The Motorcycle Safety Foundation announced the availability of an exciting new video series called “Ride Along With Dr. Ray,” available at msf-usa.org/RideAlong.aspx. In this twelve-part series, you can get inside the mind of MSF’s Dr. Ray Ochs as he rides along a variety of Southern California roads and deals with situations that motorcyclists face every day. As you listen to his stream-of-consciousness narration, you’ll see how he applies decades’ worth of MSF’s collective wisdom to make his rides safer and more fun.
As Vice President of Training Systems, Ray is MSF’s primary curriculum developer and is vitally interested in arming riders with the best strategies and techniques to enhance their safety. The courses he has developed range from the iconic BasicRiderCourse for novices, conducted on parking lots, to the Street RiderCourse for licensed riders, conducted on city streets and highways. Integral to all MSFRiderCourses is the concept that judgment and perceptual acuity are as important as precise maneuvering skills. In fact, by refining and using mental skills properly through a strategy called Search/Evaluate/Execute (“SEE”), riders can avoid relying on their extraordinary physical skills to safely navigate traffic.
MSF created the “Ride Along with Dr. Ray” videos to supplement the hands-on courses and to better illustrate the SEE strategy. With SEE, you have your brain direct the eyes what to look for, then consider the visual input and decide if and how you need to maneuver your motorcycle to avoid potential hazards. Once this strategy becomes second nature, you can spend your saddle time having a fun commute or weekend adventure, sharing the joy of motorcycling with friends and family. Suburban roads, narrow rural roads, curvy mountain roads, construction zones, multi-lane highways, carpool lanes, complex intersections, passing maneuvers: these locations and scenarios help viewers examine Dr. Ray’s safety-first approach to enjoying the world on two wheels.
The series was filmed with three high quality 4K action cams: one mounted on the front of Ray’s motorcycle so we can see what he sees, one mounted on a chase motorcycle so we can observe his maneuvers and one mounted on a drone for a bird’s-eye view of selected high-risk scenarios. A microphone mounted inside his helmet captured his thoughts as he verbalized his moment-by-moment observations, analyses and decisions. During assembly of the footage, enhancements were made to illustrate or expand upon some of the insights Ray relayed during the rides. The final video in the series consists of staged interactions that highlight several all-too-common car-versus-motorcycle collision traps. The twelve videos range from five-and-a-half to 16 minutes long.
According to Ray, “Although we filmed the series in Southern California, the lessons apply nationwide, wherever traffic and infrastructure present challenges to your rides. MSF wants riders to approach motorcycling as ‘serious fun’ and challenge themselves to improve both their physical and perceptual skills. We hope all riders, from novice to seasoned, enjoy and benefit from the series.”