Oct 5, 2006

Cogito Ego Zoom!

And then there is other curse of the motorcyclist: ego. Being a fan of Rand, I realise (and subscribe to) the philosophical tenets of ego being a primary driver for humanity. But still, while I refuse to acknowledge modesty and humility as automatic virtues, ego can kill motorcyclists.

Assume you are out riding with a new group of people and realise that the group has one of two 'greats.' People who are recognised for and clearly demonstrate a superior skill level. At a track, this could be a set of riders who clock faster laps almost without trying. On the street, these are the people who always appear to be ahead of you, no matter how you try. If you're a fairly normal sort of guy and a serious rider, it can quickly become a situation where you want to follow them to learn or pass them to feel great.

This is where ego comes into clash with restraint. Your ego says, 'You're better than that guy, come on, let's show him.' Restraint says, 'your skill level is not at that level, you'd just better get on with what you're doing and do that well.' When the former takes over, you end up riding out of your skin and open yourself to a world of errors and near-misses, not a place you would normally like to be in. But do you have the maturity to realise that and take appropriate action?

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