Deliberate Practice: 2 Finger Clutching

When I started riding a motorbike (my first ever) two years ago, I got into the habit of using four fingers to operate the clutch. It was probably because of the belief that I had to press the lever fully for proper gear changing.. like in a car. Doing so has become a part of my muscle memory now.

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to pick some off roading skills. And I’ve discovered that using 2 or 3 fingers for clutch control is a game changer. Since then I’ve tried to clutch with fewer fingers.. but never succeeded. Until today.

Clutching with 2 fingers offers multiple benefits.

  • optimize energy used & resources (fingers)
  • the freed fingers can be used to maintain control on the handlebar
  • .. & use the horn

But, it wasn’t to be. I was scared of crushing my fingers between the handlebar & the gear lever. I always thought four fingers are a must to declutch properly. I didn’t want to risk trying a new skill… it felt weird. My hand – foot coordination was severely compromised whenever I tried it.

Today’s morning ride was dedicated to the deliberate practice of two fingered clutch. It was a conscious & focused practice of this method. It was dedicated to getting over the feeling of uncomfort.. or getting used to the feeling till it became normal. It was an attempt to force the muscles to not depend on its memory.

Upshifting was relatively easy, downshifting not so. The hand – leg coordination just wasn’t working. It took a lot of conscious effort. Discomfort zone.

But, a start was made. And I’m definitely on my way to developing the two finger clutching skill.

Disclaimer: I’m a biking & off roading noob. Sharing my experiences, is an attempt to solidify my learning.

The Best Camera

The best camera is the one with you when you need it! The camera phone & an editing app combo can produce some artsy social media worthy pictures đŸ˜‚

This picture was taken on one of my early morning sprints with Tigris. This was taken just before sunrise, in low light conditions. Yet the picture taken on the mobile phone is gorgeous – captured quite a bit of details & color, both in the foreground & the background.

Mobile phone cameras can easily replace the point & shoot (P&S) cameras nowadays. For anyone considering buying a P&S camera today, I would suggest they instead invest in a more recent mobile phone model with a good camera.

  • The phone goes wherever you go … no need to worry about forgetting it
  • You can capture a moment wherever / whenever you encounter a picture worthy one
  • It’s compact & light… no lugging around a burden
  • You can do the editing (if needed) right on the phone with any of the plethora of powerful editing apps available
  • You can also share pictures right away .. no more waiting to get to a PC / laptop

There are awesome photographers on Instagram who use mobile phones only. Check a few of them for inspiration –

  • https://www.instagram.com/dcim.ru/
  • https://www.instagram.com/brahmino/
  • https://www.instagram.com/cocu_liu/

Let’s get clicking!

ABC = Fn (A, B)

(via Instagram https://ift.tt/2xnLZ99)

Your Adventure Biking Capability (ABC) is a function of your Ability (A) & the Bike (B) you ride.

ABC = Fn (A, B)

Accordingly, you can improve your ABC by either..

  1. Increasing Your Ability – picking up new skills, practicing the skills & thus building experience (muscle memory) in using the skills
  2. Using a Better Bike – a more purpose built bike, or adding any of the large number of accessories that will incrementally improve your bike – custom foot pegs, tires, etc.

The latter is the easy option – requires less effort & no practice. You just have to buy into the marketing stories of the product. I’m not saying they will not help at all. It does, incrementally.

Increasing your ability on the other hand involves learning, practicing & sweating it out building the muscle memory. But the impact this has on your ABC is multifold higher (3x – 5x). Also, ability is easily transferable to any bike you ride.

For most people, increasing our abilities should be the default strategy to improving our Adventure Riding Capability. Our investment of effort & resources will yield better overall results wrt to us becoming better riders. That’s exactly what I’m seen doing in the picture above with @bret.tkacs & @topgunindia.

Happiness Is Not Skin-Deep

Happiness is associated with Bhutan quite widely today, thanks to their king of past – Jigme Singye Wangchuck. He is credited with shaping up the concept of gross national happiness. Now, everyone going to Bhutan expects to find a nation full of happy faces, jolly people serving happiness to visitors & no struggles. But I found something else.

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