The rendezvous at the BP on top of the Bombay is now almost routine, and now I'm living mere minutes away from this location there's no doubt Geoff is doing the hard yards in enabling me to improve my two wheeled habits. Yes I know it's all about the right roads and riding environments.
Making progress, as in improving ones' own set of skills, is an enlightening experience. Yes this is obvious, but it was this thought that was at the forefront when I returned from this ride.
The overall ride in itself was unremarkable, covering mostly semi-familiar territory. What was telling for me was how much more at ease I felt when "performing" to a higher standard than what was the norm for me 6-12 months ago.
Our route on this occasion was the usual variety of motorway, urban and rural routes. Had a wee giggle at the sharp left hander on Great South Rd when dropping off the Bombay. No brake application needed here for I knew this corner, Geoff commented positively, but I freely admitted this section of road is routine for me. One thing which stood out on this run was how little traffic we're encountering, near free flow on the motorway from Drury to Mt Wellington is damn near unheard of mid morning on a Wednesday.
Out thru Botany to Whitford, on to Maraetai to end up in Clevedon at the café opposite the monument. The variety of roads was not a problem, but it certainly allowed Geoff to observe how I dealt with them all in a timely fashion. White van driver texting while driving? Road works with stop/go crew? Loose chip with no signs out? Restraint whilst on open road section with short sightlines and multiple driveways? Holding back to make sure rural postie has spotted us? Check on all counts.
It felt like a good, relaxed ride. The A+ rating Geoff gave this was a nice result. Did it feel like hard work? Not as such. My challenge is still with delivering commentary in a concise manner, the tendency to slip into a monologue is still there. In itself not an issue, but like Geoff points out rightfully, when the workload goes up in a more challenging situation this will create an issue.
Part of my ongoing revision includes poring over various videos, must make mention of JK's blog here once more, as the phrase "observational links" keeps popping back into my head. On the whole it still doesn't feel like my performance has the right polish to it, but I accept it's not a finished product as such. This whole IAM experience to me is one of evolving, and thus continuing to improve.
A couple of short practice runs, one in rather damp conditions (unintended) brought home the value of continuing to polish my skill set on two wheels.
We had an interesting discussion about reasons why folks look at IAM and then choose not to participate. More on this next chapter.