop of air bags.
    On a bike the brakes will just lesson the impact. First reaction has to be to find a way to ride out of it.