Some parts of riding are simple. When the choices of action are limited or easy to grasp, riders feel in control. When choices are more complex or not fully understood, errors can occur. If riding sometimes feels like a coin toss—heads, I brake; tails, I gas it—realize that you have some work to do.
A rider’s skills are improving when his or her choices yield consistent results. Recognizing when our choices produce good results is the first step in trusting ourselves as riders. Choices come in all shapes and sizes. Common ones, like choosing which part of the lane to occupy, are both simple and powerful. Consider, for example, the choice to avoid the middle of the lane. Identifying the situation—the dark middle is mostly greasy car droppings—and combining that knowledge with an action—shifting to one side of the lane or the other—results in a more predictable and often confidence-building outcome: In this case, better traction.