I was thinking, during theRide this year, about how our confidence has a direct effect on our ability. Or should I say how our ability is affected by our confidence….
I haven’t been riding the motorcycle much this year since I’ve been spending most of my free time either doing chores or riding my bicycle.
Because of this, when we took off on Friday morning, my odometer had maybe 300 more miles than it did when I parked it at the end of last years theRide.
The result was that when we hit the twisty stuff on the first day, I had absolutely no confidence on the motorcycle.
Oh, I could ride the thing, but I was way off the pace and back at the end of the fast group….actually almost closer to the cruiser group than I was to the sportbike group.
That’s ok though, my goal every year is to enjoy myself and not doing anything stupid like die or get injured……or drop my bike in front of everyone when I forget to put my feet down.(yes, it’s happened)
Day 2 my confidence was growing. I started to get in the groove and although still not willing to go as fast as Scott and Dan, I was consistently up with the fast guys…..until that sharp left turn that totally scared the #$%* out of me and blew my confidence again.
Sunday I was definitely feeling the groove a little more and by the end of the day felt like I knew what I was doing and Monday was pretty comfortable except for a couple of blown corners where I forgot to keep my head up and ended up grabbing the brakes in mid-corner.
The funny thing is that it’s totally a mental thing. The motorcycle hasn’t changed, if anything with all the work I did this year, she’s better prepped than previous years. The science of a motorcycle taking a corner hasn’t changed, as a matter of fact, I’m not a good enough rider at my best to even get anywhere near the limits when I corner on that bike.
It’s all about confidence. On the corners where I feel confident I lean her over and she goes. On others, I chicken out, grab a handful of brake and she stands up and doesn’t want to turn.
I’ve got to believe that it’s not really the speed so much as the familiarity with the bike. After all, I’ve come down Mt Hamilton on my road bike with skinny tires and no suspension much faster than I did on Friday on my motorcycle with the nice fat tires and the suspension. And believe me, crashing on the road bike with the little plastic helmet and my lycra on would hurt a heck of a lot worse than with my full face helmet and armored jacket and pants.
So, the question is do I try to ride more and become more comfortable with the speed or, do I just slow down, get a cruiser and ride with that group?????