Keeping in Tune

Spending a quick weekend here in Phoenix before heading back to California and the intensity of getting a new company off the ground, I took my ’02 Honda Goldwing and ’05 Suzuki V-Strom for rides. Ever since beginning a serious upgrade to my riding skills about ten years ago, I have an instructor always riding around in my head, critiquing my riding, commenting on every turn, every stop, and what I see and pay attention to. Sometimes the internal instructor takes on the persona of Keith Code or Gary LaPlante. Just as often I find it Jim Graybeal, Dennis Brink or Charlie Seeburger of the Arizona Precision Drill Team. Just as often it could be Don Nochta or one of his excellent instructors at the Phoenix Police Motorcycle Training School. No matter who it was, this weekend they were all pretty frustrated with me – and I with myself. RUSTY! After not riding for almost 2 months, everything felt strange and slow. It was like I was operating the mars rover from here on earth – you know, you make a signal to turn the thing and then wait hours for the rover to get the signal and then more hours to get the signal back telling you what it did. An exageration, of course, but it pointed out to me how critical it is to ride all the time. If you take a break from riding for a few months, go to a parking lot and spend an hour getting the feel of the bike and your balance back. Until I can confidently put the Wing through the snowman and the box routines, I’m going to judge my riding skills as seriously lacking.

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