Jun 6, 2012

Simple Concept, Complicated Execution

I had a sniper school dropout in my BRC this past weekend. When we were talking about emergency brake use, he said the sniper mantra is "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." I've been fooling with that phrase for a MMM column since Sunday. It is actually clear and brief enough to use as a constant reminder while riding. Apparently, it's even becoming something computer programmers think about (although not where I work).

I suspect, I've heard this phrase before. Now that I'm on to it, I discovered there are more than 1,000,000 Google hits to the complete phrase. A movie, Shooterused the line and Stephen Hunter's original novel, which I read, was the source for the screenplay's reference. This is another of those things that everybody else gets but that takes me most of my lifetime to notice. There are some disadvantages to being clueless, as my wife keeps pointing out to me.

To those of us who practice these skills at a remedial level, it is obvious that this tactic is not easy to implement. In fact, it is an act of overcoming ever panic reaction we humans possess. Every time I ride, I practice smooth, controlled, quick stops at every stop sign and any stop light where I don't have to worry about freaking out drowsy cagers. On dirt roads, I practice front wheel skids, trying to haul the front wheel to a complete stop while keeping the bike going straight ahead. When I was young, flexible, brave, and less fragile I was a lot better at this skill than I am today. When I watch the close-ups of Rossi's hands on Faster, I am always impressed by how deliberate his throttle and braking movements are. He is a target to shoot for and a role model to emulate.

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