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Roadcraft Concepts

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by PilgriM, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. In the mail today I received an A4 sized envelope with an invitation to take part in the trial of on-road coaching, I knew about it previously but it seems they are trying pretty hard to get people involved.

    Has anyone else who is on their L's or on restrictions received this??

    Can anyone comment on the validity of what they are trying to do here, I mean one 4 hour session will be useful I'm sure, but then using a few phone interviews over a 12 month period as a method of establishing how you have progressed since then seems a little flimsy.

    I could go of & take part in heaps of rider training in the meantime, how would this skew the results???

    But then again it is essentially them paying for us to do it, you deposit $50 then get that back once you have done the 4 hours, then after the last phone interview you get a $90 voucher, but it doesn't state where this is redeemable!!

  2. Vicroads, VMAC (I think) and MUARC are involved. If MUARC are involved, there chances are that they'll twist it around to suit an agenda. If they are working at the behest of VMAC, there's a chance that VMAC can keep MUARC honest... mind you, VicPol and VicRoads are key players on VMAC.

    I'm not sure how 4 hours on road coaching can modify one's attitude and skills sufficiently to have a measurable effect on safety. In America, one jurisdiction is offering up to 21 hours free bike skills tuition - now THAT is more likely to have an impact.
  3. nothing to lose, free training, take it
  4. I've already been thru the 1st phone interview and have been placed in the deferred on road ride group but still received the letter in the mail today. MONKEYMAN speaks sense, here's a banana for you my friend.

    There's more info in this and this thread.

    The money is only paid to show your willingness to attend and get you to commit otherwise when things are free people tend to ignore/forget things. Getting the deposit back and more are explained in above threads.
  5. I'd do it if they asked, just to keep them honest and get a bit of a better view on "spin", they may produce from it.

    Pretend your Maxwell smart infiltrating "Kaos" HQ.

    • Like Like x 1
  6. I called them in early December, and a week or two later had a couple of phone interviews - the first one was just checking that I'm eligible, the second was mostly regarding my riding frequency and style (e.g. what type of roads I ride on, how often I speed and filter, describe my near misses, do I think speed limits on freeways should be increased etc).

    Then I was given a reference number. Called Honda riding school with the number, got a ride session appointment for late January. Then promptly forgot about it, and expected to have lost my $50 deposit.

    A week later got a call from Honda offering to reschedule my session. So, I'm going for it this Sunday. Will let you know my impressions.
  7. OK, did my training today, and thought it was quite useful!

    It was raining all morning and drizzling all day, which I thought was lucky for me - would have a professional opinion on my riding in the wet.

    Arrived at HART in Somerton on time, and surprised the instructors - they thought nobody would turn up due to the rain. So, the training started in a group of 1 (plus the instructor).

    First off we had a bit of a chat, talked about hazards, near misses (and hits) etc, and what I wanted to get out of the training, which for me was to have a feedback on my riding, and improve on right hand turns around small roundabouts - the only problems I thought I had.

    Then we hit the road. Here's a link to the route we took: http://goo.gl/maps/3T2M. A nice and easy route, some riding in traffic, some weaving roads and some freeways.

    A small portion of the route the instructor was leading to demonstrate particular techniques, but most of the time it was me leading and the instructor watching.

    Each of the marked destinations on the map are the stops where we had a few minutes of discussion of my riding, the instructor's observations and recommendations. It turned out I had more issues than I thought.

    Main lessons I took out of it were:

    1. Even though I'm riding a cruiser, it is not a good idea to put both feet down when stopped, should have the right foot on the rear brake ready to take off (easier said than done once the bad habit is acquired!);
    2. While mostly my road positioning was OK, on a couple occasions I didn't leave enough buffer for myself, including stopping too close to the car in front on one occasion, and overtaking too close to a car on another;
    3. Cornering: Should go wide and lean into a corner late, rather than just trying to maximise the radius. Interestingly, doing it immediately fixed my problem with small roundabouts!
    4. Braking: I usually have the brakes covered, and apply the front brakes with two fingers, and was told it was a bad idea: on the one hand, in emergency I could brake too quickly and lock the front wheel (I know - I've done it before), and on the other hand two fingers may not be effective enough. Theoretically I'm not too convinced in this one, but I'm gonna try it for a while and see how I go.

    Obviously these were issues specific to my riding, and others would probably find other helpful hints.

    Overall, I enjoyed the ride, appreciated the professional feedback on my riding, and got a few pointers to work on. I thought it was a very good investment for $0 + my time of 4 hours of fun.

    Would I recommend it? Definitely to any new rider. Would I do it again? Maybe not this one, but I do intend to do similar and more advanced courses at least twice a year, and it was good do get a freebie!
  8. That's a good tip, just be aware that if you don't have a quick steer (see cornering 10X's in the noobie forum) this will increase your lean angle and on a cruiser, ground clearance is at a premium.

    76km is a good on road length of time. Some questions for you.

