I caught the last little bit of a piece on CBC Radio about motorcycle safety to kick off BC’s Motorcycle Safety Month.
It used to be call Motorcycle Awareness Month, but the government doesn’t like the idea that people should be aware of motorcycles. So now it’s Motorcycle Safety Month, because every time a driver hits a motorcycle it’s the riders fault for being unsafe[/sarcasm].
As an added bonus, since we no longer need motorists to be aware of motorcycles, the highway signs no longer mention that it might be a good idea to look for us now and again. So that probably saved a couple of dollars.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the constant subtle vilifying of motorcyclists by our government, and our insurance/licensing provider is a little bit of a pet peeve of mine, but back to the point:
I only caught the tail end of things, but what I heard from the expert on the show, and the people calling in didn’t give me a lot of hope for things improving for motorcyclists in the future.
The only good thing that I heard was several people talking about how important training, and continued training were. Although, the people saying that were mostly motorcycle instructors, and not the riding public. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s true, but it doesn’t give me the impression that the average rider feels the same way.
I have always found that there are way too many people who only care about getting their license, and don’t think there’s anything else to learn after that point. That is one of the main reasons why I stopped offering beginner classes; I simply have no interest in teaching people to pass a test.
If you don’t have the desire to learn to ride properly, safely, and how to deal with traffic way beyond what the tests require, then I’m sure there is someone else who is willing to teach you enough to get yourself into trouble, without teaching you how to get out of it.
One of the things the instructors on the show kept talking about was the importance of “Advanced Training”. I have always hated that idea.
There’s no such thing as advanced training, there’s just training. There is absolutely nothing in the “advanced” courses that a beginner shouldn’t know, and be able to do.
It may be a bit of an ego thing for the instructors, and the people who are taking these courses. People like to think that they know all the normal stuff, and need to be shown some super secret advanced stuff.
I do not care if you’ve been riding for 50 years, or 50 feet. The things you need to know are exactly the same, and I teach them to everyone.
Obviously, you need to be able to physically ride a motorcycle before you can safely ride in traffic, but both those things are of equal importance unless you’re only going to be on closed courses.
It’s important to develop the skills in a parking lot, or closed course, but you have to actually be on the road to really understand what you need to be doing on the road. Taking training that only has you riding through cones is pointless. I’ve never heard of a cone turning left in front of a motorcycle, and killing the rider.
I find that there are a lot of incorrect, or worthless things that motorcyclists (including instructors) repeat and spread, just because that’s what they were taught, because that’s what the person who taught them was taught, and on, and on….
Misinformation is rampant in the motorcycle world, but there’s no such thing as magic. Everything about riding works because that’s what the physics of riding dictates, and the physics doesn’t change based on how much experience you have.
The physics of motorcycles fascinates me, and have spent a lot of time testing out different things that people say to see what’s actually true.
If you are serious about learning to be a GOOD rider, and not just a legal one, send me an email and we will set up a time for you to learn how to ride your bike better than you thought was possible.
I also have a youtube channel that I plan on posting theory, and riding lessons on. I’m not going to link to it yet, because there’s not much there other than me ranting at a camera because the winter was too long.
Stay tuned, and ride safe,
Hi Jeremy. I agree with most of what you say and I too am dismayed about the provincial governments interest in people who ride motorbikes.
Do you remember when you were being taught maths or the sciences at school? You were taught the basics first before going on to the more advanced things? Bit like mastering arithmetic and geometry before going on to calculus or trig, Newtons laws of motion before Relativity and radioactivity?
Novice motorists have much to assimilate and ingrain as first nature before, say interstate motoring. First things first, pyramids of training, Rome not built in a day, self-awareness and self-assessment of ones own riding being perhaps the hardest motoring skill to acquire. Even the greatest athletes conitinue to have a coach at their highest levels.
Regardless, we who ride bikes are engaged in perhaps the last great skill available to ordinary people. Long may we continue. Regards. Jonathan.
I don’t disagree about the pyramids, but you don’t have to send people out into the world with only half of the skills they need and tell them they’re good enough for now.
The problem is that the need of skills or knowledge isn’t determined by whether or not you have them already. You need it when you need it, regardless of how much experience you have.
Re assessing skills, and continuing to improve on them is important as you go through life, but there is no good reason to ignore any part of motorcycle skills when teaching anyone. It can very easily be the difference between life and death.