Ride the Parking Lot

This past weekend I was with my 17 year-old, watching him play in an out of town hockey tournament.  At the facility where he was playing, a motorcycle-training course was being conducted in one of the facility’s parking lots.  In between one of my son’s games, I wondered over to watch what was going on and took the opportunity to talk with the instructor.  We chatted a little bit about our motorcycles and where we liked to ride.  All the while his students were riding around in the parking lot, going around the cones, practicing braking and generally trying not to run into each other.  I began to feel guilty and tried to excuse myself by saying “I’ve enjoyed our talk but you probably need to get back to work.”  His reply caught me off guard but at the same time gave me the impression that he was a great instructor.  He said, “the best thing right now for them is to ride and get comfortable on the motorcycle before taking to the road.” 

There’s a lot going on when you’re riding a motorcycle on the street.  Shifting, braking, turning, watching what’s coming up and paying attention to what’s going on behind and beside you.  The more you have to consciously think about doing the less time you have to consciously think about the things that are important.  By practicing in a parking lot a rider, new or experienced, can work on internalizing their riding skills. 

For a new rider, they should practice shifting, braking and using their turn signals and get to the point where they can do those very important tasks without thinking.  This will allow them to concentrate as much as possible on what’s taking place on the road.

For the experienced rider, playing in the parking lot will let you work on more advanced riding skills like quick stops, tight turns and low speed riding.  A parking lot is a great place to just have fun and goof off.

The motorcycle should be an extension of you and practice is the only way to get to this level.  If you don’t like to practice riding your motorcycle perhaps it’s time to get back in a cage. 

Lets Ride! (copyright: whichmotorcycleforme.com,  contact information: info@whichmotorcyleforme.com)