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Friday, June 25, 2010

How to Crash...or So I Think!

Looking at my archive history, I had over 200 posts in my first year.  2010 has exactly six posts.  I need to get crackin'.  With less than 200 days left in the year, I doubt I'll get any where close to that number but we shall see.

As everyone knows, the best way to gain experience in riding is to ride.  And practice.  And ride.  Slow skills.  Picking up a dropped motorcycle.  Practice practice practice.  P.S....riding fast in a straight line is not practice.  Unless you want to work on your braking skills.

Unfortunately, an important skill to have is also crashing.  However, this is one area that is rather difficult to practice.  At least I hope for the average bear.....

When I was growing up and lived life on 8 wheels (yeah, I skated on 'quads'), I got several lessons on crashing and learned how to fall down.  It's saved my bacon a time or few.  I also had the luck of having a terrific boyfriend at the time that believed in teaching reactionary skills so not only did I learn how to fall down on skates, I learned how to countersteer on ice (a feat accomplished in north Louisiana, no less) and how to handle skids, dirt, gravel, and other hazards in a car and on a motorcycle.

Interestingly enough, I've found that mountain biking has been a great contributor to my education of controlled riding and well, crashing.  Riding trails that are quite technical will certainly take one though a OJT course of how to and how not to ride.  I think it's pretty amazing to watch those mountain bikers that are leap years beyond my skill level and how they manage to get over rocks, rivers, skid, corner and everything else they do.

At this part, I'm far away from being 'expert' in mountain biking--as a matter of fact, I can state that every ride I've done has had my bicycle has had at least one crash resulting in something being bent.  I've gotten good at getting off and watching my bike crash...which I'm not sure if a good thing, but hey, it's easier to repair (and less expensive) the bicycle than to repair Christine--especially if something gets "bent" so I let go of the bike and watch it crash without me.  I don't know what I will do if it goes over a cliff.  Buy another bicycle, I suppose.

Granted, translating the laws of physical science from a bicycle to a 700 pound motorcycle is different, however, the skidding is pretty much the same.  Rather do it on a bike since the speeds are slower (although while it's all unfolding on the bicycle it does not appear to be so) than Mr. Chubbs.

I think I would get some odd looks riding Rampart Reservoir on the Harley.  Not to mention the impossibility of getting it over some of the really technical parts.  Although there is something to be said about twisting the throttle while climbing up a hill which is when I'm usually muttering under my breath for it to somehow magically appear.

It has never happened.  However, I notice an improvement of reactions when I do get on the motorcycle, so I've learned something.  Riding with control.  Braking with control....and crashing with control.  I hope I never have to test the last theory, but hopefully the muscle memory will stick with me if I ever need to call it home.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

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