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Author Topic: Group Ride - 15/04/2012
BladeVFR
Pro
Posts: 144
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Post Group Ride - 15/04/2012
on: April 15, 2012, 22:40
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A good ride today - despite the hail (in Hales! 😉 ) and rain showers giving reason to occasionally consider micro-climates (damp patches 😉 ).

The group I was in today consisted of Dan (of Hi-viz fame 😉 ) and Matt (just famous 😉 ).

Dan led the first section which was quite technical and gave lots of 'opportunities' for avoiding such hazards as mud, stones, branches, and a couple of wandering ducks!

In his debrief Dan mentioned that it was worrying/intimidating/off-putting/distracting (I think one of these was the word he used) being followed by and watched by an observer, in this case doubly so, and it got me thinking - dangerous at my age! 😉 .

By the very nature of what we do and how we approach trying our best to ride to a high standard, we all take a serious look at our riding - and rightly so when our very lives could depend on it.

However, we can perhaps lose sight of why we ride motorbikes - because we enjoy riding motorbikes! Let's face it, they're not convenient - you get wet, and not practical - not much room even in a GS's luggage!

Being serious about our riding is all well and good as long as being 'serious' doesn't in itself interfere with our riding. If we become tense, or so focussed on what we're trying to do that we forget to ride like we're enjoying it, then it can have an effect on the ride. Riding to the system does not exclude enjoying riding the bike. It should give the confidence to enable you to be relaxed and get a 'feel' for the bike.

I related to Dan an article I read a long time ago in a windsurfing magazine, written by Peter Hart, a top sailor and instructor at the time. In the article he described a pupil who was having difficulty completing a complicated manoeuvre. He would get most of it right, most of the time, but not all of it right at the same time. He asked the pupil to sing aloud 'The Grand Old Duke of York' as he was doing the manoeuvre and, as if by magic, the pupil successfully completed the manoeuvre. The explanation given was that the singing distracted the conscious mind from interfering with what the sub-conscious mind knew it had to do (through constant practice and conditioning) and so he was able to do it 'without thinking'.

Perhaps, sometimes, when we're thinking so much about what we should and shouldn't be doing (and what the following rider is thinking about how we're riding 😉 ) we risk losing the fun factor of riding the motorbike, and as a consequence, the smoothness and 'sparkle' associated with good riding.

I was singing Queen's "We are the Champions" (don't know why that one) as I was enjoying schwinging my way through the bends of the B1117 and B1118. I use it and it works! Maybe give it a go yourself and get to enjoy riding your bike.

Laters Dudes 🙂

BladeVFR
Pro
Posts: 144
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Post Re: Group Ride - 15/04/2012
on: April 16, 2012, 08:41
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I meant to mention that we had another couple of newbies.

A rider called Chris, who was having a try-it-and-see, had a 1-2-1 ride with observer Gavin. I didn't catch the other rider's name, but he would have sampled the delights of NAM group riding with observer Ian and a couple of other riders.

Hopefully they will be back for more. They might even register on this website and share their thoughts on their rides. 🙂

gavinstock
Newbie
Posts: 7
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Post Re: Group Ride - 15/04/2012
on: April 16, 2012, 11:57
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Hi all. I was on obs duty for todays group ride but was reliably running late !! Fortunately Ian did a grand job of organizing the groups. As Peter mentioned i was tasked with looking after Chris who was on his first ride out and John, an associate member and rider with the Blood group.
After a brief intro we set off last ! from Tesco and made our way to CJ Ball's now empty showroom at Hales. Chris did a fine job of negotiating the various hazards we encountered including suicidal pheasants and some Hale Showers !His pace was a little bit up and down however. Fast on the straights but slow through the bends so I then gave a quick demo ride Through to MCD's to try and show Chris the benefits of a smooth and progressive ride. I kept an almost constant 50 MPH so as to allow Chris to keep a flow and maintained this through all the bends. I don't know if it had the desired effect but i was met with a huge grin and a comment of "I really enjoyed that" from Chris !! now we were at MCD's it would have been rude not to have coffee ! Chris then led through to Halesworth and gave a really solid and progressive ride. I was very impressed myself and now i was grinning away also !! I was sure the bike was a Bmw but he rode it like a fireblade through the bends ! Amazed by his confidence in the machine i followed ,with Chris gamely bringing up the rear. The sight of that big white BM with it's police markings meant we had a lovely ride down the A143, totally unspoilt by cars that simply moved out of his way ! It was decided that i would lead the last section and again dictate the pace for Chris who was now starting to see the benefits of some advanced training. He agreed that smooth was far more enjoyable than an on the gas,off the gas then on the brakes style he had been using. We arrived at Blooms about 1 o'clock. my first debrief and a coffee stop meant we were running a lot later than everyone else. This also unfortunately meant the group had been and gone. We had a quick coffee and made our separate ways home. Chris said he would be in touch with the group regarding signing up so hopefully i haven't put him off and John is continuing his training with his observer John Walden.

Grasshoppe-
r
Newbie
Posts: 11
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Post Re: Group Ride - 15/04/2012
on: April 17, 2012, 10:42
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Hurrah! I have got a log in password at last. and can join in!
The whole NAM experience as a newbie has been brilliant for me. Last sunday I rode with Peter and Matt and another rider whose name I cannot recall, and came home pensive, but mega fired up. I have a lot to learn, but a few kind words from them is a buzz in the confidence department. and makes me want to get to the riding level that they are looking for so badly it squeaks. The curious thing is that they make a sparkly ride look so relaxed........sort of making quick look slow, with no fluster, scarily calculating, and here one second, gone the next. Great, but deceptively difficult to do, and is my goal for the future. This sunday morning , I said to peter that I bet that he was a rocket at a track day. The essence of his reply haunts me a bit. He said something like, yes I have done one or two track days and had fun, but riding for safety is the most important thing. He is right of course, and made me think. I have got to change my mindset, and keep taking on board what I am taught..
This week I was in a group with Dick Turpin who is my observer, and Al Matherne. We had a great ride, and now that I know some of the members a little better I felt more relaxed. I immediately remembered why I lived in Spain for so many years.......it hailed and rained and the old heated grips went on. I learnt more about group riding......but after the event. I must remember when leading to give the last rider plenty of time to clear a 30 or 40 speed limit, and not clear off at a rate of knots. I wont do that again.
It has been a mixed week, Dick took me up the city for town practice, and i made a bit of a fist of it because my planning was lacking. Dick is a great teacher, so i will get it with practice. I am going to Norwich right now to practice, so see ya, and thanks for all the help and advice, it is greatly appreciated. Grasshopper

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