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Level 1 - Silverstone Stowe, My First Css School Day Part Ii

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Good Day All,

 

Where to start??? I posted previously under "Level 1 - Silverstone Stowe, My first CSS school day", and now I have completed Level I, I have to let you know how it went for me... For those associated with the school, I was on Hire-bike, Green 32, half chinese guy with a goatee, and talk with a Caribbean accent.

 

In one word... Extraordinary!!!

 

When I arrived at Silverstone I was sent here and there to get the correct stickers so I would be allowed into the circuit where the school is... I met Bullet (instructor), who was a very nice guy, and told me that he was my instructor for the day... GREAT!!! I knew his name from the forums so he already seemed familiar to me, but the way he spoke with me made me feel like he knew ME from before too, which he did not...

 

So I pull up and enter the main area, and all the staff as well as students were easy to talk to, and made me feel very welcome. Spoke with Andy Ibbot and again, seemed like talking to a mate that I had not seen in 2 days... Made me feel right at home and very comfortable, even though it was the first time I ever spoke with him, ever.

 

I was pretty nervous to be honest... Riding a different bike (school's R6) from what I am accustomed to (CBR600F), but the bike was great and confidence inspiring!!! And tyres were always warm as it was delivered to me by the other student coming off hot laps... One less thing to think about!!!

 

Class sessions were direct and to the point, while giving the students time to think about the problems to be addressed, before giving us the answers to what and why we need to do certain things on the bike... In order to perform my job as a rider.

 

All classroom sessions were masterfully presented by Glen, and then we were given the opportunity to have a go at applying them on track.

 

For one reason or another, Bullet was not able to be my instructor for the day and Paul (Holywood) took over for him for me. Get Well Soon, Bullet!!!

 

First session out, I was just pootling around (no brakes), and trying to push harder and harder without overstepping my abilities, but really trying to apply the drills... I was getting comfy and a bit faster with more confidence than ever before, and then I see Hollywood pull up alongside me (THERE?!?! How'd you end up alongside me THERE?!?!?! {Because they ride really well and really quickly when they need to catch up to their students}) And he signals me in to go into the pits... So there I am thinking, Oh Boy!!! Gonna get a talking to aren't I??? I wonder why??? I went with an open mind into the pits, just as I see the Checkered flag for that session come out... OK only one lap lost then... I pull up with Hollywood, and I am ready to take in whatever he tells me in a constructive manner, and he tells me that I was doing really well. So of course, I ask, BUT?!?!?! He says, but nothing, you are doing great!!! Now I know I had a few problems in a few corners, on only a few laps, but hearing this made my day!!! Ok so I am not looking like a Squid, nor a hooligan nor am I looking like a try-hard... good start!!! Throughout the day I was told that I had good accuracy for my turn points and good consistency for hitting them and was nice and smooth coming out of the corners...

 

And so the day went times 5... 5 classroom sessions, 5 drills to do on track. I really tried to concentrate on the drills one by one, so I could see what works and what does not... Before sending you on track you are asked, what is the drill?? What is the format for the drill?? Every time. It was good to see that care was taken to ensure that everyone knew the drills to be worked on, for the benefit of the student as well as safety of all other students... Mostly I would be riding my own ride, and waiting a few corners behind other riders before I decide to overtake, then I would sense someone next to me, and I would see Hollywood give me a thumbs up and then tear off ahead to catch up to other riders that were under his care... Alot of thumbs ups made my day too, as I was not pulled into the pits anymore... and I just kept doing what I was doing, and trying to go just a bit quicker each session... (You have to push yourself, before even reaching close to pushing the bike...)

 

The biggest criticism I received from the instructor was that of body position being a bit crossed up... Well seeing that that was the first time I ever experimented with body position, even though that was not part of my drills, I was well happy with that, as it meant that my actual drills that I was working on were being handled pretty well... Throttle, Turn Points, Quick Steering, Rider Input and 2-Step... I worked on the body position as an aside to my drills, and it just felt better and better!!!

