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MikeHoy

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About MikeHoy

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Yes
  1. This note of thanks is long overdue, but informed by experiences after attending your two-day camp in Las Vegas in February 2016. For years I contemplated riding a motorcycle, but put it off while the kids were still dependent. At the beginning of August 2015, I had never been on a motorcycle. Our youngest had just graduated from university (Go Beavers!) and the last tuition check had cleared. So, I actively began pursuing riding. The MSF parking lot course was sufficient to get a motorcycle endorsement, but did not exactly instill confidence in riding at highway speeds. But I purchased a Triumph Street Triple (thanks Freedom Cycles in Reno) and started riding our nearby mountain highways in and around Lake Tahoe. A few weeks into the adventure, I had a bad experience on Kingsbury Grade in a hard left, downhill, off-camber turn on the Tahoe side of Daggett Pass. Due to the huge shoulder, I did not dump the bike, but pulled over to wait for my heart to descend from my throat and to collect my thoughts. I recognized that I needed more training to be safe. A dear friend and veteran Ducati superbike rider was happy that I was joining the sport, and could ride with him. He asked if my safety training included any discussion of motorcycle physics. When I reported that it did not, he handed me a tattered copy of Twist of the Wrist. I started studying motorcycle best practices in view of the physics outlined in that first manual. The same friend invited my wife and me to visit in the French Alps. We had visited before, but this year is to include motorcycle touring — possibly to visit a few stages of the Tour de France. I’ve been around le Tour before on a bicycle, and even ridden some of the epic climbs, like Alpe d’Huez. Some of these roads are challenging at bicycle speed, so I know I needed to improve my motorcycle skills to be safe and to keep up with my friend. (Also, the French rental agencies are not keen on renting a bike to a guy with less than a year of riding experience.) This is why I came to your school: to quickly gain skills that would take years to learn through trial and error. The entire school experience was superb! The classroom sessions introduced theoretical physics and empirical research (including human vision and mental processing) that bear upon practical motorcycle driving. Lecturers Dylan Code and Pete Castanik are well-educated, articulate, and effective teachers. Every classroom session was followed by a track session with drills that connected the dots between the science and the subjective feel for the bike. The pacing was terrific. I was at times torn between wanting a longer class and the urge to get back on the track. But every class/track session seemed to tackle just the right amount of new information and practical drills. I had about 4,000 miles on the Street Triple 675 before attending your school. I am small, and was nervous about riding a super bike. Out on the track, Ian immediately diagnosed and corrected some major weaknesses, but was always encouraging. (I think he would be proud of my advancement since then.) Here’s my only complaint: I think the school pushed me from a casual hobby into an expensive addiction. I now ride a 2016 S1000RR (thanks Sierra BMW), have enjoyed track days at Thunderhill East and West, and have at least a few more track days coming up this month. I am far from racing, but have smooth, consistent lines, adept passing, and am faster than the group average. The other riders are stunned to hear that I’ve only been riding since August. I continue to pursue other coaching on the track and off, and have made great some new friends. Aside from the track day fun, I am much more confident and safer on the mountain roads around Reno-Tahoe and the northern Sierras. (I cannot wait for Tioga, Sonora, and Ebetts passes to open up after our awesome ski season.) My message is that your school is great for new riders: for me, it was better to take the class earlier, not later. Thanks again for all the past and future fun on the motorcycle. I hope to see you at the track or on our big mountain switchbacks in northern Nevada/California.
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