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Everything posted by AdamZisa

  1. I went to Thunderhill West this past weekend with my dad. I was doing level 4 for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday felt great, I learned the track, I felt fast, and left feeling like I could get through the track comfortably. Sunday came and for some reason it was a different story. I went off track three times and would let my SR's take over in Turn 1. I could not figure it out. I felt like I was only adding 10-15 mph down the straight just to up my pace. Why was this such a big deal?! First of all, after consulting with Johnny, adding that much speed is too much. I needed to add it gradually, 1 mph at a time even. Gerry was my coach for Sunday. We found that my vision was hindering me. By adding that much speed, I had to PLAN for my turn point earlier. I just kept focusing on the turn point itself and by the time I hit it, I was already beyond it and therefore turning in late with a new sense of speed....I would panic and become stiff on the bars. Gerry coached me to look WAYYY ahead. Go at my normal pace, and look wayyyyy ahead at Turn 1. I did and suddenly the track felt slower. I felt like I was scooting along on a pedal bicycle down the straight and going into Turn 1. I got my lap times recorded for Sunday. My fastest lap time of a 1:40 was during my second session, when I was still affected by my vision. Surrounding that time was a bunch of 1:50's or even 2:00 +. Crazy variance..... After listening to Gerry and using my vision to slow things down for the last session, my lap times were consistently 1:43 1:44 and staying in that range. I know it is slower, but the consistency is important. This shows me that if I can stay consistent, I can begin to work on my speed. I was doing the same thing every single lap and talking to myself in my helmet, "2 step, no greys." This meant use the two step and look way ahead. No greys meant to not hit the gray curbing at all and to look 4-inches to the side of the curbing so I could place my front wheel there. I wanted to thank Gerry and Big Andy for their coaching on both days as well as Johnny for his consulting between sessions both days. We came up with a plan every time and after execution, the results were showing in timed laps as well as overall confidence on the track. Gerry also taught me how to use my peripheral vision to sense movement. This would help with passing others and my goodness it made such a difference to my whole experience!!! I was passing other riders safely and with enough space and speed. It really changed things. I cannot wait to implement this at my next track day/ race. I will take time today to write down my plan for my home tracks and how to approach different corners. I really like that once you leave a track with CSS and go to your home track, you can apply what you learned to your home track. You did not have to sit there and say, "okay I learned the track with them...why don't them come here so I can learn my track with them?" It is more like, "OH! This turn is JUST LIKE turn 2 at Thunderhill! I know how to do this!" Thank you all for the great weekend and learning. We will be back and my dad wants to do Level II! The photo below is of my dad and I. I caught up with him for the photo op to look like a doofus (I am on 21 and he's on 22).
  2. AdamZisa

    How Much Weight On The Seat?

    Loved this read and thread!!! I admire how the OP was willing to experiment and how Dylan provided resources. As stated, there exists so much information and it is difficult to decipher what is right, what COULD be right, and what is total opinion. Awesome read and I love that no one was mean. Side note: I have been reading Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (not a text to do with cornering or riding) and it was cool to see the logic and philosophy stuff mentioned. You gotta think before you ride, during your ride, and after you ride to really get this stuff...and actually ride the bike!
  3. Thank you! I am a counselor as my profession so I try to bring up the feelings associated with the experience...and Cobie may know/ remember this: but I want to be a coach for CSS!!! So I try to use a lot of empathy in what a student may be feeling or experiencing to work with them effectively and on a personal level.
  4. Realize that it is a SCHOOL, not a sales-pitch! The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and when they are discussing technique, form, or common mistakes, it is not to sell you on their ideas or ways of riding. They are teaching you a new technique. You try it out, and if you do not like it, let the instructors know when you have your post ride meeting with them. Let them know what was uncomfortable. Chances are, they will spot it before you do and tell you exactly what to change or address. For me personally, my first school I went to, I loved it. I was so excited and ready and scared. I went in with an open mind and took it all in. There may be some people in your class that "argue" with the ideas or challenge the instructors based on their personal experiences. It can be frustrating because the instructors are there to teach, not to sell. They are offering a new perspective, new techniques, they are not trying to change you. They are not telling you this is the ONLY way to ride a bike. However, they have done their research, they show you the research, and they have proven techniques. It is up to you whether you leave the school and take the lessons with you! Go in with an absolutely open mind. If you go in with this approach, I guarantee you will enjoy it so much more and your riding will drastically improve!!!! Also, if and when a coach pulls you over on the track, do not take it personally. They are not mad at you, they are there to keep you and other riders safe. If they notice something dangerous, they will bring it up. Lastly, do not worry if you are slower than others in your class. You learn best when you ride at 75% of your ability. And sometimes with even less speed you can focus on your riding and the technique at hand. In summation... 1) Go in with an open mind. 2) Don't take it personally if you are "having a talkin' to" by one of the coaches. 3) Ride at a pace you are comfortable with, do not worry about the ability of others. Focus on you!
  5. AdamZisa

    Finally Got My Knee Down ! Yes !

