It’s the first place your mind goes. But it’s the last thing you should be thinking about.
I am approaching a blind left curve, as you see in the above picture. That there is a rock wall covered in green with tress on the outside edge of the road. This would attend to attract riders eyes. As you can see I set a slower entry speed into the curve with my eyes up and looking left through the curve toward the desired exit.
In this case the rock wall was like a guardrail.
I know you can’t help it. No matter how old you get, the moment your eyes spot an attractive,tight set of curves, your mind goes straight to the gutter. But be careful! There’s a good chance that’s going to get you in trouble one of these days.
I am talking about curving roads here. Left ones in particular. What is it about an obscured left – hand bend that makes it so intimidating? What is it that drawls a rider’s eyes to the edge of the road the gutter.
Often it is the concern we’ll inadvertently get our tires too close to the edge of the pavement and ride off onto the shoulder into the guardrail or wall. This is know as “edge fear”. It may may also be due to the sense we are carrying to much speed for a given corner and worrying that we will run wide off the outside of the curve. No matter the cause, the solution is the same; we must get our minds out of the gutter at the edge of the road and focus into the heart of the corner, gazing far through the curve to where the turn exit will ultimately reveal itself.
Having difficulty keeping your eyes trained on the exit? Try slowing more than usual for each corner. Don’t worry who is behind you. Entering a curve at a slower speed than you think the curve requires gives you more confidence and can remove the mid- corner anxiety common to left- hand bends.
The bottom line? Enter a corner at a conservative speed and focus your eyes and mind on where you want to go and not at the ditch where you fear you’ll go. Get your mind out of the gutter….and let pure thoughts of successfully executing that intimidating left – hander get you through safely.
Keep your contact patch between the ditches.
National Road Captain