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Learners and "False Reinforcement"

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by raven, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Ok..you're on your L's..may have been riding a good 6 months or more, and you're feeling good on your bike.
    Well done...you've progressed and your skills have improved.

    BUT....that does'nt make you a good rider!...many of you are still INEXPERIENCED, and you still have'nt developed a satisfactory level of roadcraft, or SKILL.

    There is an age-old problem with riding bikes...FALSE REINFORCEMENT.

    You take a risk - it works out...and that falsly reinforces your potentially poor decision, to be a good one. AND also bolsters your self confidence in believing that your skill level was up to the task when really it was only LUCK that saved your arse. (This time)...

    This bullshit of ducking and weaving in and out of traffic all over the place is a dramitic indication that alot of you are in over your heads, but you won't find out about it until the shit hits the fan and you go under a car, and end up severely damaged.

    So pull your heads in for your own sake - and learn to ride with a little responsibilty...Ride within your limitations...ride like you're a biker, and not just "some tosser on a bike"...which is only what the rest of us see.

    Did you escape being mangled because you rode with skill, or because the cagers or others around you managed to avoid you, while you sped off obliviously, or like you dodged a bullet that time. Everytime the answer is the latter, you are one step closer to feeling real...and I mean, REAL...PAIN.

    Nup...Not a rant....a timely wake up call to all you new riders out there whose confidence is getting beyond their abilities.
    Ride well because you do...not because you think you do, and take stock of yourselves with some reflection, as all good riders will.

    Trust me...you'll enjoy your summer alot more...:))

  2. Even after riding for over 35 years on all sorts of bikes I treat each ride as a first ride mainly because of what I cant control.

    A great reminder for this time of year raven. :wink:
  3. This has been the bane of my riding career. I always find myself waking up to myself again.

    I must say I was a much riskier rider whilst on restrictions as I didn't have as much of an appreciation of the finer arts of falling off.

    Having said that, I wasn't half as bad as some of the people that i've ridden with or shared the road with. There has always been the voice in the back of my head that says don't be silly.
  4. You guys are absolutely correct...a good rider HAS to constantly reflect and self assess in a completely honest way, their actions and abilities...It's how we stay alive and keep us safe from our own limitations.

    The problem seems to become an automatic response once we've practiced it and gained some experience...something that a new rider is'nt likely to have achieved yet. :-(

    It kinda behooves new riders to be even more vigilant, until they have some experience...unfortunately testosterone and youth usually win out...often to their own bone-cracking demise. (I'm walking proof of that)

  5. I remember when I did my Q-ride, at the end of the course after I passed with awesomeness. They said at the end that the course is enough to get you on the road to build up your skills in the real world for about 6 months. Then they recommended to do an advanced rider course.

    Part safety speech and part sales pitch. But I do agree, it's like with cars. You learn for a while but when you get your p's it doesn't mean your experienced.
  6. very good point/s.

    ever since i had my off (which was nothing major) i have gone back to basics in quite a few aspects, really learning (or trying too) to just take it easy and enjoy the ride, working on braking alot as i think i was doing a lot of that wrong (t0 much rear etc).
    bearing in mind i am 18, and have been riding.. 5 months now... i found i was getting to confident in, just as you say, things i was not experienced in. sure, i was getting round corners quicker, but my methods and techniques werent right.
    i hae also been doing a lot more traffic riding, and a fair bit of city for the first time (since about a month ago) and rarely duck and weave, my splitting has cut back quite a bit (for better or for worse), and am, in general, taking things a lot easier and just enjoying it a whole heap more.

    so now as i said, taking it a lot easier, but occasionaly just need to give my (little 250) flying machine :D a real push and really take off, or enter that corner quickly than i usually would.

    its gonna sound funny (to some at least) that my stupid little slide braking in a corner, has been my best experience in terms of learning on my bike. it brings/brought me back to reality and am enjoying riding a lot more, and working on techniques more, since it happened.

    now i just gotta get out with some people ... hahah.

    cheers raven :D
  7. Its not just darting in and out of moving traffic etc, don't feel compelled to filter or perform any other manoeuvre you are not comfortable with. Just because you have seen another rider do it doesn't mean its always safe for you to - that can be both because of skill and/or timing, or perhaps even they were lucky to have pulled it off. There is no shame in showing some restaint and in fact in my opinion is the hallmark of a serious and smart rider.

    If you feel sitting behind 4 cars at a set of lights makes you look like a tool you'll look an even bigger tool if you cock it up. And cocking it up doesn't just mean that you got hurt, it can mean that some other driver has had to make an allowance for you. Not only will your luck run out at some stage but it will only REINFORCE the negative perception that many in the general community have about riders.

    Def ride, go out and have fun, riding a bike around town will always make for shorter travel time and be more enjoyable than driving, but pick your moments well.
  8. I have said it once and I will say it again,

    Real experience comes when someone fuks up, realises they have, and changes the way they ride as a result.
  9. Alot of this is really about "attitude" in the way some L riders or less experienced riders seem to want to ride their bikes.
    Pushing in here shoving their bike in there, zipping around cars, cutting in front of them etc etc..

