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Jasonzilla

Prepping For A Trackday By Watching Video.

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I remember reading someone say that you can't watch a video and learn a track. I've looked through the archives here, and can't find it because I would have swore it was on CSS forum. I have one thing to say about it: hogwash.

 

I'm new track retarded. I need a number of trackdays to learn a track and am embarrassingly slow for some time. I ran Auto Club Speedway this weekend and, being that it's 5 hours away and $250 for a trackday, started watching video because it's a once or twice in a lifetime thing, and I didn't want to spend the day getting lost on a racetrack and not be able to enjoy it. The newest videos and as much as I could find on YouTube. I watched tank, helmet views, trailing video, the last 6 laps where Tommy Hayden won his first Superbike race. Every angle I could find. I wanted to see if I could do it. It seemed like I could do it, but there was that person, I couldn't remember who said it, saying it couldn't be done.

 

It was odd at the beginning because I couldn't figure out what corner came next, the type of corner it was. Or anything. It was status quo for me. I watched it over and over, though. As I started getting used to the circuit, I started looking at the map seeing where I could early apex, late apex, looking for hard points that are going to be there when I go, different lines. I watched the video in full screen (which, by the way, makes a HUGE difference) once I got used to lay of the track itself, and on TV.

 

By the time I got there, the day before I did my trackday, I was watching the riders going around and felt like I knew the track inside and out. I even knew about a huge bump that my friend, who hadn't ridden the track either, was worried about all day. He's good at learning tracks, so he caught on almost as fast as I did. My first session was just over 2 minutes. The pace is 1:40. The fastest guys out there, Lex Hartl and Chris Ulrich, are going to get around in the mid-1:30's. You'll get a couple who can hit 1:38-1:39 through the day.

 

My first session was 2:05's. I was comfortable though, and had to make sure my turn points and most of my visual points were good. Most of them were, amazingly. It was honestly almost like I'd been on the track before. Almost. Brake points still needed a lot of work. That took a couple more sessions to get right, but I still had a start point from the video. I worked on braking through the rest of the day. The second and third sessions got me to the mid-1:50's and after that I was low 1:50's with a clear track. By the end of the day I was passing some of the other bikes on the outside, pushing for 1:40's. It never happened. If there is a next time and with proper track tires, I will get it.

 

I will firmly argue the point that you can't learn a track by watching video from now on. It takes a few times of watching it, but can get very familiar. If you know what you're looking for a rider can go straight to working out the finer points of a particular track.

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Jason;

 

What's up with this? I am not one prone to take internet bait but this post just pushed me to respond. the one who said it was me. It was in response to a question poised by another Forum member and it was limited to my efforts to learn a track before I went there in 2004 or 2005; it was a personal opinion not a statement of fact.

 

Back then I could find only a single vantage point video of the Streets of Willow Springs but If you re-read your post you say: "I watched tank, helmet views, trailing video, the last 6 laps where Tommy Hayden won his first Superbike race. Every angle I could find. I wanted to see if I could do it. It seemed like I could do it, but there was that person, I couldn't remember who said it, saying it couldn't be done."

 

You say: "It was odd at the beginning because I couldn't figure out what corner came next, the type of corner it was. Or anything. It was status quo for me. I watched it over and over, though. As I started getting used to the circuit, I started looking at the map seeing where I could early apex, late apex, looking for hard points that are going to be there when I go, different lines. I watched the video in full screen (which, by the way, makes a HUGE difference) once I got used to lay of the track itself, and on TV."

 

Then you had a big kicker when you wrote: "By the time I got there, the day before I did my trackday, I was watching the riders going around and felt like I knew the track inside and out."

 

Really...do you think these are comparable experiences? I would venture to say that anyone who made the time and resource commitment you made to disprove someone's personal opinion from five years ago would probably succeed in that goal - so you win! You can learn a track by watching a video; and then another video from a different vantage point and then another video from even another vantage point, and then the end of a race on the same track and then by going to the track the day before so you can see how riders are riding it;

 

Your right - it's hogwash.

 

Rainman

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watching videos can certainly familiarize yourself with the layout of the track. I heard if racers are new to a track they play it on the PlayStation or Xbox to get use to it before practice.

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Jason;

 

What's up with this? I am not one prone to take internet bait but this post just pushed me to respond. the one who said it was me. It was in response to a question poised by another Forum member and it was limited to my efforts to learn a track before I went there in 2004 or 2005; it was a personal opinion not a statement of fact.

 

Back then I could find only a single vantage point video of the Streets of Willow Springs but If you re-read your post you say: "I watched tank, helmet views, trailing video, the last 6 laps where Tommy Hayden won his first Superbike race. Every angle I could find. I wanted to see if I could do it. It seemed like I could do it, but there was that person, I couldn't remember who said it, saying it couldn't be done."

