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Vision and Awareness in turns.


Carl_T

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Something Dick Frantz wrote about awareness in the parking lot practice thread got me to post this question, and I hope Dick will weigh in on the question some.

 

The question: what visual/awareness steps do you guys use to accommodate the competing needs of clearing the road surface visually near to you, and seeing the big picture through the turn at a distance from you? One needs to know what is going on near to you when entering and rounding turns (making sure the surface is clear of trouble such as sand), and one needs to have a full picture of what is going on up through the turn, where there is the need to see well through the turn or to the limit point (to keep a good sense of what the turn is doing and what vehicles or obstructions lie in wait down the road)?

 

A little background as to why I’m asking for various steps of vision placement methods used.

 

First my riding environment is often composed of a preponderance of 35 to 65mph turns, which quite often contain and element of blindness (in that one often cannot see completely through the turn to the exit, never mind to the next turn upcoming). Upon entry you can occasionally see all the way through, and often see from 1/16 to ¾ of the way through upon approach. The vegetation is often thick and high.

 

I’m not asking about riding so you can stop within the distance you can see here, let’s take this as a given. Even doing that, in these sorts of turns you will have competing needs for near and far visual information.

 

I’m asking how you as an individual use your eyes to clear the surface AND see adequately far enough ahead through the turn? I know how I do it, but I want to hear a variety of methods, to possibly consider.

 

On many of the turns I’ve described, you are through them quickly and time in them is short. That means you better be very efficient at both needs.

 

Now the real reason I’m asking for individual methods. I’ve recently been considering the possibility of refining/improving how I use my eyes in a turn. I’ve read tons of “eyes well up far through the turn” advice, and so decided to go on a long ride to specifically try out Keith Codes two step. Determine speed and turn in point (step 1) then eyes up far through the turn towards the exit (step2). It’s a good track method and this is an abbreviated version of what I normally do on the street so I was trying something new, the Readers Digest version of what I normally did so to speak.

 

Near the end of the 250 mile maiden voyage of playing with this eye use (and enjoying the extra sense of “position” it afforded me, I got caught out by sand on the surface without seeing it soon enough, for the first time in my life.

 

I ride with a LOT of sand and gravel every spring here (winter sanding etc) so it’s not new to me either. This year is special in that we’ve gotten a lot of heavy, rain and gotten it every few days. The rain has been spottily washing gravel and sand on the road through the whole riding season so far.

 

It was a special setup, but that is often the case with trouble. I had been picking my turn in point and looking well up before arriving there, while keeping track of line and possible surface trouble in my lower peripheral vision (looking for color or texture change).

 

I came to the right hand turn in question which was configured so you could see all the way through it and also see to the next left hand turn as well. I was on a lonely, unpopulated back road, and this set of turns offered much more vision than most on the road. However that was part of the trap (as was the fact it was nearing the end of the ride so I may have been a bit tired). There was a low guard rail on the inside of the turn. There were weeds growing all along the guard rail hiding the road surface itself, so while the turn offered good vision for traffic, the surface was obscured as it would be in a completely blind turn.

 

I picked my turn in point and looked through the turn up towards the next turn coming. I lay into the turn and started my throttle application (thankfully!!!!). As I rounded the first third of it, looking into the distance, I peripherally saw a flash of the slightest color change appear and go under my front wheel, which immediately went into full lock tuck-in.

 

I didn’t do anything weird or choppy with the throttle but kept it on, and didn’t go stiff armed on the bars either. The front wheel juddered along trying like hell to grab again and finally did. The bike did get to maximum lean before it finally caught itself, and it caught itself well.

 

When I went back a 2 foot wide, and at least 2 inch deep, strip of sand colored very similar to the road, had washed over the width of my lane at a 90 degree angle. It now had a good 10 foot strip of black rubber exiting it’s vicinity where my front wheel tried to wash out.

 

I rode the turn again a few times, and if I had been using my eyes as I normally did, I’d have spotted it in time to deal with it. I let too much of my attention get too far down the road too soon. I also would have trouble spotting the similar color peripherally the way the light was angled.

