BikeSpeedman Posted August 25, 2016 Report Share Posted August 25, 2016 Like anyone who spends his time and money on CSS, I was enthusiastically gathering as much knowledge and practical application of that knowledge as I could. I scoured youtube, books, articles, etc. So by the time I went to the class, I had some pieces of the puzzle already. I'd have good days and bad days. I'd arrive at work and talk to my fellow biker buddy about how well or how poorly I rode on the way in. Some days I'd do okay on certain types of corners and make a mess of other corners. Or I'd do okay at speed but feel less confident when stuck behind slower traffic. I went to the class with some assumptions and even more questions. The coaches helped me separate the wheat from the chaff, answered all of my questions, used videos, photos, and data to help show me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I left the class way better than I arrived to be sure. While I returned home to twisty mountain commute far better than I had been, one thing that means even more is the bar set by the relentless critical eye of top notch coaches. I came home knowing that even after 2 very long days in the saddle, I still made a ton of mistakes. I still wasn't getting my weight off the bars properly. I was only light on the bars mid corner at a decent pace. But I knew it must be possible to be light on the bars in braking, at tip in, high speed or low, all the time. I would take a decent line around most corners but still made a hash of sharp corners and often let my eyes drift to the apex way after I should be looking at the exit. As primarily a road rider, it's often not necessary to roll off the throttle to turn. Most of the time, I'm riding a good pace but a steady pace. So in the class, I had a habit carrying some throttle past turn-in. So when I got home I made it a priority to continue riding as if my coaches were right behind me. I spent nearly 2 months riding much slower than before I went to the class. The first thing I focused on was getting my weight off the bars. Not just mid corner but always. I found a way to get my leg locked on that helped. It's about 80% side of the tank and 20% back of the tank. Before I knew it, I could ride super slow with the same light hands that I had at higher speed. Then I started focusing on the 3 step drills. Even on a new road where you don't have specific reference points, just ball parking the 3 steps makes a huge difference in line consistency. Now the bike is going where I expect it to go without exception and without mid corner corrections. Next I focused on fixing the bad position you see in my avatar. I don't know how many times James told me to keep my elbow bent but on the bike, I'd immediately stiff arm the inside bar when it was time to turn in. One day it just clicked that I should see if I could get the same force on the bar with a bent elbow. Yes! This is what they wanted me to do the whole time. And guess what, now the rest of my body is where it's supposed to be. Finally, I started working on rolling the throttle off and on through the turns. Obviously I'm not full throttle to a braking point on the road but instead I just worked on getting enough speed before the corner so that I can roll off the completely without running off the road on the inside. There's no lap time to worry about but it allows me to practice timing the roll off, the lean in, and the roll on. This is something that can even be fun at very slow speeds. A way to give yourself a challenge when circumstances simply don't permit speed or a decent amount of lean. Before I knew it, I found that I was getting it right, every corner, every time. Don't get me wrong. I know I'm still ~20 seconds a lap slower than ideal on a timed track lap. I still have a ton to learn and a then to put all that new knowledge to practice. But though my speed is lower than the experts, I've come away from the class (and subsequent homework) with the confidence and skill set to significantly, if not completely, eliminate close calls. I like to think every close call is a sign that I got lucky. The longer you go between close calls (especially the ones that were in your control) the safer you'll be. The more you'll enjoy riding. The more the entire process feels like fun and less like a mixture of fun and anxiety or frustration. So anyway, thanks to you guys (and gals) at CSS. You've made a huge impact on my life. 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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