Saturday, February 8, 2014

Conquering Fear By Pushing to the Extremes

Part of the reason why most of us riders don't practice tight, slow speed turns, is the fear of dropping our bikes and doing damage.

But what if we practiced dropping our bikes? What if the first thing they told you to do at a motorcycle safety course is to stand up a motorcycle, with the engine off, and then put both feet on the pegs and let the bike fall over? What if you had to go 5 mph (8 kph), then throw the handlebars fully to the right, and fall off? What if you did this stuff over the entire afternoon?

You'd probably get bruised and exhausted. But assuming you had on full gear and pads on your knees, elbows and shoulders, you probably wouldn't hurt too bad. But you wouldn't be afraid of dropping the bike anymore.

Rory Anderson, another motorcycle blogger, who writes "The Awesome Blog", and who follows me on Google+, responded to my last article about "Riding a Motorcycle in the Cold", by posting a video of another rider taking a CB750 street bike to work along the snowy roads of Portland, OR...

At the 3:10 mark, he's at full speed, when the car in front of him throws on the brakes lights, and guess what happens?

So most of us are afraid to ride our motorcycles in the snow, largely because we don't want to drop our bikes, or take a slide and hurt ourselves.

But if you had on full gear like this guy, rationalized that the snow was just powder, and saw it as an opportunity to become a more experienced rider, then you would't be so quick to dismiss it.  You'd actually find a way to argue with the demon on your shoulder by saying, "Yes, but what if..."

And that's what a geek is.  It's someone who so fascinated with something, that they look at it from different angles, eager to learn everything about it, to where the fear can no longer hold them back.


  1. Steve,
    It's this kind of thinking that has helped me grow into a more excited, experienced and daring rider who LOVES riding! I especially love that you help me break out of the fear and try, try, try more all the time.
    I never feel pushed, only encouraged, by you.

  2. Great way of looking at it!

  3. I've ridden in all types of weather and for me at least the threshold is 1000cc. Anything heavier on packed snow or ice is a death wish. There are too many sudden surface changes - bridges, refreezes etc for 2 tires in-line to handle. I thought about studding my tires this year and giving it a go on the goldwing and then thought better of it. I have more nerve than the average guy but everyone has limitations.

  4. While taking the bus to work Thursday in the snow I had thoughts of riding the littleXT250 to work in the snow instead. I am not quite crazy enough to try it though even if it is light enough to pick up easy.

  5. Sorry but this guy is just dumb, has too much money and can afford to fix the bike or doesn't care about the bike. There's no safe way to ride a bike like his in the snow or ice. He's not being brave, not exactly sure what he's trying to prove.

    1. George,
      He's trying to make a good video perhaps. . .


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)