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 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Roadcraft
 ...separated by the same language.
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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1739 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 12/13/2010 :  10:23 AM                       Like
I remember the enthusiasm with which the Roadcraft forum began and the lively interchange of ideas between members and Nigel et al. I was glad to be a part of that as I shared Moderator duties with gymnast at the time and was deeply disappointed when the forum "died".

The use of terms like "complete safety" and "100% safe", without qualifications, killed the discussion and rightly so. My thinking is that it was understood to mean "from preventable crashes", and while that proviso was acknowledged by Nigel, the term "complete safety" was used again in other posts without it.

Nigel answered Jim's point about using the term without qualification in Jims thread "Inflexible catechism - all the answers, and deaf":

quote:
Originally posted by Nigel A

The point about 'complete safety' was qualified and, at least over here, that phrase is regularly used with the clear understanding that there are certain possibilities which could happen but, which are so far down the risk grading that they do not need to come into normal driving plans. A particularly factor what what has come to be known as the 'critter factor'. This can obviously vary according to the region one lives in and therefore, if the risk probability is higher than 'a remote possibility' then it might have to be brought into the driving plans. So, as point one, that escalated out of control whilst, of course, being right in principle. Such a phrase is comparable to 'if you don't think it is safe, don't do it'. If the 'complete safety' parameter as you are interpreting it was applied, then we would never do anything, because no action could be considered as safe.
It is in fact assumed, "at least over here(there)" to mean "from preventable crashes". So why can't we continue the discussion knowing that? Because not all readers of the forum will see or comprehend the quote above in Jim's "Inflexible catechism - all the answers, and deaf" thread. Because this is a forum devoted to safety and we MUST assume that things will be read out of context and taken as truth.

I really wish we could get past this seemingly insurmountable obstacle. I find great value in Roadcraft as a means of increasing skills in observation, positioning, speed, timing and mindset.

My .02

radan2
Male Advanced Member
1117 Posts
[Mentor]


Jacksonville, NC
USA

Moto Guzzi

2007 Breva V750 ie

Posted - 12/13/2010 :  12:19 PM
If we were engaged in a face-to-face discussion among a limited number of people, the problem you describe would be easily solved. We could reach a consensus about what we meant when we used a term; we might even post the consensus on a chart on the wall. As long as the discussion continued, we could refer to that meaning, and, if necessary, the moderator could simply point to the chart as a reminder. In addition, in a face-to-face meeting, facial expressions and tones of voice could be used to amplify or clarify our state of mind as we speak.

But an Internet discussion board is a purely written medium, so we immediately have eliminated expressions and tones of voice as a cue to meaning. What smiley, after all, is universally available to represent faint irony? mild disagreement? slight doubt?

Unlike a conference or meeting, the membership is constantly changing. You and I could agree on what we mean by a term like "complete safety," specifying the caveat "from preventable crashes." But a new person coming to the forum would not have to go all the way back to the beginning of the forum and read every post to catch up, a daunting task on a board that has existed as long as this one has.

I think you have pointed out one of the underlying flaws of the Internet as a medium of discussion. And, regrettably, I think it is not a flaw that is likely to be overcome in the foreseeable future.
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gymnast
Moderator
4263 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 12/13/2010 :  10:23 PM
A bit of history of the Roadcraft "system", through 2001, that some might be interested in, http://www.cooperbiketraining.org.u...advanced.htm

I have often said in the past that rider training and motorcycle safety education is not a "one way only" thing. Very early in my career I ran smack head on into the Motorcycle Safety Foundations "My way or the highway" take over and system of "motorcycle safety as a form of minimal preparatory instruction for protecting and expanding motorcycle sales" and decided that there was little opportunity for a professional and rational approach to the subject.

There is room for a wide variety of approaches to to motorcycle rider training however as a result of "instructional dogmatism" the field has has advanced little and remains largely in an infantile stage having shunned and/or squandered opportunities for improvement in order to push for expansion of a minimal program of unproven worth.

