Feeling rusty after a short break - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-01-2009, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Feeling rusty after a short break

So, I took a decided to take a ride today on this brisk but beautiful day. Started out good, bike always feels more "powerful" on cool days for some reason. Well, I find myself making stupid minor mistakes like I am out of focus or maybe just rusty since its been only a few times I have been able to ride the last 3 months or so since its been to cold or snowy.

Maybe I was just cold, I dunno. Does anyone else have this issue after not riding for the winter or for a few months? Or, is something wrong with me like I am not the uncanny natural who's ability, if it could be measured, would equate to 100,000 years of experience when it comes to riding.

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post #2 of 24 Old 01-01-2009, 04:28 PM
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you sound like me except I feel rusty every time I get on the bike. It's not that I feel like i'm making stupid mistakes but I am actually making them. Most of my problem is this is the first bike I have had in a long time and I should take a class to renew and improve my riding skills. I am not dangerous to myself or others as I actually do know my limits but me being me I will push myself beyond my limits (where IMO it is safe to do). I also practice what I already know and a lot of what I had learned is coming back to me.

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post #3 of 24 Old 01-01-2009, 11:01 PM
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Everyone has an off day, particularly if it's been a while since putting tire to road. Even with about half a million miles in various saddles I still have days where I feel like a complete novice, so don't think you are alone there.

The key here is focus -- not just when riding -- all the time. There is a section of my brain that has a vivid memory of practically every mile I've ever ridden, and if (for example) I can't ride for 6 weeks due to a broken leg I can recall a ride from a month or 5 years ago and replay every control input and emotional feeling from it. I've found it helps keep me sharp for the next time a throttle is twisted. This is a common exercise for racers: they sit in a corner of the pits, close their eyes, and replay a hot lap sometimes complete with all movements necessary. Everyone knows what's going on and leaves them alone until they open their eyes and acknowledge the outside world.

You can do this as well -- all you need to do is pick a ride that produced a particular feeling not necessarily attached to operating the motorcycle, and if you concentrate you'll find yourself riding it all over again in your mind. It takes some practice at first, but just like any other meditation technique can be mastered with a little focus and determination. Give it a try -- I think it will help. It certainly works for me.

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post #4 of 24 Old 01-02-2009, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myztical View Post
So, I took a decided to take a ride today on this brisk but beautiful day. Started out good, bike always feels more "powerful" on cool days for some reason. Well, I find myself making stupid minor mistakes like I am out of focus or maybe just rusty since its been only a few times I have been able to ride the last 3 months or so since its been to cold or snowy.

Maybe I was just cold, I dunno. Does anyone else have this issue after not riding for the winter or for a few months? Or, is something wrong with me like I am not the uncanny natural who's ability, if it could be measured, would equate to 100,000 years of experience when it comes to riding.
I am glad you started this post. I found myself riding poorly after a six weeks absence. cold weather doesn't help either. just can't get my body to move on the bike as before.
As a result my confidence is low, and making mistakes more common. I've been trying to get more seat time in the last couple of weeks to shake it off , but not much luck. So I've decided to put on a new set of tires , and join Rob for next group ride. Hoping to be able to keep up with the group long enough to gain some confidence .

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post #5 of 24 Old 01-02-2009, 03:30 PM
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Being that I live in Ohio I put the bike away for a few months.
When I get back out in the spring I always have to take it easy for awhile to get reused to the bike and the conditions of the road and other surroundings.

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post #6 of 24 Old 01-02-2009, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post

The key here is focus -- not just when riding -- all the time. There is a section of my brain that has a vivid memory of practically every mile I've ever ridden,

Rob
I LOVE THIS STUFF!

Ironically, I have to discipline myself against the OPPOSITE problem: taking a "routine" 5-10 mile jaunt for granted. I ride as a daily commuter, every errand I can, and take the long way when possible here in South Florida. I am fortunate to have no down time (as a rule). I am sincerely trying to execute what what many on this site have said: there is something to be learned on every ride. So I consciously take a deep breath before I depart and zero in, run through my mental checklist, and turn on my "data logger". I do this 2-5 times per day, 5-7 days per week. The hardest time to focus is the 10 mile, traffic stalled commute to work after a substantial, push-the-limits ride. Kind of a neat challenge in and of itself.

Maybe the process of running through a mental checklist before departing is helpful?

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post #7 of 24 Old 01-02-2009, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Glad I am not the only one. I was beating myself up for riding like that. Rob is right, I need to focus and get my ride-fu flowing. I go the same path to work as a commute for about 7 months of the year. Since its so routine (as Nesty was sayin') I tend to let my guard down a bit. I think thats what happened yesterday was that I went into that mode again except it had been a while since riding, so the gears (in my brain/body) were not engaging as they should have been. When I ride in unfamiliar places I notice I have a heightened sense of awareness and ride more cautiously. I'm going to try and do as Rob suggested and do the mental imagery of these such rides, maybe take a minute and a deep breath to "wake up" properly before going out.

