Beginner Again — Pat Jaques

Special to Touratech USA from SheADV


Later this year I will turn 65! How cool is that! After 57 years riding motorcycles, some might think I’ve done it all. I’m grateful and pleased to continue to enjoy the hell out of riding my dirt, dual sport, and adventure bikes! The truth is, after a serious 2021 accident, my agility, coordination, and strength are a bit diminished. To improve all aspects of my riding, I’m taking a creative approach to my off-season training.



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Off road motorcycling demands a high degree of physical stamina, control, and coordination. Each of our appendages – hands and feet – are doing completely different things. Motorcycling also requires tremendous mental acuity and focus. I wanted to train in all of this and have fun doing it!

My solution? I bought an electric drum kit! WOW! This is quite an experience. I’m a total beginner again. When I bought the e-drum kit I thought to myself, “maybe I should practice a bit before I take lessons.” That made me laugh at myself, because moto students often ask, “Am I good enough to take your class?” With this in mind, I immediately signed up for drum lessons!


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It’s only been a few weeks and I’m having a blast! I’m learning to use my right and left hands and feet independently of each other. Sometimes my right hand is playing a cymbal at 8 counts per measure, while my right foot is playing bass; and the left hand is playing snare alternating at 4 counts per measure each. On the bike I’m very coordinated. On the drums, not so much. I’m learning, getting better each day, and having so much fun!


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So, what does this have to do with motorcycle training and riding?

  1. Everyone is a beginner at some point. Be patient. Don’t take yourself so seriously, laugh out loud if you goof up. Then try again.

  2. Take lessons from a professional. The great thing about working with brand new riders is they usually do not have bad habits that need fixing!

  3. If it’s too cold to ride you can still find ways to train:

    • Static balance on the bike in the garage

    • Up-level your fitness at the gym with the SheADVantage training program

    • Improve agility by taking dance class – great for fitness, balance, and it keeps your brain sharp

    • Increase strength, agility, and learn how to fall by taking a martial arts or gymnastics class

    • Learn to play the drums

    • Train your brain and learn better line choice analyzing moto videos

    • Improve your visual acuity and peripheral awareness using free online resources

    • Watch moto videos and pretend you’re riding, using clutch, throttle, and brakes. (Seriously! You may look and feel goofy but it’s fun, especially if you make moto noises!)

    • Be creative! Anything you can do to increase strength (especially core), agility, coordination, mental focus, and visual acuity helps!

    • Meditation calms the mind and increases focus and clarity. There are lots of different ways to meditate, including moving meditations like ‘Labyrinth circles’

    • Practice, practice, practice. You’ll get so much doing something for 15 minutes each day!

  4. Journal about the riding you did last year. What worked? What did not work for you? This is not about beating yourself up. It’s about learning what works for you.

  5. Use the power of good habits to create the outcomes you want. Whether it’s meditation and journaling, working out, good nutrition, or getting enough sleep. Good habits and self-care make you better!

Give yourself the grace to be a beginner and learn. Whatever you do, have fun!