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Going backwards..

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by I Adore Vic, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Not to be confused with 'having a shit day on the bike'. This is different. Since an off earlier this year I've been taking it easy on twisty rds - a lot easier than what I used to do.

    This off was due to a number of factors - but basically it all boiled down to the fact I wasn't riding to the conditions (wet slippery rd after weeks of sunshiney weather). Leant too much and Bam - hit the deck.

    Anyway, since then I've had the typical issues one has after an off and I've been working on those issues to try and get me and my confidence back up to speed and hopefully come out of it a better rider.

    I've slowly worked up my confidence to lean the bike again - however I've a long way to go wtih this...a lot of time riding is spent experimenting with weight distribution, body positioning, keeping body relaxed, throttle control, what gear works best and engine braking, lines etc...all stuff i used to do but am now doing at a much slower pace. I find I - and excuse the reference but tis the only one I can think of that describes it adequately - hit a brick wall when it comes to speed. I find that once I reach a certain speed, I can't go any faster...

    This, I know, is me riding to my limits. I'm not confident going any faster atm. This is NOT a bad thing. I don't view it as a bad thing. If anything, it's a good thing cos it means that if I keep this up, eventually I'll find my speed naturally increases.

    Compared to how fast I was riding 6mths ago, and on rds I'd never ridden (eg. The Oxley where I was doing a helluva lot more kph than what I'm doing now), it almost seems like I've gone backwards in my riding. It'd be easy to think that, and I thought it myself, however I believe that if anything, I'm going forwards in my riding atm...because I'm using this time to better my skills and become a better, more skilled rider..

    If that makes sense.

    Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?

    Have other riders gone through similar things to this? Care to tell me about it?

  2. Try and increase the contact patch of your tyres to the road for now. When you lean the bike, keep your body fairly upright and weigh the outside peg. Once you get your cornering speed back up, then start leaning off the bike again.

    Was better explained this thread... https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=51354
  3. Looks like interesting reading Toecutter - Cheers.
  4. all takes time unfortuantely rosie, after my off last year on the alpine ride, it took me a set of tyres to really get in to the groove again, but surprisinly i had a crash (no thats no the surprising bit :LOL: ) thursday before last and i have found i am pushing the bike harder then i ever have, rear stepping out front wanting to go skywards exiting any bend 55s and under for some reason the latest crash actually gave me alot more confidence on the bike :?
  5. go back to basics rosie..... forget body position, weighting pegs, bum off seat etc... when i caught you guys yesterday as i came up behind you, it seriously looked like you were trying to hard and you just looked awkward on the bike.

    cheers stewy
  6. So you're basically doing everything I don't want to do - re: rear stepping out...lol.
  7. I know what you mean Stewy. I'm feeling it today in my right shoulder! Going back to basics sounds pretty bloody attractive to me right now, however it isn't as easy as it sounds though.. :? Sitting on the seat is how I lost it on the wet corner up near Warburton... :?
  8. lol its a controlled slide, and is a great feeling
  9. He makes a good point. If your confidence is lacking the that won't be helped by consentrating on everything else. Confidence and riding fast are not the same thing. By relaxing a bit and taking it easy, your confidence will grow again and you will build speed naturally without too much conscious effort. Re-learn to trust the bike before frustrating yourself by trying to push your psychological limits. :)

    Remember, riding's supposed to be fun, so treat it as such and worry a little less. :)
  10. I reccomend you do a track day
  11. Or rather, you happened to be on the seat when the slippery road and corner speed caused you lose it. There's no strong case to argue that hanging off the bike would've prevented the crash. Corner speed under the conditions would be a more likely suspect. You only need to hang off once you reach lean angles that compromise the bike's ground clearance. If you're taking it easy to regain confidence then you will be fine to stay on the seat and lean your upper body as required. :)
  12. I know exactly what you mean Rosie, went through the same thing after my first off. Now going through it again, coming from a 4 month break of no riding. I find the best thing to do is ride my favourite roads, don't push it, just try to stop thinking about technique, and just ride. OK so it's easy to over-think things sometimes. I might even take a corner like a noob taking 2 or 3 bites at the cherry. Meh! who cares.

    Just remember to set up for the next corner and then the one after that.

    The good thing about riding familiar roads is you get to a stage where gear selection is second nature. Looking through the apex becomes second nature and you only need to think about leaning in more, tipping in later. But remember to treat the same section of road differently each time if that makes sense... :?

    What the other guys have said is right, go back to basics, and take lots of time. But of course you already know this.

