How To Carve A Canyon

Do Your Homework

Buy a copy of Nick Ienatsch’s Sport Riding Techniques and read it through. Now, go back and break down all the individual skills you need to learn. Pull out your calendar and write one of those skills down on every single Sunday until the entire list is on the calendar. You know what you need to do now — every Sunday for the foreseeable future is now a school day. Go out and practice that individual skill, all day, until you have it mastered. Don’t do anything else, just practice trail braking or whatever it is you’re supposed to working on that day. Start with the basics and work up to the more advanced stuff, adding new skills on new Sundays as you learn more about what you need to learn to go fast.

Don’t Kill Yourself

Caught onto how dangerous this can be by now? Well, it doesn’t have to be. The whole point of riding a motorcycle is that your safety is totally — 100 percent, don’t even argue it — in your own hands. If you crash while riding fast, you’re the one that caused it. You’ve given yourself the tools to ride fast while riding safely, now it’s up to you to use them. Ride at a pace where you can catch it if something goes wrong. Only ride as fast as you can see — you should be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead. Look as far ahead as possible and develop total situational awareness; everything within your domain needs to be observed and monitored constantly. Don’t try to keep up with guys that are faster than you, don’t push beyond your own limits.

Don't kill yourself

Photo by 7mary3

Stay Out Of Jail

Depending on where you are, the very act of exhibiting total motorcycle control may cause cops to smile and wave or cause them to call in the helicopters. Want to avoid them? Stay away from the popular roads and don’t hit the canyons on weekends. Know where you’ll never find me? In the back of a Crown Victoria, that’s because you’ll also never find me on The Snake or Angeles Crest at noon on Sunday. When I’ve got a two-wheeled itch to scratch, I hit roads you won’t read about here on weekday mornings.

If you must be one of those guys, ride the popular road on Sunday, then leave. Don’t sit there doing laps with a bunch of other morons, doing so creates complaints and complaints create cops who have to be seen to be doing something about them. There’s no faster way to guarantee a book gets thrown at you than to tick off a local with a cell phone.

Ready to start carving canyons? Still have questions? Already a master? Share your techniques.

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