Gone are the days where I ride every day. Although I hate to admit it, these days I am just a weekend warrior. Sometimes, times between rides stretches longer than that. Somehow, you just seem to end up with less spare time the older you get.
I notice a real drop off in my riding ability, if I am not on the bike often enough. The old adage of “time on bike” makes a big difference to my skill levels. I marvel at how testing bans in MotoGP do not seem to affect the top riders in the sport. At their level, I guess, they are simply not as prone to decreasing performance as us mere mortals.
It does not take too long to get back into the groove of riding well again. (The term “well” is of course, highly subjective…) I had noticed definite “wobbler” habits that I form when I am not riding well. Typically in corners, I will turn in too early, giving me a shallow entry and risk me running wide on exit. Knowing that this would be the case, it would seem obvious that I would know how to correct the problem. But, I discovered this was merely the symptom and not the cause of the problem.
When learning to ride a motorbike, rider trainers always make a big deal of looking through the corner. “You go where you look”, is a common enough statement. There in-lies my real issue. Without the familiarity of riding regularly, I lose the confidence to look further through the corner. That something so simple makes such a difference to my own riding is staggering. Sticking with the basics is all that is required.
This is probably what makes “refresher” courses in rider training so effective for many riders. They may only reinforce the good habits previously learned, but that can make a substantial difference to your everyday riding.