Yesterday evening, I managed to get a few people to drag themselves away from the ongoing Downing Street drama and settle in for an hour of survival skills! They were watching the latest in my monthly LIVE ONLINE TALK SERIES.
Last night’s presentation covered cornering.
After junction collisions, bends are where most riders come to grief, and it’s not just inexperienced novices either – many riders with years of experience get cornering seriously wrong too.
Since road safety conventionally looks at crashes as ‘rider error’ and then tells us what that rider SHOULD have done to avoid crashing, the vast majority of rider training talks about how to corner ‘properly’.
There is some value to training in ‘correct technique’. It’s how new riders are taught, and it’s a HUGE improvement over the days when I learned to ride, when it was pretty much all teach yourself.
But looking beyond the rookie errors, the weakness of this approach should be obvious.
It doesn’t explain WHY riders make mistakes.
Kevin Williams of Survival Skills Rider Training presenting the latest ONLINE TALK SERIES EVENT on cornering and cornering errors
Coaching in ‘doing it right’ tells us little about the mistakes that any rider is likely to make, there’s no explanation of how or why they happen, and so there’s little to ‘future-proof’ a rider against the same error, even after extensive post-test training!
And that means when errors happen, they tend to come out of the blue and involve a rider with no ‘get out of trouble’ strategy. And experienced, even expert riders still come to grief on bends. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard someone say:
“I never expected them to crash.”
A key element of my Survival Skills courses has always been to look at rider error in an effort to give my trainees a better understanding of how we (and others, incidentally) make mistakes on the road. Where, how and why they happen.
And then we take the second essential step. We look at what we can do to either avoid the error if we possibly can, or how we can get out of trouble if we find ourselves in a mess. It’s the approach to riding I learned the hard way during my extensive time as a courier.
And that’s the approach I take on my ‘Performance’ cornering courses too. I look to go well beyond simply building ‘good’ cornering skills to offer the same insight into cornering errors, and to advise riders of suitable strategies for avoiding them.
More than anything, this approach helps prevent complacency – the “I haven’t crashed yet so I must be doing something right” attitude.
In last night’s live webcast, I spent fifty minutes firstly discussing cornering, looking the common mistakes and how they happen, but offering clues to help recognise the errors, and strategies for dealing with them.
============ And here’s what people had to say:
Old Farts – On Motorbikes Thanks Kevin, really good presentation. I’ll call you when I get back to book some time with you.
Lily W. Great presentation and very informative. I have learnt a lot tonight. Thank you very much.
madcockney Very interesting and good presentation. Biggest issue is remembering it all! 🙂
Clive T. Thank Kevin. Useful stuff as always 👍🏻
And thank you for your time, and your positive feedback.
To help with the ‘remembering it’ issue, I’ll be producing a handout in the next few days which will go out to everyone who attended.
Look out for the next LIVE ONLINE TALK SERIES event – it’s the FULL Science Of Being Seen presentation, going out on the first Wednesday of August – that’s the 3rd.
AUGUST LIVE EVENT – ‘SOBS – the full presentation’ WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2022 at 20:00. Tickets cost £5
If you haven’t seen it, here’s what Last year, Howard Askew had to say about SOBS after attending ‘Biker Down’ in Kent and watching me give the talk there:
“For sure the course was very good about what to do in the event of an accident, but you were the only person who was giving strategic advice on avoiding becoming a casualty and made a Despatch Rider from 1978 to 1985 think outside of the box. It’s all about avoiding those nasty accidents.”
And the next ‘better biking’ presentation will be on Wednesday 7 September – topic to be confirmed.
Remember. Good riding only takes you so far.
The next step is to learn Survival Skills.