If you are preparing yourself for a life of two wheels and riding in traffic, a very positive start is to begin riding in traffic with a bicycle. And by traffic I don’t mean a highway where cars can reach speeds of 80km/h. Now that we are clear with that, riding a bicycle in traffic gives you firsthand experience on riding on two wheels in traffic. Since bicycles are even harder to see by normal drivers compared to bikes, imagine how invisible it could be for distracted drivers.
Importantly, riding a bicycle is actually a prerequisite for riding a motorcycle and taking it into traffic takes you a step ahead as you would already be developing a lot of skills which are invaluable when riding a motorcycle in public. Skills such as balance, reaction time, counter steering, taking corners or bends and even braking will begin to develop and make the transition to a motorcycle less challenging.
While riding a bicycle in public, I noticed a lot of mistakes I could have made on a motorcycle (if I were to be riding one at that time instead of a bicycle) and corrected as time went on while I still rode a bicycle. Guess what?!!! It helped a lot because I never had to make such mistakes when I threw my legs over a bike. So you can imagine how much it reduced my learning curve and made me a better rider even before I came close to a motorcycle.
Well sincerely, common mistakes such as Target Fixation should really be experienced while riding a bicycle and not a motorcycle. As a newbie, one is more prone to be fixated on things or objects our brains perceive as danger while riding and thereby makes you to keep looking at that object. That’s a good thing because you have now noticed the danger; the bad thing is now being so focused on the object you lose your steering power. Why? The first rule of any rider is YOU LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Fixate on that pot hole, head lights or what not and you are bound to head towards it.
The bicycle lets you understand counter steering, a little bit of leaning and braking. Never grab any of the brakes, you will understand how a little sand on the road is bad and a lot of information a prospective or new rider ought to know while understanding the rules of the road.
In all honesty, not every driver thinks a bicyclist should even be in traffic as I can recall a lot of instances when some drivers choose to run me out of the road. It’s annoying and dangerous and you will experience this on a bike. Just not as often. Since a bicycle is lighter, you manoeuvre more quickly, stop more quickly and that builds a lot of confidence to handle heavier motorcycles.
Riding a bicycle in traffic will not teach you every necessary skill in riding a motorcycle but it will make your early days of riding a motorcycle less challenging. Heck! It even keeps you fit.
AS usual ride safe and don’t forget to comment to make this even better.