Nov 3, 2008

Toilet training

Yesterday, something obvious struck me while I was emptying an overfull bladder. Wrinkle your noses all you like, but here's the situation - most men should be able to understand this easily. I'm standing above the pot and I've got my legs split up really wide. Don't know why, but there it is. At this point, let us focus only on the events occurring at the sole of my, say, left foot, although either will do nicely.

The floor of this particular loo is one of the those new-fangled textured jobs where grip is easy to find and the chances of you breaking you head in by falling in the wet are low. But, for some reason, my foot starts slipping outwards. Not being a gymnast, this immediately was a cause of concern. For once, family jewels landing with a sickening thud on the rim of the pristine but unforgiving edge of the toilet bowl is a painful image even to conjure up. And second, landing on the floor in a split would ensure that a tortured groin would put an end to motorcycle adventures for some time to come.

To recover, I tried pushing down on the sole - more weight equals more traction, remember? It worked. But then, reassured, I tried varying where the extra weight was. And in there, lay the light bulb that lit up above my head like a Diwali rocket. I found that if I put my weight on the inside edge of my foot (the arches side), the slide started again. However, the moment I used the outer edge of the foot, the left edge of the sole of the left foot, the slide was arrested with a ferocity I haven't consciously thought of before.

Now, how does that apply? Here goes.

You know that the ideal position for cornering involves you hanging off the inside, weigh on the inside peg, using the outside thigh to lock you into position etc, right? However, weighing the inside peg is the same, in effect, as exerting the pressure from the arch side of the left foot in the toilet situation. As long as traction is good and the demand for it is reasonable, the feeling is of stability. However, the moment, traction is at a premium, like in the wet, more weight on the inside will as usual, reduce lean angle, but will also provoke a slide earlier. Which is why, they tell you to weigh the outside peg in the wet, and in off-camber corners. Both are places where traction is relatively little and the pressure on the outside helps the tyre dig in harder and postpone the slide.

Yeah, yeah, all OCD disclaimers apply. And feel free to disagree, try this etc.

Just don't pee outside the bowl, ok?


EvolutioN said...

which is why, when you take the inside curve of a road, where the lean angle is lesser, the external foot pushes down on the outer peg, the outer arch of the tyre presses down and the feeling of stability is thereby derived.

beginners to note, kindly try the different versions of cornering on empty roads to improve riding skills instead of lalbagh main road at 10 o clock in the morning. :)

and yes, rearset, a new post is always nice to read. :) welcome back!



Anonymous said...

Quite an insightful post....Before this, never thought of traction and the road in the loo :)
Great that you are back!!

theslayer said...

"Which is why, they tell you to weigh the outside peg in the wet, and in off-camber corners."

Who's 'they'? And in my one or so year of feverish gobbling down of rearset posts, I havent come across any post where you've told us something like that! Lot's of work pending for you rider :D

On the other hand, if you have given us that tip, forgive my dumbness and please give me the link!

You've no idea how glad I'm to have ya back! Rock on!

Anonymous said...

hav a pair of those dunlop soled shoes wit the tread pattern and all. great grip in wet. nicked em of me cousin. never slipped once.

sriku said...

Hell yeah! But weighing the outside peg is easier said than done...if you're leaning a lot, the inside peg is in contact with the balls and toe end of your boot, while the outside peg is free to hold as much of your boot as you could accommodate. I tend to notice that all my weight and effort remain focussed on the inside peg, leaving the other one unnoticed. Nice writing...the fact that this came to you in the loo...hilariously spectacular!! Back from a ride to Shivneri this weekend, and the twisty ghats have ensured a smile on my face all week long :)