    I look forward to this day!!! Hahaha
  6. AdamZisa

    Las Vegas, Classic Course

    The first day at CSS for me and one of my favorite drills is riding the course for a sighting lap. Ride the outer perimeter for one lap, and then the inner perimeter for another. Ride over all of the surfaces, realize that they are not as slippery. Or look for dust and debris. This helps so much to make you less "edge shy" and become acquainted with the surface. I do this on my canyon rides now and the first lap of my track days. Looking forward to checking out Thunderhill in June!
  7. I had been sick for almost two weeks and then signed up for a track day at Arizona Motorsports park. The circuit was being run CCW that day and I had not ridden in that way. With getting over an illness and essentially relearning the track, I was less than 1-second off my personal best!!! I went to Chuckwalla the next weekend feeling healthier and ready. The trackday was running Chuck CW. Thankfully it was the Superbowl weekend, so there was probably 40 riders at the track that day. Open session format so you just go and go and go. What I thought was interesting was that I filmed two sessions and even though it was untimed, I rode for 20 minutes and then stopped. I just think that is crazy that my body just knew, "okay 20-minutes is up, raise that hand and leave the track!" Anyway, I started racing in the chuckwalla series back in September. Crashed out of my first race. I competed the next month, dead last place and lapped. I was contacted by someone from the CVMA organization who said, "practice getting your lap times down....your pace is kind of a big risk." He suggested I aim for 2:15 being that my lap time was an incredibly slowwwwww 2:30. I agreed. I purchased a lap timer. I met with a therapist about relaxing techniques. I started to get more comfortable on my bike. So....Superbowl weekend...I did not feel like I was trying as hard and got my laps down to 2:17 consistently. I KNOW. I KNOW. That is still very slow especially for a liter bike (2013 CBR 1000RR) And Benny Solis is at like a 1:30 lap time on a 600..... But man what an improvement. I know I should be riding the track to beat the track, not the riders around me....But passing people that are riding on my dream bike (s1000RR) FELT SO GOOD. I told myself I would not race again until I get my laps to at least 2-minutes. So I can stay with the pack. It has been helping to review my studies, and simply THINK about the track and how to take a turn before heading out there like I know what I am doing. Thinking man! It helps. After reviewing my footage there are a bunchhh of things I can improve on, but there were so many things I did differently to improve as well. Strengths: throttle input EARLIER and rolled on for greater speeds through the turn. Telling myself that I can enter at higher speeds (slow in fast out, but my entry speed can definitely go up). Knowing where to go slow and having patience in the turn dubbed "Patience." Areas of Improvement: use of the quick turn, later turn entry and attempting different attack lines, being comfortable with using only the parts of the track I need upon exiting a corner, squeeze the bike with my legs when braking earlier. I noticed that when I take my legs off to prepare for the turn, after a straight away, I am not squeezing with my legs and thus applying the brakes sends all that weight and my own forward and maxes out the load on the front tire. I start to actually lift up the rear! So to settle this I have a few options: when applying the brakes, I should grip with legs, and then as I am slowing down adjust BP for the upcoming turn...use the rear brake to settle the rear a bit (but I do not think I am at that pace yet)....or learn the max speed I can enter the turn using the 3+4 drill no brakes. I am very excited to continue to learn.
  8. CW! I am excited to try the crested hill again. When I go through it CCW, it looks like you can almost go straight through it.... I must be psyching myself out. I will see what I can learn at Level 4 in June!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thunderhill raceway.
  9. AdamZisa

    S1000RR Rear Suspension

    Very cool and insightful read!!!! Got dang I need to get me one of them data loggers. This is really helpful for high analysis. Thank you for this post.
  10. Went back to Chuck again and lowered by 3 seconds to get a consistent 2:14! Higher entry speeds, less brakes, and following faster riders. I need to relax though! Hands went a little numb towards the end of the day. Photos indicate that I am not hanging off enough and still have at least 4-Inches of clearance of lean angle. Going to ride with Dale Kieffer next time and see if I can hit that 2:05 or less mark. It is nice to know that I am at least at pace for the back of the pack during racing now! Having issues with three turns there. "Patience," turn 5-6, and the super slow section where you have to crest the hill on the edge of the track... And I could definitely up my speed and attack angle in the bowl. More to learn!!!! Need more tires first....
  11. AdamZisa

    AMP April 15th!