Now don't get me wrong, I feel that there is both value and potential in the programs that currently exist and that most of the instructors involved sincerely have faith in what they are doing and that their efforts are a positive contribution to people learning the basic fundamentals in a "safe" manner. I have a hard time feeling satisfied however, with a program (MSF) that after nearly forty years has for the most part not advanced past preparing a person to ride (practice?) on a parking lot and gives those who pass a license (competency?) exam waiver. I am not satisfied with a program that justifies itself and it's results, questionably, on being amorphously better than nothing at all. 5 cents worth.
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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1739 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 12/14/2010 :  9:33 AM
Thank you for the link...very interesting read.

Given your feelings about MSF I found the last section, "New Roadcraft", to be particulary illuminating.
quote:
During the last four years we have had considerable contact with the American organisation the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), through US Air Force bases in the UK.

Many BMF Blue Riband instructors and IAM members have found the MSF Experienced RiderCourse (ERC) to be an enjoyable, challenging and thought-provoking experience. Of particular interest has been the shocking realisation that Police Roadcraft, the basis of our training, is unknown to American instructors - yet they still manage to produce safe, competent riders!

We have been impressed in many ways by the MSF, such as the high standards required, both from trainees and instructors, high quality instructional materials and visual aids, the level of knowledge which forms the basis for the courses and the research which backs up that knowledge.
Also of note is that the New Roadcraft does NOT include a discussion of "counter-steering":
quote:
The CBT syllabus for novice riders does not include any instruction on steering. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA), the Government funded organisation which controls rider and driver training and testing in Great Britain, have said that they 'Do not recognise the term counter-steering' and do not see the need to include it in the CBT syllabus. Many instructors are not aware of counter-steering. In the UK it is probably motorcycling's biggest and best-kept secret!
However, BMF does find value in the MSF approach to the subject:
quote:
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation cornering system of Slow, Look, Lean and Roll is particularly easy to use and effective, with the simple reminder:
"Look Left, Press Left - Go Left"

The MSF involvement we have had has shown that we are far from perfect in our training. Although we have consistently produced high standard riders using the Roadcraft techniques, the MSF have shown us that the mental development has perhaps not been stressed enough and that control skills have been largely ignored once basic-level training has been completed. We have seen that some control skills are not covered at all and others are based on out-dated ideas and theories.
And the author and others feel that by combining MSF and BMF-RTS "we could have the perfect course":
quote:
Our higher standard training has concentrated on road-riding, with good forward observation, early anticipation of hazards and safe, progressive riding. There is nothing wrong with any of that - but emphasis and concentration on this has allowed other aspects to be ignored.

The MSF courses do not include any actual on-road riding, which is where we believe we excel. Several of the UK riders who have taken the MSF ERC have said the same thing:
"Combine the best of UK and US training and we could have the perfect course."

Blending the two differing styles of training can be easy. For many years, the 'Four S' reminder has been used in British training:

Safety The priority - everything done must be safe
Smooth All actions must be carried out smoothly
System All hazards must be dealt with using the Police 'System'
Speed If all the above are done, higher speeds can be considered.

Only one part of this needs changing:
'System' need not be just the physical 'Police System', it can also include the mental system of Search Predict Act (or Observe Plan Act) and the cornering system of Slow, Look, Lean & Roll.

Any chance of that happening in this country? Particularly given the "shocking realisation that Police Roadcraft, the basis of our training, is unknown to American instructors"?
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gymnast
Moderator
4263 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 12/14/2010 :  10:42 AM
Stuart Munro was familiar with "Roadcraft" before immigrating to Canada and was the using a "roadcraft" based system of on street motorcycle training in programs in Canada in the early 1960s. His influence on individuals in Canada and the US was profound in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He gave freely of his ideas and was an excellent listener and contributor to the ideas of others.

The following link is an bit the history of Rider Training and Motorcycle Safety in his own words. The link also also provides an opportunity to "get into the mind of Stuart "Cheech" Munro who has no trouble making himself understood regardless of borders. http://motorcycletraininghistory.blogspot.com/
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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1739 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 12/14/2010 :  11:04 AM
Thanks for that. I recall previous discussions regarding Munro and his invaluable contributions to motorcycle safety training in North America.