 

Needless to say, riding in my environment, I will not be using the track oriented two step and return to my own vision placement method (unless you guys can give me better ideas).

 

On approach I try and see as far through the turn as I can, and get all clues to it’s possible configuration. I pick my “proposed” turn in point, and set speed upon approach checking radius to the vanishing point, and deciding on a possible line of travel. I also clear (see that the surface is OK) the turn in point area with direct vision before getting there. I try with a second glance to clear mid way to the apex before turning in, then I’ll look well up through the turn to the apex and beyond at that point. If it’s a high speed lon-n-n-ng lasting turn, I may do one more visual surface “check back” after the apex. I also do what I can to maintain awareness of other important things that I am not looking directly at as well. It’s a bit hard to explain.

 

The reason I would prefer to enhance, change, or refine this approach is that certain turn configurations rush the process just enough that one can occasionally be aware of the inherent conflict of the competing needs, where neither is optimized and some compromise is in play.

 

So, how do you use your vision/awareness in turns? Dick you have any input?

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I rode the turn again a few times, and if I had been using my eyes as I normally did, I’d have spotted it in time to deal with it. I let too much of my attention get too far down the road too soon. I also would have trouble spotting the similar color peripherally the way the light was angled.

 

Looking as far down the road as possible will help you anticipate and setup for turns, road surface conditions and potential hazards. You still must scan the road in front of you too for smaller things you did not detect 2 seconds ago during your wide/down the road scan.

 

I constantly look as far ahead with my eyes as I can to pick up clues and data that will help me anticipate what is coming up, then I scan in front of me, sweeping the road with my eyes up through the immediate turn in front of me and then out as far out as I can see down the road and repeat over and over again. From my saddle, I scan narrow to wide as I sweep the road with my eyes looking as far down the road as I can.

 

Keeping your brain well ahead of the road is essential for smooth execution. You are riding too fast for the conditions or your skill level when you cannot maintain a good cushion of anticipation.

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Well I think there are a few pieces to the puzzle. One of them is of course to keep your vision (notice I said “vision” not (just) eyes) moving. You should be evaluating what’s way out there, refining what you have learned in your medium distance vision, and confirming it all in your near vision. What’s ‘local’ that is, what is immediately in front of you should have been long since ‘learned.’ Now of course our visual acuity will impact this, it’s hard to see a grain of sand at 500 meters, but if you find yourself often ‘discovering’ things only as you are right on top of them, you are moving to fast to ‘see’ what you need to ‘know.’ And “seeing” has components of vision, (brain) processing, AND understanding. If all the latter are not fast enough, you’re riding too fast.

 

But we can learn to better ‘see.’ And as such speed up understanding and the be able to see to successfully see to go faster. A key to that is to realize how much more visual information is available to you that you are not looking at. You can learn a bit about this now. While continuing to read this message, mentally think about what is in your vision off to each side. There is much more there that you are ignoring that when in motion proves to be useful. The same is true for visual information closer, further, above, below, etc.

 

Go for a nice SLOW ride some time and deliberately work on mentally identifying what you see that you are not looking at. By practicing and refining this technique we can learn to expand what we see sooner and more completely.

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Thank you guys, I dearly appreciate the good input. Again, I’m of the mind that always wants to know what others do.

 

Perhaps the lack of replies or interest, hints that use of vision is often mostly kept out of conscious awareness. Well, maybe instead it hints I’d just posted way to many words to ask a simple question so it got too difficult to read. Maybe it’s just not an interesting aspect of riding, I dunno.

 

When I have a close call, I do my best to figure out why, and what can be done to avoid a repeat.

 

Since there are several riding book out there that advocate setting a turn in point and then looking far through the turn, given my recent brush with sand, I thought going beyond that suggested system might be worth a bit of public reflection. It MIGHT be worth it at least for people riding in an environment similar to mine.

 

The point (to me personally) is that I’ve been riding successfully for 42 years. I have long understood and used peripheral vision and attention shifting, successfully raced semi professional motocross when younger, and have been down once on the street pulling out of a garage after rolling through some oil. That happened in the first 3 weeks of street riding when I was 18 yrs. old.

