It helps the rider formulate a plan. It’s like an itinerary; you know where you want to arrive, what connection to want to make to the apex and what your final destination is at the end of the corner. Compare that to being at sea, and you know a plan is a must. Reference points help you firm up the plan.
On the track, whether we know the lines, whether we know the turn in points or whether we know the track for that matter, doesn’t stop us from using a pre-decided patch of road, lap after lap. If we do deviate from that patch around a bend, we panic. This technique helps in avoiding this panic. Do one lap on the left edge of the track followed by the next on the right edge and finally one through the centre of the track.
Change Lines helps us get acquainted with the track. We learn that there’s no need to be scared of the track's outer edges and traction or grip is not as big a problem as we thought. In my case, for a change I did not panic while running wide.
How do you establish a reference point if the road disappears from the horizon? ow do we know whether it’s turning left or right, especially on an unfamiliar road? That’s why we need the Vanishing point technique. Here, we look at the patch of tarmac we want to be on (generally the centre portion) so that we can then act depending on the road.
Calms your nerves and prevents you from over committing into a corner. It’s also best not to go charging down that section like a mad bull. A little slow is better than ending off the track or worse still, down a cliff.
This is something all Indian road users do in any case. It’s about looking at a much bigger picture while concentrating on the road ahead. You know, look for cows, dogs, kids tractors and even trucks just jumping out of a break in the gap without warning. On the track too, it’s not a good idea to fixate oneself with the reference points. One must keep them in the peripheral vision while looking ahead at the larger picture that is the riding environment.
Like we were told, fixating on one reference point followed by the other is like a three year old playing the ‘join the dots’ game. He looks for ‘1’ and then rushes to it. Stops and hunts for ‘2’ and then again rushes to join it and so on. But the lines he makes are abrupt. An elder playing the same game first gets a general idea of what picture will be revealed and then connects the dots by adding a few curves to get the best final picture. So obviously, Wide view makes you smoother and lends you better control.
This is the opposite of the Quick Turn. So while exiting a corner, push on the outside of the handlebar to get the bike straight up as soon as possible. However, do it with less ferocity compared to the Quick Turn.
One can’t pin open the throttle with the bike leaned over. More so in bigger, powerful motorcycles. To put the power down, you’d want the bike as straight up as possible. Obviously, the sooner you pick up the bike, the sooner you can put down the power. And of course, have higher exit speeds.
So, after two days of intense classroom and field schooling am I a better rider now? Not quite. You see, I have to first unlearn most of things about riding motorcycles I Know. Then learn and apply the new, more handy techniques I have learnt in school. But once I have done that, I think I will be a better rider, no question.