Thursday, July 14, 2011

Taking a dominant position........

In the course of my journey to ride over the Pyrenees for GOSH and KidsCo on an off-road bike, it didn’t really occur to me that road riding might be part of the learning curve. That said, I think a number of things didn’t occur to me; the terrain in the Pyrenees, the expertise required to ride off-road well, and of course being able to ride a motorbike in the first place!! Detail never was a strong point…..though always been strong on optimism..?!

So, yesterday I went out for a few hours on the road on a BMW G650GS with Ian Biederman from ART in Royston Found my road gloves, dusted off my helmet (well okay removed it, spotless as I’d left it, from it’s cover!). As you can imagine, as per usual, my nerves were running high. I mentioned this to Ian and he calming replied ‘I know, I thought you might be, no problem’, thus instantly diminishing a fair chunk of nerves and making me feel better.

Being back on the BMW was great and after a slightly hesitant off – away we went and I really relaxed into it. Ian and I were linked up by radio. He has a very calm and encouraging voice and talked me through every junction and feature of the road, which was brilliant. Ian is an absolutely superb instructor.

We stopped for tea – all very civilized, and in amongst my novice skillset, one thing I really need to sort is taking a dominant position on the road. Taking command of one's space and position, in the same way that we can use our body language powerfully in life or in a given situation makes a huge difference, it’s the same on the road! That makes sense. So, taking a dominant position was my task for the next few hours – fantastic! Throttle control getting better, poor clutch no longer being dropped with abandon and looking where I’m going. I've discovered this is particularly effective when going around tight roundabouts or tricky bends, that is unless you want to end up on the roundabout or in a flowerbed or hedge! When Ian was talking me through the features to look out for on a lovely country road with lots of bends and turns, I did recall Ross Noble saying to me - look where you’re going Kate and the bike will go there.I even touched 60mph at one point - yes really (and legally)!

So, from early angst in the week and shall we say variable confidence lurking, despite knowing that it’s now 1 month and 3 weeks to the trip or 43 days, not that I’m counting or panicking you understand…?!, It’s all coming together.

And if taking a dominant position is the way to go , I’m not about to disagree…….. !

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