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The body

A lifelong skill to have is the ability to position someone in the recovery position. Regardless of the history, a person who is unconscious and breathing, or someone who is vomiting can benefit from being placed in the recovery position. This allows drainage of the mouth, and an open airway, which is crucial to keeping someone breathing and hence, alive.

Traditionally there have been barriers to using this lifesaving technique, “how can I do that when they are twice my size?” Well fortunately physics is on your side. The beauty of this manoeuvre is that it uses the patient’s size and weight as a fulcrum in order to manipulate their position. Put simply, a 50kg person can move a 100kg person into the recovery position, with ease. Furthermore, this technique can be finessed by ensuring the chin is not on the persons chest, which will help with breathing.

There is also a technique for a person who has experienced trauma, ie a biker who is unconscious or vomiting, this person will benefit from an open airway. The recovery position can be used for anyone, who is unconscious and breathing, someone vomiting, someone snoring, or who just feels unwell. Think about in what position you sleep! The ability to place a person in the recovery position is lifesaving, go and learn how to do it!

The bike

We’ve all been taught how to ride slowly, well we should have. Slow riding is part of everyday life as a biker. Pulling out of the drive, the shops, the mechanic, or the bike shop, require controlling the bike at low speed, it’s a skill that we probably use subconsciously.

However, there’s more to riding the rear brake and looking where you want to go. Riding slowly makes you look good, which is important when your mates are watching, but even more important, is that it puts you in control. And unlike being in control when redlining the bike, slow riding gives you the luxury of time, so, how best to utilise this?

After being taught where to position myself on the road I found myself with more time in which to make decisions, then I was told not to waste that opportunity! Picture yourself: finishing a set of twisty bends onto a straight, you can see a set of traffic lights in the distance, two or three cars waiting for the green light.  You could join that queue…. or because you have positioned yourself early, seen the traffic lights and the cars, you could roll off the throttle earlier. Then, ride that rear brake at walking pace, anticipate the green light, cruise up to position and you’re off again.

It will look good to whoever is behind you, you won’t stop, put your feet down (or forget to and fall over), stall the bike etc. What you will do however, is be in control. You will have more time to position yourself (again), see what is behind you, in front of you, and own the environment that you are in.

This technique allows you to manipulate traffic by giving yourself the luxury of time in which to make decisions. It also makes you look good! Slow riding techniques provide time, control, efficiency, and confidence to be a better rider.

Until next time, ride safe and have fun

Cheers, Mick.