 

I was so focussed on each drill, that I was not using 2-step though I try to on the roads... Hollywood asked me what problem corners I had and I said that from turn one into two, I was never in the right place for turn 2 as I took turn one too sharply (as I was experimenting with quick turning and getting as much lean as I dared (personal exercise, not endorsed by the school)). Well, by the last session, the 2-step drill just put everything into place, and I took turn 1 and 2 as basically one corner because I was finally seeing all that I needed to in order to take it all in rythym... My last session was done with all smiles behind my visor, and it made my riding smooth and easy!!!

 

At the end of the day, I wished that I had signed up for Level 2 the next day, but I know that I would be exhausted as I was really putting effort into pushing my own personal boundaries so that I could improve my foundation exercises...

 

Now I can't wait to see the pictures, so I can see what I was looking like out there... And so the quest for better cornering skills continues!!! I will post up some pics when I get them so you can see me in action...

 

So to anyone who has the intention of riding a bike quickly and safely and understanding your job as the rider of a motorcycle, I fully and whole-heartedly recommend the California Superbike School. Second to none, it WILL make you a more confident rider!!! And with confidence, comes great things, like speed, and most importantly, FUN!!!

 

I will definitely be back for the remaining levels, and I will be working on my Level One drills every day, every ride. They make THAT much of a difference to your riding... This said after reading TOTW 1 & 2 MANY times, as well as Soft Science... It just makes so much difference having someone work with you directly.

 

Thank You to all staff at SSL that made my day an unforgetable one. You know who you are. ( I will not mention names as I cannot remember them ALL and they ALL deserve the praise and thanks!!!)

 

JasonK.

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Hey Man,

 

Was really good to meet you ma, even if it did turn out to be a little brief. :( Am glad you still had an amazing day,and that we were really able to help improve your skills and confidence. It was our pleasure,. we really love helping out students, and you being so pleased makes for happy coaches.

 

As for me, broken collarbone isn't too good, could well have done without, but I'll live. I'll be back and fighting fit again 2010, and I'll hope to see you again then my friend.

 

Bullet

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Thanks Bullet,

 

Next school I attend we'll see if you can make up for it by instructing me for the day... I would enjoy that.

 

OK so I forgot to put my question, seeing as this is a School Question section...

 

For a quick turn, is it fair to say that on a good traction surface, with warmed tyres, off throttle, approaching a corner, that I can steer the bike as hard as I dare without concern for losing the front?? Is this then dependent on getting back on the gas to stabilise the bike?? I know that I would want to get back on the gas as soon as, but for the actual quick turn, is there a limit as to how hard you can steer the bike???

 

I feel as though this may be true to some extent but I have not been able to experiment with it too much... In the drills at school, I turned as hard as I felt necessary, but I know I can put alot more bar pressure than I have so far...

 

Also, for the last turn in Stowe before the straight, at times my apex was wrong and my projected line in my head was taking me beyond the white line. I ended up having to delay my roll-on a bit until I was sure that I was not going to go wide. Instead of delaying the roll-on (roll-on, freeze, continue roll-on) would it be a better plan to get on the gas more??? Would I also need small steering adjustments too, or would more gas alone tighten my line???

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Hey Man,

 

Was really good to meet you ma, even if it did turn out to be a little brief. :( Am glad you still had an amazing day,and that we were really able to help improve your skills and confidence. It was our pleasure,. we really love helping out students, and you being so pleased makes for happy coaches.

 

As for me, broken collarbone isn't too good, could well have done without, but I'll live. I'll be back and fighting fit again 2010, and I'll hope to see you again then my friend.

 

Bullet

 

HI Bullet,

How you doing mate? What happened?

Broken collarbone is not so good, hope you get well soon mate!