 

Additionally I entered the turn in question easily, at approximately 70% of my normally capable street speed level, and nearly went down on an empty street due to a surface problem (a seeming ridiculous situation to an old moto-crosser used to reading surfaces).

 

I can identify the numerous, various variables, in a very specific layout of circumstances, which allowed for this (perhaps including my bifocals). I’ve learned a number of lessons from it.

 

Primary numero UNO, is that by this time I surely should have known to be suspicious of the road surface since the weeds were hiding most of it, even though the road had been clear previously, and other aspects of the turn were open visually. I needed to abandon my experiment and check out the hidden area. Trouble often can come when you PRE-DECIDE what you need to do, rather than take your cue from circumstances at hand.

 

Another ONE of those lessons though, is that experimenting with that particular eye use method (looking far ahead through the turn, after identifying turn in point, and depending on peripheral awareness shifting alone for surface clearing), which is seemingly advocated in a number of riding publications, was also a main piece of the puzzle for ME at least.

 

Changing to that specific, particular way of visually dealing with a corner appears to give great position awareness. On an asphalt track where the surface is almost always the same each time round, I can see from my experiment it would be a speed enhancement. It would be more efficient.

 

However, I personally find it reduced MY personal street ability. It reduced it to the point where I WAS obviously riding over my head on the street, while going through a specific set of laid out circumstances in a turn, at what normally would be approximately 70% of my known capability. Had I been deciding to do the turn more briskly at steeper lean angles (not smart given the layout), I have doubts as to being able to recover from the front tucking under.

 

I could have asked for a discussion on every one of the variables that combined the way they did in the turn. However, since I would have been able to deal with the situation using my eyes in my own usual way (even if it probably would have been some very quick adjusting), I thought to share information on the main variable that opened the door to trouble in my opinion (vision use). The other elements were things to be expected on the street. Yes, part of the problem was I didn’t properly expect them at the correct time.

 

I post the vision use question as the current literature on the subject, I find to be inadequate. That being the case, I thought discussion could be helpful to upcoming riders. I know what I normally do visually, it’s not so very different from a two step (it’s a 4 step) and so far it serves me well at the speeds I use, even if it’s a tad clunky in a very few turn configurations.

 

Many years ago the moto-cross track had me watching the road surface too close in to the bike on the street, and I had to figure how to blend the near vision need, with the look up far through the turn needs.

 

So how do you use YOUR eyes dealing with a turn, or is it something best left to the unconscious, and newer riders to figure by divine revelation, or bitter experience?

 

Is it best not messed with through conscious analysis? Certainly a remote possibility given what happened to me while messing about.

 

Do you have what could be described as a system, or do you do what has naturally developed over time? Do you know what that is, or is it best left to itself and too individual to relay?

 

Best question yet, should I just stop obsessing and go out for a ride?

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Carl, I appreciate the hope your call to me expresses.

 

I'm aware my "Awareness Actions" are different than the mainstream. When I get them across to students who then "do" things in similar ways, they are quite amazed at their change in Cognizance, both their overall sense, and also the discrete "presence impact" of important to Riding elements they are encountering. It's like life just gets more Real, but also Real now seems different. It sometimes brings about a big shift.

 

Your inquiry gets me wanting to have you explore Contexts Context Shifts and Context Spanning, along with the concepts of Concurrency and Simultaneity.

 

Trust me... It really is a help toward understanding what we are doing, and what we can and might do, with our Wetware - a Computer term for the drippy brain tissue that's (sometimes unfortunately) part of the Hardware, Firmware, Software chain that makes computer applications work... or don't work. We've got a similar arrangement of "ware" involved in Riding too. I've found it to be helpful to my students/friends to get some slightly different concepts straight about Wetware so they can better categorize, and understand the affects of changes they make to their comprehension about what's going on, and about to go on, when they are Riding.

 

We could describe a Context as where we are Riding at the moment - Here. Another would be where we're going to be riding in the next 4 seconds - From Here on to over there at the edged of The Vanishing Point, Another Context might be from Here to the third turn ahead that is visible while its prior two are not. Another is up the hill to the left hand corner I barely see slightly to the right curving on back behind the hill, and then another is from Here to the top of the hill way on up there where I see the road fully disappear.

