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About shalihe74

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    Cornering Apprentice

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
  1. Absolutely agreed. Anytime I head out with the 'I'm just going to take it easy this session' mindset, I end up doing infinitely better than the sessions where I go out feeling I've got something to prove. Hmmm... may be a lesson there... As promised, photos from Sunday. Some "good" (for me), some uuuuugly: The rest of the pics
  2. Ummmm... *counts on fingers* 12-13 years? First time ever on a bike was 1996, riding behind my then-bf on his Honda Shadow and having the p*ss scared out of me. Next bf wanted me to ride with him on his 96 CBR600F3; I told him there wasn't a chance in this lifetime I'd be fluff, but he could teach me to ride it myself. Spent the next 10-11 years riding all the different I4s (poorly), then got my 675, FINALLY took an MSF class to get legal and, through the nefarious influence of the other instructors at the riding school, got sucked into the addiction that is trackdays last December. I'm on track (pun only slightly intended) to complete at least 11 trackdays this year... maybe as many as 13. So... been on a bike for 12 years, but only started really riding 10.5 months ago.
  3. I guess you could say I'm mildly satisfied, yes. I know the feeling you're talking about: I teach the MSF here, and it is just awesome when the light clicks on and a student 'gets it'. It's been a while since I had such an Ah-ha!! myself (probably when I realized that looking ahead really does matter), and this most recent one is 100% attributable to you guys as CSS. Thanks! Looking forward to many many more. I actually think the hand contributed to my having such a good day - because I had an 'excuse' to be slow (not that I was inclined to use it!), it allowed me to focus on the actual exercises and not give in to the urge to 'go fast'. There were a couple guys in my group that mentioned they caught themselves just zooming around the track. I certainly didn't have that problem. I will definitely track you down when I come out for Level 2. Hopefully February/March. I don't have any pics from this Sunday, yet. It takes the fellow a few days to post 'em up; when they're available, though, I'll share them. But here are a couple from Spring Mountain (Pahrump, NV) in September (so pre-CSS):
  4. Hey folks, I just did my first real trackday since completing Level 1 3 weeks ago. I say 'real' trackday because this was the first one I've done since breaking my right hand 6 weeks ago where the hand wasn't hindering me. I did a day at Big Willow right after Level 1, but with a sore and swollen throttle paw (not to mention sore quads from riding Streets the day before!), I was definitely not riding at my best. So.... yesterday was at Firebird Main here in Phoenix. Not exactly the most compelling track out there: a 180-left coming out of pit that opens onto a long straight, followed by two fast lefts (turns 1 & 2), a tight left, a tight right, a fast right and left, and then 4 esses that get progressively tighter. Pretty good, actually, for what I needed: a place to practice turning quickly. I hadn't ridden the track before, so I got lots of practice figuring out my turn points, too. From the very first tip in, I knew it was going to be a good day. After I got a feel for and relaxed into the track, it just got better. There were a number of times where I found that I had done my steering input just right and had the bike set for the corner, which was a way cool feeling. Probably the neatest thing about those corners was when I realized that, having the bike set properly, I was basically done with that turn - no corrections needed, just roll on and prep for the next one. When I hit the first turn just right, the rest of them typically went exceptionally smoothly, too. Nice! An unexpected side-effect of it all was a lot more confidence in the corners in two regards. First, it used to be that I'd get passed and be 'whatever, I'm riding my own ride.' This time out, I got passed... and kept up. And, I was passing others like a fiend. I typically don't trust folks to hold their lines (and I did have a few close calls where I was passing on the inside and a guy tightened up his turn almost into me ), but knowing that I could execute the turn gave me the gumption to blow by folks left and right. Particularly in the 2 fast lefts off the of the straight. One of the most satisfying parts of the day was being passed in the straight by the bigger bikes, only to launch past them on the turns. The best part of the day, though, was going head-to-head with another, newer 675 for several laps - he'd get me on the straights, but my corner entry speed was faster, so I'd take him in the twisties. Sweet. I can't wait to get the pictures back, either since I feel like I did a lot better with getting my upper body off the tank and not just my tookus. We'll see what the photos say about that, though... Sorry for the long note - I'm obviously still excited and can't wait to get home from work tonight and re-read through TotW 1 & 2 and apply the books to yesterday's trackday. And I'm just amazed at how much better I feel on the bike - and I really do attribute it to the school. Now I'm even more excited to get back for Level 2! Woooohooo! Man I love motorcycles & trackdays! -Shauna
  5. At a recent school, I took some foam and some scissors, and a number of my students adjusted their helmets--mostly to get a better fit so they could see out the top though. CF I really like that idea! I may have to play around with it to see if I can't get the AGVs to sit a little better. A little extra thickness at the top would certainly prevent the lid from 'dipping' down, as it were. They're good as-is for the street, but it'd be nice to have them as backups for the track, too. And if the Shoeis break-in more than I'm expecting them to do, I'll definitely be having craft time. Any particular type of foam that you used?
