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Hello From Ohio - First Css Sonoma Nov 3-4


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Hi all!

 

I'm a new member and will be attending my first CSS course next month. I've done lots of due diligence on the school and am excited to have the opportunity. Excited but also nervous. Nervous that I will do something stupid. I have read TOTW2 and watched the DVDs several times but have to admit that I still don't get cornering - choosing the right line (or any line) is always a challenge. I've never even been on a track so that seems intimidating as well.

 

I'm 58 years old and my goal is just to be a safe rider. I want to get better at cornering and be confident that I can put the motorcycle where I want to go even in traffic.

 

I would appreciate any advice on how to get the most out of the two days. If anyone has thoughts about the Sonoma track that would be helpful as well. I'm looking forward to the experience!

 

Thanks in advance!

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Welcome!

 

I am nervous before every track day I go to (been doing them for about a year now). But once you get onto the asphalt that goes away pretty quickly. You will have a great time, and you will learn a lot. You will without question be a safer, smarter rider at the end of your two days.

 

In terms of getting the most our of the classes, just listen and ask questions when there is confusion. They will certainly keep you busy at the 2-day camp with lots of track time, each session focusing on a different aspect of riding. And it starts slowly, first with a couple of very slow orientation laps to get you used to the track, etc. When going on those laps, I'd just try to sit back and get a feel for the track. Sonoma is an awesome track, probably my favorite (though I've only been on a few). You will build up speed over the course of the day, and remember that you should only be riding at about 80% of your ability in order to let the drills sink in. Lap times are meaningless, so don't worry about how fast or slow you are going, especially since as you said you're out there to learn how to be safer, not Valentino Rossi.

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Thanks for the input FieryRobot. I guess I won't be the only one there who is nervous. I won't be too concerned with my track time other than I don't want to be the slowest rider! Mainly I don't want to crash :). I just need to get as much as possible out of the experience and bring the knowledge back home so that I can continue improving. I am looking forward to it!

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Hi Cincy,

 

If you weren't a bit nervous, we should be worried :).

 

Truth be known, I think everyone is nervous the first time, and most everyone still gets excited about being at a track years later (I do, and been at tracks since 1982).

 

As for crashing: that's actually pretty hard to do. Motorcycles don't crash easily once you know the key pieces of how to make them handle and perform correctly. We'll cover that with you. Then, setting a pace that you can comfortably ride at, as the starting point. As that improves, adding a little bit of speed at a time (not a lot) is a proven approach to a good result. The biggest source of drama is riders just getting into the turns too fast. That and increasing lean angle and increasing throttle at the same time. If you keep your entry speed appropriate to your skill level, and don't add throttle and lean angle--you're gonna have a great 2 days.

 

How's that sound?

 

Best,

Cobie

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cincydiavel,

 

It's normal to be nervous, everyone is. However, the CSS crew are true pros and you will quickly find yourself at ease, having fun and learning a ton. Don't think of it as a race track, but as a laboratory for riding. No cars/traffic, no big hazards like guardrails if you run wide. There is never any pressure to go faster than you are comfortable. The coaches are highly trained, especially to spot potentially dangerous riding habits immediately and they will work very hard to ensure you stay upright. It only doesn't work if you don't listen to them or suddenly try to ride well above your current skill level.

 

As far as preparation goes, it sounds like you've done it. TOTW 2 is the best prep. The classes and the coaches will clear up any confusion you have on the material. If they don't, then ASK. Just show up with an open mind, listen and do your best to apply the drill you learned in the preceding class. A lot of students are super anxious to learn everything all at once. Of course, nobody can actually do that so just concentrate on doing THE ONE drill per session you are given to do as well as you can. They will build on each other to create a significant improvement in your overall riding. Just be patient, especially with yourself.

 

Your concern/confusion about your line will be addressed in the second drill in level 1.

 

Welcome and enjoy your experience!

Benny

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Thanks Guys! I've been a bit frustrated because even after reading TOTW II a few times and knowing what SR's are I can't always prevent them. I'm sure this is something I'll be working on well after I have completed the course.

 

Cobie, I will certainly remember your guidance and I look forward to having a great two days!

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Thanks Guys! I've been a bit frustrated because even after reading TOTW II a few times and knowing what SR's are I can't always prevent them. I'm sure this is something I'll be working on well after I have completed the course.

 

Cobie, I will certainly remember your guidance and I look forward to having a great two days!

For sure come and say hello when you get there!

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