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Streets March 25/26


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I just returned from the Level 1 and 2 two day camp at the Streets of Willow (March 25/26.) All I can say is WOW! The whole experience was really amazing. I can not express how impressed I was with how organized, professional, and sincere/caring the whole staff and team were. I felt that all of the staff were truly committed and interested in my improvement and learning.

 

The course itself was everything I had hoped for and more, and I look forward to returning in the fall for levels 3 and 4. Specifically, the drills and directed coaching take what are intellectual concepts that I had practiced in a vague manner prior to the course and turn them into an exact and specific set of mind/body movements that you gain a visceral understanding of.

 

The end result of the 2 days was that I came away with a specific set of actions I could apply that allow me to RELAX at speed (relative to my skill level.) The visual drills in Level 2 allowed me to observe how I was using my own attention in its visual field, and catch myself when I would fixate or start to tighten up - and as soon as I caught myself I would "get a wide view" and relax again.

 

On my last session I was pretty tired, and told myself I would just use the session to practice being relaxed and focus on turning my hips in when hanging off and not try to crank up the pace. By the third lap I was consistently dragging my knee through turn 2, something I had never experienced before, and something that was just a wonderful by-product of applying the lessons. I also ended up turning in my best lap times as result :)

 

I never got completely comfortable running the fishbowl (turn 8) at the Streets in reverse, but what was amazing, is that during the turn - which is a more drawn out steeply banked turn taking about 3-4 seconds to complete, I could catch my attention fixating and narrowing my field of view - each time that happened I would consciously widen my view, and focus on the next reference point - the result is that I was able to mindfully reverse the target fixation and anxiety that accompanied it. That was a HUGE lesson, and one that I was able to repeatedly execute. I feel now when I am in situations (even on the the street) where that familiar anxiety and physical "clenching" come into play I have a proven technique to help mitigate it. That is huge!

 

My sincere thanks to all the staff, coaches, and other students for an unforgettable experience. I look forward to seeing everyone again in the Fall.

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Great write up and a cool pic too. I agree, Streets is a really fun track.

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Unfortunately the whole experience has spoiled me for street riding. That was my first time at a track, and going out to Palomar today on my new S1000RR just paled in comparison. I will say though, that my confidence in riding roads like Palomar has increased probably 2x-3x, unfortunately they just are not nearly as fun now.

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Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I haven't ridden once on the street since I found my way to the track. I've been thinking of putting all the DOT stuff back on my bike though so that might change this year... we'll see.

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Hi Two,

 

Good picture in 8!

 

I kwow what you mean about street riding, not quite the same. I honestly look at is at cruising for the most part, a whole different style of riding. I still go faster that most around me, but I leave a nice margin--and I don't like tickets!

 

CF

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Hi Cobie,

 

Yeah, the two day camp REALLY spoiled me. I had a S1000RR on order and it arrived the week after the camp. Going to my usual set of twisties really has much less appeal now, even on my new bike. This was my first real sport bike I ever owned - and the neck/back pain to get to 3 minutes of semi-fun doesn't quite seem worth it - especially when I know what is possible. On a typical street, with a margin of safety you have about a whole 2 feet to play with in regards to your line, and if the turn is blind and I have not pre-run it, dragging a knee really isn't an option.

 

I signed up for another 2 day camp in June, and I need to figure out how to get more track time for my new bike - as the only time it is really comortable to ride is when I have my knee down and I am railing through a set of turns - it is just magic. Riding upright at less than 60mph for 30 minutes to get there - uh not so much ;)

 

Anyway, thanks for an amazing experience, and helping to give me the tools and instruction to ride more confidently.

 

For others out there as a testament to the school, I have never owned a true sport bike until AFTER i went to the school - my other bike is a K1300GT. By the last session on day 2 I was relaxed and confident enough to be routinely dragging my knee through turn 2. Something I wasn't explicitly trying to do - but a great way to end the camp - as it was something I had never done before.

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Two--yep, think that bike will be more fun on the track than the street...but you've got the 1300!

 

See you in June.

 

Best,

CF

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