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One Guy's Account Of Level 1 @ Streets Of Willow (3/28/09)


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A little back ground on myself. Have been riding since Summer of 05. Decided to finally get some instruction after 2 trackday lowsides and the realization that I didn't really know what I was doing out there. I could turn a fairly decent lap time, but there was no consistency in my laps. Had previously owned two 600's and now being on a liter bike, I wanted to correct some bad habits.

 

 

 

 

 

So somehow I lucked out and Cobie was my on-track instructor. He was working with 2 other students in Level 4 so I was also fortunate to be able to listen in on their coaching. I couldn't have been any luckier without winning the lotto that day. Maybe i should have played? Hahaha.

 

 

 

First off, and I can't stress this enough, it is NOT a trackday. It’s not called California Superbike TRACKDAYS for a reason. If you go to the school fully aware that it is a SCHOOL and NOT A TRACKDAY then you will get A LOT out of it. It is NOT an environment where you’re just gonna run hot laps all day and get instruction on all facets of your riding. There is a strict curriculum they follow all day focused on specific aspects of your riding.

 

 

 

Check your ego at the door and be open to learning what they are trying to teach you. Once I did that, the theories started making crystal clear sense and I started to enjoy myself. The steering drill I worked on with Coach Martel was particularly humbling and at the same time probably one of the more eye-opening drills I did that day. The school isn’t trying to teach you the fastest way around Streets of Willow (or whatever track you attend) They are trying to teach you a skill set that you can apply to ANY turn at ANYWHERE (track OR street).

 

 

 

I didn’t run one clean lap without traffic and rode about 7/10ths all day but still had a TON of fun and got some good feedback from Cobie. I liked that he didn't spoon feed me answers, but led me to the answering most of the questions myself. Of course, he will still correct you as needed but the "guided discovery" really helps you understand the principles the school is trying to teach.

 

 

 

 

 

Will I lap Streets of Willow faster than I ever have immediately? Probably not. But I’ll definitely feel less “busy” on the bike and ride more efficiently so that if/when I am dipping back into 26’s and 27’s again I won’t feel like I’m riding over my head.

 

 

 

Thank you Cobie and rest of The California Superbike Staff. I’ll definitely go back for Level 2. Just not sure when. Maybe June?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until then,

 

Ron Blakely.

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Ron;

That's a really impressive write up of your Level I experience at the Streets of Willow Springs; you also clearly articulated that the School's approach is a structured teaching laboratory which can be lost on some people.

 

Your summary provided a real service to others contemplating attending because you offered an objective critique of your experiences coupled with specific examples for anyone to decide if attending makes sense for them as well. Your observations also mirror what many of us have experienced but you framed it with your own ego check very effectively.

 

I hope you are able to follow through with the other Levels because you will be amazed at what is to follow and how all of the pieces of each Level flow into each other.

 

Thanks for sharing your day and please keep active here; together all of us make this Forum a great continuation of our Superbike School experience.

 

Kevin

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A little back ground on myself. Have been riding since Summer of 05. Decided to finally get some instruction after 2 trackday lowsides and the realization that I didn't really know what I was doing out there. I could turn a fairly decent lap time, but there was no consistency in my laps. Had previously owned two 600's and now being on a liter bike, I wanted to correct some bad habits.

 

 

 

 

 

So somehow I lucked out and Cobie was my on-track instructor. He was working with 2 other students in Level 4 so I was also fortunate to be able to listen in on their coaching. I couldn't have been any luckier without winning the lotto that day. Maybe i should have played? Hahaha.

 

 

 

First off, and I can't stress this enough, it is NOT a trackday. It's not called California Superbike TRACKDAYS for a reason. If you go to the school fully aware that it is a SCHOOL and NOT A TRACKDAY then you will get A LOT out of it. It is NOT an environment where you're just gonna run hot laps all day and get instruction on all facets of your riding. There is a strict curriculum they follow all day focused on specific aspects of your riding.

 

 

 

Check your ego at the door and be open to learning what they are trying to teach you. Once I did that, the theories started making crystal clear sense and I started to enjoy myself. The steering drill I worked on with Coach Martel was particularly humbling and at the same time probably one of the more eye-opening drills I did that day. The school isn't trying to teach you the fastest way around Streets of Willow (or whatever track you attend) They are trying to teach you a skill set that you can apply to ANY turn at ANYWHERE (track OR street).

 

 

 

I didn't run one clean lap without traffic and rode about 7/10ths all day but still had a TON of fun and got some good feedback from Cobie. I liked that he didn't spoon feed me answers, but led me to the answering most of the questions myself. Of course, he will still correct you as needed but the "guided discovery" really helps you understand the principles the school is trying to teach.

 

 

 

 

 

Will I lap Streets of Willow faster than I ever have immediately? Probably not. But I'll definitely feel less "busy" on the bike and ride more efficiently so that if/when I am dipping back into 26's and 27's again I won't feel like I'm riding over my head.

 

 

 

Thank you Cobie and rest of The California Superbike Staff. I'll definitely go back for Level 2. Just not sure when. Maybe June?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until then,

 

Ron Blakely.

Ron,

 

I appreaciate you taking the time to share your experience.

 

I'll be doing level 1 at Laguna Seca in two weeks, and I'm wondering just what to expect.

 

You've painted a mental picture that relieves some of my anxiety. Thanks. ;)

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