I like to practice braking hard most times I'm out. For example, approaching a 30mph - that's reaching a town or village in the UK - I'll check the mirrors first then apply the front brake, squeezing the lever increasingly hard. Usually let go when we've gone 60 to 30. It's reassuring to know just how fast you can lose speed without losing traction. And I like to think it will stop me just grabbing the brake in a panic when something happens. Scottish Borders Cooncil clearly appreciates the value of this exercise - they're in the middle of changing all the urban speed limits from 30 to 20mph. Which will give me the chance to go 60 to 20 in a hurry. Sometimes do this with Mrs on the back but always let her know first.