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.