 

Where am I riding? All those places; Here, There, and Everywhere. Why? Well... they all begin "Here". That view is Context Spanning.

 

It is also about Simultaneity. Each of us is Simultaneously a citizen of City, State, and Nation. "She" is Granddaughter, Daughter, Self, Mother, and Grandmother... all at once; Simultaneously. If She takes a course in Interpersonal Communication, benefit might come to all the Contexts she is Spanning, Simultaneous Benefit.

 

But this view of "she" contains a difference from the view of all those contexts of "where we're riding". The latter contains an "automatic" "relator", what brings about the sense of Spanning: They all contain the same Here where they start.

 

The "Relationship Contexts" of "she" are only Spanned when She Decides and Comprehends their Spanning. If her consciousness, awareness, in only on Daughter, well, most likely, the bulk of benefit, if not all of it, of any action she takes in that state from taking that Interpersonal Communication Course is going to She and Her Mother. On the other hand, were she "mindful", were her Awareness Spanning Contexts, what she says to Mom might be framed in such a way as to become of Simultaneous Benefit to the Contexts Her Awareness Spans. She could say things to Mom, and/or say them in ways that benefitted beyond the "near Context": "I love it when I get together [with you | with family members like you] and get to share of love, concern and help. [You and I | We all] should do this more often."

 

Concurrence shares one definition, one meaning, with Simultaneous: ".,.at the same time." Really, Concurrent is about "In the same timeframe", and refers action or attention to discrete aspects (things) for discrete smaller parts of time, within the entire timeframe: She served dinner to all the family members at last night's dinner hour: Concurrently, one at a time; Not Simultaneously.

 

What's greatly important to grasp is that Concurrently, and Context Spanning can be about the Simultaneity of "One, and also All". Some examples are "One for All, and All for One", "In for a penny, in for a pound", and "What we do here at the entrance of a corner Simultaneously affects what will happen over toward it's hidden Exit, but our actions will have us paying more attention to over here, a discretion of Concurrency, will Simultaneously only a little attention on "over there". If we had all of our attention on Over Here, and none (forgotten) on Over There, there would only be the Concurrency of that "in the end" we would pay attention to all of it as they became "Over Here's". I say that's not serving us as well as maintaining Simultaneous Attention, Context Spanning, of all we could and might be aware of when were Riding.

 

 

OK. What's the Practicality of all this?

 

Well, talking about "Vision" rather than Awareness, start right now, by visually scanning away from us all the way to the point in space where the road disappears from view. See? There's nothing dangerous in the roadway from here to there right? So, there's no longer any need to look down at "right here". Is there?

 

When we move one foot forward, another foot of roadway appears... Over There. See that new "one foot" (Scan only it). No danger there either, huh? Still no danger between New Here, and One Foot Short of New Over There. Right? So generally, there's no need to scan all that space again; Keep at "Looking over there."

 

That's what some Instructors and Writers tell us: "Look UP. Look where the roadway is unfolding for us." Crap!!!

 

Why? Well, there's fly in the ointment - or rather a woodchuck. You know. The woodchuck that darts across the road right when we've reach maximum lean angle and have started to power up for exit. That sucker!

 

Well what's the big deal? We saw it, right?

 

Yeah, but... way late. Now, we're having to act like a juggler on a unicycle on a high wire, stretched between poles at either end of a flat car, of a fast moving train, that's crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. In a high wind. And rain. Lightning too. With the hives. grin.gif

 

We might have been able to get five or ten motorcycle miles an hour out of that scenario had we "seen" at least the potential that Mr. Woodchuck might dart across the road in front of us. What we needed instead of only "Look UP!!" was... a different sense of Context. And some Context Spanning.

 

"Look UP" has us looking at. a Focus... a Focus that diminshes Awareness. We became un-aware, or less aware, of the "also context" of Over Here, while we Focused on Over there. Stuff was potentially happening Over here that might affect us. Also, and this is so common as to make me comfortable saying "always", always, our "local view", what we're paying attention to, also has a Focus that prevents us from seeing all that we could see, all that we could be aware of. It's a kind of Tunnel Vision.

