Target Fixation

When teaching someone to ride a motorcycle, the best way is to let them ride as a passenger behind an experienced rider. The experienced rider will tell them to lean when the rider leans, and keep their bodies aligned behind the driver. After enough miles in the seat, the rider will instinctively begin to “feel” the way to turn, how to lean, how to accelerate, how to shift, how to stop, and then will be ready to try it themselves. The experience of riding behind an accomplished rider imprints on the learners. After first learning the mechanical rules for riding, the learner eventually will duplicate the ‘feel’ of what was learned. When the feel is right, they are comfortable in riding. This method of teaching motorcycling produces not only a better rider, it produces them much more quickly than any other teaching method. An experienced motorcyclist does not recognize where the bike begins and where they leave off. They become one. The motorcycle becomes an extension of the body. You “do” and then you “become.” When making a turn on a motorcycle, the experienced rider looks where she wants to go. The bike follows her sight as a natural extension of her thought. You drive down the road where you look. If there is an obstruction on the road you want to avoid, you mustn’t fix your eyes on the obstacle or you will hit it. You look where you want the bike to go. To avoid the obstruction you look to the right or the left, and the bike will follow. Staring at a road obstruction is called “target fixation” and is a common problem with new riders. If you fixate on a target, even one you want to avoid, you will hit it. You go where you look. (The Second Comforter, Chapter 15, Doing and Being)

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