EYES (Part 3)
Eyes part 1 talked about understanding and training the riders eyes to perceive potential dangerous situations. Part 2 talked about how others might or might not see you. In Part 3 we will talk about how to train your eyes to prioritize when and where to look.
In urban environments you should be practising SIPDE, always scanning ahead looking for potential problems. This is priority #1. As you transition into the country and there are less intersections and conflicts you will want to prioritize your eyes to identify where you want to go. This is especially true on twisty back roads.
On a twisty road your eyes priorities are as follows. 1) Scan ahead and gauge your speed in relation to the upcoming corner using road signs as an indicator of the severity of the corner. Brake and downshift as required before you begin to lean the bike. Resist the temptation to drop your eyes as the speed decreases. 2) Identify a turn in point that will allow you to carry a consistent arc through the corner. If you turn too soon you will exit too wide and that can put you into oncoming traffic or out in the rhubarb. 3) As you initiate the lean your eyes will move ahead to the apex of the corner and scan for debris or some other factor that might influence your line. The apex is sort of the halfway point of most corners and the transition from “Wow” to “Go”. 4) Once your eyes have committed to get you to the apex you will move their focus to the exit of the corner making sure you are looking ahead and where you want to go.
Signs that you have not trained your eyes to focus ahead include multiple turns and lean angles in the same corner, playing with the throttle (on/off/on/off), the dreaded stab at the brakes or a late hard turn to keep you in your lane.
Proper training of your eyes will give you the confidence to nicely arc corners smiling and breathing instead of clenching your teeth and holding your breath. Proper training of your eyes will make you a much more confident rider and make your rides much more enjoyable.