 

I use the term/Concepts Look-And-See. and Unbound Attention to reference the "doing" that Keith Code calls, "The Wide View". He's talking about the opposite of Tunnel Vision - taking in not just the center of what we have the potential to see or be aware of, but everything, all the way out to the edges of what we have the potential to see or be aware of. My concept differed in that I don't describe it as just "wide", from side to side, but that what we can see or be aware of is also "tall", and "diagonal", and "deep" and might even span Time. It addresses, Spans, more visual Contexts than "Wide View." However, Wide View certainly is helpful, and in fact, is quite likely to lead students to engage in other than lateral expansion of their Awareness, as well as only Vision. Couldn't you actually "feel" a woodchuck was about to run across the road?

 

No? Then you might want to look as Spanning the Contexts of Vision and Sensation, and Feeling, and Intuiting, and "Instinctualing". See, there really was a reason for dealing with those nutty things like Contexts and Simultaneity, wasn't there.

 

We're not well served to Focus anything. There are far more things going on than we tend to be aware of, aware through any means, that have the potential to affect us positively, but very importantly, negatively when we're Riding. Anything that will "take those" in, bring them to our Awareness so we can Discover, Define, and Decide to take helpful, and life-preserving, actions are cool things.

 

Just like I mentioned about my view of the road ahead, Here, The Vanishing Point, the turn three turns ahead, the hill sweeping left hander, and the turn at the top, each of those Contexts has information to help me ride. If I "cast" my Attention lightly and without Focus from Here To Eternity, the farthest point of the Ride I can comprehend, or maybe just that makes sense to to Attend to, if I Look that "way" (both manner and direction), I'm able to comprehend all that's between Here and Way Over There. So "dispersed", and the greater the distance/space the greater "the dispersal", the less clear any discrete thing might seem to me in that space (or the less clear it might visually appear). So, Simultaneously with "Attending to All of It", I also direct my Attention to discrete portsions of what I "see", the "picture" I'm Aware of, and gain a clearer sense, or vision, of some discrete Context and objects or motions within it. Perhaps for a moment, it's more "important" to ensure I don't run wide off the road at Exit Point, so I'll "give that a little more Attention, or Awareness", but still "Keeping Aware" of the Everywhere I'm Riding. That keeps me taking in more and more about The Environment, all the Contexts, I'll Ride through. It will give me more data, and because it's a stream and not "snapshots", it will have more reality, relevance, and "data about", and I'll be better able to fold it in to the Computations of Decide. Doing that are very high order methods to "Discover and Define".

 

Virtually any Context Spanning we do with our Awareness, or Vision, is going to serve us better. "Look toward Vanishing Point, and still See the road twixt Here and There" is a fine start. "Look toward Horizon/Infinity and See all the Contexts" might be the highest order to strive toward. Whether any one person reached that lofty goal or not, The Journey there will be a fulfilling one. I guarantee it.

 

 

Thanks for asking, Carl. Burp. I feel better now. wink.gif

 

Best wishes.

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Dick,

Thank you so much for the time you took to type your very helpful reply. It is deeply appreciated since your verbal “hints” were the needed key to open the door to the small room I had shut myself in.

 

By trying to break down a complex intuitive system into a few rigid step by step maneuvers I not only narrowed into tunnel vision, my awareness on the road (though I was using peripheral vision in a lesser fashion than I am capable of), but narrowed my intuition and thought process about it afterwards also.

 

While reading what you wrote I was struck by my having traded the planet… the world, for a small stone. No small wonder I almost got bit by something in the world. I had tunnel vision thinking about it afterwards because I was stuck on particular steps of vision use being the crux of the matter, when focusing on those steps were the problem, not the actual bottom line.

 

I now believe the true crux of the matter was my insistence on reducing things to a couple of simplistic eye movement steps and so, pre-deciding how to use my focus, eyes, and awareness, rather than taking my cues in the moment as it unfolds.