 

Bobby

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Hey Man,

 

Was really good to meet you ma, even if it did turn out to be a little brief. :( Am glad you still had an amazing day,and that we were really able to help improve your skills and confidence. It was our pleasure,. we really love helping out students, and you being so pleased makes for happy coaches.

 

As for me, broken collarbone isn't too good, could well have done without, but I'll live. I'll be back and fighting fit again 2010, and I'll hope to see you again then my friend.

 

Bullet

 

HI Bullet,

How you doing mate? What happened?

Broken collarbone is not so good, hope you get well soon mate!

 

Bobby

 

Hi mate,

 

I'm ok, very sore. What happened, a student veered across the track from one side to the other (he ran very wide and got fixated on the grass), once he composed himself, he veered back from the outside, straight back onto the racing line. Unfortunately, I was there, and despite efforts to give him more room, rolling out of the throttle, and a last minute dab of the brakes, his tail unit clipped my front brake and I was down. He fortunately didn't fall, which was great really, but I've got the resulting injuries that will curtail my season now. It wasn't done on purpose, it was just an accident.

 

OK, now to answer your questions CBRKid. Can you turn a bike too quickly, I'm not aware that you can, though you can turn too much, i.e. you push the bars too far. Whilst we want to turn the bike as quickly as we can, we don't want to be so agressive as we create instability.

 

With respect to the last corner at Stowe, well, what is that defines our lines? Whats the trottle rule? Finally, how many times should we turn the bike in a turn?

 

Have a pop at those questions, and lets see if we can get that a little clearer for you my friend.

 

Bobby, cheers for your concern man, most appreciated. I'll be reet!

 

Bullet

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With respect to the last corner at Stowe, well, what is that defines our lines? Whats the trottle rule? Finally, how many times should we turn the bike in a turn?

 

Have a pop at those questions, and lets see if we can get that a little clearer for you my friend.

 

Bullet

 

What defines our lines??? I would have to say current lean angle while applying the throttle rule defines our lines... As well as where my eyes are looking...

 

Throttle rule is once the bike is turned in, roll-on the throttle evenly, smoothly and continuously for the remainder of the corner.

 

And finally, we should turn the bike only once in a turn.

 

I certainly think that I understand the theory, and I would say that my question before about Stowe's last corner was in the instance of correcting a poorly taken corner, as I mentioned missing the apex. Therefore, I perhaps did not turn at the right time and/or did not turn the bike enough, thus making me feel like I would run wide.

 

So in a perfectly taken corner I would be able to satisfy the throttle rule, and would have by then only turned the bike once. And I achieved that many times throughout the day...

 

But what is the most appropriate and quickest way (lap time-wise) of correcting my poorly taken corner as above?? This could help me on the roads as well...

 

After reading that over, I have a follow up question on the throttle rule... Is it ok by the school's teaching that when I turn in the bike, and I want to get on the gas as soon as possible in order to stabilise the machine, that I can stay at "cracked" throttle for say half a second to a second before rolling on, if I was unsure as to when I can start drive out of the corner due to limited visibility or poor visual skills??? Or is it that once I crack that throttle 2 microseconds after achieving my desired lean angle I should continuously roll-on?? I know that if I am sure about where I am going I would be able to roll-on continuously, but in cases where I doubt or have a brain freeze, or unsure of roads ahead on public roads that I would want to crack the throttle to stabilise but rolling on continuously may mean that I would have to pick the bike up and roll off/brake in the worst case... Obviously this would be a poorly taken corner but what is recommended in this instance?? Is it ok to crack the throttle keep it there, then roll-on once visibility opens up or confidence blooms in that specific corner?? I understand that this will not be the quickest way around the corner but humour me, please...

 

I am sure that you will say to stick with the throttle control rule, as this will maintain my line - it is just hard to do sometimes with the unknown around the corner. Then you will probably say that if that was the case then my corner entry speed should have been lower to cater for the unknown...

 

Am I on the right track???

