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L1/2 At Streets Of Willow


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(Double post from introduction section)

 

 

I signed up for L1 on Sat and was on standby for L2 Sunday. After Sat I really wanted Sun to happen. Trevor waited to the last possible minute to put me in. There were a lot of stragglers coming in late. Looking back over the weekend, I would have to say that doing L1 and 2 back to back is the way to go.

The weekend could not have went better for me. My brief bio....40yrs old...rode dirt as a kid through my teens...first street bike in my early 20's for a few years...stopped riding....married/house, etc. Just got back into street riding 2 yrs ago...into track days this past summer. First track VIR north and twice at NJMP Thunderbolt. Problems...Entry speed, lean angle, mid turn adjustments, confidence, etc. Wanted to learn the right way before all these problem turned into bad habits. Perfect timing for CSS.

 

I already knew Cobie and Misti from the forums. Introduced myself to both first thing in the morning. I was fortunate enough to get Cobie as a coach plus he was training a new coach so I really ended up having 2 coaches. We were fortunate to have Keith Code teach all of our class room theory himself. The structure is pretty straight forward: Class room theory, go out and put it to practice on the track with your track coach, and then debrief with your coach after you get off the bike. Then it is back to the class room for the next lesson. Each Level has five lessons and five track sessions. Each session was about 20 minutes. Then you do the ground school (turn bike) while you're waiting to go out.

 

The first thing we worked on was Throttle Control. In the class, Keith explained how the suspension works, why loading the suspension properly is key, and all the ways your throttle hand is going to try and screw all this up. Mid corner throttle application was covered, and before I knew it I was back on the track with my coach with him showing me where to get off the throttle, and more importantly how soon you can get back on it. Cobie pulled me off the track to tell me to stop adjusting lean angle while getting on the gas...unless I wanted to crash. Didn't realize I was doing it. They had us in 4th gear only and no brakes. I was intrigued in this as soon as I heard about this drill weeks ago. It really worked well for me to steadlily increase my entry speeds.

 

Second lesson was turn points. This helped me establish the correct lines which stopped my mid turn correction that Cobie pulled me off for. They use an X on the track. I do track days with Team Promotion. They use small cones on the side of the track for turn and apex points. I favor the cones since you can spot them from far away. 2 gears- no brakes still doing wonders for me.

 

Third lesson was quick turns. Get it turned over fast and ease on the throttle sooner. Worked wonders for my smoothness in the turn. Combined with the next lesson of relaxing and then on to looking ahead by two step turning....and I have the perfect recipe I've been looking for. Every lesson built on the other and blended well. My lap times went down by 20 seconds at the end of the day. Averaged under 2.00 I liked following the exact line of the coach. You can really see what's going right and what still needs some work. The thumbs up from the coach is a great feeling.

 

For Level 2 I had Paul as a coach. The day before I was ease dropping on some of his Level 3 coaching and was pretty impressed by him so I was glad to have him as my coach. At different times the coaches will sit on the side of the track and watch you come through the corner. They see everything from braking, body position, turn point, throttle on, relaxation, looking through corner then they follow without you knowing they're there. Everything gets critiqued which is exactly what I wanted. Paul gave me great feedback and the level 2 lessons were all about the visual aspects of riding. This combined with everything from L1 dropped my lap times another 10 seconds. I was averaging upper 1.40's by the end of the day which I was really happy with. Felt fast to me but still completely controllable. Basically, I moved my comfort zone to a whole new level. Would have been faster if it wasn't for traffic. I could tell the guys out with me weren't used to getting passed by how erratic they got as you went by, so I tried not to pass too much. The one thing I will say about passing is that the only rules they have are to keep a 6 foot distance. I saw some dangerous passes just because people didn't know any better. I would think everyone would benefit from a no inside passing rule from the turn point to the apex.

 

I'm flying back to PA this weekend and doing a track day Monday 10/20 at NJMP Thunderbolt. I'm really looking forward to using all this new found knowledge on another track that I know fairly well. Just need to remember to keep myself grounded and centered with all this and not do anything stupid. We all know what over confidence can do in this sport.

 

My thanks to Cobie and everyone at CSS. Well run operation by a lot of people who clearly love what they do! Looking forward to the 09 schedule for L3 & 4

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I hit NJMP Thunderbolt with Team Promotion today and got bumped up to intermediate before lunch without asking to be evaluated. Coach came after me in the pit and said lets go back out in the intermediate group. I followed, then led for a few laps. I'm in! Thanks CSS!

 

Everything I learned last week is now coming naturally. Hitting the track again in 2 weeks. Loving every minute of it!

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I hit NJMP Thunderbolt with Team Promotion today and got bumped up to intermediate before lunch without asking to be evaluated. Coach came after me in the pit and said lets go back out in the intermediate group. I followed, then led for a few laps. I'm in! Thanks CSS!

 

Everything I learned last week is now coming naturally. Hitting the track again in 2 weeks. Loving every minute of it!

 

BPEZ,

 

Nice, just what we like to hear!

 

CF

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`Thank's for the GREAT write up about the school. I am a fellow Pa. rider ( Steeler Country ) and looking forward to doing L 1/2 at VIR in the spring. What did you think about the track in NJ ? I have a bunch of family out that way a may be looking to do L 3 out there, most likely at Mid-Ohio though.

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`Thank's for the GREAT write up about the school. I am a fellow Pa. rider ( Steeler Country ) and looking forward to doing L 1/2 at VIR in the spring. What did you think about the track in NJ ? I have a bunch of family out that way a may be looking to do L 3 out there, most likely at Mid-Ohio though.

