I’m not sure if this is something to be proud of… I cringe whenever I watch this video. The video is a direct window into a former self. A younger self, a naive self…a stupid self. It’s a reminder that we all have to start somewhere.
I receive mostly negative comments about this video on YouTube. Everyone hates the music, and I find this hilarious. 😆 The music is meant to be ironic. Of course it doesn’t fit, but I don’t expect the average YouTuber to see that.
So what happened?
There’s many things that I’m doing wrong in this video. So I want to point out everything in the hopes that it serves to educate other newbies. Let me first explain the series of events that happened:
- I thought I was approaching the corner too fast to negotiate it.
- I freaked out.
- I pressed the rear break too hard.
- My rear wheel locked up in the middle of the corner.
- I panicked.
- My eyes locked onto the side of the road.
- Continued to brake but stopped bothering to turn.
- Hit the grass at around 10mph and then the bike slipped out from under me.
So what contributed to this series of events?
The bike could have negotiated the corner at the speed I was traveling at, but the speed was faster than I was used to. My mind was not acclimated to those speeds in those circumstances. I was riding beyond my skill level, and so, I freaked out.
Freaking out caused me to stab the rear brake, which in turn locked up the rear wheel and spiraled into panic.
My panic diverted my eyes from the road to what I was about to hit. You really to do go where you look. Once I looked off to the side of the road I had a classic case of target fixation, and then it was all downhill (literally!) from there.
Luckily I and the bike rode away with only minor scratches.
What should I have done?
I shouldn’t have been riding that fast even though the corner could have been negotiated at that speed. My tires could have handled double the speed, but without the skill to push your motorcycle to that level then relatively slow speed can cause panic in a rider’s mind.
We all push thigns too far sometimes, so what should I have done once I got myself into the situation? I should have committed to one of two things: 1) Aggressively braking, or 2) aggressive cornering.
1) Stand the bike up, then brake aggressively, then lean the bike back over and complete the corner. This will make for an ugly “zip-zagged” line, but at least you’ll stay on the road.
2) Continue negotiating the corner even if you think you are going too fast, and apply light braking. Unless you are going at insane speeds, then chances are that your tires can handle the turn. People rarely reach the limits of their tire’s grip. Trust your tires even if it doesn’t feel right. You want to apply light amounts of braking because you can’t afford to use your tires grip for a maximum amount of braking AND cornering. It is a balance between the two.
After an accident, I recommend playing it over in your head to figure out what you did wrong. I have the luxury of video which everyone doesn’t. Suck up your stupid pride and learn from your mistake.
Are there any mistakes I missed? Any solutions that you think would have been better? Any stories of your own to share?
UPDATE 03-24-09: A couple people pointed out in the comments that the rear brake should not be used at all. I completely agree with this and I should have emphasized this. When scrubbing off speed the front brake is far more efficient at doing this. Using the rear brake will do little in a corner and more often distract you (like what happened to me!). There are times when the rear brake should be used, but not while negotiating a corner.