Over the years of working in my profession, I have always been taught to play the “What If?” game while on-duty. This strategy forces one to actively think about their current strategy to react or respond if something bad should happen right at that moment. Hence, what if this happened, what would I do?
I try to apply this same strategy when on the bike. What would I do if the vehicle trying to turn left in front of me doesn’t stop as I’m approaching the intersection? Do I have an escape route? Where are other vehicles around me? What are the surface conditions like? What if the vehicle in the adjacent lane wanders over towards me? What if, what if, what if? That’s the question. More importantly, what are you going to do? Without a strategy you are left with subconscious reaction. This may work if you are very skilled and practiced, but if you’re not, then what.
The point of this mental game is to keep your conscious mind engaged. The more alert you are and actively thinking about survival strategies the less likely you are to be caught on your heels. As we say in my profession: complacency kills. I would say the same applies to motorcyclists.
Give this technique a try. You will be amazed at what you’ve been missing along the way. The point of the survival mindset is not allowing yourself to become a victim. Take charge of your own destiny.
Until next time, Ride Safe!