From Newbie To Coach
By Ash De Bakker
Riders come along to motoDNA for different reasons, varying from having fun to looking for more confidence or up-skilling for improved safety on the road or sometimes to even start a racing career.
This story begins in 2014 when Ash first attended a motoDNA Rider Experience at Sydney Motorsport Park.
“I started going to motoDNA days at Sydney Motorsport Park not long after getting my road licence. While I had done a bit of dirt bike riding (and I mean a little bit) at home on the farm… I really was a complete novice rider. It was during the early stages of riding on the road that I had a few near misses and that’s what gave me the idea of getting some further rider training.”
Photo credit Tim Munro
“The track provides the perfect place to practice and build upon foundational skills in a controlled environment regardless of experience. There is always something new to master, you never stop learning. The only limitation is your ego!”
“On the road there are many variables such as other vehicles, compromised road surface and of course immovable objects to name but a few. These hazards coupled with poor skill and/or poor judgment can be a recipe for disaster.”
“Advanced rider training builds your skills quickly and safely so that the rider can avoid panicked ‘survival reactions’ on the road. It helps you learn and understand the handling capabilities of your motorcycle, available grip and the impact that riders have on the bikes handling. “
“It could mean the difference between riding away safely or disaster. Besides it’s a heap of fun! “
“I also laugh about how wrong my initial first impressions were. What I did find out very quickly was that motoDNA is a friendly learning environment. Whilst training takes place on a track, it’s not a race and it’s the perfect controlled environment to learn the skills, which just might save your life on the road.”
“So that’s exactly what I did over the coming months. I went to every single motoDNA day for over a year. And in that year I learnt from some of the best riders in the country including Irish McVeigh, Mark Willis, Linden Magee and Pete Goddard. “
“I learnt an incredible amount and my riding progressed very, very quickly. All the instructors were very friendly and generous with their time. That’s something else I found out…. If you are willing to take your ego out of the equation there is a great deal of help out there.”
“So just over a year down the track, I’m still riding on the road and I’ve even entered a race. Better yet, I’ve made great friends and met the people who I would eventually go racing with.”
“Most importantly I’ve learnt the skills, which ultimately have kept me safe on the road to date. While I ride at the track at every opportunity I get, I am still very much a road rider.”
motoDNA Chief Trainer Mark McVeigh, “Ash is obviously a talented rider, however her rapid progress has also come from hard work, an open mind and no ego! Ash is not only an inspiration to women motorcycle riders but to all riders.”
Ash recently won a year’s free training and will now try out as a trainer with motoDNA.