ChampU – New Rider Course – Comments

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  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Jon Eaton.
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    Jon Eaton

      I’ve been riding since the 70s and learned about riding technique from the MC magazines of the day (Cycle Guide, Cycle, Cycle World, etc). So, covering the front brake and treating it as my primary brake, is the technique I’ve used for years. But, I also teach a new/beginning rider course that specifically coaches not covering the front brake to avoid novice accidents. I know the long term benefits of covering the front brake, but I understand the realities of trying to minimize novice accidents, especially while doing group range exercises. It’s a bit of a dilemma for someone attempting to construct a curriculum and control the liability and equipment risk of operating a training program. But, I did like the way ChampU handled the topic.

      Similarly, “Don’t Crash Your Coffee”, after I understood the reference, was how I was taught to drive a car or truck by my father; smooth throttle and brake application. Assuming others may have been as clueless as me, I would suggest an additional bit of discussion on what “crash your coffee” means……moving the cup without sloshing the contents out of the cup (I assume).

      R=MPH is a great way to focus the discussion on cornering at speed without violating the terms typically used in math or science.

      Foot ready U-turn should help the new rider relax while doing low speed or turns from a stop. Sadly, in some licensing curriculums, dabbing a foot is a penalty. Also on the topic of low-speed or turns from a stop, I was a bit surprised to hear no mention of counter balancing the bike’s weight.

      In the “Let’s Ride” section, there were specific traffic patterns for the 1) swerve and 2) turns from a stop with the recommendation to do these exercises on your own. Could you share the dimensions of those patterns, so the student can lay out their own course?

      On the topic of serving, ChampU says swerving and braking should be done at the same time. How would you teach/couch that in an in-person range class of new or very novice riders? Combining a rapid change in direction while braking seems like an opportunity to exceed the 100 points of traction.

      Relative to the OODA Loop, kudos on using a public domain decision process model, but “orient” seemed to be unexplained. Otherwise, the discussion on continuously repeating was spot on.

      In summary, I liked the New Rider on-line offering and feel the discussions will benefit not only my riding, but my teaching/coaching of a different curriculum.

      Kyle Martos

        I had the same thoughts regarding the swerve and U-turn techniques. My biggest concern is a new rider could easily interpret this course as an alternative to a formal beginner course. I don’t think it’s reinforced enough that they should complete an in person beginner course before practicing these techniques.

        Another criticism I have is how U-turns are approached. Telling the student to cover the front brake and trail brake into a U-turn is a bit odd considering the effects of the brakes during low speed turns. Excessive fork dive(front brake use)/loss of speed is a huge contributor to tip-overs, more so than the need to dab a foot. It feels like these techniques are a bit forced in attempt to make covering the brake/trail-braking advice universal. Though it’s not a life saving skill, it’s still a quality of life skill so it’s worth talking about.

        I still love the Core Curriculum and everything else to be clear, just criticism on what I don’t like. <3

        Jon Eaton

          Seeing a curriculum plan (i.e., sequence of lessons) for developing front brake techniques for new riders would be helpful. I’m not doubting the ability or possibility to do, because somehow I worked through it as a teenager after reading about the braking techniques of pro racers and the development of front brakes (massive drums to discs). If all students were coming from a mountain or street bike (bicycle) background, I think, the task would be easier. But, a large portion of US riders are coming from the cruiser world, which has unique opinions on physics derived from the days of coaster brakes (I’m guessing).

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