3 KEYS TO HAVING A STUDENT MINDSET
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)|November - December 2020
We all do it. We get comfortable riding what and how we ride. Why bother stretching ourselves? Why try something different, more challenging, and unusual? Because having a student mindset focused on learning and growing will make you a safer rider. And, it’s downright fun!
PAT JACQUES

Riding a motorcycle is a complex process. There’s a lot going on. That’s why we train and develop “muscle memory.” Muscle memory, the ability to repeat a procedure or movement without conscious thought, is great. Right? Well, yes and no.

Riding habitually “without conscious thought” can get us in trouble. It’s easy to get dulled into mindless riding. We form stagnant habits, don’t pay attention, and then disaster strikes.

It’s essential that we cultivate a mindset of curiosity. This means opening to new, different, and unfamiliar ideas. It means being mindful, aware, and present to our habits, our muscle memory.

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg states a habit loop consists of three steps: trigger, behavior and reward.

A trigger may be a “curve on the road.” Our reflex behavior may be to slow down, ride the smooth flat line, counterbalance, coast through the turn, and accelerate gently on exit. The reward is successfully navigating the corner.

But is there another, perhaps a better, way? There are many cornering techniques: brake sliding, squaring the turn, railing the berm, or even (gasp) applying the front brake in the turn while accelerating, etc. Consider a pie with one slice representing “What We Know,” another slice of “What We Know We Don’t Know,” and the rest of the pie is “What We Don’t Know We Don’t Know.” This isan immense field of opportunity! Being mindful and curious encourages us to watch others, ask questions, and take classes in both familiar and unfamiliar riding disciplines. When we become curious, we learn and grow.

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