 

I did my 1st track day this past June at VIR North. Absolutely love that track. L1/2 would be great there. If you have a chance to get to NJMP, do it. Try to catch a weekend where you can get on both Thunderbolt and Lightning. I've only been on Thunderbolt (3x). They say Lightning is faster, but I prefer technical. Thunderbolt has both. (fast & technical)

If you do make it out here, let me know. You can pit with us. We usually have 6-8 guys in our group. We might even hit Beaver Run next year...

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Congrats BPEZ on your success. I am also with TPM. I look forward to my L1-L2 schools and my red sticker. Reading your story has fueled my desire.

 

JB,

 

For sure you have to come say hello to me when you get to the the school!

 

CF

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`Thank's for the GREAT write up about the school. I am a fellow Pa. rider ( Steeler Country ) and looking forward to doing L 1/2 at VIR in the spring. What did you think about the track in NJ ? I have a bunch of family out that way a may be looking to do L 3 out there, most likely at Mid-Ohio though.

 

I did my 1st track day this past June at VIR North. Absolutely love that track. L1/2 would be great there. If you have a chance to get to NJMP, do it. Try to catch a weekend where you can get on both Thunderbolt and Lightning. I've only been on Thunderbolt (3x). They say Lightning is faster, but I prefer technical. Thunderbolt has both. (fast & technical)

If you do make it out here, let me know. You can pit with us. We usually have 6-8 guys in our group. We might even hit Beaver next year...

 

Thank's for the heads up on VIR and NJMP ( thank's for the invite ) Beaver Run is about 1/2 hour from me. If you make it out this way drop me a line, the orig. Steak and Lube isn't all that far from the track, it's a fun place to see and EAT as well.

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Congrats BPEZ on your success. I am also with TPM. I look forward to my L1-L2 schools and my red sticker. Reading your story has fueled my desire.

The school took me to another level. I had to get over my SR (survival reactions) and trust the bike. Cobie pulled me off the track in the first 5 minutes of the 1st drill. That was my wake up call that told me I didn't know what the hell I was doing out there even though I thought I did already. I knew with all the experience Cobie had along with his title (Chief Riding Coach Worldwide) combined with Keith teaching the classroom theory side I had everything I needed handed to me on a platter so to speak. So soak everything in and follow the drills. They're all there for good reason. I'm still having trouble with the very last drill (pick-up), but I'll get there. I still have a long way to go. Sucks that the season is coming to an end in the northeast. Looking forward to the CSS 09 schedule. Definitely doing L3/4.

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Your write up was awesome. Sounds like you had darn near the perfect CSS experience. Makes me want to go that much more.

 

Hey Hubbard,

 

I was looking at your profile (on your posts) and says Chandler, AZ--is that where you are now?

 

CF

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Your write up was awesome. Sounds like you had darn near the perfect CSS experience. Makes me want to go that much more.

 

Hey Hubbard,

 

I was looking at your profile (on your posts) and says Chandler, AZ--is that where you are now?

 

CF

 

Yes. They had a riding school here, but I wasn't interested in taking it just by the small improvement I saw in the students. I haven't heard anything about it in over 6 months. I was hoping for the two day this spring, but am now shooting for fall.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did another track day at NJMP Thunderbolt this past Monday. They ran red (intermediate) and blue (advanced) combined. There were only 11 people in our group. It was great for me to have the blue group to follow. I didn't have a timer, but I felt a lot faster. Coaches pretty much told me to keep doing what I'm doing. Nothing stood out as a problem to them. Out of the 11, I was probably 8th on speed. Not bad seeing that I was in the white (beginner) group last month.

The end of the day we had over 25 in the group. All the coaches came out. They were all killing it out there since it was the last track day of the season for most of them. Great experience overall for me.

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Did another track day at NJMP Thunderbolt this past Monday. They ran red (intermediate) and blue (advanced) combined. There were only 11 people in our group. It was great for me to have the blue group to follow. I didn't have a timer, but I felt a lot faster. Coaches pretty much told me to keep doing what I'm doing. Nothing stood out as a problem to them. Out of the 11, I was probably 8th on speed. Not bad seeing that I was in the white (beginner) group last month.

The end of the day we had over 25 in the group. All the coaches came out. They were all killing it out there since it was the last track day of the season for most of them. Great expeience overall for me.

 

Hi Bpez,

 

What was the track day provider?

 

CF

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Did another track day at NJMP Thunderbolt this past Monday. They ran red (intermediate) and blue (advanced) combined. There were only 11 people in our group. It was great for me to have the blue group to follow. I didn't have a timer, but I felt a lot faster. Coaches pretty much told me to keep doing what I'm doing. Nothing stood out as a problem to them. Out of the 11, I was probably 8th on speed. Not bad seeing that I was in the white (beginner) group last month.

The end of the day we had over 25 in the group. All the coaches came out. They were all killing it out there since it was the last track day of the season for most of them. Great expeience overall for me.

 

Hi Bpez,

 

What was the track day provider?

 

CF

 

I ride with http://www.teampromotion.com/tpm.php Haven't tried any other groups yet.

They ran a car group that day also. A lot of guys don't like the car/bike days so the number of bikes was low and they combined red and blue. The cars pay twice as much and with this economy you see why they'd run cars and bikes on certain days.

As far as the coaching went, I didn't ask for any help. I just asked afterwards when we were BS'ing about the day. The feedback is usually pretty good when you ask for help on the track.

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A couple of the coaches from teampromotion are customers of mine. They seem like good guys who know their stuff.

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