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I Can't Ride Like I Did At The School!


mac
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First i'd like to say that i had a blast at the school and plan on doing level 2 next year. BUT, I have the same problems that did when i went to the school. I didn't expect after 1 day to be a cornering pro, but when i left there that day i felt like i had this cornering problem licked. I did level 1 at mid-ohio a month or so ago. By the middle of the second session i was looking through the turns and doing great. no roll-offs of the throttle. i was riding better than i ever imagined, got my knee down for the the 1st time, almost no anxiety about entry speed or ability to complete the turn. just having a blast. Then i get home and ride the twisties and i have the same problems i had before, like i never even went to the class. Now i confused as to if the class actually helped me a great deal, or did it just help me get familiar with a few turns so that i was able to push myself and go faster. if you ride the same road over and over again then you will bump it up to the next level little by little. I think that's what happened to me. I was riding yesterday with some buddies and there this set of 20mph turns and i was just uncomfortable. I knew that i could get through them quick but all my SR's told me to take it easy even though i wanted to blast through them. i guess i want to know how do i take every corner like the ones at the school or am i gonna have to just learn every road to be comfortable?

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Dear Mac,

 

The tools you got are only a benefit if you are using them. So let's take a look that. Let me ask you a few quesitons:

 

1. Were you finding yourself a turn in point (remember we marked them on the pavement at Mid Ohio with tape or if it was damp, with a cone). Remember how they boosted your confidence in your cornering?

 

If you don't have a psot to turn in, there is no way to make a decent run through any corner, anywhere. If you recall, we discussed that fact that our survival reactions want to suck us into the turns way too early and that spoils the turn for practically everythings welse we learned: good throttle control is impossible, quick flicking the bike is useless, looking into the turn before you make you steering inputs is pointless if you start intoo early, you will never be able to keep your rider input under control and you will stiffen up on the bike if your line isn't predictable.

 

I bring this one up because it is the root cause for most rider's errors and can transform any corner into a dog's breakfast if not sorted out. Things will never look quite right if you let this partcular Survival Reaction keep on beating you up.

 

So what it is the answer? Were you turning in too early, were you able to use your steering and visual and throttle control skills? If not, I'll bet this is why.

 

Tell me,

 

Keith

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I went through some of the same, and overcame it when my buddy came up to me, slapped me in the back of the head and said "dude, you need to relax, have fun and stop trying so damned hard".

 

I went back out with NO expectations and LITERALLY dropped 4 seconds.

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Mac,

The track to street translation was a hard adjustment for me as well but a big part of the struggle is the difference in the two environments.

 

On the track, you literally ride your a** off the bike and on the street more factors come into play. The track is a relatively controlled environment where you focus on specific things (or drills) and are not distracted by much more than your own confidence in your riding ability. As the day progresses, each turn becomes more familiar and as you described, you can get to the place where you are making only minor adjustments to achieve your goals and it all seems to come together. Then you go home to ride...

 

On the street there is so-o-o-o much more to deal with; cops, cars, critters, cracked pavement, oil, gravel and other associated distractions that for me, all of these delayed integrating these cornering skills into my street riding. With more time in the saddle and concentration on the training, what you learned in Level I will become part of your riding style.

 

BTW, Level I is really only the foyer into the house of cornering...stay in school and learn how to use all of the tools, you will be amazed at the progress you will make.

 

Kevin

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Dear Mac,

 

The tools you got are only a benefit if you are using them. So let's take a look that. Let me ask you a few quesitons:

 

1. Were you finding yourself a turn in point (remember we marked them on the pavement at Mid Ohio with tape or if it was damp, with a cone). Remember how they boosted your confidence in your cornering?

 

If you don't have a psot to turn in, there is no way to make a decent run through any corner, anywhere. If you recall, we discussed that fact that our survival reactions want to suck us into the turns way too early and that spoils the turn for practically everythings welse we learned: good throttle control is impossible, quick flicking the bike is useless, looking into the turn before you make you steering inputs is pointless if you start intoo early, you will never be able to keep your rider input under control and you will stiffen up on the bike if your line isn't predictable.

 

I bring this one up because it is the root cause for most rider's errors and can transform any corner into a dog's breakfast if not sorted out. Things will never look quite right if you let this partcular Survival Reaction keep on beating you up.

 

So what it is the answer? Were you turning in too early, were you able to use your steering and visual and throttle control skills? If not, I'll bet this is why.

 

Tell me,

 

Keith

I think turn in points may be a problem, but it's not present all the time. sometimes i start the turn too early. i think my biggest problem is corner entry speed. not that i'm going to fast to start the turn, but i think that by the end of the turn i'll be going to fast. so this makes me enter very slow, then i finish it and i'm like, I suck i could have took that way better. Then on corners i know i can flick the bike right over and i'm smiling the whole time. no SR's there, not tense, not worrying about whats right in front of me, looking through the turn having a blast.

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I went out for a ride on Ortega hwy yesterday. I ride that road all the time and it's a blast, like twenty something miles of twisties. I had this thread and what Keith wrote about turn points in my mind when I went out. I decided to really try to use good turn points on this ride. I don?t usually do this on the street, turn points is just not one of the skills I normally work on when street riding, I typically work on other visual skills.

 

So as I approached each turn I took a good look at it and if I could see the whole or most of the turn I would pick a turn point that looked good to me as I came up on it. If I could not tell what the corner was going to do I just stayed out wide until I could.

 

Picking a turn point for each corner really gave me much more confidence going in. I knew where I wanted to turn and would be less distracted by oncoming traffic and stuff. It was a very enjoyable ride. I work on using good turn points on the track all the time, but this ride made me think about them more on the street as well. Good stuff.

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Wayneman, The two step turn process is decribed in Twist of the Wrist II in great detail. The basic idea is that you pick two points for each turn. 1) the entry point and 2) the exit point or if the turn is a hairpin or up hill, apex or another reference point (RP)

 

The idea is to limit the things you are thinking about so you don't waste your attention budget.

 

Aim for your entry point, as you approach it (don't focus on it, just know where it is) shift your field of vision to include the second point (once again don't focus on it, just know where it is).

 

there are things that need to be done before the entry point, things between the entry point and apex, as well as the entry point and exit point. This helps set up the physical areas where these actions should occur. With pratice it helps you to set your order and urgency for those actions, for that particular corner.

 

You can check out TOTW 1 & 2 at your public library. It is explained with much better detail and I may have left things out that are important as well. Silly as it may sound I couldn't put the book down once I started. If you are a sport biker you won't be able to either.

 

Rman

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ditto what Kevin said. I won't even try to do on the street what I do on the track. Maybe a little but just the skill part. Too many things going on in the head thinking about obsticles/dangers. I can only have total concentration on the track. Hate to say it, but street riding isn't as fun as it use to be because of that. In the twistes, the white line is my line. Totally opposite of the track lines. Usually because the word apex is associated with cars on the street. That's about where they like to be most of the time. :P Worry about your corners on the track and just be careful on the street. ;)

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