Don’t Go Mental In The Pack

Riding in a group can be fun. Hanging with mates, attending bike events, eating good food and meeting new people can be almost as good as the ride.The psychologist Maslow identified that people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behavior.There is an energy from the group, but be wary of getting sucked into riding too fast for the environment and bad behaviors.Too often we see a huge skill disparity, riders bunched up and silly overtakes.Be selective with who you ride. Select others at a similar skill level that you know and trust.

Inappropriate Speed

We hear about speeding all the time and can easily deliberate that its just revenue raising, this can result in some complacency.However riding too fast for the environment is still one of the daftest things you can do on your bike.Remember to ride to what you can see. What’s around the corner? Can you stop before your vanishing point?Wayward 4WD’s, wildlife and pedestrians can literally appear out of nowhere plus debris on the road like gravel, fallen tree branches or diesel is all too common.A mentality that something’s out to get you is useful. Use this mindset to protect yourself.

Drink And Drugs

Riding bikes is risky enough without adding more unnecessary risk through having a drink or taking drugs.As well as the obvious impairment there is a much greater risk of tiredness, poor judgment, slower reaction times and a false sense of security even with a small amount of alcohol in your system.Fatigue from riding a motorcycle is not to be underestimated and a real threat for riders.Drinking enough water combats both the mental and physical fatigue while alcohol only dehydrates us further.

Risk Awareness

The best riders have good awareness of their environment, continually scanning their surroundings to identify potential hazards.By being prepared for threats you are much more likely to react more quickly.Anticipate other road users behavior. Look out for the warning signs, for example a car subtly weaving in its lane may be a distracted driver.Reduce speed at intersections and cover your brakes. This can save precious seconds if you need to stop.Always use your safety bubble when you ride.Reflect on any close calls. It may have been a car driver at fault as a rider we will always come off worse.

Illusory Superiority

Does your ambition outweigh your talent?CS27’s derogatory remark to VR46 after the GOAT took out the talented Aussie during the 2011 Spanish GP in Jerez has more depth that it first appears according to psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger.The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias expressed by unskilled individuals suffering from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate.This overconfidence is a common problem amongst many motorcycle riders.Riders that appear competent can often come easily unstuck when there is a small problem often resulting in a survival reaction.Motorcycle riding is a life long journey and self-reflection is an important part of identifying our weaknesses and converting them into strengths via motorbike training, practice and attitude adjustments.

About the Author: Mark McVeigh

Former MotoGP Engineer & International Racer Mark McVeigh is the Founder and CEO of motoDNA, improving motorcycle rider's performance and safety around the world.

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