 

I feel like I am but I now think that I know my mistake from re-reading all this. It was not my turn point, it was not my lean angle per say... It was my visual skills which was the problem, because I was not looking far enough ahead in order to see in advance how much lean I would need in order to make the corner. This makes me want to stall on the roll-on because I am unsure of my destination. If I looked through the corner further, I would have gotten the correct lean and been confident enough to apply the throttle rule.

 

Better??

 

Gosh I can't wait for Level 2 and 3!!!

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With respect to the last corner at Stowe, well, what is that defines our lines? Whats the trottle rule? Finally, how many times should we turn the bike in a turn?

 

Have a pop at those questions, and lets see if we can get that a little clearer for you my friend.

 

Bullet

 

What defines our lines??? I would have to say current lean angle while applying the throttle rule defines our lines... As well as where my eyes are looking...

 

Throttle rule is once the bike is turned in, roll-on the throttle evenly, smoothly and continuously for the remainder of the corner.

 

And finally, we should turn the bike only once in a turn.

 

I certainly think that I understand the theory, and I would say that my question before about Stowe's last corner was in the instance of correcting a poorly taken corner, as I mentioned missing the apex. Therefore, I perhaps did not turn at the right time and/or did not turn the bike enough, thus making me feel like I would run wide.

 

So in a perfectly taken corner I would be able to satisfy the throttle rule, and would have by then only turned the bike once. And I achieved that many times throughout the day...

 

But what is the most appropriate and quickest way (lap time-wise) of correcting my poorly taken corner as above?? This could help me on the roads as well...

 

After reading that over, I have a follow up question on the throttle rule... Is it ok by the school's teaching that when I turn in the bike, and I want to get on the gas as soon as possible in order to stabilise the machine, that I can stay at "cracked" throttle for say half a second to a second before rolling on, if I was unsure as to when I can start drive out of the corner due to limited visibility or poor visual skills??? Or is it that once I crack that throttle 2 microseconds after achieving my desired lean angle I should continuously roll-on?? I know that if I am sure about where I am going I would be able to roll-on continuously, but in cases where I doubt or have a brain freeze, or unsure of roads ahead on public roads that I would want to crack the throttle to stabilise but rolling on continuously may mean that I would have to pick the bike up and roll off/brake in the worst case... Obviously this would be a poorly taken corner but what is recommended in this instance?? Is it ok to crack the throttle keep it there, then roll-on once visibility opens up or confidence blooms in that specific corner?? I understand that this will not be the quickest way around the corner but humour me, please...

 

I am sure that you will say to stick with the throttle control rule, as this will maintain my line - it is just hard to do sometimes with the unknown around the corner. Then you will probably say that if that was the case then my corner entry speed should have been lower to cater for the unknown...

 

Am I on the right track???

 

I feel like I am but I now think that I know my mistake from re-reading all this. It was not my turn point, it was not my lean angle per say... It was my visual skills which was the problem, because I was not looking far enough ahead in order to see in advance how much lean I would need in order to make the corner. This makes me want to stall on the roll-on because I am unsure of my destination. If I looked through the corner further, I would have gotten the correct lean and been confident enough to apply the throttle rule.

 

Better??

 

Gosh I can't wait for Level 2 and 3!!!

 

CBRKid,

 

I'm typing here with one hand, and you write the worlds longest posts.. LOL.. :lol:

 

Your absolutely right, lines are totally dictacted by throttle control, so if you have to stop the roll on, what does that tell you?

 

Yeap, you've got the throttle rule nailed there for sure, thats text book pretty much mate. And yes, you should only turn the bike once. So, they both relate to a possible number or errors, you turned in too early? You rolled on too much throttle too early. If you missed the Apex by a way, that would definitelt suggest that your 2 step wasn't quite right, and in that instance did you have something to look at? When did you look into the turn?

