Know Your Bike

It’s been more than a week of daily riding, and I’m finally starting to get comfortable on the bike. I’m still doing a lot of self-critique of my technique, but the bad really is outweighed by the good in terms of getting familiar.

I’m still feeling out turning, though. I guess I still have a lot of truck mentality in my driving. When the sign says, 40 MPH curve, I slow to 40. But for a bike, that’s a lot of overkill. My Sporty hardly recognizes a 40MPH curve as a curve.

Last night, I took a ride up through the mountainous, curvy roads around Lake Wohlford. I’m practicing on curves to see what the bike can do, and what I am comfortable doing with my riding capabilities. it’s really a matter of judging the curve accurately, knowing the speed at which I can safely take it, and learning to “trust the lean”, without fearing that I’m going to low-side at any minute.

The Sporty really is a nimble bike. If you want to go right, press the right handlebar. If that isn’t enough, press harder. Look as far as you can into the turn. The bike will go where you are looking.

So far, the times when I’ve felt I should’ve done a better job taking a curve, it is almost invariably been because I’ve fixated on a spot on the pavement, rather than looking into the turn, and seeing where I want to end up.

I’m still taking it slow, but I’m building confidence in the bike, and in myself.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.