The second part of Keith Culver’s two part Pace vs. Risk series, featured on Cycle World‘s Ienatsch Tuesday column.

“We’re back to discuss how to reduce the two major canyon-riding “Risks” we discussed in part one: Lean Angle and Abruptness…while still enjoying your pace. Yes, I wrote “your pace” because everyone has a different pace and comfort level. Most of that comes from experience but it’s not all about laps or seat time. A famous motorcycle-training guru once told a story about a guy who finally took training after ten years of riding and after class, that rider said he realized he’d had only one year of experience, repeated ten times.

At YCRS, Nick and Ken like to say “Practice makes permanent” as opposed to “Practice makes perfect”. I recently took a gun safety class and they used the very same term. If you have a million laps or miles dong something incorrectly, there’s a good chance you’re not perfect. Freddie Spencer, three-time World Champion and the only rider to ever win the 250 & 500 World Championships in the same year, said he only had about five perfect laps in his entire career. “Practice makes permanent, not perfect.”

In this second part of PACE-vs.-RISK we want to get to the techniques that I’ve learned to maintain a good ratio; but to do so, we need to figure out how to mitigate the risks: Lean Angle and Abruptness. Practice mitigating them to help make your avoidance of them permanent.

I recommend working on the avoidance of abruptness first because the smoother you get, the better chance you have of mastering the methods of minimizing lean angle, or the time spent near maximum lean angle (maximum risk). If you can stay smooth, avoid being abrupt, and keep lean angle to fun rather than dangerous values, you are on your way to better PACE-vs.-RISK ratio.

At YCRS they have great drills for decreasing your learning time and helping you not only be faster-safer but also safer-faster. Read through these pages, then get out and play with the thoughts I’ve put into this article. If they make sense, maybe I’ll see you at a school someday.”

Find the rest of Culver’s blog post by clicking here!