With Motorcycle Safety Courses here in Pennsylvania completely up in the air, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the state-wide shutdown and educate myself through books. The first book I read on the subject was The Road to Mastery by Greg Widmar. It was an excellent primer for new riders and I highly recommend it.
Since then, I’ve purchased a copy of Total Control by Lee Parks. I read through the introduction and was just about to start in on the first chapter when I was stopped in my tracks by an email from Michael Wesley – author of Motorcycle Information Safety Systems. Like myself, Michael was searching for an update on the Course Schedule for upcoming Rider Education in Pennsylvania. In doing so, he happened to stumble onto my Blog Post and decided to reach out.
Michael presented some information that I hadn’t considered and posed a question that put a genuine smile on my face. It would be very premature to discuss it at this point but I hope it works out and I’m able to blog about it, in-depth, in the coming months.
With a new Motorcycle Book on my radar, I headed over to Amazon to check it out. The claim was that this book would be an effort to change the way you think about motorcycles – making you a safer rider. At first glance, this seemed like a more appropriate book to read at this point in my riding journey – so I made the purchase and started reading.
It isn’t always about being right
Within the few few pages of Motorcycle Information Safety Systems, the author informs us that this his approach may not be well received by some riders. The premise is that, as riders, we need to take ownership of our actions. Rather then pointing the finger and claiming “that cager cut me off and didn’t give me the right of way!” we should instead analyze the situation to determine what could have been done to be more visible and avoid the incident.
I can see why this approach may ruffle a few feathers. No one likes to be wrong and immediately assigning a portion of the blame onto yourself goes against conventional thinking. While it may seem unconventional, it closely aligns to the the way I personally view motorcycles. I’m more concerned about coming home to my family than I am about being right in a bad situation.
- What to Expect
- Systems Work… Until They Don’t
- To Infinity and Beyond
- Mental Models, Hazards & Threats
- Safety Multipliers
- Don’t Get Hurt
- What’s Next
- The End… The Beginning
The objective of Motorcycle Information Safety Systems is to change the way you think about riding a motorcycle. It does this by presenting you with various scenarios and challenging you to think your way through a solution that results in the rider coming home safely. In addition, it allows you to see various training methods for what they really are instead of being an end-all-be-all solution to being safe on a bike.
For instance, Track Training may be invaluable for teaching you how to handle your motorcycle at high speeds in a controlled environment but it may not help in avoiding an accident on the street. The same can be said for Slow Speed Police Style Training – it may be invaluable for learning how to maneuver your bike at slow speeds but it may not prepare you for someone cutting you off on the highway. This book made me realize that what I need is layers of different types of training alongside a high dose of situational awareness.
The later portions of this book shift focus to risk management and how we, as riders, can judge potential hazards by visualizing known conditions and the potential for unknown issues. By understanding our level of risk, we are able to greatly reduce the probability of a crash.
In the grand scheme of things I thought this was an excellent read and it most definitely changed the way I envision riding a motorcycle. It has taught me that safety is paramount and I am in control of many of the risk factors that I may face on any given ride.
Purchase Your Copy
If Motorcycle Information Safety Systems sounds like something you would like to read – consider purchasing it through my Amazon Affiliate Link. It won’t cost you anything extra and the purchase will earn me a few pennies to put towards creating additional content like this.