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Maintaining Your Focus


What is your reason for riding? Would you answer this question with answers like "to have fun," or "to enjoy the freedom of the ride" as many riders might? But is that the real reason you are riding today? What do you want to achieve on this ride? Would you say your goal is to ride safely, to enjoy the trip and to return home in one piece? But does your riding behavior reflect your words?

Some bikers want to look cool as they ride. They may have adorned themselves and their bike with the trappings of a cool biker. It is easy for their image to become even more important than their riding as they try to draw the attention of others with their coolness. 

Other bikers appear to be interested in impressing others. Similar to the cool ones, they attempt to draw attention to themselves, but they try to use their riding skills to do it. They tend to blow their own horn by putting on an impromptu slow speed demo in either a straight line or small circles. They might even like to sound off their engines by wrapping their throttles.

"When is the last time you assessed your riding style?"

The show offs like to make an impact as well while they are riding. They may race away from their fellow riders and then let them catch up only to race away again. They might do burnouts in a parking lot or leave doughnuts on the road to show others how good they are. These riders seem to want to be noticed so their riding behavior tends to the draw attention of others.

Still other bikers seem to be very busy and are always rushing to get to their destination. They may be zipping in and out of traffic; frequently changing lanes or passing other vehicles on the road. They might be heard to say that they’re not making any stops until they get to where they’re going. For them it appears to be the destination and not the ride that’s important.

Some riders like to go fast and are aggressive with their throttles. To them, the suggested speed limits do not apply on an open stretch of road. They seem to like to twist their wrist and fly down the road. The exhilaration of speed appears to be their goal as they ride.

The thrill seekers get their adrenalin rush from riding on the edge; not necessarily to show off, but to beat the odds. They tend to see how fast they can slice through curves, pushing the limits of their traction and their abilities. They might even perform stunts on the road; conserving tire wear on one wheel or the other as they lift their wheel off the ground.

Many riders just want to be safe and have fun while they ride. They understand that riding within their limits and paying attention to other traffic is what allows them to relax so they can enjoy the ride. They seem to be only interested in impressing themselves and are in no particular hurry to get anywhere. In fact, if traffic conditions require them to slow down, they just view the extension of their trip to mean more riding time.

When is the last time you assessed your riding style? What is your reason for riding today? Does your riding behavior reflect what you’re saying? The more you maintain your focus on your riding, the more likely you’ll be to have more riding time ahead.

There is just too much going on that can impact your ride, even in rural areas, to lose focus. Responsible riders understand that they must always be thinking about the consequences of their riding behavior and adjusting that behavior to match their riding environment.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!