Author Topic: The classic pincher move  (Read 1390 times)

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Offline coffee_brake

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The classic pincher move
« on: August 27, 2016, 10:48:08 pm »
Well dangit, Coffee_brake went down AGAIN today!

But I wasn't even on a bike. It happened at the beginner motorcycle class today. One of my students target-fixated on me at the same time that another student lost balance and I got pinned between the two bikes as they both fell. It was a CB Sandwich on Honda bread (a Rebel and a Nighthawk 250).

I've pulled my hip joint a bit, nice fat goose egg on my very raw shin, and scraped-up hand, but I can walk and as soon as this rash scabs over I'll be walking the range, riding demos, and kicking cones tomorrow as usual.


I need combat pay...   :smiley_confused1:


The poor kid was completely torn up about it, she's small and having trouble over-thinking it. The other student is a senior and learning is generally harder as we get older, so he's got his hands full too. I have high hopes for both of them because they really, really want to ride and are working hard to improve.

So what did I learn? We RiderCoaches are taught that "Staging," when the riders come into the parking area after an exercise, is one of the most dangerous parts of coaching, and that's where this happened. I step (sometimes jump) out of the path of  student bikes often, and I expect students to target fixate on me and come right at me--happens many times every day, every class. Students are generally horrified when they run right over the place I was a second ago, and that gives me an opportunity to drive home the concept of "Look where you want to go, not at the thing to avoid."

But this time I got trapped. This student turned the front wheel towards me and lost her clutch control at the same time as the older student was learning what happens when you grab the front brakes with the handlebars turned--toward me. I couldn't step out of the way because there was a student struggling under his bike right there. The other way was moving motorcycle and I couldn't jump far enough, so I basically had to stand there and get plowed over.

We are taught to NEVER stand in front of a student. If they make a mistake, you need to be off to the side so you can step away. I wasn't in front of either student, but suddenly BOTH bike trajectories changed to pinch me in the middle.
From now on, I'll space my more challenged students such that they aren't approaching the staging area at the same time. But in some classes, that won't be possible if LOTS of students are struggling. And I can't instruct from behind the students. They invariably turn their heads to look at me when I speak and we all know what happens when you look away from where you want to go while you are braking into a parking area.

I really don't know how I could have prevented this. There are always two coaches in these classes; two heads trying to coordinate (in this case) eight riders, five of them raw newbies.  The other coach and I have always worked well together. He's laid-back and chill, and I'm...not. But both of us are there to prepare the students to have fun riding well and safely. It's a class dynamic that works for just about all kinds of learners. The other coach said it was wrong place, wrong time. I'd like to agree, but I'd like MORE to know what I could do differently. My entire stiff painful leg would also like to know.

You know, I can't count how many times I've ridden my bike between two potential hazards and thought to myself, "Motorcycle sammich! Motorcycle sammich!" as I prepare to dodge both hazards at once. (Imagine the guy in the middle of the road waiting to turn left in front of you while another guy 20 feet down the road begins to turn right in front of you.) But when it finally caught me, I was on foot between motorcycles, not cars.

I'd be interested in y'all's feedback. I'll be in bed early so I can be fresh and sharp to continue the class in the morning, but I really want to learn from this.
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline connie_rider

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 11:07:33 pm »
Bummer, hope your doing ok!

Sounds to me like you've already thought it out and have a plan.

But,,, "don't overthink it"..
You cannot plan for every contingency.

Main thing is to keep your head and eyes moving constantly.
Sometimes you just have to be ready to run!!

Ride safe, Ted

PS: Does anyone know what the post times of the posts are based on?
      I typed my reply at 7:08 PM (Central time)


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Offline Steveman

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 11:30:36 pm »
First of all I'm sorry to hear that you got hurt. It might not have been real bad, but no one wants that. As to what you could have done, I'm sure there was some way you could have avoided it, but we all know that sometimes things happen so fast that the best you can do is figure out how to survive. I think you went into survival mode and rode it down. The next thing would be trying to avoid it in the future and like you said, the best way to do that might be spacing them out a bit more as they pull into staging. When I took my beginners course we had one instructor, but we were in a large parking lot and when we staged our bikes for the next maneuver we were probably 10 feet apart. That was a class of about 6 people, but I think even with a larger group there would have been room. Even if someone had fallen over there would have been no way to get caught between the motorcycles. I don't know if you have that kind of room to work with. I hope you will be alright tomorrow. I suspect you might be a little sore, but that's just my experience of scrapes when I was younger. Now if I fall I feel it for a week.

Offline Fritz

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 06:10:10 pm »
I don't have much clue about how you could prevent the specific case but it seems the general principle is to only need to focus on one trajectory at a time.
Another thought is that you don't need more "spaced-out" students  :D, since that is one thing that you need to weed out or train out.
Lastly, I admire your dedication to motorcycling.

Offline coffee_brake

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 07:36:57 pm »
Got a nice purple leg now, but it's not all that bad. Both students involved did manage to scrape by with passing scores.

Thanks for the opinions. I'd like to NOT have that happen again. It not only hurt, it really shook up the student at fault.
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline Sgt Mac

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 08:03:12 pm »
That sucks man, heal up quick. You're not as hard-nosed as you think if you passed them after they ran you over.  :nananana:
Charlie

    

Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 08:37:19 pm »
OUCH JENN !!!

