So it's been almost 3 weeks now since my first proper assessment ride with Geoff James.
The action plan for me at the completion of this ride was:
1. Build the "P" in IPSGA into my riding routine.
2. Read up on JK's blog on positioning to assist with the above.
3. Read up & watch youtube videos on providing commentary as I ride.
So kicking off with putting the "P" into the correct context. One comment made was to stay in the extreme position longer, in order to maximise the view thru the corner, especially in right hand corners. Yep, in all fairness I'll quite happily admit to finding myself being a bit casual in that regard. One could proffer the excuse that it's to stay away from the extreme left hand edge of the seal to stay out of the stuff that usually accumulates there...but an excuse it would still be, for keen information gathering thru observing the road surface ahead would soon pick up a need to move over a little. Hopefully next assessment will tick this off as an improvement made.
Reading JK's blog, without going into detail, was quite a revelation for he holds nothing back. It reads like you're having a conversation with him, all the good and bad is just there. Can thoroughly recommend it from a learning point of view.
Providing a running commentary on what I'm observing is funny at first, but it soon distils down to essentials. Have done some of this at work when we kicked off the Smiths' system, and in essence I view it as being the same, now instead of 32 wheels there's just 2 though. I spent several days verbally expressing my thoughts and the actions resulting from observations. It's sometimes as simple as; bus joining motorway, increasing the gap to accommodate. Other times it might be; tractor oncoming, reducing speed. On the odd occasion it could be; car pulled over by HP up ahead, serves him right for being a plonker earlier, give short honk on horn. Invariably followed by a sly grin or wave by the officer. You've no doubt read the Road Code, well there's also a Code of the Road. I'm not intimidated by having to provide a commentary as I ride, but practising verbalising what I'm seeing and doing makes it more second nature, so at a guess will take less effort from here on in.
For me riding is not done for the purposes of commuting, well not anymore anyway. Since moving back to Auckland a year or so ago, now live so close to work that it would take longer to get in and out of my riding gear than the trip itself. Being a shift worker helps in this regard, so my little run about car now does the commuting chore. Seems an odd change, riding now taking on more a leisure activity, ok there will be times when I need to go somewhere and I'll take the bike when the car would have done. Those will be the days when I venture to see my folks who live in Waihi, and do so by first detouring via some back roads and then taking the long way home again, of course!
There is something about "getting out for a ride" that only another rider will understand.
But I'll keep practising so I can update my diary with more positive notes in weeks to come.