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Njmp 7/26/09


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Guys,

 

I was back out on Thunderbolt last Sunday. This was my first track day since having competed the 2 day CSS program last May. I have to say, it was very frustrating trying to remember everything I learned at CSS! I defininitely was faster and more comfortable than any of my pre-CSS track days, but it wasn't the same as having a CSS coach right on your tail all day.

 

This was also my first track day with my new, (at least, "new,' for me,), R6 track bike that I bought immediately after doing CSS in May. While I don't like the R6 as much as K. Code's ZX6Rs, the bike performed flawlessly and I warmed up to it quickly. I also was lucky to run into Jody, (whom I had met at CSS in May), who had come down the night before. He had rented a room and paddock, and he insisted on sharing his paddock with me. It sure was nice to have a place to get out of the heat during the day and a place to take a quick shower during lunch. (Thanks Jody, you're the man!)

 

Based on my having completed the 2 day CSS course, Absolute Cycle put me in Group 3 even though I initially asked to be in Group 2. I was definately in the bottom half of Group 3, speed-wise, so I concentrated on following faster riders and and tried to keep up. But by lunch I was exhausted with the pace and asked to be moved down to Group 2.

 

Afternoon sessions were much better. Morning sessions were quite crowded with 40+ riders in each group. But between crashes, (which were quite frequent, 3 or 4 an hour, all morning!), and attrition due to the heat, (it was in the mid 90ties with high humidity!), afternoon sessions were much less crowded. Additionally, I was one of the faster riders in group 2, so I got some practice passing, which I definitely wasn't getting in the morning sessions with group 3, where I was struggling to keep up.

 

Afterwards, a couple of people mentioned to me that I should have stayed in Group 3, 'cause the only way to get better, (short of going to CSS, of course!), is to push yourself by trying to keep pace with faster riders. There's a certain logic to that, but I don't know,...thoughts/opinions?

 

One thing for sure, I'm looking forward to returning to NJMP for the CSS 2 day school in two weeks!

 

Elton

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Guys,

 

I was back out on Thunderbolt last Sunday. This was my first track day since having competed the 2 day CSS program last May. I have to say, it was very frustrating trying to remember everything I learned at CSS! I defininitely was faster and more comfortable than any of my pre-CSS track days, but it wasn't the same as having a CSS coach right on your tail all day.

 

This was also my first track day with my new, (at least, "new,' for me,), R6 track bike that I bought immediately after doing CSS in May. While I don't like the R6 as much as K. Code's ZX6Rs, the bike performed flawlessly and I warmed up to it quickly. I also was lucky to run into Jody, (whom I had met at CSS in May), who had come down the night before. He had rented a room and paddock, and he insisted on sharing his paddock with me. It sure was nice to have a place to get out of the heat during the day and a place to take a quick shower during lunch. (Thanks Jody, you're the man!)

 

Based on my having completed the 2 day CSS course, Absolute Cycle put me in Group 3 even though I initially asked to be in Group 2. I was definately in the bottom half of Group 3, speed-wise, so I concentrated on following faster riders and and tried to keep up. But by lunch I was exhausted with the pace and asked to moved down to Group 2.

 

Afternoon sessions were much better. Morning sessions were quite crowded with 40+ riders in each group. But between crashes, (which were quite frequent, 3 or 4 an hour, all morning!), and attrition due to the heat, (it was in the mid 90ties with high humidity!), afternoon sessions were much less crowded. Additionally, I was one of the faster riders in group 2, so I got some practice passing, which I definitely wasn't getting in the morning sessions with group 3, where I was struggling to keep up.

 

Afterwards, a couple of people mentioned to me that I should have stayed in Group 3, 'cause the only way to get better, (short of going to CSS, of course!), is to push yourself by trying to keep pace with faster riders. There's a certain logic to that, but I don't know,...thoughts/opinions?

 

One thing for sure, I'm looking forward to returning to NJMP for the CSS 2 day school in two weeks!

 

Elton

 

Personally, I think this choice should depend on your goals for that day. If you want to work on your riding skills, you probably want to stay in group 2 where you can slow down a little and practice - if you are struggling to keep up, it's a big distraction, and can affect your concentration and the value of your practice time. However, if your goal is to improve your laptimes, find better lines, or find out what parts of the track present opportunities for improvement, you might go to Level 3 and see where/how you are getting passed, or try to tag along with some quicker riders to find new ways to approach corners. You can also observe where the faster riders are faster than you - which corners, and is it entry speed, mid-corner, or exit drive?

 

For me I make better improvements in a group that fits my skill level (i.e., not blowing past me!), however if I get a bit 'stuck' and I'm not really getting any gains, a swim in the deep end of the pool can provide considerable motivation.

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I think Hotffot makes a good point and you can't go wrong with her advice. I have noticed riders that try to improve in the group they feel comfortable in and begin to get stuck. Most of these riders forget some of the most basic tenants of CSS and fall into a pattern that I call "follow the leader". It is not unnatural to be behind a rider and memic their response to an entry, exit, or line. The lessons you learn in CSS are to use the visual cues to find your own place on the track, your own reference points, your own braking points. You should never focus on the rider in front of you but the area around the rider in front of you.

Run your pace not someone elses.

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Spot on! E, you are always welcome to pit with me. Really enjoyed your company and seeing friends from the May school. I have a few more track days on you so the experience that I gained during was invaluable. I hated leaving CSS and getting blown away by riders in the I groups in early June. It was frustrating and I didn't feel safe, as if I were holding up a pack of riders. Worried that I was in the way, I spent more time consumed with those around me rather than my line and level 1 skills. I moved down to B group and like you, enjoyed the experience much more. Yes, there will be more crashes but this tantamount to young riders who think that street riding translates to track time. I observed the rules for passing and am happy that I escaped 'down time'.

 

Plus, you were dragging you knee on the first day on your new bike. I wish I could say the same! I am in no position to give advice but after my 3rd or 4th track day I was ready for the 3rd group. You'll probably be ahead of me on that curve.

 

Looking forward to seeing you during Level 3. Let's get an cold one soon thereafter. Ride Safe, Jody

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