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How Can I Develope A Better Sense Of Speed?


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What exercises can I do on the road that will help improve my Sense Of Speed entering corners?

 

Even on corners with clear sight lines, I often slow down to a crawl that just doesn't seem like much fun. No swoopy feeling. I don't think I'm charging them--it feels like I just set the turn speed very low. I try to keep my vision up and can usually see well into or through the turns.

 

Maybe I'm just being sensible, but I do feel a lot of anxiety when I TRY to go fast, even when I recognize I have tons of lean angle left. I realize its hard to generalize without seeing me ride but is this fear usually a sensible survival instinct or an unneccessary Survival Reaction?

 

If I "just ride," even if I ride pretty quickly, this fear goes away. This fear also fades if I watch the vanishing point and allow myself to set my speed based on my ability to stop the bike in my sight distance (I am more cofident when I don't over drive my braking ability). So, maybe, this has something to do with misplaced attention. Comments?

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It could be. I'd first ask about your vision. If you have the sense of going too fast, then realize you could have been going too fast, that could very well be where you're looking. Lots of riders, I've noticed, have a huge problem with getting their head into the corner far enough in advance that they feel comfortable increasing their speed. Looking into the corner ahead of getting to your turn point will really slow things down.

 

I've even devised a drill that can be done at a walking pace. You need three items, and it doesn't matter what they are. At the track, when I'm showing people, I use my gloves and helmet. Place one glove (your turn point) 20 feet away from a point and your helmet (it will be your apex) 15 feet directly to the right of the glove. Get to your start point and walk at a decent place toward the glove while looking at the glove. At the moment you get to the glove, turn your head toward the helmet and steer toward the helmet. Next, place your other glove between your start point and your first glove (in this example it's 10 feet) and start your brisk walk again. This time, as soon as you get to the first glove, turn your head and eyes toward your helmet. Keep walking straight toward the second glove, and when you get to it, turn and walk toward the helmet. You'll have to use your periphery to get to the second glove, but if done right you'll feel the two-step at work. It's a very effective drill at relaying the importance in getting your head into the turn well ahead of time (on the track it's a lot farther than 10 feet before your turn).

 

At the school the two-step (last drill of day 1) was a revelation. I was instantly comfortable. On day two, I think Stu ended the day with a tick, as many times as he told us to "turn your head, turn your head." When they reviewed the camera and I watched all the other people, it was that guy "turn your head sooner, turn your head sooner." Unfortunately it's not really a drill you can practice while commuting. Too dangerous.

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Crash,

 

It sounds like that when you're trying to ride fast, you end up charging the turns (even at a very low speed), simply because of the anxiety you generate eat up your $10 of attention, just by trying to go fast.

 

Have you ever crashed in a turn when you were deliberately trying to go faster than you normally would? was it because you suddenly looked down on your turn point, the curb of your apex?

- I'm asking because it sounds to me that you can make the anxiety go away by focusing on the vanishing point (ie not really looking at the turn itself).

 

Regards,

 

Kai

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Hi Crash,

 

Noticed in your profile you hoped to do a school at VIR. Have you done level 1 yet?

 

Do you get an opportunity to ride at a track often? Or do you get to play on your favourite stretch of road?

 

The above advise on the visuals is all good, and you've covered most of the visuals and survival reactions etc ... but:-

 

When and how do you pick a turning reference point? (the point where you are turning the bike)

 

Cheers

 

BTW : VIR is one of my Top 5 Tracks.

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I'm kinda with Jason on this - it certainly sounds like a 'Vision Thing'. And maybe you've put the finger on the problem yourself by saying, "This fear also fades if I watch the vanishing point ..."

 

I suspect that, as you approach the corner, you're looking too close to where you are. And, as we all know ;) , this gives you an enhanced impression of your speed. So you slow down. But you're still looking at the same spot, so you still seem to be going too fast. So you brake again and ... Agh! It all goes wrong.

 

You've got to force yourself to look - and think - further up the bend. Pick your turn point early and then, as soon as you can, divert the bulk of your attention towards the inside of the curve, to where you want to go, to where you're gonna apex ... (But don't forget to keep that turn point in your peripheral consciousness, otherwise you'll start turning too early).

 

And once you've got your apex point, then start looking for your exit line!

 

(Levels 1 and 2 of the School will teach and hone these skills. But, boy, is it easy to slip back into bad habits ...)

 

HTH

 

Craig

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Sorry I cant add any useful info to this as I too can go around the same corner twice or more and get varying anxiety attacks. I have had the same problem for the last few weeks and its been freaking me out, as I couldnt understand why I was also getting this anxiety,

 

It seems im looking at the same spot withour realizing and not doing the two step . Some of the answers especially about looking further into the corner have made sense and I will be trying them out.

 

thanks for the post.

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Sorry I cant add any useful info to this as I too can go around the same corner twice or more and get varying anxiety attacks. I have had the same problem for the last few weeks and its been freaking me out, as I couldnt understand why I was also getting this anxiety,

 

It seems im looking at the same spot withour realizing and not doing the two step . Some of the answers especially about looking further into the corner have made sense and I will be trying them out.

 

thanks for the post.

 

Just out of curiosity Dave, do you use turn points? Do you have a consistent turn point? The anxiety you're explaining can be caused by not having the comfort of knowing where you're going to turn and you get a "NOW" input by your senses out of panic. Having a set turn point, and you can change it to experiment with corners, makes cornering much more comfortable and gives you confidence while taking it.

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IMHO...

 

I think you're not adhering to the 75% rule very well (twist 2 dvd) and the panic sets in, hence screwing your confidence/lines/whatever up.

 

$10 of attention too is a big deal, the road ain't the track, its only sensible to leave a few more dollars for "oh snap!" situations. (thats just me)

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