D'you cover your front brake with a finger?

Well, you're very naughty

Bumped into a riding instructor last weekend. Not literally, though, I'm pleased to add. 

The road had been closed by a big accident and we'd all been forced into the same coffee/petrol stop together.

He had one pupil with him on a 125 Yamaha custom thing. It was her first day. She seemed to be enjoying herself (judging by her toothy grin) despite the mizzling rain and shiny, greasy road surfaces.

I've been teaching my eldest lad to ride on the road this year and if there's one thing I've tried to batter into him, it's to ride with at least one finger on the front brake lever at most times. This, according to his first instructor, is not the way to pass your test.

Meeting this instructor, here and now, I now have the opportunity to ask why this is the case.

I explain what I've been up to and what I've been teaching and he concurs: yes, it's not the done thing to ride with a finger on the brake or clutch lever, or both. He will fail his test if he continues to do what I teach him.                    

But why? I ask, in all innocence. Surely it's reducing the time and effort it takes to apply the brake? 

I'm told that it increases the chance of applying the brake too sharply in a panic situation. Biting my tongue, I ask the instructor one question:

'If you're filtering between slow moving traffic on a motorway aren't you covering your front brake lever like your life depends on it? 

'Yes,' he says, making a mockery of the whole argument. 

As if the test procedure wasn't confusing enough as it is...

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