Motorcycles are not just for bearded thugs, overly-pierced gang members and those whose knuckles are garnished with LOVE and HATE tattoos; and riding a motorcycle safely requires an understanding of physics.
One of the noteworthy ‘physics-y’ phenomena is Target Fixation.
This is a fundamental of riding and will come up on Day 1 of any safety course worth the entry fee. It speaks to the connection between the rider’s line of sight; and the direction of the vehicle – simply put, ‘the bike goes where your eyes go’. The narrowly-missed-a-Pulitzer ‘Idiots Guide to Motorcycles’ reads “if you detect something on the road you want to avoid, look at where you want to go instead of at that object “. Hard to fathom at first but it is real. You imagine keeping your eyes on the object is important so you can avoid it, but on two wheels it doesn’t work like that. Countless accidents and injuries have occurred due to Target Fixation. Your bike really does go where your eyes go.
So, what are your eyes on?
It’s easy to focus on the competition. Their new logo or promotion, their music playlist or new morning show benchmark, their social media feeds or their website. The shiny thing they have that you don’t have, that the audience must have noticed immediately and now desperately pines for. Except they likely didn’t notice and they’re probably not pining.
Every minute you spend with your eyes on the opponent, becomes a lost minute you could have spent with your eyes on the audience – super serving your listener base, sharpening the pencil on your own product and avoiding a dangerous distraction. Have the courage to work hard on creating memorability and don’t allow yourself or your team to be distracted by the bad guys across the road.
If the radio station or your show goes where your eyes go, keep them on the prize. Stay true to your strategy and goals. Be aware of your surroundings but focus on the destination and get there alive, albeit with helmet hair.