Sunday, March 28, 2010


I was riding this weekend and found myself on a road that led directly into an entrance on to The Belt Parkway. I had not intended to enter, wasn’t prepared for what I came upon. I was speeding through a curve of this onramp, and I suddenly panicked. I had crashed once on my first scooter, you know when it’s going to happen. It’s like they describe a near death experience. Everything is in slow motion – your mind goes through a lot of different scenarios. “I hit this too fast, am I going to make it.” “I’m not supposed to break on a curve, do I goose the throttle and power through it?” “Can I go straight into the side of the exit and stop, can I break in time and pull it off safely? Shit, there’s a car coming up behind me, will it hit me if I do?” “Why is this called ‘Shore Rd. Drive’ when it’s an onramp onto a parkway, what a gyp, I thought this would take me to Shore Road, the scenic route and now it’s an accident.” This near death stream of consciousness option shuffle stretched out in the period of a half a second. I fixated on my target – the point of impact. I quickly pulsed the breaks, and managed to regain control at the outside of the turn, and accelerate out of it and made my way onto the Parkway. After cooling my flushed face with the icy winds along the water on The Belt I took the next possible exit at Fort Hamilton, another sharp turn that I was more familiar with, I took it gingerly, remembering to look through the turn as I went.

I made my way home as the crow flies, had a stiff hot cocoa, and took a moment to review what I knew to be true about riding through curves, but had forgotten mid act. I hadn’t realized I was going so fast, if I had looked ahead, I would have slowed down. Once I was in trouble I panicked, looked at my point of impact; the crash point – I fixated on it. I was looking just one step ahead, zooming in on the impending doom, visualizing that crash. Anticipating the embarrassment it will bring, the inevitability of failure. Erase that, integrate this: always look through the turn. This is the start point of flow from mind, to machinery, to destiny: look through the turn, keep your eye on the horizon – the place you want to go, the bike will naturally follow.

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