What is rhythm?

Rhythm is not a thing. Nor is it just a mental attitude or mindset. It is a quality of experience that infuses the racer, both physically and mentally.

When racers find what they call their rhythm, everything works much better, progress is faster. They are more consistent and they have a more joyful and rewarding experience when racing. They find good feel for the bike, the circuit and grip come to them and they find their best lines.

Good rhythm is also something that you can see as the riding has a quality of flow and, whilst every lap is never the same, there is a consistency to the riding.

Rhythm is not something that we can just 'think.' You have to 'feel' it. Think of riding as listening to your favourite piece of music. When you get into it your whole mind and body are involved in the experience - otherwise it just wouldn't work. In motorcycle racing you can think of it in the following way:

The Circuit is the sheet music - the racer has to learn to read it to find its ideal rhythm

The Bike is the instrument - the racer has to learn how to play the instrument so it makes the right music

The Racer is the musician and conductor - how the racer conducts and plays the instrument determines the overall performance

When these things come together in the right way, that's when you find good rhythm. The tricky bit is getting them to come together in the right way, which is what this area of my site is all about.

(Image credit: MotoGP - Circuit of the Americas 2013 by Barron Fujimoto is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)