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Topics - Aprilian

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General Banter / Thanksgiving 2014
« on: November 25, 2014, 08:44:42 AM »
Happy Thanksgiving!
These are many of the people I am thankful for

General Banter / Someone has a new bike
« on: November 28, 2013, 09:48:47 AM »
and it isn't me….

Post the picture already JB  ;D

In the mean time, it's not this one (although there is a hint)

Off Topic / Why?
« on: November 16, 2012, 11:52:34 AM »
Are some posts configured to no longer accept replies?  The reply button is gone.   I wanted to post a sarcastic reply to

Stupid people that think they know it all
"Assume whatever you will. It seems to be the norm to assume incorrectly"

I wanted to say that makes as much sense as some other posts, but at least it was short   :P

AH, I get it - the thread is being locked by the originator!!!

General Banter / free tool for helping classify rides
« on: March 28, 2012, 09:02:09 PM »
This might help people ORGANIZING rides to let others know what they have in mind and potential attendess understand whether it is appropriate for begginers through experienced riders.  Take a look and make comments/suggestions.

General Banter / Suggested terminology change
« on: March 27, 2012, 02:13:34 PM »
A lot of the posts devolve into what we expect from a LEADER.   I suggest we change that and start referring to the ride ORGANIZER.   The use of organizer would still show there are required roles for others and relieve some leader's anziety about carrying the whole responsibility for everything.

General Banter / Thoughts on How to Ride the Twisties
« on: March 04, 2012, 08:01:48 PM »
(on my soapbox)

We all remember learning the controls when we started riding and probably also remember a point where we realized we loved the corners more than the straight roads.

For any given corner, a rider's skill needs to go up in order to go up through the corner faster.

For any given speed, a tighter corner takes more skill.

I've noticed that a lot of skilled road riders tend to favor speed over skill - evidenced by their straightening out a section of twisty road.  Rather than slow down to ride a more crooked (and fun) route, they make the choice of adopting the racer's line.  Racers are trying to make it around a closed course faster than anyone else and in order to accomplish that, they try to find the shortest, fastest and therfore straightest path around the track.   We have all seen race bikes succesfully straighten an "esse" corner on a track.

I have occasionally done exactly the oposite here in town (for example on Highway 3 in IGH)  I purposely try to go outside of corner to outside of corner to raise the skill level needed at acceptable in-town speeds.  This is a great way to A) have extra fun B) increase skill and C) have to think harder about a road you might be overly familiar with.

So why did I start this by crawling up on my soapbox?  Because 1) I believe some riders in this group could show more precision in cornering by slowing down and not taking racetrack lines in order to keep up with the bikes in front of them and 2) it gives us a new way to describe what "Ride your own ride" means.   We can tell the new riders (and perhaps remind some regulars) that if you are taking ANY different line through the corner on a group ride, (different than you would on a solo relaxed ride), then you are pushing too hard and ought to slow down.

Last year saw some accidents among some of our very skilled riders - perhaps this year we can go back to an accident-free year by understanding that one way group rides can go bad is when following the fundamentals of "the Pace" degrades to be more like "the Race".

Looking forward to riding safely with the group again this fall  (summer always seems to be overscheduled).

(turning insurance on Monday for the bikes 8) )

General Banter / How to practice your riding skills during the winter
« on: December 24, 2011, 10:21:39 PM »
I thought it might be good to summarize some ways to work on your riding skills while driving in a car.

There are three categories of skills you can work on, Visual, Mental and Physical.

Visual Skills
Reading whether a curve is tightening or opening up – When going around corners, if you watch where both edges of the road converge, you will notice that the “vanishing point” will either move closer to you or move further away.  When the vanishing point moves further away, it means that the curve is opening up and if it moves closer, the radius is decreasing.
Looking far ahead vs. at front wheel track - I find that I have no trouble looking far ahead in a car, but occasionally realize that I am looking less far ahead on the bike.    Play with too far and not far enough and learn how the distance varies with speed of travel.
Head turns and looking through corners - practice varying how far you look ahead in the car and see if looking through the curve increases how precise you corner the car.
Scanning – I like the old mnemonic device SIPDE (Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide and Execute).   Far too many times I drive, I just watch in front of the car.  But occasionally I force myself to see 360 degrees and  know every other vehicle around me.   Just today I was doing this and a car was eratically merging onto 35E and I knew that no vehicles were in the lane to my left so I was able to prepare to move over without a last minute frantic glance.

Mental Skills
Visual commentary - while scanning start a verbal commentary.   Things like, “See that car accelerating next to you.   There is nowhere for them to go in that lane.  I better get ready in case they come over into my lane.”  And the ever popular. “Squirrel!!!” ::)  I find that this habit is very useful when riding if I am finding my mind wandering to the past or the future.  Just a few minutes of commentary tends to pull me back to the present.

Physical Skills
Head checks - with both hands on wheel see how far behind you you can see without making a steering input.  Stretch your range of motion by looking as far as you can behind you each time.
Being super smooth on the controls
– add gas slowly and more importantly, never pull your foot off the gas suddenly.   Slowly remove pressure so the car slows imperceptibly.
Brakes – most people (my wife does this – aargh) take their foot off the brakes all at once.   That is very similar to accelerating roughly.   Practice slowly applying and slowly removing the pressure on the brakes.   Watch how the difference impacts the suspension of the car.
Steering – I try to limit all the hunting with the steering wheel and will often “set it and forget it” to see how long it will track within the lane.  This is particularly enlightening in circular freeway exits.   This equates to “holding your line” on the bike.   It is very interesting how long the car will follow the curve without needing constant input.
Go ahead and post up any I have missed and have fun polishing your skills for the spring!

Usual fine print;  I am not a driving instructor and these exercises should be used only on closed course or a completely empty road.

do you think I'll fit in? ;D :o

For Sale/Wanted to Buy / Getting rid of my Futura
« on: April 09, 2011, 02:53:38 PM »
New Racetech F&R new RoadSmarts F&R.  Never dropped or crashed.   Best saddle in sport touring!

I dropped the price to $4,500 which is $400 below Kelly Blue Book.

Let me know if you want any info.

For Sale/Wanted to Buy / 2004 SV650S for sale
« on: May 23, 2010, 10:48:34 PM »
please see details at

Thanks!   Ian

General Banter / Appropriate picture on home page?
« on: March 20, 2010, 08:29:36 PM »
Seems to me that MSTA promotes safe riding (Pace, etc) yet we have a controversial picture on the home page.

Nothing rude meant to the capable rider in the photo.

Introductions / Aprilian
« on: March 18, 2010, 09:17:12 PM »
there are some people out there that I just don't see fitting in well with a group like this.  But you know me...I'll give a person a chance until they prove they don't deserve it.

I'm gonna try my best not to bring junk from other forums onto here & hope others do the same.  I know thats going to be hard at times since a lot of us know each other from other places but we'll see how it goes!!

Ah, perhaps my reputation preceeds me?   Nah, I can be a nice guy.    Ian

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