    On a side note is the possibility of doing a track day/cornering course looming?
  13. i reckon, the key factor is to relax. you are over analysing everything.
    you lost a little mojo when you had your off, and you are pressuring yourself to get it back.
    relax, ride, forget the technical stuff, and it will come back to you.
  14. Thanks guys. All good points and advice.

    I'm not keen on doing a track day, simply cos there is no feedback/lesson. Plus bike's not insured for track days.

    However I've got other options - the CSBS Level 1, or I can do the Stay Upright Advanced I Skills Development Course. I'm choosing the latter - held at Broadford end of May.

    Plus am gonna head out for a nice long ride on Monday and Tuesday.. try and do what you're all telling me to do - relax and go back to the basics. :)



  15. Have you changed your tyres yet Rosie?????????

    If you're still riding on squared off tyres then that will be half your problem. New tyres will increase your confidence greatly, simply because the bike will feel more stable in the corners. :)
  16. I have a fairly simplified analysis of what has happened. You rode past teh limits. It bit, now you are riding to limits you are currently comfortable with. They may even be sensible limits, ones that you will largely adhere to from now on, who knows?
    I see nothing illogical with this. It'll take time to get more confidence back up on teh bike, for sure, but don't rush it. Just focus on one part of cornering at a time, get that settled back down, and move on to teh next part.
    I feel you will gain a lot from a decent advanced riding course, they instill a lot of confidence in your riding, and confidence in teh bike too.

    Regards, Andrew.
  17. I lost a lot of mojo after my lowside. It wasn't a big crash by any means, can't get much easier... but it shook me up. The things that worked for me most involved taking the pressure off.

    Get someone to ride with you, and their job is to tell you how great you're doing at specific aspects of your riding. No making things up - just genuine recognition of good skill :wink: . Failing that, force yourself to think of as many good things you did out on the road each day. Some riders are overly confident and don't learn from mistakes. Others can be too hard on themelves. We need a certain amount of confidence or we go backwards. You need to boost yourself up to the happy medium.

    The HART intermediate course also helped a bit with particular weaknesses, but not so much with overall confidence.

    A new bike helped :grin: . Well I do have more confidence in it, which helps me "trust the bike".

    Also, probably the most frequent thing I use when I'm having an off day, but also to rebuild from an off few months... Ride SMOOTH (thanks for that one Raven).
    Just tootle... throttling on/off rather than frequent brakes, look far ahead, smooth movements for countersteering/body positioning. You'll just get flustered and make mistakes if you focus on speed. Forget about speed, just float through.
    Increased speed will come as a side effect as you practise smooth. Looking far ahead helps with lines and gives more time; lack of brakes (with not going fast) builds to higher corner speeds anyway...
    Get back to basics "look and countersteer" and "light on the bars".
    Something I'm going to need to do after my current non-riding period :mad:
  18. I reckon you're onto something there Caroline.

    Hey Rosie, I'm busy Monday, but could go do some roads on Tuesday.
    Gimme a buzz
  19. Rozzeee, relax and go back to basics. Bring yourself up through the learning curve again... this time it'll be faster.

    The other thing though is to out logic the automatic fear responses. You've done corner 'X' before, safely, many times, you can do it again! :)

    I sympathise that the magic/romance and mystical nature of riding has been blemished. The bubble has burst... it's sad, but now you have a bigger picture. Genuinely I say to you, welcome to 'real riding'.

    Rozzeee, you are a wonder and have lived a charmed life on two wheels, and have experienced so much in such a short time... Unfortunately, now your abundant enthusiasm is tempered by a real appreciation for the amount of respect two wheels and riding conditions require... and from this new found place of respect, you will find a deeper appreciation of what you're doing. Trust me :)
  20. Don't get too focussed on the problem Rosie. At this point you know that you can do better but it just not coming to you, sometimes. For me, the important thing is not to chase for your previous limits, but to let them come to you, instead. It does take some time.

    Sometimes you can set the chain of events in motion that will get you sorted, by the simplest of things. In my case, new tyres have done that for me.
    MY own personal BIG barrier is front-end grip...If my perception is that I do not have enough (whether I do or don't is beside the point), then it severely undermines my confidence in the bike, and I will spend the whole day riding like crap...I HAVE to feel that the front tyre is well and truely under me. If it is, then even if I lose traction on the front-end, it does'nt bother me....I ride through it with confidence.

    Just a bit of food for thought, in case it resonates with your circumstances, Rosie.