 

In a nutshell, I was distracted by playing with the steps and I short circuited slipping into the zone which constitutes more of my riding experience than not. Being in that awareness space is one of the biggest joys of riding for me. It is the place which resembles that which your post describes better than I Dick, but which is still only hinted at by your words. A place where you cannot force yourself to go, through will power. I’ve heard it termed the zone, but more directly it is a place you slip into, that you “release” into, and frustratingly is a place that is gone as soon as you become aware that you are there.

 

It is a place where contexts, context spanning, concurrency, and simultaneity ARE.

 

Indeed in riding your thought process, I woke up and realized just how much I normally relied on (and normally could rely on) “feeling/sensing” the woodchuck was there in the flow ready to run out from the bushes across the road.

 

However I have a personal trap to deal with in this zone activity, which occasionally gets in my way when I’m not looking. As an Artist from a small child I needed the ability to filter my awareness and bring it into a tightly selective focus. To tune out the bustling family and world, so I could exclusively attend to my Artistic activities. Things would take time to wind their way through the filtering layers. I would (and sometimes still do) answer people minutes after they have asked me a question. Their voice slowly makes it’s way down through the layers into my painting world of tight focus. It’s not so beneficial as expanding out into everything is. I avoid setting that situation up now that I am an adult, and work in relative quiet when I create.

 

This is a long developed ability and is similar, but yet quite different in quality to the zone, which I also know, but of course, could know even better.

 

Thank you Dick, as soon as I absorbed the gestalt of your post, I felt settled about the matter. I knew I had not completely gotten a handle on what was most important previously.

 

I had been going into this “breaking down into steps thing” (which can be good to learn many things motorcycle related and otherwise, at a rudimental level) for one main reason. My wife at 50 yrs. old has become a returning rider (Ninja 250), and one with far more previous dirt experience than road experience.

 

At this point in her progress I am slowly introducing her to additional riding knowledge, and we have begun a bit of parking lot practice together, as well as my leading her on rides (with some periods of her leading).

 

When it came to visual information in turns, I decided to explore what I do visually and read what is out there for information on visual use. The steps I came up with are far too rudimentary to pass on, and the ones I read more rudimentary yet. That experiment with the ones I read led to the corner incident and these posts.

 

SO, how does one “pass on” the “Zone” to another? She is not of a personality to, nor has the patience to intuit Dicks writing on the subject. She’s not into any traditional type of meditation either.

 

Perhaps a walking meditation of total awareness? Hmmm, any suggestions?

 

Something will come to me now that I have a more complete grasp on what is happening.

 

For certain I will pass on verbally the sense of, and things surrounding, contexts, context spanning, concurrency, and simultaneity.

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Carl, when I read you post I feel blessed, a great peace, feeling the understanding I sought be met. You've fallen into that well far more deeply that I expected, and I sorrow at how I limited my expectations. I hoped for that, but I fell short of my hope for me when I sold you short through my limited expectations. I sorrow deeply.

 

 

The Zone will be experienced differently by each of us, and related even differently. That's because words of our rational realm are designed to describe things of the physical world, and the rational, and feeling mental worlds, not this more newly examined other realm.

 

The Zone is about perceiving things, living, with the stimulus-response feeling mind, and the similarity-difference rational mind put on hold, or transcended. Within The Zone, perceptions indeed come from the physical person, but the state or quality of the Awareness is of the nature of a higher order, variously called by the sciences and meta-sciences, "I", "ego/super ego", "soul", "spirit", and some other terms. They are terms, each with that own discipline's discovered, postulated or assigned qualities, values, and abilities, that all refer to the entity that decides, that does or does not take or assign meaning to what's perceived, and does or can exert control over the mind(s) and body. It shows itself capable of a kind of direct perception absent nature of the typical concept of subjectivity: It sees (more) clearly... right along with body seeing (sensation), and mind perception.

 

The best description I've encountered of a how Awareness seems when one is being Aware at a very high level the gradient from "Aware like most of us are every day" to "Total Zone" is that one is "Feeling and Seeing what's going on, but having a greater recognition of Knowing." That makes sense since a basketball player in The Zone often describes an aspect of that state along the lines of, "When I shoot the ball, I simply Know it's going in."

