This video was shot in 2014 at a gymkhana event known as Top Gun, held at the Montevallo Safety Center. The event was free, and meant to help riders improve their skills. It was quickly apparent that a few riders did not need any improvement, so WHY were they there? It was very obvious that these same riders had mastered the graceful movement of motorcycles around the course, weaving between the cones like dancers in a ballet. All skill levels were present, from new riders, to confident and experienced, and finally the experts. The question remains, why were the experts there? The answer is simple – They are EXPERTS! They did not become experts at birth, or at some random point like the flip of a digit on the odometer. They become experts by practicing their skills. The experts are separated from EVERYONE else by the possession of a few traits. The primary trait should be the absence of the idea they were experts. These people would call themselves “decent” riders, and they are confident in their skill level. A second and very important trait is the knowledge they can always improve, and the more they practice, the more confidence they collect in return. Third, these experts are willing to put the time and work in to improve their skill level, and spend time every year doing “silly circles in a parking lot”, or something similar.
Occasionally, they will knock over a cone. Sometimes they may even drop their bike – especially if they are running a timed event, competing against other riders for the best time. They are on display every time they go out to an event, so they are very vulnerable bone-headed moves, and embarrassment in front of hundreds of people. Yet they still go. They go because they know the value of an event like this, and the dramatic affect these drills can have on skills. They know they may screw up, right next to everyone else, and they laugh it off with everyone else.
Everyone else laughs, EXCEPT the folks that need the most help. You may see a few of the folks on the side, watching in disbelief. These WallFlowers are quite aware that the turns are difficult for the un-practiced. Most of them don’t even believe they can execute the turns. Many even blame their machines for the impossibility of turning at a reasonable angle. Not many people want to admit they cannot execute simple low-speed turns on the machines they should know how to ride. It is a major problem in America, a lack of basic skills held by most riders. These skill events are not designed to create experts. They are designed to illuminate gaps in your skill, and offer a pathway to improvement. American Gymkhana was designed as a free, fun, and easy path to quickly(1-2 hours) improving your skills. The results are visible in the experts, the advanced riders, and event the beginners.