Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Communication Skills

Several recent occurrences have made me think about my ability to communicate with people. Whether by purpose or coincidence, this internal contemplation is the result. I honestly thought I was at minimum, a fair interpersonal communicator. After some internal dialog and evaluation, I wonder...

One thing I enjoy about riding is the lack of verbal communication. I only ride solo, and as such, talking is not needed. I like it that way. That doesn't mean there is no communication.

On the contrary. When piloting a motorcycle there is a huge amount of communication going on. Palpable, physical vibrations from the tires, motor, brakes, clutch and transmission must be processed. The rider must listen and interpret many things like noise from the wind, bike motor, tires and even wind and tire noise from other vehicles. Visual communications is SO important for safe and efficient riding. Riders must always be alert for visual communications.

Communicating requires a dual pathway for information to flow. A rider communicates with their bike through body movements. Most bikes don't typically understand yelling. Physical communication from the rider is what it understands. There is a syntax and structure and even accents. Twist and lean and brake and shift is part of it's language.

Safe, efficient and enjoyable motorcycle riding is all about perception and action. Communication.

So, those riders out there, if you are like me and feel a little insufficient when it comes to verbal communications, don't worry. If you ride a motorcycle, chances are good that you communicate just fine.

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