 

 

Carl, I'll share parts of the method I use in instructing, particularly in my Riding Better series. Perhaps from it you'll give yourself a break about trying to mechanically do Riding - it wasn't "wrong"; It wasn't incorrect, or non-helpful: It just didn't match your vision or dream of the best way, your high expectation goal - The Zone.

 

The first part is some basic concepts.

 

No matter how "transcended" a person gets, they still can't shoot a basketball like Michael Jordan did - a fellow that relates he spent great amounts of time in The Zone. Don't' place too much importance on that "He had Talent", but rather that "He had Skill" - That's how he looked at it: He always worked on his skills. He very well knew he'd get into The Zone, probably because he saw that he was shooting (or doing other play actions) well, dropped what is our natural anxiety that he had only a smidgen or, and "relaxed", or "slipped into", or most pertinently, "released" his attention from the rational and feeling mind "concerns and pictures": He began to give more Awareness to the direct perception and conception of "I". But he still had to be able to loft a basketball thirty or forty feet, and get to a spot to do that didn't have the path from there to the basket blocked by an opposing player. He still had to shoot the basketball.

 

First, I impart to students a result and have them set that as a goal: "Having moved off from rest, the bike is moving forward at a moderate pace in first gear under the Rider's control". Now, close your eyes and Envision that: What does it Look like? Now, how to you suppose that would Feel? Envision again, and also Feel that. Got it?

 

Next, I impart to students the steps, 1, 2, 3, 4, of actions to take that will bring about a result: "Start engine; Put bike in first gear holding clutch in; Increase rpm with throttle to about 2000 rpm; Slowly release clutch while listening to rpm sound; Continue release of clutch at about the same rate, also adding or removing power with subtle movements of the throttle so as to retain the same rpm sound; When the clutch is fully released add just a little more throttle until about 2500 rpm is reached and hold that throttle postion for two seconds; As you rapidly pull in the clutch, fully close the throttle; Gently apply rear brake as you lower your left foot to hover over, even scraping the ground; Come to a full stop and support the bike with the left foot and leg."

 

We'll "pretend" we do that, each step, with the rider seated on a bike on the center stand but not running. We'll first get the entire flow, and then examine in some detail doing each step. Then again do the whole flow. The again examine each step in even greater detail.

 

Then we'll Envision it, concentrate on "seeing" how it will be when we get out to the parking lot and actually do this. Then we'll repeat that adding "How does that Feel?" to our Envisionment. Please take great note, we concentrate on how each step or action feels. Then, we go after "How did that all feel?" First the parts, then the Integrity.

 

When we get to the parking lot, student on running bike, we will have already asked them to "Run that movie of The Steps. What did that Feel like?". Any answer they give is the "right" answer for it is their own, imperatively subjective, concept for which there my be no words: "Unghhh" is always exactly right, as is "Zzzzzzzzzzzzziiippp!". If you get back a detailed intellectualization, stop and go back to working with the student and get them straightened out about how Thinking is way different than Feeling.

 

Anyway, we go over the Envisionment, the movie, again. Then we send them off with, "OK. You decide to do that, and then do it."

 

What happens next is our main target. It is our target for them: The Experience.

 

Of course that's our target, our main Goal. The whole point of the student in coming to this Learning Game is that she/he is seeking Experience: The experience of Riding A Motorcycle.

 

So that's what we give her/him - the Basic Experience. We don't waste time/space on doing "other things", we confine ourselves to doing only what leads to, and makes up, The Goal: The Experience.

 

And, we've given her/him the tools, The Steps, the actions that will bring about The Experience... so she/he might modify how she/he does those steps in order to modify the qualities of the resulting Experience.

 

"So, off with you.

 

"Done?

 

"OK. What happened?"

 

"Blah, blah, blah."

 

"OK.

 

"How did that Feel?"

 

"Blah, blah, blah."

 

"Alright. So, that's how it feels when that happens, right?

 

"What would you improve about what happened?

 

"Blah, blah, blah."

 

"Good, what would you change about one of the steps to bring that about?"