Your post from "Roadcraft" - OVERTAKING" here and these comments in particular:
quote:
Originally posted by gymnast

The concept of teach a beginning rider, "one on one", first on an off street closed area and then as a series of increasingly complex in traffic exercises was introduced to North America, first in Canada, later in the US over 40 years ago by Stuart Munro who was a very bright motorcyclist who immigrated from the UK. I will note that the method differs only slightly from that of formal one on one instruction to teach someone to operate virtually any vehicle. "Roadcraft" is one of many such teaching-mentoring endeavors that has been developed over a long period of time and "systematized".
So it appears that Roadcraft, far from being "unknown to American instructors" (read MSF), has instead been simply ignored or dismissed for the last 40 years. Doesn't say much for the possibility of incorporating it into the MSF curriculum, does it?

Edit: grammar

Edited by - aidanspa on 12/14/2010 11:29 AM
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Robus
Male Senior Member
293 Posts


Chicago, IL
USA

BMW

R1200RT, HD FLTRU

Posted - 01/26/2011 :  1:40 AM
"separated by the same language" might be right. It's a shame as their goals were the same as ours.
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brooks10
Male Standard Member
136 Posts


Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Buell

XB12X

Posted - 01/26/2011 :  8:32 AM
I agree with Radan's point about problems with written communication. I found this video about e-mail very interesting. http://www.bnet.com/videos/why-emai...ights/241106

Steve

edited for punctuation

Edited by - brooks10 on 01/26/2011 8:38 AM
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Horse
Senior Member
263 Posts


Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

BMW

R850RT

Peer Review: 1

Posted - 03/06/2012 :  7:11 AM
quote:
Originally posted by aidanspaThank you for the link...very interesting read.


And thanks, chaps for your kind words.

I happened across this site yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised to see my FIM speech quoted.

Unfortunately, for anyone who now wanted to read it, it's no longer on-line.

However, as a 'boing' for Roadcraft content, if anyone has questions about the contrast of MSF and UK Roadcraft I'd be happy to answer them (with the caveat that my MSF involvement ended in '97).
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17282 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 03/06/2012 :  8:49 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
MotoWave, LLC, a company created by Cash and myself, has constructed a seminary known as the Rider's Safety Mindset. Within it we have made mention of Roadcraft in what I think is a very respectful manner.

quote:
Roadcraft is a system for motorcycle control established by police motorcycle trainers in the UK. Its focus is information exchange to avoid crashes.

With constant observation and continuous reaction by a rider, time still exists for exchanging information and avoiding hazards (positioning for maximum visibility, getting into the right gear, giving and observing signals, anticipating when to accelerate or decelerate).

Hazard recognition and judgment in time for decision-making in an instant relies on experience, quick thinking, preparation, and planning.



Does anyone have a problem with how we described Roadcraft?
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1492 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 03/06/2012 :  8:54 AM
I have been participating in the UK V-Strom forum lately and have become very aware of the language and local customs differences. Sometimes, I have no idea of what a post is about. It even has an Americanism filter that changes some words. "Guy" becomes "bloke" and "cool" becomes "great". The latter causes some problems with posts on the cooling system. Word meanings per-se don't seem to be as big a deal as customary use. The take on "complete safety" given here is a prime example.
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The Meromorph
Male Moderator
834 Posts
[Mentor]


White House, TN
USA

BMW

R1100RT

Posted - 03/06/2012 :  1:03 PM
I volunteered to Nigel to take a first cut at 'translating' Roadcraft into 'American'. My intention was to provide a 'straw dog' for people more expert than I to refine and discuss...
Sadly, Nigel's involvement here ended before we could even begin to resolve even copyright issues...
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Horse
Senior Member
263 Posts


Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

BMW

R850RT

Posted - 03/07/2012 :  3:17 AM
quote:
Originally posted by greywolf

I have been participating in the UK V-Strom forum lately and have become very aware of the language and local customs differences.


When we had regular groups of UK riders attending the ERC (76 in all went through) the organiser used to arrive every morning, get the coffe pot on for the 'oficial' attendees - then a kettle and tea for the 'locals' :)

The only time there were any language difficultes, really, was which side of the road to be on - be that was worse for the US attendees as they had 'drive on the right' experience but had transferred to a 'left' environment only to attend a course with 'right' visual aids
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