You are exactly the same as Valentino Rossi. You (probably) have two arms, two legs, two eyes and that incredible thing, the human brain. So what makes Rossi, and other top riders, so brilliant at controlling a motorcycle?
A large part is vision. Not some Superman-style X-ray sight, but in the way they use their vision to help go faster without crashing.
Moto GP aces have much less uncertainty to deal with than a road rider. Laps are mostly the same and marshalls flag up any unexpected danger. Nevertheless, top racers work hard at taking in a bigger view of what’s going on. With it, things seem to slow down. And that allows them to speed up.
This high performance vision is just as relevant to road riders. With it, you take in more information without feeling overloaded. You’ll ride better, more confidently and safer.
Keep looking ahead. The sooner you spot the danger, the more time you have to react.
Vision has a dangerous trick to play on us: Target Fixation. When danger appears in your line of sight, the tendency is to not take your eyes off it. The problem is, we tend always to go where we look.
See where this is going? Correct, right towards the source of danger. You need a plan to counter target fixation. And you need to train your brain’s vision skills to follow it. Always look at the escape route, not at the danger.
You only have so much attention to go around. When there’s a lot going on in your field of vision, it can be hard to track it all. One simple way to ensure you have enough attention, is not to rush into situations too fast.
Slow down, and things happen slower. Suddenly, you have heaps of attention. You avoid target fixation because you can easily scan around and look for a path to avoid the danger. On your next ride, try it.
Target fixation’s dangerous friend is tunnel vision. When danger builds quickly we tend to shut out everything but the source of danger. You can train yourself to counter this by using peripheral vision.
Keep looking ahead but try to change which part of the picture you concentrate on. Sweep the road ahead from closer in to much further away, then around the sides of your vision. Work at it and things will seem to slow down. Any target looks smaller; the paths to avoid it almost endless.