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Fear Of Speed?


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I need to know how you guys got rid of the fear of speed (if you had any)!

 

I did a few track days last summer and even tough I knew the track, I always had this little voice in my head telling me that I was going way too fast.

 

I read TOTW 1 & 2 and the Soft science of road racing motorcycles. From those great books, I discover that I'm spending way too much attention thinking about a possible crash and not enough about what I should do at the moment!

 

I have a piece of tape that covers my speedo but my eyes are still telling that I'm going too fast for my own good.

 

Is there any trick I could use to get my brain and eyes comfortable with speed this winter? I was thinking of video games maybe, like motoGP or something like that, any ideas??

 

What's your training method?

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Doug,

Sounds like those little voices in your head, are your survival reactions having a little chat with you.

 

Open TOWT 2 ? Chapter 20 Page 88 : Lost in Space, or, Too Fast For What? Read this chapter. Does this seem familiar to you? Is this what the little voice is talking about?

 

If this is correct, open TWOT ? Chapter 4 Page 28 : Where to look. Read this section.

 

Let us know if we?re on the right track (pardon the pun).

 

Cheers

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Thank's Bones for the quick answer and your help !

 

I re-read the chapter you told me to and it's not exactly what I meant. I'm not feeling that I'm going too fast entering the turn or into the turn. It's when I'm flying down the straight line and looking at my turn point.

 

I always slow down before the turn because I'm telling myself that I'm going too fast and that it's dangerous. Too fast for what? Just too fast! Once inside the turn I regret going so slow ( relatively) because I know I could take it a lot faster. It's like a voice of reason or something. I do believe that a big part of my problem is that I'm never driving or riding that fast except on the track, and not being use to high speed in my everyday life is slowing down my progress.

 

So how can I train my brain and eyes to react to the flow of information I receive at high speed?

 

Fighter pilots have simulator and I read somewhere that before a Formula One race, some of the drivers play video game of the track they're going to race on in order to have their brains already in fast mode.

 

I was thinking of maybe something like that, in order to speed up the process of getting use to speed and to get back on the track next spring ready to go fast!

 

Thank's,

 

Doug

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Doug,

Sign up for school! I spent a year trying to teach myself the techniques I read about in Keith's books. Candidly, there was so much to learn plus there was no way to get any meaningful feed back to gauge whether I was doing any of these techniques correctly. Add in that we ride on public roads, constantly on the alert for cars, cops, critters and broken pavement that I realised that there had to be another way. My insurance agent (concerned about a claim) told me about the school so I signed up.

 

I remember in the beginning of Level I at Watkins Glen, I had just about wet my paints from fear when Jason, my first CSS Track Coach pulled up along side of me and pointed to his tail piece (meaning follow me)... off we went. When someone who KNOWS how to do this takes you around the course and you can actually see someone doing what you read about in both TotW books and heard from Keith in the classroom, much of the fear just goes away. The CSS program provides specific training techniques in the classroom that you immediately take out on to the track. You will have one track coach who will work with you all day to guide you through the drills and the sessions build upon one another as the day progresses. You will see how these techniques actually give you the tools to diminish much of your fear (survival reactions) and allow you to become a much better rider.

Kevin Kane

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Kevin, I wish I could!

 

Actually, before I did my first track day I took a riding class with the local track school. Both instructor were also racers but weren't really good instructor. The day was spent trying to follow them on the track going as fast as possible. That was before I found out about Keith Code and the TOTW books.

 

I wish I could go to CSS but they don't have a school around here. The closest track for me would actually be Watkins Glen , it's something like 350 miles from Quebec city, but with the exchange rate, travelling, lodging etc.. I might as well forget about it.

 

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining or anything, but that's why I'm trying to learn as much as possible by reading books and by asking for advice. If I have to learn by myself and by asking question than that's what I'll do!!

