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Tip - Ride with commitment

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by raven, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Ok...it's back to being a smart thinking rider again. One who is decisive and in-control!!....
    (as compared to indecisive, not in control of things going on around him/her, and therefore a risk to themselves.)

    SO..here's the tip - ride with some commitment!
    ...don't just be there flaking along in the traffic...be going there...then over there, then between those two cars...now filtering through here...and stopping just there...
    Your path to work (or anywhere else) should be a set of committed actions that you took, all strung together, to create a pathway that you chose dynamically as you were proactively riding along...Make sense?

    Yes yes...ok..it would be suicidal to commit 100% to something without a plan B, or even a C. And how much you commit depends on the prevailing circumstances inside a fluid and dynamic environment..nevertheless...all your mini-decisions should backed up by a sense of commitment to the task...and it is very rewarding for you as a rider.

    As you approach an obstacle, whether it be traffic in suburbia or a corner out on the open road...make your decisions with commitment...keep a little bit up your sleeve to switch to plan B, and then recommit to that.
    Plan B, is NOT a bail-out of Plan A...It's a different Plan, so treat it as such and ride the bike purposefully (with commitment) when you switch plans :)

    Of course...the level of commitment that you can attain in any given situation is dependent on your skill level, and your experience..but at any level you must still be a decisive and commited rider...relative to your own riding ability.

    Next time you go out...take note...you should notice yourself making heaps of judgement calls followed by actions which alter your ride accordingly...perhaps thousands of them on an average trip to work?.
    How well you ride will be influenced greatly by your commitment to the decisions you make...
    So don't stuff about, unsure of yourself or what you are going to do...be decisive...commit to it, and the be prepared to recommit to a change of plan, if things change.
    It will show visibly in the way you ride, and you'll be the better for it.

  2. Nice work John - thanks for sharing,

    Despite my not being a true noobie, I do everything with the attitude of; "what can I learn from this".

    So in that mould, I always appreciate the considered "articles" posted by others.

    You might have to start up a weekly / fortnightly column if you keep this up!

    Once again, thanks - I appreciate the time taken and the advice to further my riding.
  3. Personally I say forget the rewarding element (Though it is true) but think of the fact that being committed to an action will keep you alive. Don’t make your decisions along the line of “Oh yeah this lane seems good†Think of them in terms of, The right lane has 500 meters of clear and then banking traffic, I must find a place to comfortable move out of that lane in no less than 400 meters. Plan the action before you even enter the lane.
    Or an other example that I always am sure of. I do not want to be next to that truck longer than necessary, back off giving your self some space in front of you to move through quickly.
    These sort of thoughts mean your actions are planned with distances and dimensions, with times and implications. It keeps you alert because you are making definitive statements about your actions. It also means you won’t be making wishy washy decisions and being caught out between them.
    You either are going to split or your not, you are going to stop or not, you are going to accelerate or not, Review the surrounds pick a space, indicate mirrors head check, move, review pick a new space and so on.
  4. If only people would drive their cars the same way.

    I swear after tailgating, indecission/hessitation is the biggest cause of minor accidents. Which obviously on a bike can be a lot worse (as I've seen first hand, but lets not go there).

    Heed this advice, both on your bike and in your car.
  5. Not just minor accidents. The hesitation of stop or go when someones seen a vehicle they're cutting of is often enough to be the difference between a serious t-boning accident or being out of the way in time and avoiding the accident. How often do you see the end result of this being the person stopped in the path of the oncoming vehicle when if they had stuck to their initial move they would have made it through the intersection?
  6. Hi John, Always enjoy your posts, you are a thinking rider :) Cheers Mate.
  7. Like other have said, I really appreciate Raven taking time to help riders think through their riding skills... esp. newbies like me...

    As alluded to by FL, riding with commitment begins by evaluating your surroundings being aware of what's around you and DECIDING on the best path.... I have always tried to make a point whether driving or riding to always know who is around me, where are the cars, pedestrians, upcoming lights, right turners etc. and all from using peripheral vision and mirrors...

    However, there is a fine line between riding with commitment and taking the path for granted especially if it's a road you use always or commute on. After a long and tired day it is easy to assume that the conditions you are riding in today are the same as yesterday.... I guess my point is, to be able to ride with commitment you need to always evaluate where, when, what, how... even if it's the same road you use always...
  8. good comments by all. :)...good to see riders actively "riding" their bike and being "in command".
  9. The importance of a Plan B was brought home to me very forcefully last night.

    On the way home, took a detour via Yarra Boulevard (why not? :wink:). Taking it sensibly (unlike Mr 1098!) I'm nonetheless clipping an apex when all of a sudden this huge bull of a man, in running gear, bursts out of the roadside bushes. It seems there is a bush path that crosses the road at that point - a fact that seems to surprise him as much as me. He stumbles into the middle of the road, more or less right in my line, looks up to see me bearing down on him - and freezes.

    Now, had I been fully 'committed', in the sense of getting the best out of the corner... well, it would have been all over for both of us, I reckon. He really was huge. But because I had consciously ratcheted down the level, there really wasn't any problem adjusting the line and going around him. Still gave me a proper burst of adrenalin, though.

