Much has been said and written about “How to become an experienced rider?” The typical query is generally followed by answers that talk about traits and lessons. What no one talks about is the attitude and approach to the sport, and that’s what differentiates an experienced rider from a novice.
In a Q&A session on Trails Of India, we had all the riders put forward their thoughts about the art of motorcycling. We asked questions like – “What made you choose motorcycling as a passion?”, “What inspires you the most?”, “What do you wish to learn about motorcycling?”
As the words, thoughts and opinions started flowing, we could easily feel the difference in the approach each rider had to motorcycling.
A new rider believes that any rider learns from his mistakes, whereas an experienced rider knows that there is no space for mistakes on the road. When on a bike, you can’t allow yourself to get upset or overly excited because that’s when you make mistakes. Once you throw a leg over a few hundred pounds of metal and rubber, you need to stay calm.
Experienced riders don’t mind laying back in traffic, and waiting for opportunities to clear out of traffic. They have enough patience, which gives them time to make good decisions on the road, but according to a new rider, life is too short to get stuck in traffic.
In the entire conversation that ensued, one of the best parts was when an experienced rider particularized the power of quick thinking and instinct. The experience, the sensation of their machine, the control – all these things, he pointed out, keep the veterans ahead of the situation. An experienced rider’s eyes are always wide open, scanning the road, the approaching intersections, monitoring the behaviour of nearby traffic, and looking for apexes before a relatively inexperienced rider even knows they exist.
An experienced rider says, “Be humble, study, observe, learn, practice, practice, and practice again.”
A novice says, “Just ride and live free.”
What a new rider needs to accept is that motorcycling doesn’t happen automatically, or by accident. It is a conscious and continuous process. It is an art that is carefully nurtured to maturity, and then maintained. So, the best thing a new rider can do is expose himself to different bikes, different styles of riding on different terrains, and polish his or her skill set on the road.
At last, the difference between experienced riders and novice riders is like the difference between flying for a thousand hours, and flying for one hour a thousand times. Learning is not about doing the same thing over and over again, but to face new challenges every moment with age old wisdom.
That’s a thought. What do you think is the prime difference between the attitude of an experienced and a new rider? Feel free to comment and share your views. Visit www.trailsofindia.com or download the Trails Of India app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store and express it all.