  6. Yep! I have a couple of AGV XR-2s that I loved for riding on the street, but the first time I took 'em to the track, I had problems with them dropping forward/down just a bit as I tried to turn my head. Not a huge problem, but an annoyance. I tried a Shoei TZR that worked better, but it got smushed in my off in September, so now I have two Shoei RF-1ks for the track. So far I'm quite happy with them fit-wise.
  7. Finally got to ride my Sprint in to work yesterday and was practicing quick turning (both in corners, and during lane changes), hard braking (when possible) & body position during the cruise. First turn was a little pucker-inducing, since I'm used to my track bikes which have the suspension dialed in for me. The Sprint's suspension is waaaay soft, so I went into a turn at a would-have-been-comfy-on-a-track-bike speed and had the joy of pogoing along for a while. Funny thing I noticed: I have absolutely no problem getting my torso off the bike, head over by the mirror, on the Sprint but when I hop on the 'tona or the SV, I have a ~20% chance of getting it right and ~80% chance of just being crossed up. Something to practice practice practice.
  8. Like others, I practice looking through corners while driving. Scares the tar out of passengers, sometimes, as they fixate. Also constantly practice looking ahead and reading the pavement ahead of me, as well as the environment around me. I fell asleep last night visualizing a couple of tracks I've ridden recently, running through how I rode them, and trying to figure out what I could do differently/better next time I'm there.
  9. Thanks for the welcome. Yep, I was at Streets on 10/11. If you saw a purple/silver 'tona, it was definitely me - pretty sure my scoot is unique! Can't wait to get back to Streets again. It's funny: I tease my Cali friends (who mostly ride Big Track and were complaining, after Buttonwillow & Spring Mountain, about how their legs were hurting) that they need to come out to Phoenix & ride some short, technical tracks to get in shape. But Streets (particularly turns 4 - 6) kicked my arse... I could barely walk on Tuesday! I guess I need to get in shape, too... yeesh!
  10. Hey Jason, I thought I recognized your SN, but didn't know from where. Have fun up in Vegas - I have a friend/coworker (Kyle Klein, you may know him - he raced CCS & was a control rider for Ted) who did the 2-day camp and loved it. I'll be riding Main for the first time - working on what I learned last weekend. I'm actually scheduled to teach the MSF on 11/22, but I'm going to try and get out of it. If I can, I'll def. be at East. The woman on the yellow/black bike isn't me, but she is a good friend. She, her boyfriend, and I typically pit together. At the moment, I'm running in Supersquid. I was planning on bumping up to Intermediate at West on 9/20, but I went down in turn 1 (or 5, depending on how you count them... the left hander after the straight). I broke my right hand in the crash, which slowed me down, so I just hung out in 'squid for the rest of the day. Main'll be my first serious trackday (not counting the day at CSS or my day at Big Willow) since I busted my throttle paw. We'll see how it goes... My trailer will hold 3 bikes but, unfortunately, my lil girly truck can only pull it long distances with one scoot. (I can do 2 to FIR, but I'm pretty sure the drives to NV, CA or NM would blow my 4 cylinders.) If you have access to a bigger truck, though... we're golden. I'm certainly up for more schoolin', or traveling track days. Don't know how often you ride tracks other than FIR, but... there are some great options in the vicinity if you're willing to drive a few hours. I've done Buttonwillow, Streets of Willow, Willow Springs/Big Willow and Spring Mountain (Pahrump, NV) in the past few months, and they're awesome!! -Shauna
  11. It's quite possible you did. With all the students you deal with, I doubt you'd remember, but I was the chick on the silver & purple Daytona. And yeah - 2 track bikes. That way I never have an excuse for missing a track day, even if one is down for maintenance or, like the poor SV, being repaired after an off.
  12. Hey, y'all, another newbie lass chiming in from Phoenix, Arizona. I've been riding (poorly) for quite a while, teach the MSF BRC, and did my first track day last December. The track bug bit hard and since December, I've bought a dedicated track bike (99 zuki SV650), converted my canyon carver (06 Triumph Daytona 675) into a 2nd dedicated track bike, logged 8 days in 3 states, and completed - just this past weekend on 10/11 - Level I. I'm looking forward to getting out on the track again (11/1) to work on my weak spots: turn points and turning quickly. In addition to the 2 track bikes, I also have an 09 Triumph Sprint ST that I use as a commuter. Thanks to everyone with whom I interacted this past weekend - Lonnie, Keith, and the fellow running the off-track steering drill (whose name, I am so sorry to say, I don't recall ), in particular - for the great instruction. Very much looking forward to making the drive back out there to do Level II in Spring, becoming a better rider and, hopefully, getting fast enough to race with the boys! Cheers, -Shauna
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