After 24 years of Riding and shunning the MSF and all that nonsense I would run into Lance Holst. Nice guy and I decided to take his Advanced Rider Clinic, holy shit did I learn a ton.
Not only would I do it again, I would love to take other courses as well and I am very interested in Lee Parks Total Control.
Careful who you take advice from, even those who have ridden for years know very little about riding in all actuality, but hte pros? Be it dirt or track, they have to know their shit. Myths and misconceptions do not win races, which unfortunately the average rider is full of nothing but nonsense. If you are talking to someone and they do not know what counter stearing is or thinks laying a bike down is a good optino, walk away, and do not look over your shoulder or GOD WILL TURN YOU INTO A PILLAR OF SALT! :))
Most people riding at what they think is 80 percent are actually riding at 120 percent, let that one sink in for a minute before reading on.
Track days are a big one to help gain confidence and learn skills, you learn a bunch right there and myths have to quickly go out the window.
Cycling actually transfers directly over and really helps with balance as well as endurance, if you are healthy you are more alert and fatigue less easily. I also believe that riding horses in my younger years helped as well.
Riding off road should be done with lighter bikes before the big boys, get yourself a 250 which has plenty of power for any size, go and practice, play around, be a hooligan and learn tons.
Eat right and stay hydrated, again this transfers over directly to being alert and being a better rider.
Be comfortable with all your gear as well as the bike, if you are not comfortable you are not alert and paying attention to the road.
Be it pavement or dirt, look well far away as your body cannot react if you simply look right in front of you.
Look where you want to go in any situation.
Always stay committed and go for whatever it is you are doing, if you hit a corner too hot do not hit the brake, stay on the throttle and go for it, same goes if you are riding something technical and it seems you are fubar, You will wreck far more often simply giving up half way than you ever would have just staying on it and going for it. It will be scary, I promise but it is far better than the alternative.
Trust your tires, todays tires are amazing and will hold the road very well, trust them and go with them, that goes along with the new tires are slick BS, nonsense. Even if they are (which they are not) being afraid of a new tire implies you would be unable to handle your bike in rain, snow or mud.
Quit making excuses, if something happens it probably is rider error, be objective, set aside your ego and be honest about what just happened, otherwise you are not helping yourself or anyone else at all.
The street is no place to race. While we all enjoy a spirited ride from time to time, there are simply too many factors which can impede your ride which do not exist on the track. Those factors may be dirt, cow shit, animals or even a car simply stopped around the corner, you do not know and owe it to your family to COME HOME LATE AT NIGHT.
Dont get me wrong, I believe strongly in living and enjoying your life, but the chest beating idiocy and acting like a teenager does no one a favor, save it for a controlled environment.
Bright Colors save lives, this is not even up for debate on any level.
A well Maintained bike adds to your confidence, be it on a long trip, or a spirited canyon ride it will help bring you home safely.
Tell people where you are going and keep ID on you. Your cell phone should also be programmed with an emergency contact. If you are on medications, a list of those should be on your person.