At Learning Curves, Lessons Learned
Here in Utah our life behind our snow banks will soon become “Life Behind Bars.” This is the time of year that I want to move south or get out Glenda's hairdryer and melt the snow off of our roads. For now, I will leave the hair dryer in the bathroom and head south. Glenda and I soon head for our three-week’s service opportunity in the Dominican Republic and then after two weeks back in winter, we are off for three weeks in Nepal to open the new dental hospital that we have been working on for nearly two years now. The “Iron Horse” will have to stay in the garage until the end of April.
As I anticipate a new riding season, my mind goes back to lessons learned that I still, to this day, have a difficult time committing too. If you could ask my mother she would tell you that has been a problem for me my entire life. I always want to test the limits and often finally learn the hard way. Smile!
Well, into the lessons I am still trying to learn:
Keep your eyes up—to maintain your balance and to direct your motorcycle where you want to go—one of the most important things you can do is to keep your eyes up. Look well ahead when you are riding slowly in a straight line and turn your head and look where you want to go when making a turn.
It is natural to keep your eyes up when riding fast, but when riding slow our tendency is to look down. When we do that it causes instability and lack of confidence. Keep your eyes well ahead. Keeping your eyes well ahead also helps you be aware of hazards you may encounter in the next few seconds.
Now here is the big one for me. You go where you look. Over and over, I forget this important lesson. I get into what is called the “fixation trap.” My eyes go to a scary hazard and then the motorcycle is guided to the hazard. In making U-turns on a narrow road, I seem to look at the opposite edge as I get closer to it and so the motorcycle wants to head to the edge rather than down the road in the opposite direction.
Other than learning to do dentistry with a mouth mirror rather than direct vision, this concept has been one of my most difficult lessons to accomplish. This past summer in the Alps of Europe, as I would slow and make the hairpin turn, I seemed to always want to look at the car or bus in the opposite lane coming toward me and that draws the bike to that lane very quickly at those slow speeds. My good friend Donna from New Zealand would say, “You must totally focus your eyes down the center of your own lane.”
Well, as I used to always tell my mother, “Mom, I will try harder next time.” For me now, and I hope for all of you, that you can get this one right so that you have many safe and happy next times on the road and around those Learning Curves.
Hope to see you around the next curve with both of us in the correct lane.
Canada or Sturgis? Decisions, decisions
It’s early, but also late:
If you have ever thought that your bucket list should include 10 days on two-wheels in the absolutely beautiful Canadian Rockies or joining the mix of all types of Harley Riders from all over the world as they converge on Sturgis, then now is the time to send in your registration form for these two special opportunities in 2013.
As you might guess, but have not really totally realized, hotel space is at a premium for both of these adventures. We, at Learning Curves, have booked the rooms, paid, and in many cases pre-paid the hotel to provide these two special ride opportunities for 2013. This early in the year we can still obtain a refund, but our cut-off dates are approaching. At this time, there is still some space in these rides, but in the next several weeks we will determine our final room count, and registration opportunities will close.
To have a tax-deductible continuing education opportunity in partnership with this kind of experience is an adventure deserving of your calendar for 2013.
Come join us!