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post #8 of 24 Old 01-02-2009, 09:26 PM
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i woke up late couple days ago.. and didnt get my normal wakeup routine.. went out side jumped on the bike and allllllllllmmmost dropped it in the rocks between the concrete and the street out side... going all of 2 mph...

i haveta say if i was a smaller/weaker guy my pretty bike woulda got all skinned up...

and thank goodness my best friends a chiropractor...lol..


so it isnt just rustyness from not riding... it can be as simple as not being fully awake/aware before you take off..



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post #9 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 10:17 AM
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Good pts by everyone, a bit of time off the bike compounded by being cold and stiff, plus probably wearing extra layers of clothes will definitely change the way it feels to be on the bike.

Another point to address in your first post, your 919 will definitely make more power on a cold day!! The 919 runs a bit rich anyway and the extra air density on a cold day will give it a bit more power. There was a noticeable differnece in power in my 919 from elevation changes too. When I Lived in ND it would power wheelie much easier than here in Ft Collins, and a ride up trail ridge road in Estes park at 12,000 ft would definitely leave both the bike and me short of breath!

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post #10 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 11:34 AM
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I've found myself feeling the same when I got back on a bike last year as it had been a year since I last rode. Definately felt rusty and still do at times but the basic knowledge was always there and everything comes back to ya once you get back on. Great Thread!


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post #11 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 12:56 PM
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Yep, definitely felt rusty when we moved the bikes to storage last Monday. Also agree that the 919 felt extremely powerful due to the cool day, that extra power coupled with cold tires and roads covered with sand and salt make for a dangerous combination!

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post #12 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeau1960 View Post
that extra power coupled with cold tires and roads covered with sand and salt make for a dangerous combination!
or one hell of a good time....



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post #13 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 03:43 PM
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so it isnt just rustyness from not riding... it can be as simple as not being fully awake/aware before you take off..
Or extremely cold. November 2007 I borrowed my brother-in-law's brand new 2007 CBR600RR (less than 1,500 miles) to take my riders exam. It was cold...the 'it's so cold the road crew had sprayed a pre-treatment on the road kinda cold'. All I was wearing was jeans, tennis shoes, thermal shirt, long sleeve button up shirt, and a heavy wool coat. I had a helmet and some mesh gloves on. I think it was in the mid 30s. Anyway. I was only going a few miles to take the test and got a call to stop by a client's office. I thought to myself...I'm already freezing, I just passed my test, so I'll just jump on the bypass and get the cold over quicker. WRONG!!! Hopped on the bypass, hit 60 MPH, froze EVERYTHING. When I got where I was going, I couldn't get my legs off the pegs and almost went down. It was all I could do to keep from dropping it. Thank you squats and deadlifts.

Learned my lesson. Now I've collected the appropriate gear for winter riding sans gloves.

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post #14 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 03:56 PM
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Those of us in colder climates that don't or can't ride year round are recommended to do a tune-up ride before hitting the street. I usually find an empty parking lot in the Spring and do a couple hours of figure eights, emergency braking, u-turns, etc.

And before Spring hits, I usually re-read a couple of my favorite ride technique books: Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques by Lee Parks and Sport Riding Techniques: How To Develop Real World Skills for Speed, Safety, and Confidence on the Street and Track by Nick Ienatsch.

It's been 2 years since I've taken the MSF Experienced Rider Course and I'll probably take it again this year. Great class.

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post #15 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nesty View Post
Maybe the process of running through a mental checklist before departing is helpful?
Plan where you're going, what you you need to bring with you to accomplish whatever you intend to do when you get there, and the route you're going to take, then forget about all of it. Walk around the bike, checking whatever you need to, including lights. Turn off the key but leave it in the ignition. While suiting up, review what each piece of gear does to make the ride more pleasant or safer, visualizing riding while wearing it. By the time you're fully suited up you have probably reviewed the entire route, or if it's just a Sunday morning ride formulated an idea not only of the roads you're likely to encounter, but also the "feel" of the ride. By the time you start the engine you have already ridden for an hour in your mind, even though it took only a couple minutes to suit up.

My centering exercise, developed over years and honed to a fine edge by endurance racing, where you have to be right on top of your game from the moment you leave your pit with hot tires and a full tank.

The longer it's been since you last rode the more important this exercise is, as it must include visualizing the bike's feel as well as your riding it. As I said before, focus is all important. This is easier when the weather is not perfect as it takes longer to suit up. On a beautiful summer day with the temperature in the low 80's and roads that haven't changed condition for months it's harder to do, but just as necessary. Actually, it can be more important as it's much easier to get complacent.
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It's been 2 years since I've taken the MSF Experienced Rider Course and I'll probably take it again this year. Great class.
Actually, I take an Advanced Rider Course every time I get on the bike. The instructor is a real bastard -- critical of every move, notices every tiny mistake, and makes me aware of it right away in no uncertain terms.

