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Apollo

One Step At A Time

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Just wanted to share my woohoo/a-ha moment from this weekend! A bit long. I still need to actually hook-turn and work on getting my head more down and outboard. But for now, I'm psyched about the progress made.

 

I started doing trackdays again this year, after years away from bikes for grad school and work. This time around, I went with a Ninja 300 instead of another 600. (Side note: it is ridiculous that used 600s are the same price now as they were 6 years ago). The differences in bike design, especially the low footpeg position, have highlighted my issues with body position. I found myself dragging my toes before touching down my knees. The fear of touching down my toes and potentially pegs before getting my knee down was a huge hindrance for me.

 

In August, I repeated level 3 and did level 4 at VIR. I also convinced a friend to join me for his first time on track. Gerry, Ash, Jon, Dylan, and Cobie had to put up with my constant questions about body position for two days. In particular, Jon and Dylan spent a bit of time working with me on my interfacing with the bike. From review with the coaches, I was trying too hard to hang off. This resulted in poor contact with the tank and my rotating around the tank. By hanging off less and not getting rotated around the tank, I could still get my knee to the same position, if not better. Then, I adjusted my inside foot position after talking with Dylan so that my foot is in line with the bike instead of sticking out at a 45 angle. At the time, I felt like my body position was improving, but I still didn't trust my positioning. Cobie also got me to change up my riding fairly significantly with switching to index/middle braking instead of middle/ring, as well as going clutchless. Needless to say, I felt like a duck out of water with all these changes and had some missteps while reaching for the shift after prepositioning. Still, I made huge gains in smoothing out my rider inputs.

 

After CSS, I did two days at Pitt Race where I was able to get more comfortable with prepositioning. The flowing back section of the track also helped build up my confidence, and I was finally able to confidently get my knee down without worrying about my toes!

 

Still, the best was yet to come with this past weekend at NCBike with EvolveGT. The long constant radius turns proved to be the perfect practice grounds for playing with my body position. The prepositioning, the right-hander clutchless downshifts, and the knee position just all clicked. It was two perfect days of riding. The changes to my riding position completely revamped my riding style. I was confident in using my knee as a lean angle gauge, and didn't have to worry at all about dragging my feet or pegs.

 

Separately, I also loved the WVLS level 4 drill, and have left the stars on my helmet for the past 4 trackdays. I don't even think I want to remove them. They're a nice reminder to not get tunnel vision, and have actually helped with looking through the corner instead of focusing on the rider in front.

 

Photo from this weekend to end:

 

DSC_0458resize.jpg

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Cool photo there!. Congrats on the progress. ;) I did Level 1 & 2 in Aug and looking forward to 3 & 4 soon. My BP before CSS wasn't horrible but man it's so true, they helped tweak a few things with my BP that it's made a tremendous positive difference with my riding skills.

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Cool photo there!. Congrats on the progress. ;) I did Level 1 & 2 in Aug and looking forward to 3 & 4 soon. My BP before CSS wasn't horrible but man it's so true, they helped tweak a few things with my BP that it's made a tremendous positive difference with my riding skills.

Noice! You'll love L3 and L4. I felt like L1-L3 were great and really informative, but then L4 took it to a whole new level. It was like moving from high school to college.

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