New Rider...refuses to countersteer

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by CutterBill, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Khantahr

    Khantahr Adventurer

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    Ummmmmm, something is wrong with this story. If she took the Oregon course, it is taught by Team Oregon, and it is NOT MSF. What you describe would not happen, and on the off chance that it did, something went very wrong and she needs to call Team Oregon and tell them what happened, they will make it right.

    My recent ex-girlfriend is an instructor for them, they are extremely strict in requiring adherence to the curriculum, down to what you say and how much time it takes. The ONLY way a class changes is by special request IF nobody is signed up yet, and it never happens after the class has started.

    There are no normal head on exercises, she may have been describing the big street exercise at the end, but that happens at the very end of the course after the final test, and you NEVER get anywhere close to 45 mph. 25 is probably the absolute max, and most people don't touch that. I don't think you ever go above second gear.

    If the class she took was not done by Team Oregon (but was in Oregon), then she took the wrong class.
    #41
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  2. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    It's how I learned. How the books told us, 34 years ago.

    Is the current terminology getting through to this student?

    Not interested in a flame war. Just trying to offer suggestions...like I said many posts above, when this "countersteer" stuff was floating around a decade ago, when I got back on, I didn't know what it was. To me, countersteering was how you got out of a skid in a car in a snowstorm.

    My advice is free, and worth just that. Peace.
    #42
  3. Tool.Nerd

    Tool.Nerd An idiot that owns a bike

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    The very minute someone refused to try something because it didn't make sense, is the moment I would have given up. Making the assumption we can completely comprehend something on a rapid basis is pretty much the definition of ignorance and has gotten people killed, wars started, etc.

    Better to stick to 4 wheels.
    #43
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  4. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    I'm sure you a good instructor and could teach most people how to ride (or fly a plane).

    Maybe see if you can get someone else to try teaching how to ride.




    I showed your posts to my wife (who is a rider, though hasn't ridden too much in last 10 years w/ small kids). Her exact text reply (referring to counter steering) "Its a term thats backfilled, meaning you just do it intuitively and give a name for it later. She's overthinking."

    Goodluck.
    #44
  5. Moronic

    Moronic Long timer

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    Interesting problem, and I wonder whether these two replies are pointing down the right track.

    The first bit is establishing the disanalogy with car steering. On a motorbike, you don't really turn the bars right to go left. You turn the bars right to make the bike fall to the left. And then about the time the bike has fallen far enough, you turn the bars left to arrest the fall.

    If the learner does not understand that she can catch her fall by steering into the turn, it should not be surprising if she were shit-scared of initiating her fall by steering away from the turn.

    The second bit is that having fallen into the turn and then arrested her fall, she can hold or adjust her angle of lean by steering - gently - either way. Steering gently away from the turn makes the bike lean a little more; steering gently into the turn stands it up a little. The lean makes the bike turn.

    And it all works best if she relaxes her grip.

    More generally, when someone can't do the obvious thing, IMO it is usually because she does not understand that thing. Hence to her it is not obvious at all, and she fears - often rightly - that she has failed to see something important that the instructor thinks is obvious and hence has not explained.
    #45
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  6. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

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    Three things immediately come to mind reading the OP's missive:
    1) This lady does not seem as if she knows how to ride a bicycle. If she did, coaching on countersteering would not be required. Until she has demonstrated proficiency in starting stopping and gear changing, getting all technical about how the bike turns is just going to cause confusion EDIT - I went back and read that she has been riding a bicycle for years. If so, then, sorry, the problem is in the instruction. That or she really doesn't want to do this;
    2) She probably has a death grip on the bars and needs to relax - rather difficult when under pressure to do something she doesn't fully understand and is finding scary;
    3) Despite it seeming that the OP has patience with the learner, he is not the best person to be teaching her and is probably placing her under a lot of pressure (possibly to do something she doesn't really want to do.) Sitting behind her saying (effectively) "See how easy this is for me, dummy!" is not a good training technique - all the more so when delivered by someone close.
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  7. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    I'll never understand the "thirst for un-knowledge" that grips some people. I'm just not built like that.
    #47
  8. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    First, I've never heard of an exercise even remotely like that. Maybe she misunderstood, or exaggerated in the re-telling, or something.

    Second, it's not about you or your instructional technique. It's about your relationship and her ability to listen through all the screens and filters she's throwing up. I don't know why it happens, but I've found it's almost impossible to teach a female if you're in any kind of relationship. Time and time again I've watched in horrified amazement as my wife and daughters simply refuse to listen to my spot-on advice and sometimes do the exact opposite just to show me I'm wrong.

    Here's another thing. What if she can't figure it out? What if she gets frustrated and quits? She'll be looking around for someone to blame. Who do you think that will be?

    Two hours worth of professional instruction will probably cost you $100. They have exercises specifically designed to teach countersteering.
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  9. Spout

    Spout English GStleman

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    Get her a sidecar - left for left, right for right.

