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Blog: Going places.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by thatdarnweasel, May 23, 2012.

  1. I have returned to riding after my accident.
    Slowly but surely, with an hour or two on the bike four days a week just putting around the backstreets and making it to an empty parking lot at the Uni with cones for weaving, confidence has been sprouting.

    The simple things I was finding difficult, like hill starts, turning at the lights while worrying about stalling, feeling comfortable in traffic (etc etc), are becoming less of an issue. I do not have to keep as large of an active part of my front most mind going over the actual operation of the bike. Still do, but I'm noticing improvement :) That's a good feeling.

    Yesterday, before work, I managed to squeeze in another couple of hours of riding. It was probably the best ride I've had yet with the least amount of 'noobie' moments. Not once did I feel like I was going to stall at an intersection, or feel like I was not quite able to make the quick launch into a gap in the traffic on a busy road or feel unbalanced when making a slow turn (counterbalancing for tighter turns is something on my practice day to-do list). The weekend parking lot is doing wonders. Started off with doing a few hill starts - about a week ago, I set out to finally nail down my hill starts. It seemed to all at once click into place, and I've not stalled on hill starts, or any start for that matter, since then.
    It's just a matter of balancing the clutch right and giving it enough throttle so that the RPM doesn’t drop too much on a hill start... Sound about right?

    The immediate streets around my home are getting repetitive. Definitely time to head further afield.

    Up Mt Keira, towards Mt Kembla. Up to the 80ks section with winding bits. Up there to practice some quick launches and REALLY get the sense of how the most effective way to steer above 60ks is with countersteering. Using my hips to move the bike underneath me barely does anything at 80. I could hang off the bike and it'd hardly wobble.

    It takes quite a push to tip over and swerve quickly at that speed, huh?

    The quick launches were in preparation for entering on to Picton road, which is a 90 zone all the way through these days. Not that intimidating for an 80 restricted dude to ride on, and there's overtaking lanes dotted along it anyway. It's the second time I've ridden along Picton road, the first time being that day I injured myself.

    Here's a question then; when you're in the left hand lane with cars overtaking you, what is the best lane position?

    I ended up at Cordeaux Dam easily enough, and I was feeling' pretty good about it all. Spent some time doing some low-speed manoeuvring in the parking lot, snapped a couple of pics.


    Trip back was equally as uneventful and comfortable, though I was definitely being super attentive to drivers potentially getting impatient behind me along the single-lane parts, half expecting someone to be riding on my rear tyre. That kind of happened, but it wasn't a big deal.

    The trip back down Mt Keira was a lot of fun! I had a lot of robsalvv's advice from the noob cornering threads in the forefront of my mind, keeping relaxed, flapping my elbows from time to time, turning in fairly late in corners to see around the blind parts a bit better before rolling on the throttle.

    Now I'm impatient for the weekend to come! Eager to get back out there and try for a repeat performance. Would love to stretch the bike's legs a bit more.

    ( Just in case Hornet happens to see this thread: I'll be in touch, keen to go for a ride, mate! Would love any advice you can offer :) )
  2. Great read. Congrats on getting back into it. You really are going places for sure.
    I saw a youtube vid I can;t locate now that showed how minimal the effect trying to weight the pegs or "moove your hips around", as you put it, to steer has. The slight change in direction they deduced was due to a countersteer effect.
    You already are countersteering or you are just going in a straight line. The conscious effort to do so at higher speeds is good I reckon.
    You mentioned in your accident post that in reflection you should have pushed out more on that left handlebar. That's something that is really hard to get your head around but you need to both get your head around it and to experience it and practice it.

    As for "when you're in the left hand lane with cars overtaking you, what is the best lane position?" I'd say left or middle. You need to buffer but need to also asses what is on your left and whether you need to buffer there. There might be parked cars or a really broken surface that means it is best to be in the middle of the lane or maybe even in the right side.
  3. Good to have you back. (y)
  4. Welcome back!