 

You say: "It was odd at the beginning because I couldn't figure out what corner came next, the type of corner it was. Or anything. It was status quo for me. I watched it over and over, though. As I started getting used to the circuit, I started looking at the map seeing where I could early apex, late apex, looking for hard points that are going to be there when I go, different lines. I watched the video in full screen (which, by the way, makes a HUGE difference) once I got used to lay of the track itself, and on TV."

 

Then you had a big kicker when you wrote: "By the time I got there, the day before I did my trackday, I was watching the riders going around and felt like I knew the track inside and out."

 

Really...do you think these are comparable experiences? I would venture to say that anyone who made the time and resource commitment you made to disprove someone's personal opinion from five years ago would probably succeed in that goal - so you win! You can learn a track by watching a video; and then another video from a different vantage point and then another video from even another vantage point, and then the end of a race on the same track and then by going to the track the day before so you can see how riders are riding it;

 

Your right - it's hogwash.

 

Rainman

 

Wow Kevin. I by no means wanted to make you cry. I wasn't trying to disprove anyone or "win" anything, but while I was working to keep from wasting $250, kept thinking about the incorrect statement made some time ago. I've been trying to learn with new tracks and have been progressing minimally until I came up with more specific study points and was ultra-successful.

 

If this is a drunk post, all is OK. We all do it. If you need a tissue, I have one of those. I wasn't baiting anyone, and certainly didn't expect anything this juvenile from our moderator. I've been wrong before, but I'm guessing this is your first time, seeing as how upset you got about it. Don't worry; it'll happen again. Hopefully you'll be more prepared for it.

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I always do video homework before EVERY track I go to... And bought an Xbox before I went to Nurburgring... And it works to at least teach you what direction the next bend is going to be...

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Jason

It's apples to oranges here and there was no 'drunk post" involved or need for tissues. As for you baiting...one wonders...

Your attitude about learning is admirable; keep it at that and we're all good.

 

If you go looking to correct opinions that others post here because you don't agree or accept them them we've seen that here before and it doesn't always go so well. I debated with responding to your post mainly because it was my post you were referring to and the line between moderator and member can get blurred but because the previous post you were referring to was years ago it seemed odd that you would go so far as to write about your efforts to actually find it or who placed it here. That's what caught my attention as a moderator.

 

But "make you cry","drunk post" and "anything this juvenile" isn't going to make your point any more successfully here and those comments are all about baiting.

 

Kevin

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watching videos can certainly familiarize yourself with the layout of the track. I heard if racers are new to a track they play it on the PlayStation or Xbox to get use to it before practice.

I've thought about that also and would bet it was more successful for refamiliarization if they'd been on the track before.

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watching videos can certainly familiarize yourself with the layout of the track. I heard if racers are new to a track they play it on the PlayStation or Xbox to get use to it before practice.

I've thought about that also and would bet it was more successful for refamiliarization if they'd been on the track before.

 

I know before i go to Phillip Island i cut a few laps on the Xbox to get the gist of it again (if only my virtual lap times were the same as my real world ones...)

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Maybe already understood but I don't want to assume.

 

The most valuable means of getting familiar with a track is to walk it! Using video, maps, etc certainly helps without question. But if you can manage to get to a facility the evening before or possibly the morning of an event, some places frequently have people that walk, run, ride bikes...etc on the track! The stuff you'll notice is huge in comparison to a video. The sort of things I've noticed is gradients, corner camber, stuff like that just doesn't show so well on video. FWIW. :)

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Maybe already understood but I don't want to assume.

 

The most valuable means of getting familiar with a track is to walk it! Using video, maps, etc certainly helps without question. But if you can manage to get to a facility the evening before or possibly the morning of an event, some places frequently have people that walk, run, ride bikes...etc on the track! The stuff you'll notice is huge in comparison to a video. The sort of things I've noticed is gradients, corner camber, stuff like that just doesn't show so well on video. FWIW. :)

 

I've only gotten to walk (and drive once) Inde because I'm a control rider for TI2TT and I walked it with some of the other guys. Honestly, if I had the chance to walk the track once or twice, or study it on video, I'd take the video every time. Most people don't have the hard time I do learning a new track, though.

 

I fortunately found this right when I started. It's a demonstration of Dashware. The cheaper version is $1050, so I won't be owning it, but it really did a great job of getting me started.

 

 

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I've only gotten to walk (and drive once) Inde because I'm a control rider for TI2TT and I walked it with some of the other guys. Honestly, if I had the chance to walk the track once or twice, or study it on video, I'd take the video every time. Most people don't have the hard time I do learning a new track, though.