    And for all those on here who happily countersteer intuitively - try riding a sidecar! Your head will be where hers is now. :D
    #49
  10. fonztheyeti

    fonztheyeti king of all i survey

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    there's no answer, you can't correct willful ignorance. suggest she get a 3 or 4 wheeler.
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  11. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

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    From the OP description, either:

    - The person learning is completely daft and should stay off the roads altogether, to hell with how many wheels
    - The direction hasn't been communicated properly

    Are you sure you've described exactly what you mean by 'push left to go left'? Have you sat her on the bike, put a hand on the bar and shown the movement you mean? It feels like she can't have understood you. Surely that's more likely than her being so stupid she's doing the opposite movement and pulling the bar towards her time and again, despite the effect?
    #51
  12. Richarde1605

    Richarde1605 Long timer

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    I went for a pushbike ride today as I usually do, about 10km, almost all just sitting up with one finger on a grip testing this countersteery thing that I have been doing for years, it is real.
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  13. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I learned about counter steering in a simple way with a challenge...

    My brother came in the bicycle shop where I worked and says, "I bet you can't turn right steering to the right when riding at a good pace." Of course I have to check this out, right? So I'm cranking along at about 15mph or so and steer right, bike banks a bit and goes left... Cool! This is wild. I never EVER thought about it. Push the left to turn right, goes left, push the right to go left, goes right! Also can play with leaning left and right to see the differences. It is less to be about the science than it is the feel and familiarity if tied to the bicycle with which they are familiar.

    I think if a person took a new rider out on bicycles and did the whole thing it would be far easier to comprehend the idea. If they can't ride a bicycle at 15 mph and steer it, they should never get on a motorcycle. Get a couple bicycles ride around and learn about counter steering. No science, pure experience. Start out slow at walking speed and see that it starts out turning left and right by turning bars left and right, then as speed gets upward of 10-15 mph it no longer holds true, now it reacts different. The advantage is most people ride bicycles and won't crash while doing this. They WILL get the idea of counter steering in a comfortable familiar way. Then approach the motorcycle... but like others I think it is better to get with trained teachers.

    I will agree, they should do MSF where the teacher doesn't do anything like ride behind them on the seat - what a way to get screwed up together. Just because one can do does not mean one can teach.

    I'm a teacher and can tell you I may be able to write a decent paper, but I sure can't teach language arts. I'm a technology teacher and can tell you it is hard to teach some of the stuff that just comes easily to me - like using a hammer. Sounds stupid, but try to get someone to hold a hammer at the end and use a wrist snap for lighter hammering and both the snap and arm for heavier hammering. I get it, but how do I get them to develop the skill and habit? It takes teaching knowledge and skills along with time and practice. What is easy for me isn't always so for others.

    Get her on a bicycle to refresh what actually happens, then a trained MSF teacher and a real class. No more ride on the back, not a good way to do this. It ain't a golf swing, a bit more danger if things hose up.
    #53
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  14. SRG

    SRG Long timer

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    Well, since you say she rides a bicycle just fine, how about this idea:

    Anyone near you rent electric bicycles? It would pick the speed up a little and if it has a throttle, she could get a little practice w/ that.

    Hell - rent 2 and just go for a ride and skip the technical lesson.
    #54
  15. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

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    It must be asked, you say she's already crashed it 3 times as soon as she's started turning; why on earth does she still want to ride? I'm not saying she shouldn't (or should), but I wonder what's compelling her when she seems to be hating the experience so much?
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  16. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    Everytime a " debate" comes up on counter steering, I mentally cringe. Its like debating how to run. How can I lift foot before the other foot is down?

    For their own safety this person shouldn't be on a motorcycle.
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  17. csw1742

    csw1742 Black Diamonds Supporter

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    Op, sometimes the best way to " teach" is to keep it simple and basic. Big words like " Countersteer" are familiar to those in the know but scary to others and add fear of the unknown.
    Take her back to the bicycle and introduce "right arm straight go right...left arm straight go left " concept. Your on a runway so plenty of practice room, then add looking in that direction ( right straight, look right) along with holding on with fingertips only and repeating.
    If SHE can become comfortable doing the above ( sorry, not YOU thinking she can ) then progress to the motorcycle and repeat all previous drills.

    Small steps, her pace....hopefully for you, she gets it and you both ride together, if not, well there is always photography !

    Good luck, stay patient ! :)
    #57
  18. MauiCowie

    MauiCowie Long timer

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    It's true at lower speeds that countersteering is somewhat imperceptible on a bicycle vs. a motorcycle given how much more mass a MC has but if you get a bicycle going at a decent clip and push on one side of the bars then the countertseering should be evident.
    #58
  19. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    I didn't read all the comments, so someone might have said this, but I think teaching counter steering is counter productive and unnecessary. If someone rides a bike, they counter steer without knowing it. There are dozens of drunk tourists riding mopeds around Caribbean islands as I type who never heard of counter steering.

    And there are tons of motorcycle riders who've ridden safely for decades who don't know what counter steering is.

    Counter steering is instinctive and when you take something that's instinctive and get people thinking about it, especially when it's counter intuitive, it only degrades performance.
    #59
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  20. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Guess you didn't see the little laughing face at the end of my post. :lol3

    This explains the process better than any I've read. Most people like to jump on the counter steer band wagon with both feet, but don't carry through the complete process. If you turn the front wheel to the left (to initiate the lean to the right) and never turn the front wheel back to the right to "catch" the lean/fall, you are probably (lots of variables here) going to fall. I think that is what she sees in her mind. Obviously you can cause the bike to change directions in several ways.... turn the front wheel, lean the bike, slide the rear wheel (or front wheel), lift the bike from either end, etc. Counter steering on a flat surface with perfect traction is not the only way to make changes in directions.
    #60