With every class, events and seminars I learn something new about the needs of the people I coach and talk to. To gather intelligence is one of the building blocks of how I design my programs.
One perception goes deep. Actually way deeper as it might feels/looks at first glance, and this is that most riders are actually don’t even know what they are looking for in a motorcycle riding class. When I ask plain, the general answer is ‘I want to be more confident.‘, or ‘I don’t know. I believe I need to fix my body positioning‘. I have my ways to get more specifics from them they begin to warm up and telling me their stories.
It seems that most are looking for solutions based on the situations they’ve experienced, like ‘I am hitting debris in a blind turn. How to deal with this?’- or ‘How to get around a deer’- or ‘…a merging car…’ etc. Some actually getting a little mad when I reject the question. Why?!… well, because my imagination of what exactly their situation was is pretty limited, isn’t it?! I mean… how can you expect to hear from me a 100% solution if I don’t know ALL OF THESE FACTORS:
- how fast were you?
- what was your EXACT lean?
- what was the EXACT distance to the object?
- what’s your reaction time like?
- how do you react under panic?
- what was your EXACT line?
- was there a bump?
- how was the grip niveau of the asphalt?
- was the space to the left/right?
- at what EXACT point and angle in the turn?
- how was the light?
- how is your bike setup?
- how old are your tires, and what are they capable of?
- did you have sleep enough last night?
- did you have a beer or too last night?
are linked with each other and make a plain answer impossible. Sure, I could give a standardized truism answer like ‘counter steer’, but in the end it is just an empty phrase, because without knowing all of the factors above… how should I know where and when to put an eventual live saving counter steer?!
But no, some really get mad and might think that I wouldn’t know or that I’m just sales pitching Cornering classes, when I keep the explanation in a seminar short when questions coming my way in regard counter steering. Of course I KNOW, but if I would try to explain it without doing live demos, drills, and plenty of riding time and to correct you to finally get it down… then it actually is it just like the same as if you would read it in a damn book, where efficiency is questionable (!). Any answer would be just a waste of time and the rider filled only with half-knowledge.
So what is the ‘perfect street rider class’? How about I deliver the scenario to send you through a bunch of blind turns- covered with debris, and let you go back and forth? Or I send you down a long straight into glaring sunlight and let deer’s jump in your way? Those deers would be exchangeable with red, white and silver Priuses so that would be covered as well. How about a class like that?! Sorry no, because the ‘SURVIVAL SKILLS’ you are looking for are to get a other way. How?!…
OK, imagine you are going trough a blind turn, and you are realizing that you are heading towards debris. What do you think is the appropriate procedure to get ‘around’ it (the solution is in the word)??? Yep… you need to ‘corner’ to go around it.
What about avoiding the deer or the damn Prius?… Yep… you need to ‘corner’. What about to hit the ‘escaping’ gap you see opening?… Yep… you need to ‘corner’. What about to have to emergency brake so hard, but you mental coolness allows to make decisions to ease into trail braking and to counter steer away?!… YOU NEED TO LEARN TO CORNER TO GET THE SURVIVAL SKILLS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! Ergo- A cornering class is what you need for God’s sake!You think you can get it in a parking lot class which copied their drills from others? Is this the way you could get the MENTAL COOLNESS I’ve mentioned?! Sorry no, and please let me add at this point that your mental stability is the skill which kicks in first when hitting debris, the deer, the Prius driver, or that 20 years old driving that SV while texting a complaint on Facebook how f’d up everyone is driving today. I know I can help you with that too.
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Sacramento 03/21/2018