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I Think I've Lost It!


acebobby
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This is a tough thing to post about myself but I feel that I have lost my riding style!

Before my lowside in April I was full of confidence, I could happily drag my knee, I could spin the tyre on the exit as I did the pickup drill, I just felt so in control of my bike and every time I went on track I was getting faster! I felt like I was improving at a good rate then boom, I lowsided, I posted a you tube video of the crash on here and concluded in my own head that a cold tyre was to blame!

As it happens since then every trackday I have done has been wet so I think in my mind I haven't really had the conditions to push it. That was until yesterday, I was at Cadwell Park, the sun was out and the track was dry, I had a brand new pair of supercorsa's on the bike so had no excuses!

I just could not get good entry speed into the turns, I had the fear that I was going to crash, I know Keith talks alot about this in twist 1, but I couldn't get it out of my head, it was like i thought if I lean to far I will crash. I tried relaxing, worked on drills to try and get faster but the fear of leaning and crashing was to much. I would have given anything to get the feeling of my knee slider scraping the tarmac again!

Can I fix this problem? I have a trackday at Oulton Park next month and I really just want to get back to where I was and back on my learning curve again!

 

Thanks

Bobby

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Sorry to hear about your crash Bob. Gotta lick your wounds and keep going.

 

Reading your post, I can sympathize. And now that I think about it, it makes me appreciate the mental strength and endurance it takes to have the kind of crashes that Lorenzo had a couple years ago. Look at him now! He's ripping up the grid! Perhaps if you find out what he knows, perhaps you can get over your fear too.

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Can I fix this problem?

That's a rhetorical question isn't it?

 

Bobby all of us react differently to crashing; You say that your entire track riding experience since April has been in the rain so you're disappointed that on your first dry day you still haven't found your pace? Riding in the rain [iMHO] is a great way to work on reinforcing your fundamentals, especially good throttle control but very few can match the pace they have when they ride a dry track. Is it fair to say that since your crash you haven't come close to replicating the circumstances that allowed you to be "full of confidence...happily drag(ing) (your) knee...spin(ing) the tyre on the exit as (you) did the pickup drill, (you) just felt so in control of (your) bike..."? Then yesterday you're surprised that on your first dry track day since your crash you couldn't just go out and ride like nothing happened the last time you rode a dry track?

 

Your confidence will return...you overcame all of the barriers when you first became proficient at this game and you will do it again; probably more quickly that you think you can right now.

My 2 cents.

 

 

Rainman

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Hi Bobby,

 

Sorry to hear you're struggling to get back upto pace, it's a pretty common thing, so please don't think you're on your own here.

 

So, a couple of things are immediately obvious to me, when reading your post. Firstly, you expected it to be straight back to normal, without you having to think about it, and have a plan. Not likely that way sir. Secondly, you have to build up your confidence, and confidence if we we're really to get to the crux of it, is what we're talking about here. Its one of those unquantifable things in many respects, what gives people confidence? Being in control, knowing your not going to go past your limits and crash, many other things if you thought about.

 

So how are you going to get that back? Well, you need to understand why you crashed, and you do, right? Or do you think there is something else, something unexplained still? If you have that lingering in your mind, you'll still be thinking about it on track. So, if you understand it was the tyres, you have to have a plan to get past that. So are using tyre warmers? Are you giving yourself a few laps to try and build up some heat in the tyres, so that you know you have warm tyres and that clearly won't be a problem again? Do you have a map with which you've got reference points, braking markers and Apex RP's with which you can consistently set your entry speed? If you don't just try and do one corner, and keep doing the one corner, don't try and do a whole lap at once, it's just to much. One corner right will give you some confidence ("yeah, I got that right"), and you can use that to try and get another one right.

 

Would it be fair to say, you were running around with just wide view? not really having consistent RP's?

 

Now, given that you openly admitted that you were thinking of crashing, how much of your attention was on crashing, and how much of it on actually putting together a string of corners? 60-70% of attention on crashing fears? If this is the case, and lets be honest, only you know, you'll need to address that balance? You have to get past that need to think about what's happened before, and get your mind on the now. It's not easy, and many people struggle about it, but my experience, (and I've crashed a bit over the years), suggests you just need to get your mind 100% on the now, and If I'm really honest, I'll tell you that I talk to myself in my lid a lot when I'm trying to get myself sorted out, "Brake, 2 Step, etc, etc, etc", A narrative to myself of what I should be doing. It works for me, keeps my mind on what i need to do.

