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It Ain't About Adventure Touring or Even Motorcycles For That Matter...

In the motorcycle world there is a process that we call 'pick it & stick it'.

For us, dual sport adventure riders, Pick it and Stick it is the idea that in order to get through a series of complicated areas on a trail or track or even the street... one must make some uniquely timed decisions. That series of decisions and their resulting actions become effectively what we call a LINE.

Taking a good line and committing to it is how a rider stays on top of the bike. Because.... having the bike on top of you pretty much sucks.

Here's how one executes 'pick it & stick it' ....

NOTE...Pick it and stick it is actually a pretty amazing and unique process in that it's highly effective and at the same time absolutely counterintuitive. I'm going somewhere with this trust me so just hold your horses... It's a very simple technique in practice but tragically I have yet to find a way to describe it without making it sound extremely complicated... I am going to try to break that curse now... so pay close attention. It gets a little twitchy if your brain slips off for a sec...

Pick it & stick it works like this....

An adventure rider ( any and all riders for that matter. My brain just immediately goes to dual sport adventure touring ) approaches a sketchy section of a trail. In this example let's say that sketchy section is about 100 ft long... rutty, uneven... sandy, dugout, obstacles in the way... whatever it is. To stay on top of the bike the rider must look at... let's say for example... the first 20 feet. The rider assesses the difficulties and chooses his line through that section.... The rider then commits to that line and begins assessing the next 20 feet or so beyond it. Here is a great video description of Pick It & Stick It technique ( which starts at 4:18)

....But here's where it gets a little tricky... and at minimum counterintuitive....

When the rider actually enters that first 20 feet, the decision has already been made. It's made, sealed and sent. The riders eyes and mind are no longer a part of the equation for that section. It is only the body and the bike executing a sealed order ....because the riders mind is committed to the next section.

Here is why good riders pick it & stick it... If a rider is deciding what he is going to do while he is doing it.... that Rider is doomed. A well summarizing component statement of Pick it & Stick is 'look where you want to go'. That really is the ultimate rule in effectively riding. Even when assessing a sketchy section... a good Rider isn't looking at the ruts and obstacles and hazards otherwise in the process of creating a strategy for getting through the section. The good Rider only sees that narrow path, that zaggy line, leading to the next section. In a scenario where a rider is using pick it & stick it...But that rider focuses on the obstacles... the line she chooses is compromised and will not have a great result. I.e. the bike will most likely end up on top of the rider.

A good example of that is like when you are riding ...let's say... a bicycle. You can actually think or look to the left and by golly... that's where the bike goes. Motorcycle are exactly like that.

I ride hard as a man can at my age and skill level and I don't go down a whole lot. I attribute that to sticking to the pick - stick program.

I also noticed that I was a good rock climber for the same reason. I noticed too that I can stand on a cliff edge because I don't have vertigo. I don't have that feeling that the expanse is going to suck me over the edge. Not even a twinge of it.

I noticed too... today... thinking about this... that I am not a competitive rider in the matter of life itself.

Like I WAS... but... then came adulthood... heart aches, bills, failures, tragedies, dashed hopes, fading dreams, even the fear of losing edges because of an aging body. The fear of letting people down, the growing infirmities that come with living in deep stress and productivity loss... just all the stinky muck that comes with bumping and slamming into every obstacle life presents. Just fricking All of it man. And it hit me...pick it & stick it. Hear me out...

Bonnie and I did that in a way -- pick it and stick it --when we decided to go against every norm and simply lock into a path that leads past the troubled section we were in. The video about it linked here is pretty gruesome. We did do that and I do give us props for it. But to be honest... even in that process we didn't pick it and stick it right. We saw where we were and then looked to the top of the mountain where we wanted to be and YES, went for it. BUT ... we didn't ride smart about it. We were still mortified by the obstacles, focused on them and thereby slamming into every one of them. We were like what the hell man!!!?? We weren't applying our most fundamental of riding wisdoms to life. So here is the thing I'm trying to say....

I don't care what you are doing or wanting to do... but I will say this about it... There are going to be sketchy lines. That's why they call it adventure. Yes, i think a person has to look way down deep and say to their self... I'm going to that place and then against all odds... go there. We did that. Truly did it and have a long way to go and we are too far in to give up now. But I really wanted to depart can a hard earned lesson we encountered ... we all gotta pick it and stick it... sketchy lines and all... because im beginning to understand way down deep that the mountain is just our dream. The sea may be yours. BUT ... The actual true glory in it all rests directly in the middle of the journey, the process, the line... because that's where we become a people who learned how to truly live and thereby we are fulfilling the actual purpose of it all... which is to help people who are trying to survive by sharing the hope and wisdom of experiences... so that... they can do the same. Our ideas of destinations are silly illusions in my opinion. They are 'lofty' goals and hopes that are counterintuitive to the actual purpose for our being created to begin with. God doesn't care if I get past this 100' section, make it to the mountain, or you become CEO. Those are simply our reasonable hopes and dreams. He knows the end game though. He has seen your crown. He has watched you already dancing with the angels from beginning to end. He's already dined in celebration at the finish line after spraying champagne over you and your real trophy. He would like me to have my silly little idea of what I think I want... but not at the cost of the victory of my soul... or yours.

For US life is about so many things of course and one of them that has so much more to it than simply motorcycles... is motorcycles.

And as hokey as that might sound I know it to be true.

I would challenge anyone to see that no matter what it is, where it is, how it is, when it is and why it is to be so... Have a plan and a destination hoped for of course but for the love of God... pick it & stick it... the line is there. Take your eyes off the million obstacles and see the path. Its there. And plus half the damn things we are afraid of... these ruts and obstacles don't even exist to begin with. I hope all that made sense.


Story Moto ADV

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