Lean, brake and swerve…Got Skills?
Ok, so the holidays are over. I’m betting many of you received some great accessories for your pride and joy. From chrome hand grips and levers to highway pegs and aftermarket mufflers. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones whose spouse surprised him or her with a brand new motorcycle.
By now, you’ve installed all the chrome bits and your ride is looking cool. So cool, you can’t wait to hit a couple of bike nights and enter your customized bike into the bike show and maybe take home a trophy.
You’ve spent quite a bit of money personalizing your bike, easily a couple thousand bucks or more. You even got a new leather jacket and a really hot looking jacket and chaps for the wife. The two of you are sure to look really cool pulling into the parking lot to mingle with your like minded peers on bike night.
Picture the scenario. You and the wife are cruising down the road looking like a couple of bad-ass bikers; the wife’s out front with you close behind keeping an eye on her. You may have even fooled yourself into thinking if something bad happens to her, like a car pulling out in front of her, you’ll somehow be able to protect her. (The truth is, you won’t be able to protect her).
You quickly push the thought out of your mind as you ride by the strip shopping center and catch a glimpse of yourselves in a storefront window, man, are you two looking cool.
Finally, you arrive at the bike night local. As the two of you slow way down to turn into the crowded parking lot, you notice a couple of hundred bikes scattered about. You can see your wife getting a little shaky with the handlebars as she starts duck-walking her bike between the rows. She’s not comfortable at low speeds. For that matter, neither are you. The wife attempts to pull into a space when suddenly she squeezes the front brake with her handlebars turned and down goes the bike. Since you’re looking right at her and since your hands follow your eyes, you wind up bumping into her downed bike. You snatch the front brake, the fork dives down and the next thing you know, your bike is laying on its side as well. A bunch of people run over and quickly get the bikes up. Neither of you are injured but the cool factor is now gone completely.
So, what happened? You spent a bunch of money on bikes but not a single penny on learning how to ride them. The fact is, anyone can ride straight down the road; having the ability to lean, brake or swerve takes skill. You will really need those skills out on the road when someone violates your right of way.
Make it a New Year’s resolution to get some advanced training this year.
Copyright 2014 Jerry “Motorman” Palladino