 

I fortunately found this right when I started. It's a demonstration of Dashware. The cheaper version is $1050, so I won't be owning it, but it really did a great job of getting me started.

 

I've seen dashware used, pretty darn slick stuff.

 

Yeah, I didn't realize you're a CR so I'm probably pointing out the obvious to you as I was afraid of.

 

What would be infinitely valuable (IMO) is something like this video footage for most tracks that has voice overs with basic line selection, gotcha spots, "coming through three can get really bumpy", tips "you can actually take six faster than you might think at first"...sort of stuff. Granted, it would probably be somewhat opinion based and get argued, but the idea I think could provide people new to a track a baseline? :unsure:

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That's a great idea, Gorecki. Worth looking into. I have some very educated friends on the topic and will see if we can do something this fall when our track season starts.

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That's a great idea, Gorecki. Worth looking into. I have some very educated friends on the topic and will see if we can do something this fall when our track season starts.

 

Cool. B)

 

Just remember me when you copyright the idea, at least throw me a 'concept by this other dude' liner note. ;)

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What would be infinitely valuable (IMO) is something like this video footage for most tracks that has voice overs with basic line selection, gotcha spots, "coming through three can get really bumpy", tips "you can actually take six faster than you might think at first"...sort of stuff. Granted, it would probably be somewhat opinion based and get argued, but the idea I think could provide people new to a track a baseline? :unsure:

I love this idea. It doesn't seem like it would take much to build a series of videos, provided the right person was doing the production.

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I love this idea. It doesn't seem like it would take much to build a series of videos, provided the right person was doing the production.

 

It wouldn't be that difficult to come up with a somewhat hack job something. To make something good would have issues. Likely EVERY track would have to have multiple levels of riding examples because what advanced riders would do wouldn't likely be the same as novice folks. Then getting a complete, consistant set that is maintained...meaning...Track conditions are basically changing all the time.

 

Good example my home track Summit Point wasn't in all that great of shape 3-4 years ago. Since, the track has had some surface work, runoff area changes, more air fences, things that contextually changes the track for the rider. T8 used to be a spot people were somewhat fearful of, had a lip of a bump in an area where you should be leaned over driving out to T9, many people would lose their front (wheel came off the ground while leaned) and head straight off the track...that sort of stuff!

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I too take a while to learn a track, though not as long as Jason. Is see what he means about learning the way it looks, which bend follows what etc. and picking up some lines from other riders. Provided you're not the sort of person who then makes the jump to presuming they know their way round and ride off the black stuff (and I think this is where Kevin is coming from) then there's no harm. It's one piece of a jigsaw.

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This is an interesting thread Jason started and a good opportunity to look at how many of us have been taught to improve our riding.

 

One of the reasons I have been a repeat student for so many years is the way I have been taught by CSS. They always focus on how to improve an aspect of our riding without any judgement; it always been that the glass is half full - and oh by the way let's see if there is a way to increase the amount you have in that glass. You may be reminded that adding lean angle and throttle is not a good idea but just as likely you will be asked if you have good reference points for a turn and did you use the two and three step to find the most effective way throught a corner? or if quick turning the bike followed by applying the Throttle Rule and the pick up drill would do much for our cornering?...all items that focus on adding to that half full glass of ours. Just saying that adding throttle and lean angle may get us into trouble may be the most direct way to communicate something but the other way will show us how to avoid having the the problem in the first place.

 

Jason came up here to celebrate his solid breakthrough of a barrier he was committed to over come. He planned his work and then worked his plan finding many different ways to dissect the layout, memorize how the corners knit together and just trying to find a way to increase the efficiency of learning a new track. He wanted to celebrate this experience so we could all benefit from it...and I missed the part of the glass as half full and the steps he took to add to it.

 

A very good friend of mine (all of ours really) suggested that I could have looked at it differently - that there was another way to see Jason's celebtration. She is a coach and knows how to coach and without ever criticising what I said initially to Jason helped me realize just how I missed of what he had to share. In my guarded moderator stance I failed at my most important responsibility to all of you and Cobie and Keith - that part about keeping it real here and she helped me understand without every saying this that being a moderator should be like being a track coach.

 

Jason, I was wrong to rain on your parade and I will work hard to make sure I do my part to keep the right perspective here. BTW, Congratulations!

 

Kevin

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This is an interesting thread Jason started and a good opportunity to look at how many of us have been taught to improve our riding.

 

One of the reasons I have been a repeat student for so many years is the way I have been taught by CSS. They always forcus on how to improve an aspect of our riding without any judgement; it always been that the glass is half full - and oh by the way let's see if there is a way to increase the amount you have in that glass. You may be reminded that adding lean angle and throttle is not a good idea but just as likely you will be asked if you have good reference points for a turn and did you use the two and three step to find the most effective way throught a corner? or if quick turning the bike followed by applying the Throttle Rule and the pick up drill would do much for our cornering?...all items that focus on adding to that half full glass of ours. Just saying that adding throttle and lean angle may get us into trouble may be the most direct way to communicate something but the other way will show us how to avoid having the the problem in the first place.

