Constant Training and Experiences Lead To Learned (and Life Saving) Traits
Instincts vs Experience and Learned Traits As humans, we are born with a set of survival instincts that may be referred to as "Fight or Flight". This instinct has helped us to a great extent , until we learned to harness internal combustion engines, especially those that are attached to two wheeled vehicles, like motorcycles.
An example of one of those instincts that protect us is the simple "wink" when an action close to your face may force you to do an uncontrollable wink and / or pull back from the action. This reaction that you do (the wink) is an unconscious reflex that is designed to protect us. The problem is that many of these instinctive reactions can be life threatening to the motorcycle rider (as they are made without thinking and having foresight as to what can happen next). These instinctive reactions can , and do, cause many accidents to those who ride motorcycles as they can worsen the situation. You do it without thinking about what is wrong, and how to correct it.
Fight or Flight - The most common reaction one has to a situation that is perceived to cause them harm is to push away or "flight" from the problem. On a motorcycle, that can mean straightening out arms and your back, and stiffening the neck and focusing the eyes on the danger in order to distance ourselves from the situation. This is just the opposite of what you need to do - loose and bent arms, shoulders low with body bent, and neck and eyes moving to find an escape or "an out" instead of being transfixed. This leads to the next basic instinctual problem we have. We have a tendency to be transfixed or, what is known in riding jargon, as "target fixation". Many accidents can be traced to the fact that the rider became "transfixed" on an object, and as the motorcycle goes where we look, if we transfix on a guardrail or a car, chances are, we will come in contact with them.
The next situation that can be a problem is our tendency to roll off the throttle and brake hard in a corner. By rolling off of the throttle you push more weight on the front tire and suspension, and if you are leaning hard in the corner, this can cause the bike to become hard to control. In addition, rolling off the throttle also causes compression braking that can cause the back wheel to slow down so quickly that it acts as if it is locked up, and creates a sliding action which makes the situation even worse.
The above are reasons why we must continually practice and learn techniques that can help us overcome our basic instincts while riding and instead, rely on our knowledgeable riding experiences to make sure we overcome any situation as it arises.
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