This came up in a discussion the other day and I was wrongly under the impression everybody took it as gospel that we ride between the lines because we just do........oh, and it makes good sense. This is obviously a twisty specific discussion and no I'm not talking about nor am I interested in what people think about racetracks. Twisties and racetracks are very different disciplines and I'm only interested in talking about the discipline that comes with road riding. There are some comparisons but they're so marginal they're insignificant and therefore irrelevant. Everybody should be or should take the time to familiarise themselves with the article titled 'the pace'. It contains a lot of the foundation principles of fun safe riding in the hills. However it doesn't drill down into the reasons why so I'll have a crack at it. Firstly I only really live by one rule and I call it the cardinal rule. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to take out another rider. Whenever I hear of it my blood boils and I want to give the rider a good fucking kicking for doing it. Here's one* i prepared earlier... *note. Killboy 'fail' will keep you entertained for hours. All riders agree they hate cagers on their side of the road in the turns, yet some riders believe because they're on a bike it's ok for them to do it. That doesn't add up. We ride up to the hills every weekend for the corners. We test ourselves on the corners. So ride the bloody corners. Don't make up new ones or try to change the ones your riding, that's just cheating on your test. And here's the thing about cheating, eventually it will get you FAILED. Each and every corner is a brand new challenge and every one of them is different. They are the road god's gift to riding. To not ride a corner on it's merits is to piss away the perfect gift, it is disrespectful to the road. And the road has a way of extracting a price from those who disrespect it. Anybody can cut a corner there is no skill in it, and that's what we're all about aren't we? Upping our skills and testing our skills. The road is a narrow ribbon of motorcycling lust, to fall off it is to end up fucked without the afterglow or the cigarette. The tighter the corner the higher the lean angle, the higher the lean angle the greater the sensation of speed without the side effect of speeding. So if you like to go fast then it pays to learn how to ride the narrow ribbon. Sure there's some more road to be had over there but it's not for you. That's there for the rider coming the way, and that rider could be me or one of my friends. You had better be out of their way when they're coming through, because they'll be leaving vapour trails when they do. If you want to be a vapour trail or a smudge on the landscape then by all means, cut the corners. I have turned and chased down the odd rider who played on my side of the road, and I'll do it again. The nuisance of having someone borrow our side of the road is it completely fucks a perfectly good line and therefore a number of corners until we get it back again. It is the difference between elite and a hack if you want to go there, for an elite rider the line is everything. And just like a surfer is always chasing the perfect wave, the top riders are always chasing the perfect line. Perfect line = perfect corner. Motorcycling perfection is found in the perfect corner. Once you've tasted it you will chase it for the rest of your life. Yes it's harder to ride half a road, that's the point isn't it? We never bought into motorcycling because it's easier. It takes a lot of skill, lots of practice, and it's never mastered. It's not easy to stay between the lines, every weekend riders are carted out of hills because they couldn't manage it. Think about that everytime you read a news report that says a rider left the road, what is going to stop that being you? It starts with the discipline of riding between the lines. If you only ride between the lines then you will know everytime you cross them you have made a mistake. A potentially life threatening mistake. It is an excellent way of objectively gauging your abilities. If you don't mean to cross the lines then you can't kid yourself if and when you do, and it's been my experience that when a hack rider makes a mistake they try to blow it off as they meant it. They cannot discipline themselves when it counts. It doesn't matter how many times you've gotten away with it, because all it takes is the perfect timing on the perfect corner to meet someone coming the other way doing the same thing. Then you've got the perfect accident. A rider who cannot discipline themselves will soon find they're riding on their own, or they'll find their riding buddies have an unusually high crash rate. Look around at your riding crew and see if they're compromising themselves. See if they're dragging you up or dragging you down, because you'll be as good as they are.