 

Jason came up here to celebrate his solid breakthrough of a barrier he was committed to over come. He planned his work and then worked his plan finding many different ways to dissect the layout, memorize how the corners knit together and just trying to find a way to increase the efficiency of learning a new track. He wanted to celebrate this experience so we could all benefit from it...and I missed the part of the glass as half full and the steps he took to add to it.

 

A very good friend of mine (all of ours really) suggested that I could have looked at it differently - that there was another way to see Jason's celebtration. She is a coach and knows how to coach and without ever criticising what I said initially to Jason helped me realize just how I missed of what he had to share. In my guarded moderator stance I failed at my most important responsibility to all of you and Cobie and Keith - that part about keeping it real here and she helped me understand without every saying this that being a moderator should be like being a track coach.

 

Jason, I was wrong to rain on your parade and I will work hard to make sure I do my part to keep the right perspective here. BTW, Congratulations!

 

Kevin

 

 

All is good.

 

 

 

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I've been thinking about this idea and am trying real hard to figure out how to do it. Pause it? You'd obviously have to practice it (I'd say on recorded video to save time and trackdays) and script what you're going to say in the first place. Maybe add markers onto the video to help things along?

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I've been thinking about this idea and am trying real hard to figure out how to do it. Pause it? You'd obviously have to practice it (I'd say on recorded video to save time and trackdays) and script what you're going to say in the first place. Maybe add markers onto the video to help things along?

 

If I were doing the production, I would script it with time markers to synch with the video multitracking the audio voice over if needed. That way the tracking could be done a couple of ways. Along with the video at runtime (like you're describing), or simply record the individual pieces then sync the audio clip(s) with the individual video portions marker. For the most part it's fairly typical Audio/Video production stuff.

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Another thing to take into consideration, all dialog doesn't have to happen in a single lap. Spread it out over 3-5 laps pointing out certain things as the session evolves. Example, first lap "turn 3 is blind, use the tree line on riders right as a reference point if you need one", second lap "you actually want to start rolling on harder here once you get the feel of where the chrest leads you and build up some speed coming to four", third lap "hopefully you're getting a feel for the flow of this blind corner"

 

Something doesn't need to be said about every corner during every lap, break it down into a complete "session" so more information can be communicated collectively verse trying to chase the rider (so to speak).

 

It could even have the beginning be like classroom with a track map just pointing out things before the actual rider video even starts.

 

FWIW...

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What would be infinitely valuable (IMO) is something like this video footage for most tracks that has voice overs with basic line selection, gotcha spots, "coming through three can get really bumpy", tips "you can actually take six faster than you might think at first"...sort of stuff. Granted, it would probably be somewhat opinion based and get argued, but the idea I think could provide people new to a track a baseline? :unsure:

I love this idea. It doesn't seem like it would take much to build a series of videos, provided the right person was doing the production.

 

 

I'm with you guys on this, I love this idea. If you could put together the right format with the right information, say general information, then maybe more detailed data based on skill level, additional input from different levels of riders (maybe Turn 1 has a declining radius double apex that would be disconcerting to a newer rider where an advanced rider would handle it in stride - just brain storming). Anyway, it's possible there would be a market for it. Research would be key, the more quality information you could put in it the wider the target audience. I'm not sure if there is a big enough market to do this but I like the idea!

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I make it a habit to watch video of a track that is new to me. It doesn't always help - for example I was busy watching VIR's SOUTH course before my class came up :lol: On the other hand, watching video of homestead with the map printed out next to me made a huge difference. I'm not going to say it directly made me faster, what it did though was make me comfortable with the visual cues to show me what was coming next. Really, more than anything, it made me comfortable. Trying to go fast on a track where you feel lost is a god awful feeling, especialy if you're one of us mere mortals who saves for months for a track weekend. The weekend before CSS @ VIR my GF and I went and watched the trackday at the north course and went to as many vantage points as we could find to see what we could expect.

 

Walking a track is fantastic, there really is no beating it.

 

One thing that I think is REALLY helpful, is making your own hand drawn picture of a track from memory, and then comparing it to the actual track map. It's probably THE easiest way to see what corners you're having problems with. A careful study of the picture you draw will tell you a LOT about where you're most comfortable and most uncomfortable. You can't HELP but draw the ones that scare you as HUGE or with radical turn angles or monstrous elevation changes because you're drawing from your memory which is impacted by your imagination.

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