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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I ride I have a plan and a mantra. The mantra has five parts, three are mine and two I stole. Along with the mantra I will add my riding plan which will often be different for different rides. Before I mount up I take a few seconds to review and get in my mindset. It doesn't take long and gets me in the mode to think!

Current Mantra I say to myself before mounting, and some parts I may repeat as the ride progresses.
1. Cold tires
2. Don't spill my coffee
3. Find Dana's scarf
4. No contact
5. Relax

I stole number one from YCRS, it's a quick, short, simple reminder that anytime I have stopped for a break, when I start to ride, the tires are going to be cold/colder and I need to hold the pace down to allow the tires to warm up. Number two I also stole from Chris Paris. It's a reference not only to riding, but also daily life, that is to think about what I am doing and make what I am doing precise to avoid being haphazard which often will result in spilling my coffee. Number 3 is my own, which reminds me to check the road ahead and behind as I travel, looking far ahead and scanning near for hazards that may appear and give me time to response appropriately to avoid them.

On a ride last year my wife, Dana, and I were going from Taylor, through Heber, Forest Lakes, Christopher Creek, Star Valley and to our destination in Payson, Arizona. It was a bit cool heading out and my wife didn't have her gator so she wrapped a purple scarf around her neck instead. On the leg from Taylor to Heber the wind pulled her scarf off. She didn't notice until we stopped for a break in Heber. On the return we started looking for her scarf. We didn't spot it, but it was amazing to me how much more I noticed along the route when I had a purpose to actually pay attention and look and see. I thought that was a good mantra to add as a reminder to keep attention on the road ahead and actually see things that may be a hazard.

The fourth is mine and reminds me, if I avoid contact with everything along the way, it should end with a safe trip. Things like rocks, dogs, coyotes, horses, cows, deer, elk, cars, trucks, guard rails, ditches! It's a follow-up to number 3 to not just see hazards but also act quickly in a defensive mode to avoid them. And to act offensively all the time.

And the fifth is just to calm me down and remind me to relax and enjoy the ride whether it is a short local ride, a day ride, overnighter, for a specific purpose or just for the fun of riding around.

Along my ride when sometimes my mind will drift off riding, I will repeat number 3, 4, and 5 as a method to snap me back into safe riding mode and warn me to pay attention. I know a lot of riders just jump on, crank it and blast off with little thought to the riding part. I used to be like that a lot myself. But years ago, somewhere along the way after many close calls and some crashes that afterward I would say, "if I had been paying attention I could have avoided that" I read an article where the author had a mantra. I adopted it and it seems to be working for me. From time to time I have modified it for improvement. I'm sure other members here have a mantra and make a riding plan before they start. If you have one that you would like to share, I would like to hear it. For those reading that haven't, maybe try it out.
 

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Sometimes I set off on the bike and can feel the cool wind in my hair and think, golly I forgot my helmet.

UK
That is a nice feeling for sure. Been a long time since I purposely made that mistake. Too bad they can't make a helmet with huge open slats that is still rigid enough to pass safety requirements. Like well padded criss-cross rebar.
 

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If I had a mantra, I guess it would be "Let'em go". When I see a car coming up behind, let them get by and let'em go. Same with other riders, just move over and let'em go.

If a soccer mom in her mini-van tries moving into my space, or a semi-truck starts moving in to my space, let'em have it and let'em go.

No one sees you while you're riding down the highway, but everyone will see the crazy guy on the motorcycle kicking at other cars and giving everyone "the bird".

Just let'em go, or you might be trying to explain your actions to the traffic cop that didn't see the soccer mom almost run you over, but did see you kicking, yelling and flipping everyone off. It's not worth it.
 

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The lady behind the bar at the golf club, knows how many beers I am allowed, whether I am in the cage or on the bike.
Would that be her mantra or mine?

UK
 

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I have a plan, you might call it a mantra. It stems from my faith in and relationship with God. Before I even start to gear up for the ride, I ask Him to help me stay observant and alert and not miss any details. Then TCLOCS, then gear up, being as mindful as I can (i.e. not daydreaming or thinking ahead to the day's events). Then hop on and ride!

