Old habits die hard, but what about new ones? And where in the hell do these habits come from?
I’m not sure why, but lately I have been doing something I have never done before while riding. Maybe it is laziness or forgetting something simple after not practicing drills in a while, but I have noticed while riding my Harley Davidson Street Glide, when the cruise control is on, to turn it off I am tapping my front brake. A major NO NO!
I’m not sure how this started. I am use to, as I am supposed to, to start with the rear brake and tap the front brake when needed. But lately, I have been doing the opposite of that, and that is a habit that could kill me.
When you are traveling, especially at highway speeds, if you hit the front brake, because of momentum, the bike dips down. Think about it, it is simple physics. You are traveling forward, the front brakes stop the bike, but what happens to the back of the bike? It continues moving forward. When you are riding in your car and slam the brakes, what happens to you? Momentum pushes you forward and of course, the car dips.
I have known at least two people to have gone down because they have that very same habit of hitting the front brakes. One was lucky that when he hit the ground, the car behind him swerved to the left and missed running him over by a few feet. He was also lucky there was no cars coming from the opposite lane, as this was down in the Florida Keys which is a two lane road.
If I continue to ignore this habit, one day when I have to hit the breaks hard and I will be guaranteed to go down. I’ll take about it in my next blog, but because I started to focus on getting rid of this habit, I didn’t go down near the end of my ride.
Be safe. Pay attention to your habits because habits have a way of creeping in.