While out on a long solo ride here in Patagonia I made a video about my thoughts on mitigating risk. How we need to have a greater percentage of skill vs the risk any ride may pose. What does that mean? Well If we are good at certain areas of riding and bad or low skilled at other areas, we can do several things to help mitigate the risk of failure for the sections in which we have low skill.
For instance, if we are not skilled at gravel roads, we must somehow overcome that and either gain the skill if there is time or adapt the route to take away some of the harder sections. Those are the only two ways to mitigate risk and avoid failure. Learn or adapt, you often hear comedians talk about how you know you’re a bad speller when you cant spell the word you are thinking so you decide instead to change the whole sentence to say the same thing but avoid the word you cant spell. Well that’s what we do with our riding. We either learn to spell or change the sentence. Learn to ride better with more confidence or change the route to better suite your skills.
Learn the skills. There are several ways to do this but a good place to start are videos about basic and advanced riding skills. This helps set a foundation to better understand the things you need to learn and of what importance they are to further your riding. I myself find that a great way to learn, push your boundaries and gain confidence is to ride with people who are better than me. This has really helped me because those friends who have high skills and a little patience will tell you what you’re doing wrong and help you to improve your riding. Remember they want a riding partner just like you so it’s to their advantage to get you trained up to a higher skill level. Another is taking classes with instructors and practicing those skill learned so that they become second nature. All these things are the preferred method to be prepared for any trip you may want to take. This is what will help you in the long term for all your ambitious rides.
Adapt the route. Now if you don’t have the time to train and learn new methods to help you ride smarter and with more confidence the other way to complete those ambitious rides is to adapt the route to give yourself a better chance of success. This is of course a common issue for riders who may have set out on a big ride and find themselves in tough situations in which they must ride sections above their skill set. So, they adapt the route or push their boundaries. The later not always the best options when you are alone. However, the goal is to end any ride safely and so you must always put safety above ambition when you are not prepared mentally or physically with the skills required to complete a ride.
I hope this helps to get you thinking of where your riding is and what may help you complete a big ride successfully. What did I miss? What helps you accomplish those big rides and gain skills on the motorcycle? Let me know in the comments.