Yeah, I can't believe you passed them either... you softy.  ;)
I'm sorry you got hurt... AGAIN. And I hope it all heals fast and complete.  Being sore sucks.  Thanks for being in the trenches even when the trenches are the danger zone.  We always need good teachers.   :great:
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Offline Sport Rider

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2016, 09:36:10 pm »
my first thought was to scold you for not wearing your gear!   :))

Glad you're ok.  you can show off the wounds at RWTW!   :motonoises:
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Offline Jorge

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2016, 11:26:30 pm »
Maybe these come in your size...
Glad you're OK (Sore, but OK).
Jorge

Offline coffee_brake

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2016, 04:04:41 am »
Hahaha rockets for motorcycle riding instructors!  :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline Tour1

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2016, 02:38:26 pm »
So many things could be improved if only there was an unlimited budget.
When I took the course I paid for an hour of pre-class 1 to 1 instruction on one of their bikes, and it was the 2nd or 3rd time in my life (about 40 years then) I ever rode a motorcycle.  1st time I ever wore a helmet.
Get well & stay safe, I wouldn't be here without mc instructors!
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Offline Larry_Buck_FL

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2016, 01:51:30 pm »
Jenn,

Glad you are on the mend. I try not to stand in front of the painted "T's" as I may become a target.  If I get hurt, I can't work.

A student that has balance issues in Ex. 1 will be watched closely.  In Ex. 2., if the balance problem doesn't work itself out by the end of the exercise, I will take the break time to work with him/her, one on one. Extra time spent now often solves the problem. If the problem is still an issue, I feel it is best to counsel them out (before they may be hurt), suggesting they ride a bicycle before returning.

As to the senior, in Ex. 1 of the BRCu, after the riders reflect on the exercise, the RC provides a static demonstration of how the bike reacts when the front brake is applied with the bars turned. That usually gets everyone's attention. If the student has to be reminded often to square the bars during Ex. 2, reinforce the objective (stopping smoothly with the front brake - bars squared). If the issue persists, consider counseling them out.

I try to remember what one of our Trainers told us early on. If a student crashes or has basic motor skill issues that result in them being counseled out in the later exercises, why were they allowed to continue that far when they did not meet early exercise objectives? Sometimes we are doing the student a favor by counseling them out. Sometimes they thank us.

There are a number of Rider Coaches on the Forum and I'm sure they'll chime in with suggestions. Heal up.
   
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Offline coffee_brake

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2016, 02:48:13 pm »
Jenn,

Glad you are on the mend. I try not to stand in front of the painted "T's" as I may become a target.  If I get hurt, I can't work.

A student that has balance issues in Ex. 1 will be watched closely.  In Ex. 2., if the balance problem doesn't work itself out by the end of the exercise, I will take the break time to work with him/her, one on one. Extra time spent now often solves the problem. If the problem is still an issue, I feel it is best to counsel them out (before they may be hurt), suggesting they ride a bicycle before returning.

As to the senior, in Ex. 1 of the BRCu, after the riders reflect on the exercise, the RC provides a static demonstration of how the bike reacts when the front brake is applied with the bars turned. That usually gets everyone's attention. If the student has to be reminded often to square the bars during Ex. 2, reinforce the objective (stopping smoothly with the front brake - bars squared). If the issue persists, consider counseling them out.

I try to remember what one of our Trainers told us early on. If a student crashes or has basic motor skill issues that result in them being counseled out in the later exercises, why were they allowed to continue that far when they did not meet early exercise objectives? Sometimes we are doing the student a favor by counseling them out. Sometimes they thank us.

There are a number of Rider Coaches on the Forum and I'm sure they'll chime in with suggestions. Heal up.
   

All your points are valid Larry. We had just moved this student from a CBR250 with a relatively tall seat height despite her protestations onto the decidedly lower seat height Rebel 250. She didn't want to do it but we wouldn't let her continue unless she switched bikes. She came into that staging area on a new-to-her bike. I had her come in last for this reason. Wasn't standing in front of a "t" either, I was way off to the side at an angle to the T, indicating it with my hand. I never stand in front of students. She looked at me and of course the bike immediately changed direction and I was now in front of it, but with no place to step out of the way.

The senior was also had to change bikes. We took him off of the cruiser he wanted because he couldn't raise his foot to shift the forward controls, but he could operate the more standard Nighthawk 250 just fine. This guy had already bought a brand new, very expensive bike and is very well aware that he has no business taking that motorcycle on the street yet. Smart fellow really, just up against the inevitable difficulty of learning a lot of new stuff, rapidly, with less physical stamina and flexibility than most new riders.
It's always a judgement call Larry and goodness knows I will take a student out of a class to save their life in a heartbeat. We all know it's a lot more than the ability to complete the exercises on a closed range; it's also the capability of the student to process the melee called urban traffic, intersections and curves. If I think any of my students is a danger to themselves or others, I'll get them out of there. When this happens they usually already know they just don't have the ability to develop this particular skill set.

Both students improved drastically the second day, gaining confidence and muscle memory for braking and clutch control. I did not assume they would pass the skills evaluation because nearly everyone gets nervous and struggles. But both of these students did pass fair and square. I can sleep at night with the fact that they have their MSF completion card for the course.

Thank you for the response, more points of view help me decide how to improve my methods.
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline Larry_Buck_FL

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Re: The classic pincher move
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2016, 06:01:00 pm »
 :great:
Larry Buck - COG 3451, Retired SE-AD, now SE-AAD, Ex - Concourier C-10 Tech Editor, COG National Safety Officer, IBA 5581, MSF-Rider Coach, Forum moderator.

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