    The point is, making firm decisions is very good, but they should never lock you into a single course of action. You've always got to have a fallback position, at least on public roads. You just CANNOT know what may crop up unexpectedly.
  10. +1 to a plan B

    But you can only have a plan B if there's time.. fortunately for titus he wasn't going 100% committed to that corner...

    This is even more important in every area that has a degree of the unknown e.g. the hill you're going over and can't see over the other side, the blind corner, the intersection where a large car is blocking your view of right turners, the person trying to catch the tram that crosses your path from the blind side...

    you need to always leave enough time to be able to have a plan b because you will not usually know what plan b is from the start... even more importantly when there is are unknown factors....
  11. Be committed to your course of action: great advice for riding, and just about everything else in life. The only wrong decision is no decision.
  12. Heard this from my school teachers, my parents, my trainer, girlfriend and now you lot! :shock:

    I thought i could escape this commitment thing... I'm stuffed! Ugh biking was meant to be the escape from the womans constant blabbering about rings and children!

    Now i have more to be bloody committed about! :rofl:

    but yeh, jokes aside, good post raven, I agree with all said. How to react fluidly with a situation instead of stopping to think about every action is pretty important on the road where the situation is constantly evolving.
  13. I can’t find who the quote was originally attributed to, but one that I try to live by
    To make the Wrong decision is unfortunate.
    To make no decision, unforgivable!
  14. As a rider developes, their skills improve...this allows them to ride with higher levels of specific commitment to an action they have "chosen" to take.
    They can do that, because they also have the skills to be able to operate with less safety margin. (but they can still easily bite of more than they can chew)
    But the sense of commitment is the same whether you are experienced or not...it's only the level of that commitment which may be different when comparing experienced to inexeprienced riders.

    Careful not to confuse 'commitment' with being 'commited', if that makes sense..:)

  15. One of the other key lessons that somewhat goes hand-in-hand with committing is being "controlled" in your actions.

    Agressive and Eratic riding is tyring on both the rider and the maching - Smoother is faster - which also means calculating.

    A calculating and Smooth rider will always ride faster as they are planning their movements and planning their journey. The journey is from corner to corner, but it is still being planned.

    A wise rider will incorporate this with their capability and calculate (through expertise) the most appropriate line and speed for the up and coming corners. A rider maintains being smooth by not allowing the situation overwhelm them and ride within their own "zone". An example is trying to keep up with someone who is riding a little quicker - riders tend to use the other rider as the focal point rather than riding their "own race". Yes, I am sure many have heard the expression "running your own race" this is what it is referring to.

    The art of being smoother - in my opinion - be relaxed and focus on what "you" need to do and ignore everyone else...... I hear your mind saying "but the bike infront is something I need to pass".... Well, ignore everything around you means just that - focus on what you need to do. In this case, the other rider is part of the act - you need to ride your own ride and get around this rider - afterall the other rider is almost like another corner - it is part of the bigger picture.

    Anyway, hope this and all the magnificent advise from Falcon and Raven is also helping.
  16. I completely agree Skuff...Riding with control is important...it all strings together...A sense of commitment to the task at hand and purposeful, decisive actions allows a rider more control over the outcome of anything they do... and increases the time they have to react to situations, because they are able to better anticipate what happens next...after all, they are somewhat making it happen.

    As a result we ride with a quieter mind, more focused and therefore more in control. Through THAT we stay 'ahead of the bike", and THAT in turn makes us smoooother.. (our riding is not reactionary)
    Naturally, our skills need time to develope so that our mental approach, and improved skillset can make the bike do what we ask of it in a smooth and controlled manner...and that will come in time.

    It's far better to be a little slower, with your head in the game, than going faster with your head up your arse... :grin: ....which feeds back in to 'riding your own ride'.. :)

  17. Thanks John for the constructive post! I still find myself hesitating at times, particularly through traffic, and not “committing†as much as I should through turns, and particularly when splitting, I still hesitate at times. It’s a habit I’m trying to kick, guess it just boils down to practice.

    But thanks again, John. Always good to see advise like that in print!

  18. Hi Ruthie...tying in with all this talk about commitment, is another important aspect of riding that you have raised. (well done) :)

    Taking the initiative

    It always important to be taking the initiative in situations...this provides you with some control over your surroundings, and has you riding proactively. (as compared to just reacting to things that happen around you.)

    So when you see the traffic ahead wandering aimlessly dodging this way and that, leaving you feeling a bit vulnerable etc, then take the initiative and get yourself to a happier place...

    Always try to take the initiative, or someone else might, and they may be a total nitwit...:)

  19. Good read as usual Raven.

    I think its more than just hesitation or other things mentioned here though. (then again I may be missing the point entirely) It appears some people just drive/ride with nothing in mind, no destination or purpose. Being lost is one thing, wanting to take a leisurely drive/ride is also fine but this notion of travelling and getting totally caught up with what you are doing and being almost oblivious to rest of the world really gets me pissed.

    Some use the road for pleasure, some for work, others just to get from A to B. Regardless I don't think one should be considered more important than another but we need to use the roads in a manner that recognises the needs of each other.
  20. Quite so, mate...that's why riding with purpose and taking the initiative is so important...if you don't then you are queing off others that are doing there own thing...not necessarily what you are doing.
    Thanks for adding to the point.