Rob

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post #16 of 24 Old 01-03-2009, 04:55 PM
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The key here is focus -- not just when riding -- all the time. --Rob

Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post


Actually, I take an Advanced Rider Course every time I get on the bike. The instructor is a real bastard -- critical of every move, notices every tiny mistake, and makes me aware of it right away in no uncertain terms.

Rob
...(awkward pause)...hey, wait a second...is there more going on here than just riding a motorcycle?

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post #17 of 24 Old 01-08-2009, 09:38 AM
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Those of us in colder climates that don't or can't ride year round are recommended to do a tune-up ride before hitting the street. I usually find an empty parking lot in the Spring and do a couple hours of figure eights, emergency braking, u-turns, etc.
I do this too - also have a squirrelly bit of road I'll go back and forth on to get reacquainted with the bike at speed in familiar territory and no traffic. Knowing the basics and having that baseline trust in the bike frees your mind to concentrate on the external stuff - other cars, road conditions, etc.

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post #18 of 24 Old 01-08-2009, 10:24 AM
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...before Spring hits, I usually re-read a couple of my favorite ride technique books: Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques by Lee Parks and Sport Riding Techniques: How To Develop Real World Skills for Speed, Safety, and Confidence on the Street and Track by Nick Ienatsch.
Thanks for the info Ken

That second one looks like it has the info I really want, but with a price ranging from $144.99 - $332.00 I didn't know books could cost that much?

I might have to keep looking... or do a track class

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post #19 of 24 Old 01-08-2009, 12:29 PM
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Thanks for the info Ken

That second one looks like it has the info I really want, but with a price ranging from $144.99 - $332.00 I didn't know books could cost that much?

I might have to keep looking... or do a track class
Weird. Try these instead. It's a great book. Well worth $20, but not $300!

https://www.discountbooksale.com/sto...FRpnQgodvG2fDg

http://www.themotorbookstore.com/9781893618077.html

http://www.bullpublishing.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=28

http://www.aerostich.com/product.php...FQoh3godnR6kDA

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post #20 of 24 Old 01-11-2009, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omaha_919 View Post
Thanks for the info Ken

That second one looks like it has the info I really want, but with a price ranging from $144.99 - $332.00 I didn't know books could cost that much?

I might have to keep looking... or do a track class
For whatever, it's worth, I found the Ienatsch book on eBay and then used the "Submit Bid" to counter the "Buy Now" price and got it for $75 (let's see what it looks like when it gets here, first, I suppose).

$75 still seems like a lot for a book, but in comparison to textbooks these days...

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post #21 of 24 Old 01-11-2009, 07:13 PM
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For whatever, it's worth, I found the Ienatsch book on eBay and then used the "Submit Bid" to counter the "Buy Now" price and got it for $75 (let's see what it looks like when it gets here, first, I suppose).

$75 still seems like a lot for a book, but in comparison to textbooks these days...
$75 does seem like a bit much, but then again I was excited to get a book for college for $60 the other day. My Geology book is going to be 150+ because there aren't any used editions.

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post #22 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 03:38 AM
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Try the links I posted above. It's available for as little as $12 plus shipping.

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post #23 of 24 Old 01-17-2009, 06:54 PM
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$75 does seem like a bit much, but then again I was excited to get a book for college for $60 the other day. My Geology book is going to be 150+ because there aren't any used editions.
So the book arrives, it's in great shape (hey! an honest eBay seller!) and the F***ING SONOFAB****ING COVER MOTHERF***ING PRICE IS TWENTY FOUR G****MN DOLLARS AND 95 DADGUM CENTS!!!!!!!!

The friggin' Ienatsch guy even has a website. I checked the site but it was down. Only thing I can figure, other than WHAT A SCAM, is that maybe the book went out of print and has a significant cult following, thus driving up the price.

If it is the cult thing, I can see why almost immediately. Pg 87 demonstrates shoulder positioning in turns at the track by showing two different riders on the same bike in the same turn. One has shoulders correctly positioned over the tank, the other still has them slightly high. Awesome.

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post #24 of 24 Old 01-17-2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nesty View Post
So the book arrives, it's in great shape (hey! an honest eBay seller!) and the F***ING SONOFAB****ING COVER MOTHERF***ING PRICE IS TWENTY FOUR G****MN DOLLARS AND 95 DADGUM CENTS!!!!!!!!

The friggin' Ienatsch guy even has a website. I checked the site but it was down. Only thing I can figure, other than WHAT A SCAM, is that maybe the book went out of print and has a significant cult following, thus driving up the price.

If it is the cult thing, I can see why almost immediately. Pg 87 demonstrates shoulder positioning in turns at the track by showing two different riders on the same bike in the same turn. One has shoulders correctly positioned over the tank, the other still has them slightly high. Awesome.





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