    It's THIS kind of riding that reflects a complete lack of awareness to their own limitations (and we all have them)...and a complete lack of "thinking" about their riding.
    Like I said...not bikers, just "tossers on motorbikes"

    And before anyone says anything...:)...I'm no cream puff...and don't mind playing...but some of these riders are'nt "playing" as much as they are "risk taking" in the traffic.

    So it's alot about the wrong "attitude", as well as ability and skill.

  10. Generally that's a true and good tool - to mess it up....but the bloke who did that and spent 6 mths in skin grafting probably would'nt agree.

    The idea is to learn from ones mistakes, sure...but the idea is also NOT to make the kinds of mistakes that will cause something really serious to happen...that does'nt teach anyone anything except the feeling of real pain and to be unnecessarily scared of riding...:-(

  11. Good post, mate...and great to see that you are thinking so well about your riding...you'll be a better rider in the long run for it. :)
  12. +1!

    I remember a month or two ago, a new rider said they were afraid of filtering and not yet proficient enough to do it - but felt pressured into filtering despite this, because filtering is 'what motorcyclists do'.

    Again - the only rules and behaviours you must abide by are the ones written in the Road Rules. Everything else is at your discretion. :)

  13. the humbling thing for me is the small margin for error on the bike. ive had some stupid moments in cars over the years and the difference is the car is so much more forgiving, and having 4 wheels, balance obviously isnt an issue. (unless you really screw up and flip the car)

    so much more foward planning is required on the bike, coming into corners etc. braking, when you put the power back on. you SHOULD be focusing like that in a car, but you certainly dont need to

    and also having a thin layer of protective gear between you and the road reinforces the gravity of the situation
  14. maybe the trick is to start off with as many good unconscious habits as possible.

    i read this:


    before i even touched a motorcycle.

    You could apply the approach to riding from pretty much anywhere.

    Like dating for example.

    You come into a corner too hot and scare yourself, pulling yourself out at the last moment.

    You clumsily approach a girl/boy too drunk and make a fool of yourself, getting pulled away at the last moment.

    better to learn and reflect on life, and feel the small pains afterwards... ;)
  15. 100% spot on. I dont spilt. 1 i dont feel confident, but 2, when i was on my L's, i could think of nothing that would sh!t a driver more then for a learner... WHO IS LEARNING, to cut to the front. They should be concentrating on more important aspects of there riding then splitting. I know thats what I think when some dick with L plates cuts in front of me. Then tries to race off, so he doesnt get mowed down by cagers without the proper skills set.
  16. Another good post John.
  17. Another really good post raven. Good timing too. Yesterday I did something that was a bit stupid (went to overtake 2 cars, ended up only being able to overtake 1 because I ran out of room). So there I was, stuck between 2 cars, verbally abusing myself, and wondering why I didn't just stay behind them where it was safer.
    Raven what goes through your head when you do something stupid like that? I think sometimes in those types of moments I become too focused on what's happening right now and I don't think about 5, 10, or 20 seconds ahead.
  18. What rubbish. There is nothing wrong with splitting on L's if you have the confidence to try it. That's how you learn - practice.

    LAMS bikes (such as my GS500F) are still much quicker than 95% of the cars on the road away from the lights. It took me a couple of weeks to build up the confidence and courage to split, but since then I split all the time at lights. The only time I won't if there is what appears to be a knob at the front of the lights who would probably try and race me.
  19. +12345678765432

    You also gotta remember that on a bike you are alot more vulnerable than a car. If you cut into a lane in a car and someone rear-ends you ... no biggie but on a bike you're sorta gone.
  20. Well matey...at least you recognized it and knew you'd stuffed it up...that's the important thing right there...self assessment and honesty with oneself.

    In my own case, I do much the same thing...chastize myself at the time, and get right back into it (can't linger on past events when new ones are unfolding ahead of you)
    Then at home after the ride, I am usually running my mind back over how I rode, where I should have done something better, or being rather angry at myself if I pulled some stupid-arsed stunt that caused way too much angst for everyone around me, including drivers etc.

    If it helps others...what I try to do when I suffer a poor-minded event, is to quickly take stock, and then ride afresh from that point on...most of my rides are segments devided by events, and I look at each segment individually (including the reason behind that segementation), and then the ride overall...If I'm satisfied, then I've had a good day out...if not, then I'm annoyed about it, and not a happy boy at all. :mad:

    I know clearly that I rode good to there, made that idiotic move, pulled my head in, then rode ok till then, when I got tired and cruised for a while a while without mishap...etc etc..

    My own post ride reflections are an important part of the day for me - It keeps me honest with myself and helps me to openly acknowledge to myself that I could/should have done better here or there. Next time out...the aim is to improve.
    In that respect, I think I am fairly typical of most riders with a bit of experience under their belt...

    And of course, blokes that are aware my skill level and have ridden with me a bit will know if I made any mistakes, or errors of judgement.. :oops: :grin: ...and will usually point them out or make some comment to raise my own awareness...just in case. :)