Handbrake: A rear brake lever which reside on top or under ones clutch lever on the left clip on. Commonly used for wheelies when your right leg cannot cover the traditional back brake lever.

With the addition of a handbrake to my stunt bike I am facing the task of learning how to use it. It’s interesting really, I won’t be doing much different (standing on the seat opposed to left foot back peg, right foot front peg) but it turns out there’s infinite travel and not much communication between right foot and left middle finger.

While practicing stunting I spend hours alone with my thoughts, bouncing around within my snug fitting Shoei helmet. Beyond my normal thoughts of wishing I could just run right over the top of the annoying little fifty riders and avoiding the thuggish activity which takes place at our esteemed stunt spot; I normally end up relating stunting to philosophy, where the spot becomes a micro example of life, reality and a tiny perspective into the universe.

A balanced wheelie is like a good day in one’s life. A tiny souvenir after painful work, a balance and harmony between all associated parties, plus the indescribable feeling of hard earned success. It seems wheelies, like life go best when were just, well, living or wheeling. The harder I try, strain and pain, the uglier the situation gets. Yet popping it up with confidence and going with the flow results in the desired outcome.

So, my new handbrake, an intruder in my current reality has really thrown my Zen out of whack. Clearly evident my first night using it when just as I swung behind balance point I accidently yanked on it instead of the clutch and my 12 bar nearly became a guillotine as is swung back violently, inches away from my face. Examining this offender (my new handbrake) there are various courses of actions available to me: one, I could rid myself of the pest and continue life within the comforts of the foot brake. Also I could leave it unused on the bike, eyeing it warily as I curse its presence under my breath. Or I can view this new device as a gift to my riding, to make me better and more diverse.

While anything new clearly causes momentary unbalance I know if I push through I’ll be doing seat standers for days (they look FUN!).

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