 

I hope this helps, and share your thoughts mate.

 

Bullet

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Hi Bobby,

What's going on in that head of yours? Your mind is messing with you! What is it that you are worried about? You don't have enough money to fix the bike if you low side? You have been to CSS, right? You have been on the forum and read many posts about different issues and had the benefit of coaches like Bullet, Adam06, Cobie and members like Kevin. Look over your bike. Is the bike 100%? The tires are good. The chain is fine. The sag is set. The brakes are working properly. So we know that the bike is ready to take you where you want to go. The only thing left is you.

Why can't you approach in the way we did your bike. What is it that CSS has taught you that is fundamentally wrong? Absolutely nothing. How much faster do you think Keith Code could ride your favorite circuit than you using your bike? It is very easy to loose focus on the fundamentals that can carry you through the turn. revisit the precepts, they are your friends.

Before I go to a track for a track day or a race I visualize the track using the fundamentals I have been taught. I try to include all the small details like reference points, the way the sun light hits the track(I guess you might need to use something else), what the curbing looks like, how the braking feels, what the quick turn looks and feels like, and even the sounds of the engine and the sliding of the rear end on exit. I can even see people standing on pit wall and corner workers. Now you can't visualise putting through the corners all uptight and afraid to put your knee down. You need to visualise that puck sliding on the pavement with your arms loose and looking through the corner :)

The next step might be to pick the turn on the track that is the easiest and most comfortable for you to negotiate. Before you try anything else, get that turn down. I believe as soon as you are confident that the bike is planted in that corner......your back! Good luck my friend.

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Thanks for all the feedback on this subject guys,

Bullet, I did honestly expect that as soon as I got a good, dry, warm track I could go out there and push as hard as I did and within a couple of sessions be back to where I was in my riding ability! How wrong I was there..

I did blame the tyres being cold for my crash and have since put a plan together to get over that which includes using tyre warmers, and very track focused tyres, so that area should be covered!

Another thing you mentioned was running around with wide vision, that is exactly true, I managed to put together some RPs through the faster sections of cadwell but really struggled with the slow stuff, the chicane, hairpin etc, but note the faster sections were nowhere near what I know Im capable of!

Going to your last point, how much attention did I have on crashing, now that is the question, one thing I noticed and this sounds weird is as I was cornering I noticed how long I had to fall before I hit the ground, compared to when Im riding well, dragging my knee, there is no distance to fall to the ground as im already down there. Ironic it would seem that the only cure to this fear is to corner faster and lean further. I like the idea of picking a corner and focusing everything on it, its something Kevin recomended to me the first time I learned this a few years ago and I cant believe I forgot the value of that exercise!

I have a corner in mind at Oulton park that I am going to use for this!

 

Fossilfuel my bike is perfectly maintained, As it happens I am probably better at building a good bike than I am at riding it, I have 100% confidence that the bike wont let me down, I have a very strict routine when it comes to preparing it for a trackday. I see what you are saying, that I should prepare myself as I have the bike! Your words of motivation are greatly appreciated and make me eager to get back on track and sort out this little problem!

 

Thanks for all the responses to this subject guys, it means more to me than you could all imagine!

Bobby

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Bobby,

You have the benefit of some really good coaches helping you out on this forum. I hope you don't mind my two cents worth. I am not trying to coach but to give you some of my insight and my riding experience. Some of this can be good and some ###### from the back of bull but I throw it out there anyway.

One thing you might try next time is to build some heat in the front tire on your first lap. I know tire warmers are great but if it is cool you will lose that heat fast just getting on track. Try waiting until the last minute to take your warmers off. You don't have to be the first in line. Let everyone else wait and you get out after they have started on to the track. I like to use the first lap to get the tires nice and toasty. Remember that the front tire is sticking out in the wind and loses more heat than the rear. Taking it easy on the first lap is important but even though I might not be going full out, I try to brake a little later so I can brake harder to build up the heat in the front.

