Riding vs. driving - what makes them different

Riding is not same as driving. Other than the fun of riding  (Why we ride? - https://6th.ai/blog-4/2017/9/23/why-we-ride ), there are many other differences. Let's start with the top four.

Skills -  For a driver of a 4 wheeler, knowing how to drive and being aware of the traffic laws is enough to stay safe. Sure there may be some fender bender but you will figure it out. But with two wheelers, knowing how to ride is not enough to keep you safe and out of harms way. The skills you need to stay safe and inculcating them as second nature require many year's of practice. If you have been riding for years, and don't agree with this please visit MCrider @ https://www.youtube.com/user/kevinmorris22 . You will find here short training videos with techniques that are easy to pick up, and necessary to get out of a tight situation. Most riders don't actively develop new skills or learn new techniques once they get their license. You may be a skilled rider, but unlike driving, the learning never ends when riding. 

Stay attentive - Being a skilled rider will not help if you are not being attentive. It is easy to forget you are riding, when your mind is occupied in something else. Lack of attention means losing quick reflex and that makes the already low margin for error even smaller. What was a normal ride could turn in to chaos when you come across debris on the road, for realize a motorist has cut you off with inches to spare. According to Hurt report, a motorcyclists has two seconds to avoid a collision. And regardless of who is at fault or how bad the collision was, it is always bad for the rider not the same for the driver.

Drive for others - When riding, being seen is half the battle. Most motorist are not looking for a two wheeler but for the most part they always see another 4 wheeler. This means we have to literally drive for others by knowing their blind spots and getting out of it. Doing this constantly while maintaining distance from other vehicles may seem challenging but its easy if you know how to spot the right lanes and use lane position  (different positions in a lane) to make yourself visible.

Being prepared and alert - Riding is very physical, not as comfortable as a car but much more enjoyable if you are prepared. So being prepared with the right clothing, and protection helps you feel secure, confident and helps you focus. Being alert is not same as being awake. Being alert means offering your undivided attention to riding. Knowing when you are alert or not is key and is the first thing I ask every morning before riding. As tempting as it may be to ride, I want to live another day to ride and never ride if there is any hesitation.

picture by Dietmar Becker @unsplash