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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. :D 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 :blink: ), 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! :D Man I love motorcycles & trackdays!

 

-Shauna

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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. :D 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 :blink: ), 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! :D Man I love motorcycles & trackdays!

 

-Shauna

 

I'm not sure it comes across that strongly in your post, but you seem quite happy with the results to date..? ;)

 

Genuinely thats a brilliant story, thanks for sharing with others, am sure you'll have some regulars, recent converts and long term cynics pop up, and ask you a few questions.

 

Really pleased for you, thats just the best feeling ever when a student nails it as well you as seem to have done. Keep up the practice, and the rewards will just keep on coming.

 

Bullet

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Hi Shauna,

 

That is a great success! I remember you telling me briefly about your hand, that's pretty cool you were able to get a good day from the school with that :).

 

Come say hello when we see you again, and I did like that paint scheme on your bike (picture?).

 

Best,

CF

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Hey folks,

 

I just did my first real trackday since completing Level 1 3 weeks ago...

 

...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! :D Man I love motorcycles & trackdays!

 

-Shauna

 

Great report! What an awsome read! I didn't think your note seemed long at all. Have you got your pictures yet? You can add me to the "would like to see" list 1.gif

 

RD

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I'm not sure it comes across that strongly in your post, but you seem quite happy with the results to date..? ;)

 

...

 

Really pleased for you, thats just the best feeling ever when a student nails it as well you as seem to have done. Keep up the practice, and the rewards will just keep on coming.

 

I guess you could say I'm mildly satisfied, yes. ;):lol:

 

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.

 

Hi Shauna,

 

That is a great success! I remember you telling me briefly about your hand, that's pretty cool you were able to get a good day from the school with that :) .

 

Come say hello when we see you again, and I did like that paint scheme on your bike (picture?).

 

Best,

CF

 

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):

 

ML60740cropped.jpg

 

_ML62613croppednshopped.jpg

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Shauna,

 

I know what you mean, sometimes when students don't put themselves under a lot of pressure, they do better :)

 

 

CF

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Shauna,

 

I know what you mean, sometimes when students don't put themselves under a lot of pressure, they do better :)

 

 

CF

 

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:

 

Picture0673_JPG.jpg

Picture1864_JPG.jpg

Picture2569_JPG.jpg

Picture1212_JPG.jpg

Picture1921_JPG.jpg

 

The rest of the pics

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Your pics look great. I've only done Main once in two years of riding Firebird. I'm dying to get on the track and see what I can do. What group do you ride in? I'm intermediate and don't expect to get passed near as much as I used to. If you're going to ride on the 22nd on East let me know and I'll look for you. I'm hoping to do a two day in the spring.

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