This doesn't discount the need to learn, practice, prepare, repair, and use good judgement. Instead I trust Him to help me do all these things to the best of my ability, and then leave everything else to Him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a plan, you might call it a mantra. It stems from my faith in and relationship with God. Before I even start to gear up for the ride, I ask Him to help me stay observant and alert and not miss any details. Then TCLOCS, then gear up, being as mindful as I can (i.e. not daydreaming or thinking ahead to the day's events). Then hop on and ride!

This doesn't discount the need to learn, practice, prepare, repair, and use good judgement. Instead I trust Him to help me do all these things to the best of my ability, and then leave everything else to Him.
I like it Roger, good plan.
 

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When I get on my bike or in a cage for that matter, I always ask the LORD to protect me and I 'plead the blood of Jesus' over me.👼

Sam:)
 

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I love your mantra! Great explanation of why you chose those words as well, thanks :) I usually try and make sure that I work on something specific, like look into the turn sooner, or relax, breathe, or lately while dirt riding (DON'T LOOK AT THE TREE! DON'T LOOK AT THE ROCK!"
 

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ately while dirt riding (DON'T LOOK AT THE TREE! DON'T LOOK AT THE ROCK!"
But now you know what your students might be experiencing and just how easy it is to panic a look at what you will surely hit rather than look where you want to go. When the shoe is on the other foot it's different isn't it. :D :D :D
 
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When I started commuting on my bike I realized that the risky ride wasn't dodging deer on the 3 Am cruise into work, it's the 4pm traffic combat ride home.
I work at a very busy airport in a a very busy city and when I leave the parking structure I am immediately on the ramp onto the chaotic exit road from the field. The typical traffic there is a bunch of frenzied, lost travelers in unfamiliar rental cars trying to figure out which side of the road they belong on while looking for the exit and talking on the phone. A 1/2 mile of that if I survive and I am on a packed interstate joining a million others heading west out of the NYC area at 80 mph, jockeying for position in a tangled mess of cars, trucks, and bikes.
I quickly realized I needed to be on my A game instantly..so my ride prep for that ride is simple..get suited up, get warmed up, get everything I need to get done ready, ...then a deep breath to focus, and a mental " Time to ride!" before rolling out of the doorway.
 
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I had the same thing when I worked and commuted in Dallas traffic close to Dallas International. Do not miss that commute one darn bit.
 
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You hit a tree in the jungle, you might as well have hit a semi. Major intersection on the freeway in NZ, guy exits the intersection after leaving local pub. Not a clue at all. Too many lanes, too many blurry decisions. Went round and round, back and forth. Blind oblivion. Happened to a friend, hit a power pole. Would never know what happened, even if he lived. We must remember, the most dangerous thing about modern bikes, is the electric start.
A quote from a UK sub captain after launching a torpedo. " Please go bang " We sometimes need, please do not go bang. UK
 

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But now you know what your students might be experiencing and just how easy it is to panic a look at what you will surely hit rather than look where you want to go. When the shoe is on the other foot it's different, isn't it? :D :D :D
Very true! That's one of the reason's why I absolutely love any opportunity to be coached or instructed when riding so that I can get a better understanding of what students might go through and what things are challenging and frustrating when learning how to ride. For example, while doing the Troy Corser School in Europe, Troy railed past me and tapped his bike for me to follow him. It was only my 2nd session on the new track and I barely knew which way it went let alone the exact proper lines. He kept giving me all sorts of hand signals, "follow me, move over to the edge of the track, 3rd gear! 2nd gear! move your butt over, leg out......etc....." and I was like "OMG I DON"T EVEN KNOW WHICH WAY THE TRACK GOES!" let alone which gear to be in etc.....I had to tell him after that one thing at a time was good, and that I couldn't learn while trying to do 10 differnt things AND keep up! Hahaha. So, it's super beneficial to try new things, experience what it might be like for a student and to realize that people learn differently and to adapt instruction accordingly. Feeling like a NOOB in the dirt and while trying to navigate roots and rocks sure helps :)
 

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My mantra: Assume you're invisible; and assume that the other guy is going to do something stupid. With that in mind, I pray for a safe, fun ride!
 

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Lately my mantra is stop spending so much time looking in the mirrors worrying about what they're doing behind me. Also slow down on the corners. Those snake road patches are slick.
 

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I've even run into some where they've scattered sand on them. I'm not sure what they think that's going to do but it has scared the heck out of me when I've hit them unknowingly.
 
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