    Hey all! Arizona Motorsports Park on Sunday April 15th! If you want to join just let me know andddd we can set goals of the day together! Trying to beat 2:07... COME PLAY!
  12. AdamZisa

    Chuckwalla April 7-8

    The weekend of April 7th and 8th, I will be at Chuckwalla! My dad and I will be camping there over night. We welcome people to come and hang out by our setup. We do not bring crazy amounts of food to this event, unfortunately, BUT! I do enjoy showing new riders around the track and going over skills to practice during each session. My goal is to get 2:10 or lower around Chuck. I can already think of three turns that I can easily shave seconds off of, now its time to do it smoothly! Come play!
  13. AdamZisa

    March 24th AMP

    Hey all! I will be at Arizona Motorsports Park Sunday March 24th. I plan on bringing my CBR and my newly acquired S1000RR! Please come by, say hi, review Twist of the Wrist II with me, plan different attack lines, and mostly have fun with me and my friends! We bring lots of food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So come eat.
  14. AdamZisa

    The unlikely racing machine

    Thats pretty tight! I like that look and the story.
  15. Learning to see point after point after point throughout a turn. Following the turn and reference points with my eyes instead of darting them back and forth, actually looking through the turn and connecting the imaginary dots I have laid out. I use this a lot for driving on highways, the white lines can assist with the imagery here. Before I used to begin to turn, and then have no idea where to go next. This would then allow for more steering inputs. As I have learned and repeated to myself several times: one steering input and ONLY one steering input! As soon as I began having reference points and connecting the dots with my drive through the turn, I stopped feeling lost. I started to see my trajectory. It was like THERES MY WAY OUT, GO GO GO! I love this feeling. Whenever I am riding on a new road, I keep following my trajectory and leave other distractions behind. It shows when I ride as well because people think I actually know where I am going! As of late, I have also been practicing standing on my toes more and keeping my butt off the seat. Not like jockey style, but just hovering above the seat. It sounds silly, but when I coached tennis for high school and privately for wealthier people, I encourage my students to stand on their toes. Stay alert. Hop around. While on the bike, a similar level of alertness and quick response is felt if I hover above the seat while standing more on my toes. I do NOT hop around on my foot pegs! I try to keep all that steady as necessary. Standing on the balls of my feet though has really allowed me to respond quicker, feel more alert, pivot steer, and be ready to fall into the turn WITH the machine rather than place it under me.
  16. I think a real testament to measure our knowledge is: are you able to explain what you are doing to someone else and you also understand what you are saying! If you are able to share the knowledge and teach others. Maybe not the best way to measure improvement on the street, but I see if the people I ride with are able to keep up. Not riding recklessly or feeling out of control. For me it was accelerating through turns. I could not believe how many miles per hour are lost when we are leaned over and keep the throttle in the same position. That small change of rolling on continuously, smoothly, through the remainder of the turn made such a big difference. I also like to notice how much more relaxed I am. I ride and think about any tensing in muscles. I know that I used to constantly feel tense or tight on the bike. The last lengthy ride I went on from Mesa AZ to Payson AZ, I did the whole winding road riding with one hand to prove to myself that counter steering is REAL. It is silly because I know it is!!! But that confidence is there now. Being able to ride and make changes in traffic without putting a leg out is also a major change for me. I have only been riding for 1.5 years and learned so much.
  17. AdamZisa

    Arizona Motorsport Park

    Thank you! Yes I love learning and improving!
  18. This track is extremely flat. There is almost no elevation change. The surface is a bit rough in some spots but this has been helping with reference points. I came out there and the first time I went out and I felt like I was trying, I set a pace of 2:45. The lap record is like a full minute faster than this. After that day, I came back and adjusted the tire pressure, adjusted my turn in points, my steering input, my line, my breathing, and almost my lean angle...got it down to 2:12 and I felt like I was pushing my luck. I decided it was going to be my last session out and I would take it easy. I started breathing more and loosening my grip on the bars. I started braking later and kept in mind smooth releases on the brake lever. Got it down to 2:07!!! I know it is still a slow time at this track, but I am getting very confident with my body positioning, setting lean angle, and knowing when to accelerate. The next few things I am working on are: accelerating earlier when the lean angle is set and not coasting; trusting myself that the bike will make the turn; higher entry speeds; quicker steering responses. As far as body position, the pictures are showing that I am getting comfortable and have everything in the right place including staying loose in my arms and using pivot steering. I know I can get lower! Dani Pedrosa and I are the same height so if he can do it, I can too! RIGHT?!?! Even though I know I do not neeeeed to be on the ground for my current pace, I am working toward it. Thank you for all of your teaching, guidance, and encouragement. I cannot wait to do level 4!
  19. AdamZisa

