Proficient Motorcycling

☆ June 24, 2010


I just watched a guy pull a majorly dumb maneuver on his motorcycle. One that probably would have ruined his day, his bike, and his bod if he’d been unlucky enough to pull it in front of someone less motorcycley-inclined as I.  I always watch out for riders, natch.

But this guy would have caused a major crash, all in the name of looking “cool” or “bad to the bone,” if the oncoming driver had been distracted, slow with reflexes, or speeding.  (All of which are very common among drivers.)  Dummy could’ve lost his life.

And so I feel compelled to share THE BEST book on riding in existence: Proficient Motorcycling. I read this cover-to-cover before my cross-country departure and I suggest anyone who rides do the same, and do it annually.

If you know someone who rides and you love them, give them this book. It’s straight up, no frills, easy to read. It’s graphic when it needs to be and empowering, too. It’s an education on technique, safety, and how not to be stupid (unintentionally or otherwise).

Seriously, guys like the one I encountered give riders a bad name.  And after riding 6,000 miles on a 150cc scooter I can honestly say you can put safety first and have incredible amounts of fun and be truly “bad to the bone” all at the same time.

Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well


10 Responses to “Proficient Motorcycling”

  1. Birdcage
    June 24th, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    I love this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. Tiny Tyrant
    June 24th, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

    So what did the guy do?

    And since hubby is a motorcycle rider I always watch out for them too.

  3. rockrat
    June 24th, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

    I am happy to define myself as a motorcyclist since 1978. The suspense is killing me. Please tell us what not to do!

  4. Paul Toohill
    June 25th, 2010 @ 1:15 am

    I regularly read this book:
    Sometimes riding my scooter (a 250) around Italy is like fighting a battle.

  5. Renee
    June 25th, 2010 @ 6:50 am

    Thanks, Shreve. I am passing it on to someone I do not want to lose.

  6. Keitha
    June 25th, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    Thanks, have a friend setting out tomorrow, sent her the link.

  7. falnfenix
    June 25th, 2010 @ 11:57 am

    while i agree on the book, i also think ANYONE going out on motorized two-wheeled transport needs needs NEEDS to take an MSF course.

    neeeeeeeeeeeeds to take it.

  8. Colleen
    June 27th, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    Thanks for this post!! Safety should be first always or you have no business riding, ever. I will definitely pick up a copy of the book. I can’t say enough positive words about the motorcycle safety course I took prior to getting my license. Not only did we learn how to ride, but we also spent quality classroom time and listened to speakers who had years of riding experience.

  9. Julia
    June 27th, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    Nowadays, I ride a two wheel HPV (human powered vehicle) and I imagine much of the information in the motorcycle book would work for us too. To stay safe, I imagine that I am invisible. If no one sees me, they can drive right into me. I stay out of their way. I have watched car drivers look right through a motorcycle, as if it wasn’t there. It’s part brain function, carelessness, laziness, and human nature. Anybody who is vulnerable on the road has to watch out for themselves, because you can’t count on others looking out for you. Sometimes they do (on freeways, I actually like to drive behind motorcycles that aren’t Harleys and “block” for them), but you can’t rely on it.

  10. Sea Wolf
    June 29th, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

    Unfortunately, there are two types of riders. Decent ones that love their ride and take care of it (and are responsible). Then there are the macho jerks and juvenile hoods that are exempt from laws and act like an idiot the moment they put a helmet on (if that). Unfortunately, those that need to read the book most and learn from it … will toss it back at you with a sneer and proclaim they don’t need it. Another one of those type died today. 100 mph+ head on into a car while passing on double yellow lines, wheelies at green lights and weaving between cars. 3 people in the car also hospitalized. Sad, but most never learn.

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