I took CSS at Laguna Seca last year. The first day it never got over 49F and the wind was blowing 50mph. We were on Dunlop Qualifiers and had no issues and no tire warmers...

Let us know when you start bringing those times down...You can do it!

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fossilfuel, thank you

Your veiws and opinions are more than welcome, as you say we all benifit from some great coaches on this forum and for them to give up their own time to help me is an amazing thing. To top that though the veiws and opinions of other students is the life blood of the forum, that is where we are all so similar, from the UK to the USA, around the world to OZ and loads of places in between all the members have the similar goals, we all read the same books and all believe in the techniques we learn from the CSS! Thats why the discussions on here are so important to me, If I can learn something from another students experiences then, well thats just a great thing!

Anyway back on topic, I managed to get myself some tracktime booked for next friday at my local track (Knockhill), I am glad about this as I am desperate to get back on track, so I have a 4hr open session to get myself and my mind back into the groove and have given some thought about what you said about mentally preparing myself! I will also use your advice regarding tyre warmers and keeping the front warm.

 

I have one question and am interested in the forums opinion on this. If I were to pick one corner to focus on in a hope to regain confidence, would it be wise to use the corner I crashed at? or should I use a different one?

 

Thanks guys

 

Bobby

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Bobby

 

Fascinating topic .....I've been in the same quandry since my double off at pembrey at the test weekend in Feb this year !!!

 

It was the entry to Dibeni the long left that had me off twice and for the meeting in May I was spending all my time thinking about THAT corner...!!

 

Some old boy from a sidecar team overheard me whinging on about it and sat me down....

 

"use the two before to get it back and then use them to flow into your problem corner".......

 

It wasn't an immediate success but by getting a flow, and reminding myself of 2-3 step,, I felt more relaxed and I got closer to my best times........still working on it...

 

I'm sure it will come back,,

 

all the best

 

Nige

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I have one question and am interested in the forums opinion on this. If I were to pick one corner to focus on in a hope to regain confidence, would it be wise to use the corner I crashed at? or should I use a different one?

 

Thanks guys

 

Bobby

 

If you choose a corner, I would choose the one prior to the crashed corner. In this way, you shouldn't be thinking about any over-reaction due to any pain engrams, causing SRs to fire up in the corner. When your confidence returns you'll know it, because you will nail the corner before and just roll into the problem corner. THEN you can begin to conquer that corner; make it your Beeeootch :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK guys

I had a 4 hour open session at my local track yesterday, the weather was ace, the bike was running perfect, and I felt good and fit mentally and physically. At the beginning of the day I made the classic mistake of trying to keep up with the faster riders resulting in me charging corners and ending up on all sorts of interesting lines, I came into the pits and settled down then went back out with a plan, I was focusing purely on 2 corners, one of which I crashed at a few years ago that has a blind crest, this corner needs good RPs so thats where I began. working on throttle control, trying a few different lines and even trying it in a higher and lower gear than normal just to see the bikes reaction, and also increasing my entry speed gradually! My confidence is on its way back and I feel alot happier on my bike again, the funny thing I noticed was that the rest of the track that I was not focusing on, I was riding smooth and fast without thinking about it just in anticipation of getting back round to my focused corner!

Thanks for the advice guys, I thought I'd lost it but now I'm getting it back!

 

Bobby

 

Roll on Oulton!

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the funny thing I noticed was that the rest of the track that I was not focusing on, I was riding smooth and fast without thinking about it just in anticipation of getting back round to my focused corner!

Bobby;

Great comeback my friend!

BTW, the quote of yours I have clipped above - none of the Coaches who told me to try this technique ever spoke about its other benefits but there's no question about it IMHO; it works no matter where you try it.

 

Rainman

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Something else maybe worth mentioning, I did this trackday on my own, normally I would do trackdays with at least one of my mates but this time it was just me, my bike and my notes! I wonder about the psychology of being there with mates vs being there yourself because I felt no pressure and was very relaxed, just did my thing and really enjoyed it, I will definitely be doing more days on my own in the future, where previously I would miss trackdays if none of my mates could make it!

 

Bobby

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