 

Inital throttle crack on.....! well, in theory, the throttle rule is universal, once you crack it, you keep rolling it on. The reality can sometimes vary a little, in that if the corner is a very long bend, you may find that its very difficult to achieve the very fine throttle control neccesary, and in this instance, checked is better than none, though it won't get you to a 60%/40% weight distribution. the only way to get that is with the throttle rule. You may need to work on your fine level of throttle control to get that nailed.

 

You'll learn some additional skills in level 2 that will help about dealing with corners you don't know where they go, so we'll leave that until then

 

Bullet

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Thanks Bullet!!! Sorry about the long posts... I tried to keep it short... ;)

 

I know I was nailing the turn points, and that I was in no way greedy on the throttle, so you correctly said my problem was the 2-step. Because most of the errors in this last corner were throughout the day, but the last session I had no problems... 2-Step definitely made the difference there...

 

You give me something to think about and work on in the off season (fine throttle control, which will definitely help on the roads...)... And by looking out my window at the wonderful sideways rain, I would have to say that this off-season has begun...

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Thanks Bullet!!! Sorry about the long posts... I tried to keep it short... ;)

 

... 2-Step definitely made the difference there...

 

 

No problem, its not like I'm going anywhere is it. LOL

 

2 Step is the most important drill i think we teach at CSS to be honest.

 

Bullet

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hello bullet

i was here too doing another level 4 , i,ll give you a few q,s about how my day went later .

but firstly glad to see your already typing mate .

i saw that you were walking wounded , but a collarbone , thats bad news ,i hope your on the mend , didn,t get a chance to chat to you this time .

was gonna drop you a message then saw this thread .

all the best for a speedy recovery mate ( any idea how long ? ) .

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hello bullet

i was here too doing another level 4 , i,ll give you a few q,s about how my day went later .

but firstly glad to see your already typing mate .

i saw that you were walking wounded , but a collarbone , thats bad news ,i hope your on the mend , didn,t get a chance to chat to you this time .

was gonna drop you a message then saw this thread .

all the best for a speedy recovery mate ( any idea how long ? ) .

 

Been to see the consultant today. Its not good to be honest, the collarbone is in 3 pieces such was the impact, they don't want to initally pin it, they want to see if it will knit itself first. They say it has a good chance. They'll review it again after 4 weeks, xray again, and it's either a Yay, or a Nay. If it's not, it'll be pinned. If it heals itself, they say full recovery in around 12 weeks. Thankfully its the end of the season.

 

Thanks for everyones kind words, really appreciate it, but it's just one of them things, no big deal really. I'll be reet. I'm still going to Spain and Portugal on Sunday too, though clearly I cannot ride, but I'll be about, sort of make myself a little useful.

 

Bullet

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Good write-up.

 

I know that I'm not going to be pulled into the pits and told I'm doing great in the first place, but if something like that does happen and there is nothing constructive on top of it, I'm swingin'.

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post-14520-1253273031_thumb.jpgpost-14520-1253273084_thumb.jpg post-14520-1253273018_thumb.jpg Ok here are a few pics from my school day... Yes Yes, I have alot to work on, but I am getting there!!!

 

I am sure that I did not see the cameraman at the end of the day which is when I was going alot faster and getting my chest on the tank more... But for Level 1, I am stoked!!!

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post-14520-1253273031_thumb.jpgpost-14520-1253273084_thumb.jpg post-14520-1253273018_thumb.jpg Ok here are a few pics from my school day... Yes Yes, I have alot to work on, but I am getting there!!!

 

I am sure that I did not see the cameraman at the end of the day which is when I was going alot faster and getting my chest on the tank more... But for Level 1, I am stoked!!!

 

Looking good man.. you can see body position needs much work, but thats icing rather than core fundametal. Visuals looking ok though to be fair! ;)

 

Bullet

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Looking good man.. you can see body position needs much work, but thats icing rather than core fundametal. Visuals looking ok though to be fair! ;)

 

Bullet

 

Agreed!!! I also think that I got a bit better with everything towards the end of the day...

 

Levels 2 and 3 in 2010 FOR SURE!!!

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