The Moto Guzzi California mini-test left me nearly exhausted so I went for lie-down. And this got me to thinking. How many ways are there to learn?
According to Wikipedia, "A 2004 literature review identified 71 different learning styles theories." Whoa, we need to keep things simple here.
Let's take a brief look at these: Mistakes, Instruction and Example.
Mistakes: Soichiro Honda, a man who in the space of a brief few decades went from a piston ring manufacturer to global leader in motorcycle production was once asked why he was so successful. His reply was simple, "Because I made so many mistakes."
In terms of motorcycling learning from mistakes can be a bad proposition. Making an errors puts us at much greater risk of injury. The best riders are extremely sensitive to the smallest errors in their riding and will figuratively kick themselves when they feel they didn't 'get it right'. They will immediately look for the cause of the error and take steps to correct it.
How do you know whether you're making errors? The best way is to take...
Instruction: It's about learning new skills, absorbing practical advise and applying knowledge you didn't have before. Instead of being oblivious you can now act using information provided to you for your benefit. As the old saying goes, "The more you know the better it gets."
Reaching the third of the four stages of competence - Conscious Competence - is a very good place to be. That being said a truly Conscious Competent person does not fool themselves. Self-awareness much match the reality. And finally...
Example: Good example or bad example? Bad example riders are easy to spot. Throttle and brake applications are abrupt or inconsistent. They veer suddenly away from or even into things they did not anticipate or see in advance. They are hesitant or stiff in bends. They ride in car drivers' blind spots. They constantly blame others for their actions. And so on.
Better riders are also easy to spot. They never have 'suddenly' or 'where did he come from' moments. They take complete responsibility for their actions. They appear to flow effortlessly along their intended path and through traffic. They use the Roadcraft system of motorcycle control to put themselves in the right place at the right speed at the right time. They ride unflustered and take joy in being masters of their time and space. Follow, observe and learn.
Looking for some free good examples and helpful advice? Follow the leaders on our Peak Rider ride-outs.
Mike Moloney © 2015
Mike Moloney © 2015