Met up with Geoff again at the same locale, BP on Bombay, and he walked me thru the theory on todays' focus. Positioning, using the SSV acronym, and some rough drawings on the art of cornering. Stringing corners together rather than treating a series of bends as individual corners, quite an art I'd say. Referred me to JKs blog and homework he did on cornering. Quite an intriguing read. But try it for yourself: https://nztwisties.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/the-missing-link/
So was any of this new to me? Strictly speaking no, but the difference is in the proper execution of theoretical knowledge.
Geoff also asked me to sum up the aim of IAM in one sentence. Mmmm, couldn't really do it. He summed it up as giving a rider more time to react. It says so quite eloquently on page xxi of the Motorcycle Roadcraft handbook. This phrase is now highlighted in my copy.
Strict adherence to speeds was one of my goals, along with actually using the gears properly to get away from nana braking. Yeah ok, not a real term, but I'd been using that phrase to motivate myself to stop the comfort braking and utilise engine braking by tapping up and down thru the gears a little more. I quickly found I was running around a gear lower than normal, just to avoid calling myself a nana. In reality I'd just gone back to riding the bike properly.
So speeds weren't an issue this time around, but I was still pulling up behind vehicles at junctions in a less than ideal spot. Again, I knew I was doing it, just not until I'd done it. The multi tasking aspect of trying to do several things well was showing up. So guess what's on my own list of things to sort before next observed ride?
The IPSGA acronym wasn't new to me either, but I obviously wasn't putting the whole thing into practice. Insert facepalm emoji here I guess...
The P in positioning is on the list to work on, Geoff observed me as turning in too early from a left hand extreme position when entering right hand turns. We discussed this, or rather I came up with what most likely sounded like excuses for not doing so. Something to work on.
Heading for Geoffs' suggested winding road section we encountered slow traffic, the perfect opportunity for another overtake today! Well, not really, for the tractor we came up on was looking like turning off. The ute behind the tractor had first dibs on overtaking, and here I am being torn between scooting past and showing the correct amount of restraint. Well I just held back. If Geoff was annoyed by me not using the near 200 hp of my bike to "make progress" he certainly didn't show it. A brief stop achieved a clear road and Geoff demonstrated clearly what's meant by extreme positioning.
Our debrief took place in the sun, and by the time we went our separate ways I'm sure our sweat was collecting in our boots. Kinda funny how the humidity had risen in advance of a tropical storm, which true to weather forecasters' form, was trying to make up its mind when to arrive.
The last bit I was tasked to work on was commentating, basically just verbalising my IPSGA is how I see this. Similar in a sense to the Smiths' approach to safe trucking.
So how does this IAM experience to date compare with expectations? Well, kinda hard to sum up without using my hands to talk... Fair is one word. Think of it as NOT taking the drill sergeant approach to pointing out my failings, rather coaching how not to repeat the same error. The importance of bite size learning, rather than cramming the whole book into my head in one sitting, was also pointed out in a positive manner. So yes I'm pleased I didn't sit back and allow "other life and work stuff" to take precedence. No shortage of enthusiasm coming from Geoff, and it's easy to see the value of practical learning/reinforcement/coaching of theoretical knowledge.
Now looking forward to meeting more IAM members in weeks/months to come. Being a shift worker makes this more of a challenge...