    Arizona Motorsport Park

    I do not! But I will do my research! Thank you! I would love to have a similar wheel and tire set up to help with my goals.
  20. AdamZisa

    Jan 28th AMP

    Hey all! January 28th there is going to be a track day at Arizona Motorsports Park in Litchfield, AZ. I have been here a couple times now and love learning on it! We will be there again on Sunday January 28th. We always pit with a Red Dodge Ram under the pavillion. Pull in go to your left until you see us. I am on a White CBR1000RR with a giant EQUALS sign on it (for equality). My dad mans the grill and we welcome anyone to hang out with us. Hope to see you there! Look for the short, over zealous guy constantly talking about cornering, counter-steering, and what to try the next session out.
  21. AdamZisa

    Mid-Corner Countersteering

    Sorry for the wayyyy late response. The idea came from seeing riders faster than myself lean through a turn, do a pick up, and go into the next turn. BUT! Then I noticed other riders approach a double apex by leaning through the first turn, and then it appears they never reset like they are doing one continuous arch. After thinking about it, it takes less time and less movement by using the latter option. As you are approaching your next turn point for the double apex, the rider can come off the throttle lean further, and then get back on the throttle again. Or, the rider could attempt to hook turn. I attempted both at Arizona Motorsports park. I was much faster by NOT standing the bike up again for the second apex. It demanded too much attention to stand it back up before leaning again. When I watch riders like Benny Solis at Chuckwalla, the dude is completely leaned over all of the time UNLESS it is a straight. It does not appear that he resets mid turn by standing it up.
  22. AdamZisa

    Mid-Corner Countersteering

    This discussion helped with my visuals. I will be practicing some of these at Chuckwalla this weekend. Thank you! It kept me awake last night if in a double apex, do you stand it up to reset lean angle? I guess you have multiple options. Pausing on the throttle would allow you to slow a bit, or coming off the throttle to add more lean angle, then back on the throttle. Do we need to stand it completely vertical again to reset before the next turn? It seems obvious that the answer would be no (too many forces, suspension getting tossed around, does not look clean). But I would like to know!
  23. AdamZisa

    I heart level 4

    That is incredible. Awesome!!!!
  24. AdamZisa

    Training the cornering weak side

    I am also sharing this same concern! Mine is my right side. I believe it is because I am so used to giving more space on my right side due to driving cars. I have been trying to overcome it by riding my bicycle and forcing myself to mimic the same things I do on my left. Exercises or more information would be a great help though!!! I am going to Level III this weekend. If I can gather any information before this thread gets a response, I will share what I learned. I know when I was learning on the lean bike, I exhibit a weakness in form. On my right handed turns, I do not lock my knee into the tank nor my elbow resting as well on the gas tank. My suggestion would be to look for the easiest solution first. Is it form? Is it the way you are tilting your head and this is messing with your perception of the turn? If you find anything out, please share as well.
  25. Hey! My name is Adam Z. I am looking to get heavily involved in racing....now! I am from Arlington, VA and I am moving to Phoenix, AZ in August. I will be racing at Chuckwalla as soon as I can! I have taken Level I and II at Streets of Willow earlier this year and loved it. Hooked. Cannot get enough! I am taking Level III in September at Streets again. My riding experience is definitely new (only a year old) but I learn fast and listen well. I raced an 1198s and blew it up...it will be rebuilt! Until then, I have an 848 evo for the street, and I am going to buy an S1000rr in December. I came to learn how to ride safer, faster, and better. I do not ride that fast on the street, but if there is a race at the track, I get soooo hype. I love it and I love finding a flow. I am learning a lot and cannot wait to keep learning!!!!! I have a few personal goals for riding and racing, one of them being the IoM TT within the next 4 years. Thank you for allowing me to join and for this community of education. PS- I want to be the fastest of all time ever. Big dreams, big personality, standing at an astounding 5'3".