26th March 2019 at 11:46 am #1359
Ride starts as above post at Exeter M5 Services. Meeting 0930. Leaving at 1000 sharp.
The initial hour of the ride will consist of a gentle jaunt over Woodbury Common and areas leading in to Exmouth. This section of the ride should be used to focus on limit points and gears; to keep a consistent flow around corners.
As we head in to the town, the focus will turn to following the system specifically with complicated or busy junctions. With the main focus being on brake gear overlap (and the reduction of said).
After a short coffee break, we have some slow speed work in one of Exmouth’s very fine car parking areas. If a Harley Davidsons can do the course, we all should be able to.
This will lead us up to lunch and the opportunity for people to leave the ride if Mothers day & family is calling.
For those wishing to stay, there will be a ride along the coastal road to Seaton and finishing at Honiton Services.
Any questions, please ask. The stops have not been confirmed yet.30th March 2019 at 7:58 am #1360
PLEASE NOTE THE TIME FOR MEETING AND LEAVING 0930 MEET ***** 1000 START *******31st March 2019 at 7:33 pm #1362
Thanks for a lovely morning’s ride out. The highlight, though, had to be watching Stan trying to negotiate the slow riding course on the Hyabusa – good effort but no cigar! 😉3rd April 2019 at 12:05 pm #1363
March End-of-Month Ride
As with all DSAR Training rides there is usually a theme, this one being a slight exception as there were 2 themes!
Andy Phillips led the first part this being “Brake / Gear overlap”, riders really drilled down into the system ensuring the appropriate speed was reached before the next gear was selected. How often do we sometimes allow ourselves to use a gear selection (and engine braking) to aid slowing down? I know I am guilty of this!
The 2nd part was about slow speed control around a course designed to be challenging. Split into 2 parts, a slalom course and a series of linked left hand and right hand turns varying between 90º and 450º.
Why does this add any training value?
Slow riding is a skill we do not practice often enough but essential when we want to filter between slow moving and stationary traffic to continue to make progress, or the other choice to sit and wait in the traffic. The risk of dropping our prized bike and or potentially impacting other vehicles is high so clearly this is a significant factor in our decision making. So having an opportunity to practice becoming more skilled in this evolution is a good thing?
There is a skill in balancing throttle, clutch and rear brake to give sufficient bike control and stability at slow speed negotiating around mini-roundabouts, doing U turns where adverse camber could also be a factor. Being able to do this on a car park means we can remove some of the other hazards we have out on the road.
Why make it so challenging?
The standard DVSA test includes a 7m diameter U turn which must be conducted without putting your feet down or over-running the space allowed. As Advanced Riders we should all be easily capable of that on our own machines. The distances I set up were 5.7m and 6m diameters as I wanted the course to be challenging. The caveat being at any time a rider could simply ride out of the course or ride over as many cones as need be. We don’t know what are capabilities are until we reach that limit. As with all skills we learn there are times when we think “I can’t do this!” until we have a go and find out with a little practice we can do this. There is a bigger hurdle when we say “I won’t do this!”
It was good to see many of the riders have a go either attempting all of it or just part of it. By having a go they were able to push their own skill boundary just a little further. Clearly the style of bike has an impact on how easy or not this can be achieved. Steve Barley had a go on probably the most challenging bike – a Hyabusa! With a steering lock of about 12º lock-to-lock and a throttle like a hair trigger it was always going to be difficult; however there was only one part he couldn’t do! Then he challenged me to ride the course on his bike, my turn to be well outside of my comfort zone!
The Determination Prize (if we had one) would have gone to Sandy on her little GS, not only did she “borrow” a couple of spare cones to practice off course but having dropped her bike immediately got back in the saddle to ride it again – fantastic effort and well done!
The tricks to slow speed manoeuvring are:
1. Keep your throttle about 500-1000 rpm above idle speed and grip the bar end weight with the little finger of your right hand so you maintain constant throttle all the way round (one less thing to think about).
2. Use two fingers on the clutch (the only time I approve of this) and the others on the left grip – this allows you to maintain near constant clutch slip just enough to maintain drive.
3. Use plenty of rear brake only to scrub off speed – do not use front brake as your tendency to snatch if you think the bike is going to fall will be magnified and the front will dip and you will drop the bike.
4. Look where you want to go – not at the obstacle!
5. Practice, practice, practice!
See you all at the next slow riding event.
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