 

"Blah, blah, blah." (Some help might be inserted here)

 

"OK. How would that that step feel when you did that step differently?"

 

"Blah, blah, blah."

 

"Good. So, now Envision the whole task with that changed action and how it feels, and get how the whole task looks to you, and how it feels."

 

(Does it)

 

"OK. Off with you then. Do that."

 

And so we repeat until the Student and Instructor are satisfied at least the minimum acceptable standard (target of qualities) has been demonstrated several times in a row. Given free time, the student is urged to play with the steps themselves and bring about different results. This continuously enhances Understanding and places the Causes under their control. They change "their causes" to bring about different "effect", different Results... Different Experiences.

 

An underlying aim is controlling things by Feel. Why? At the pace things occur during Riding, we will not have the time to Intellectualize, to Think about, our actions and achieve any great degree of success.

 

What we've learned is that when healthy we are always "co----operating", monitoring and controlling our actions in using and in terms of (stimulus-response) Feeling Mind, Rational Mind, and "Spiritual Mind" (The way "I" perceives and conceives of things). We do that in different balances from time to time. And, each of us is prone to concentrate on using one or two in dominant fashion - which mode we have the ability to change.

 

"Feeling" as a Director, is much more akin to "I's" non-linear, very concise "just perceive" and "just conceive or consider". It's natural for any student to progress from "Operating by Feeling" to gradually becoming aware the are "Just Doing It.", the magic phrase of Nike... and their early representative... Michael Jordan.

 

 

So, Carl, you can see that at least Dick very much values the 1, 2, 3, 4 Steps, The Mechanics of... Just Do It. Both are present, more of one at any time than the other -- even though the goal is probably best serving to be the latter.

 

However, there's one more very important concept. It comes from Golf. "Practice at the Practice Tee. Play Golf on The Course."

 

It's true, golfers do play Practice Round where they take the time to play and replay shots in certain situations. But the good ones never work on their "swing" on the course. They get the mechanics learned and under their control on the Practice Tee. They limit themselves to swing corrections during a "live" round to "Notice an unwanted result or feel. Find the component t most affects that or has that feel. Change the action to get a different feel with one or more practice swings until the feel "comes right". Ingrain, "remember" That New Feel. Get on with the rest of your round. At the end of the round, review results, and identify what actions (causes) might need work, and work on them next time at the Practice Tee.

 

Apply those golf concepts to Riding, and we're on our way ever upward.

 

Mechanics always are present with Actions. The Zone, or any state, level, or kind of Awareness is the co-resident that uses, but can exert control over Mechanics. "You" are Cause. Exercising Mechanics is how you bring about Effects... The Experiences of Riding you get to choose.

 

Cool, eh, Carl?

 

Best wishes.

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Carl, I just visited your web site and now understand why you're so wierd like me!!

 

Anyone's mind would get warped who lives under the influence of a "bitchin' frizzy". grin.gif

 

In truth though, Carl, now I greatly envy you. What a grand companion I'll bet you've found in Chloe.

 

Best wishes.

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Hah, the Bitchin Frizzy has a heart and generosity of spirit that far, far, outstrips her small size, what a treasure to my life she is. To help her with the times when she must wait alone for a time, we got her a small Chihuahua companion that has neither grown fat, nor large. Little Max has a heart to match Chloe’s and they are tight companions. He has turned out to be an equal treasure and he does not carry the meanness, nor the “one person exclusively” trait the breed can be known for (I really need to get a picture of him on the site). The little doggles are not truly settled unless all of the “pack” is together with them, as they are deeply attached to the family.

 

I would love to give her credit for my weirdness, but that seems to have begun before I ever got to touch foot to ground for the first time. grin.gif I am thankful that at least some of that weirdness has been positive and led me to rewarding experiences and people. It is a fine compliment indeed if you perceive I share even a tiny portion of weirdness and warpage with you.

 

VERY cool! Thank you for your generous reply Dick. I am deeply grateful for the gift that you’ve offered, and have printed it out to go over in more depth later. Dawn and I thank you for sharing your method of instructing. This shows us a path to explore that promises to be supportive and productive.

 

Take care,

Carl

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