Thursday, September 1, 2011

Born to Ride....Victoriously

Well, I figure I better continue about day 3 and 4 at the Great Lakes Police Motorcycle Competition to follow up the last blog post.

Day 3 was more of the basics.

Look and steer where you want to go.  I still found myself every once and a while looking at the obstacles that I was trying to avoid and sure enough I would hit them. 

When riding a motorcycle or a bicycle, driving a car or even just while walking, you need to look where you want to go.  In my time a s a police officer working traffic I used to be amazed when I would roll up on a collision scene where a single motor vehicle hit a pole or a tree or even a parked car.  To the right or left of the collision scene would be wide open space, but the vehicle would hit the only object around.

The reason is pretty obvious.  The operator was looking directly at the object even though that is what they were trying to avoid.  In some ways, this is natural.  The object represents the threat and therefore we fixate on it.  Turn your eyes to the open space and steer towards the space...not the object.

When you walk through a door way, you don't look at the jams on each look and walk through the open space.

Back to the training seminar....When I would use the proper riding principals, brake, steer, accelerate, shift gears, look, use proper seating position all to their optimum I never had a problem.

By the end of day three, I was feeling confident and ready to compete the next day!

Day 4.

Fantastic!!! I went into the competition hoping to be competitive and ride to the best of my ability.  I gave up a few years ago when I left the motor unit of ever challenging for top riding honours.

Looking at the cone...guess what I hit
I took all the basics and put them together at the right time to be competitive.  If it wasn't for using the basics and reminding myself, "Do the simple things right", I might have had a bad day, but because I focused on the basics, I actually came off looking like I knew what I was doing.

Most importantly, the team of five Toronto Police Officer that attended the event all concentrated on the basics and we won the Team Competition.  Here is the break down of it all.

For the published version of the following article, click here.
(From the Toronto Police Web Story)

Born to Ride...Victoriously
Motorcycle riding is a skill you never lose – just as long as you’re up to speed with the latest training techniques.

The Toronto Police Service proved just that, as their five-member team, all of whom no longer perform regular bike duties, captured the individual and team titles at the recent Great Lakes Police Motorcycle Training Seminar in Cambridge, Ontario.

A total of 70 riders, from police services across the continent, took part in the four-day event designed to challenge officers on various theoretical and practical information and to improve their riding skills.

The training courses mirror real-life events and obstacles that police motorcycle officers could be faced with on the job.

For the second time in the event’s 13-year history, S/Sgt Andy Norrie won the individual award. He was also second in the challenge ride, third in the slow ride and fourth in the smart-ride competitions.

“I am pleased to achieve an individual award, but I am more thrilled that the TPS contingent won first place in the team event,” he said.

“This achievement continues to demonstrate that the TPS is a world leader in policing and the vital role that teamwork plays in our success.”

The rest of the team was made up of Sgts. Tim Burrows and Don White, Const. Pekka Jokiniemi and Auxiliary officer Mark Webber.

Jokiniemi, who works out of the Transit Patrol Unit, won the expert division non-fairing skills competition while Burrows came out on top in the challenge and partner-ride events. He also came in second in the last rider standing contest and fourth and fifth in smart and slow-ride competitions.

White finished fourth in the challenge ride and fifth in the fairing skills (expert division) competition.

For a complete run down of how all the competitors did, click this link

For more on the event there are some great YouTube vids...use 2011 GLPMTS or GLPMTS as your search term.

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