Your mental state is everything when riding. Free your mind of distractions – not to mention negative energy - and you'll develop an even greater capacity for sound judgement and keeping cool under pressure.
Keep your mind trained on the task (and the road) ahead. You’re more likely to make the right choices when you have a clear head and stay calm. Try to keep your breathing steady and even. It also helps if you’re in reasonable shape, since a lack of fitness will make you tired and lose concentration faster.
Used to describe aggression not directed at anyone in particular, 'red-mist' frequently shows itself in the urge to speed recklessly. In extreme cases, it can lead to feelings of not caring - even a death wish - and shocking lack of judgement.
If you ever feel it, pull over and regain control of yourself. Repeated red-mist periods are a sign you're unfit to ride and should seek medical help.
The desire to race someone (or everyone) going in the same direction is a very dangerous emotion. It can spark some truly awful lapses in judgement. If you feel it coming on, again stop and regain your composure. Breathe deeply. The sensation will pass quickly if you stay calm. Enjoy the ride!
Riding doesn’t just demand all of your attention, all of the time. It requires your complete commitment and concentration. If you’re pre-occupied, stressed (eg. after a quarrel), hungry, angry, lonely, tired or affected by alcohol and drugs, you’re not going to be focused on that next intersection or oncoming truck. So clear your mind of distractions, even if it means delaying your journey.
Your mind has to be in tune with your bike as much as the road. Learn to recognise the signs your machine is approaching its limits:
|When this happens:||You can just about bet:|
|Steering starts to feel lighter than usual while accelerating||The front wheel is about to lift off the road|
|Revs rise or the exhaust note changes noticeably while accelerating||Your rear wheel is losing traction|
|Steering starts to feel unusually light or move by itself during heavy braking||Your front brake is about to lock|
|Front brake lever feels softer than normal after repeated applications||Brake fade is setting in|