Originally Posted by viverrid
She said later, weeks later when she was finally willing to talk about it, that it never occurred to her that she should let up on the brake before turning onto the dirt. She drove cars for too much of her life and she drove the bike into the corner like she would have driven her car in (so what if the front tires scrubbed),
With all due respect, after reading your post (and your other threads on the subject) it doesn't sound like she's much of a car driver either. To make a sharp right from pavement into gravel under hard braking is not a very good idea either. It's a good way to end up in the ditch or perhaps having to buy old farmer McDonald a new fence.
Let's face it, some (perfectly intelligent, talented and athletic) people are simply not very good at operating large machines. If you've ever worked operating big farm or construction equipment, you'd know the type. They come on the job as FNG's and in the first few weeks have made several small and perhaps a few audacious f___-ups, before everyone starts getting nervous and the foreman explains that they are simply not cut out for (truck, combine, cat, crane, grader, etc) driver and everyone breaths a sigh of relief. Most of these people still drive, and they are the folks we are always telling stories about here in perfect line. Usually they are fine, but when confronted with unusual or difficult situations or conditions they may do illogical things with their vehicles and simply don't have the talent/skill to handle their vehicles in such emergencies/conditions.
In Utah, you see it every time it snows. People going too fast, too slow, using their brakes/steering/gas pedal improperly etc... Funny thing is, they often don't realize how bad they are driving and seem to think everyone else is just as out of control as they are. They often tend to compensate w/AWD car and or snow tires, when really (that just makes them more dangerous), they should be taking a class or getting off the road.
I am not saying that your wife needs to quit riding if she's starting to enjoy it, but as her leader and mentor you need to adjust your riding/routes to keep her in safe situations. Essentially avoid anything that's has much likelihood of of a difficult situation, especially with traffic or more experienced riders. Also, lead with exceptional care, for example you may want to stop on a gravel road when you come to a down hill and discuss the sloping turn at the bottom etc. As you mentioned you could have full stopped or passed and made a u-turn to make the gravel road. Finally, be very wary as she develops confidence and wants to start riding in city traffic or other somewhat dangerous situations.
Anyways, it seems that she's doing worlds better than last summer, keep up the good work and never forget to keep reminding her of the progress she is making. Good work!
And don't give up, I once had a GF that was determined to become a whitewater kayaker, she would swim all the time even tho' she had learned the roll and was always nervous as hell (even on class II). I tried to steer her into an inflatable, but she wanted nothing to do with it. So we stayed on class II and kept ingraining the skills, last I heard she'd become a decent class III/IV paddler.