    How often did you stop?
    How much feedback did you get along the way?
    Was the onroad coaching trial explained to you?
    Is this the only on road coaching that's being offered?
    Is it expected that this session will make you a safer rider?
  9. Probably depends on the bike and it's brakes. Some bike will easily pull a stoppie with two fingers others require a full fist.

    I think their logic is that if two fingers isn't enough then once you are using two fingers it's probably difficult/not effective to swap to all fingers.
  10. There's that and one of the other problems with two finger braking is that a proper emergency stop could see you with trapped fingers between the lever and the bar.

    I've heard this cover brakes is a bad thing, but I don't buy it. Covered brakes saves you important reaction time and if your brakes are covered, your mind is already set to ebrake rather than panic grab - of course, you need to have well practiced ebrakes in your brain for the automatic action to take place...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. This is a major research project - HART are doing the training MUARC are doing the study but the effectiveness evaluation is being done by the George Institute - not MUARC.

    It's very small group on road mentoring. And you get a $90 voucher for it as well...
  12. Thanks for the write up Vahramh, interesting stuff, I signed up last week but have not heard anything back so far...
  13. Oh, this thread has just reminded me, I'm due for my 3rd phone call in
    March where I then should get my $90 voucher....

    Did mine last year and at the time thought the road ride out there amoungst real traffic and real speed limits is the perfect ride for licensing rather than the enclosed slow car park style system currently in place.

    More of this type of training is what needed within the current time frames rather than the proposal of a 3 year LAMS period!
  14. I am due to do my ride in March. last interview in June. should be an interesting ride on big bike..
  15. Thanks Tony - that's reassuring.
  16. There was a total of 6 or 7 stops, they are on the map posted before.

    At every stop we discussed two areas of focus:
    1. Feedback on how I was doing;
    2. The next leg, and what I should focus on there.

    Yep, I knew what to expect in general terms from their info booklet, plus the instructor went through it again at the start of the session.

    I'm not aware of any other on road coaching in Victoria. I've heard of such courses in ACT and SA. I definitely would prefer on road coaching to carpark or track coaching (just for the riding I do, which is 90% commuting to work and 10% weekend / fun riding), although of course track coaching has major benefits as well, especially for more advanced riders.

    Yes, I beleive that's what they are trying to prove. The instructor mentioned that there's a general perception that training is not good for you, as it makes you feel too confident and take more risks, and the point of the study is to prove that perception wrong. That's why they split the respondents into two groups: one that gets coaching immediately, and the other that gets coaching in 12 months, and they will then compare the stats of both groups to see if there's a difference.

    Exactly my reasoning... However, their point is probably valid for an inexperienced rider like myself who will "panic grab" in emergency despite having practiced ebraking...

    Agree that 4 hours coaching won't make you a better rider, but it did make me see my weaknesses, and if I work on them in my everyday riding, that will hopefully work in my benefit. I think the best way to approach it would be 4-8 hour training sessions on a regular basis (say, a couple of times a year), to allow the rider some time to digest and act on the the information received at the training.

    But I don't think the training should be made compulsory. We're enough of a nanny state already. It should be the rider's choice to consciously and proactively take steps to become a better / safer rider. And if someone chooses to trust Lady Luck - so be it!

    Subsidising the coaching sessions is definitely a good idea (perhaps up to a certain number of hours, and 4 is definitely too low a number). Somehow I don't hold my breath for having this trial extended too much longer...
  17. Thanks for your responses Vahramh.

    No I meant was this the only on road coaching YOU were going to get as part of the trial?

    This is old research that's pretty much been disproved, including by some of MUARC's own research!


    If you're body learns that the brakes are just something to slow you down, rather than something that needs finesse to slow you down safely, a panic grab is possible. Practice your ebrakes.

    Fair enough, but you wont be getting any more as part of the trial. By the way, have you been instructed not to get any additional training? Any additional training will muddy the analysis.

    You might not get a choice and the safety crats are certainly not interested in lady luck.
  18. Yes, I beleive so, nobody's mentioned another session.

    My mind agrees with you entirely, but my body just doesn't get it (yet). So as you said, hopefully consistent practicing will change the way my reflexes work.

    No, in fact if they did I wouldn't agree to it. Interesting point though - I agree that the analysis will be affected by additional training. They should somehow factor in that people calling them are people interested in training in general. At least they should've asked me if I intended to take additional training.

    Absolutely! I'm just against anyone telling me what to do, so I'd happily join any movement to silence safety crats (and bureaucrats in general)

  19. This is why, for example, when people fly they feel much more confident with an untrained pilot than a trained one. Same applies to trained and untrained surgeons. The examples go on and on.

    I don't think it is a general perception. It's just a VicRoads perception.
  20. I had the first phone interview last night, it seems I am also in the "delayed ride" group, which means I get to do the training in 12 months. :(

    The questions were a bit strange in my opinion. It started off as expected with questions about how much riding I do and what types of riding, but then the last 20 minutes or so (it took around half an hour) were all questions about whether I thought breaking the law made motorcycling more fun.

    Will be interesting to see what the next one is like in a few months time. They also didn't mention that the $90 was a voucher, she just said that I would receive a $90 payment for taking part.