I am unteachable. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t teach. Ask me anything. I can tell you how to clear a 60-foot double.
I can describe in intricate detail the proper technique for
blitzing stadium whoops in traffic. I know how to pull tear-offs in the air. If Ryan Dungey would only listen to me, I
could work out a few of his tactical and technique issues
before he lines up for the next Supercross.
If, on the other hand, someone brushed past me like
Dungey in his most passive mood, I would die of fright.
Likewise, if I actually practiced pulling tear-offs anywhere
but a perfectly smooth straight, they would find my remains
in a small crater with my hands tangled up in my goggle
strap. My pal Gary Jones has taught riding schools for
years, and I’ve actually helped him out a few times. He
always gives the same universal instructions: look ahead
to the exit of the turn; keep your weight on the outside peg
and don’t look back. He’s absolutely right about everything.
One of these days, I’m going to try it.
In the meantime, I have developed my own training regimen: self-deception. Instead of treating the symptoms, it
addresses the very core of most common riding problems.
The principle behind it is undeniable: if you don’t think you
have a problem, then you don’t have a problem. To really
embrace the program, there are certain requirements.
First of all, a poor memory helps. Then you must have
the innate, unquestioning ability to believe only what you
choose to believe. Criminal defense attorneys, politicians
and people who think that Chad Reed shouldn’t have been
black-flagged at A2 all have it. The whole technique is a
little hard to summarize, but there are certain tips that I’m
delighted to pass along.
First of all, never watch videos of yourself. In your mind,
you always look much better. Why wreck it? Same goes for
By Ron Lawson
Organized racing is okay, but it does have one flaw—
results. These should be rationalized and discarded. If
you have a compulsion to save old result printouts, this is
problematic. Only keep the really good ones. If you can’t
help yourself and are driven to keep everything, then use a
technique I call Localized Image Enhancement (LIE). This
is where you create results that you wish were true, make
printouts and toss them into the same drawer as the real
stuff. Down the road you won’t know the real printouts
from the altered ones. You’ll choose to believe the ones
where you’re a hero. Also, you need to understand that old
results have a way of disappearing. A few years down the
road you can post your phony results on Facebook, and
they’ll become the truth.
Always ride with people who are slower, weaker and
lamer than you are. Nothing builds self-confidence as
much as when you have to ride someone else’s bike out
of a difficult situation. Conversely, if you ever find yourself
in a situation where you need help, a damage-control plan
should be adopted within 24 hours. It’s important not to
come up with an excuse at the time of the crisis; that will
just make you sound like a whiner. Instead, you should
keep your mouth shut at the time, accept the push or the
tug or whatever it takes, then work out your strategy later.
One method that I find particularly effective is to give the
section a name, like Broken-Finger Hill. When it comes up
in conversation later, you say, “Yeah, don’t you remember?
That was the hill where I broke my index finger and still got
to the top!”
One of the best tips I can offer is to never wash your
motorcycle. Leave old graphics on scratched plastic as
long as possible. But, under the rotting exterior, have fresh
suspension, good tires and a crisp motor. People always
assume that an ugly bike is a slow bike. If your ride goes
well, everyone will assume you’re so talented that you can
overcome the wretched heap of junk you’re riding. If you
do poorly, it’s the bike’s fault.
Remember, you’re not trying to fool anyone but yourself;
But, if you can convince other people, that’s the first step
in convincing yourself. Just keep repeating it, and eventually you won’t feel the need to improve your skills, work
on your fitness or practice your technique. When you think
you’re at the top of your game, you can only go down, so
don’t mess with anything. If this doesn’t work for you, then
the only recourse is to do it the other way. You have to
train, practice and concentrate. I suppose that must work
for some people. ❑
“A few years down the road you can
post your phony results on Facebook,
and they’ll become the truth.”
“If you don’t think you have a problem,
then you don’t have a problem.”
photos. If you want to elevate your game to the next level,
then use a photo of James Stewart as a screen saver and
Photoshop your head onto his body. Within a few weeks
you’ll think it’s really you.