 

Bye, eh

 

Doug

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Guest xtrmln

Boy oh boy Doug and I seem to have the same glitch goin on in the quest for being a better rider. Fortunately for me I am signed up for the upcoming Sears Point class in Feb. I love seeing the amount of response from you guys involved with the school and I am absolutly chomping at the bit to get there and get going. I have read and re-read and tried to apply, now I can't wait to get some feedback on where I need to improve to go faster.

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Doug,

350 miles is a long way but not an uncommon distance for many people to go to school. I am in central NY state and other then Watkins Glen (open to bikes only to CSS and then only twice a year), and Pocono, all other tracks are at least that far from here. Look at the tracks that CSS visits and there is a lot of space between them. The exchange rate is a different issue, however.

 

If you can manage the expense, my experience comparing CSS with track days is that there is very little to compare between them except they both are about bikes on a track. If I had attended track days instead of CSS for my first few time out there, I would have sold my bikes at the end of the first season and never looked back. You ride at CSS at YOUR pace and having attended almost a dozen schools in three years, I can say without hesitation that none of their instructors will push you any faster than you are comfortable with and that is one key to how you get faster with CSS. You will be surprised how much you will improve by the end of the day.

Kevin Kane

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Doug,

I must confess that I?m a race simulator junkie. The only games I have for the PS2 are MotoGP 2 & 3, and Grand Turismo 3 (plus many other PC games, with force feedback wheel). I can?t honestly say that they?ve helped me go faster. Although in a good race simulator you still need to set RPs.

 

How can I ride my bike at full noise, down the front straight of Phillip Island and turn into turn 1 at 200+kph? Confidence. How do you get this confidence with speed, when the human body is only designed to travel at nothing above running pace? If you lose this confidence, how can you get it back?

 

I?ve tried to define a formula for Confidence which is in the Cornering Forum "((Education) Awareness) Control + Plan) Formula for cornering with confidence?". Although it refers to cornering, it applies to the straights as well. I believe that gaining this confidence is a gradual progress, and is best gained on-track (rather than the street).

 

Looking at the weather forecast for Quebec City, it doesn?t look like you?ll be riding anytime soon. So I now have a better understanding as to why you?re looking for an off track, off bike exercise that will allow you to feel comfortable at high speed.

 

Is there a trick, or an exercise that will allow you to be comfortable at high speeds? Not that I know of. Sure sounds like a challenge.

 

I?d still be interested in finding out why high speeds (or setting your entry speed from high speeds) are getting so much of your attention. You say that you slow down before the corner because you think you?re going too fast. Did you have a solid RP to begin braking/slowing down? How is your confidence at braking? Is this something that you?ve practiced?

 

PS. Are you using ear plugs? I use ear plugs to cut down on wind noise, which interferes with my sense of speed, especially at high speeds.

 

Cheers!

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after thinking about what i could do differently if i wanted to have MORE fear of speed (in order to perhaps better understand what you might be doing), the main thing i came up with was how far ahead I look when i am going fast.

 

If you want it to feel like you are going fast, just look close to the front of your motorcycle, your car, your mountain bike, heck, even your feet when you run. The closer you look, the more random information you are asking your brain to process, which makes it FEEL faster. If you choose, on the other hand, to focus on the information what is truly important (the things farther off in the distance that you will actually have time to do something about) your perception of speed will be much less.

 

My wife noticed the other day how far ahead i look when i drive the car (fast) because i was pointing things out that were 2 to 3 times farther away than where she was focused. When i asked her to push her attention out farther, she agreed the pace seemed much slower (and she felt safer!).

 

The sense of speed in games like MOTO GP2 is actually pretty good, but unless you are REALLY engrossed in the game, it will be hard to recreate the panic reactions that arise when your mind knows something is at risk. (maybe you could pay someone to poke you with a cattle prod when you crash in the video game?)

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I do track days to and this isn't what most of ya wanna hear, but I look at my speedo at certain times on the track. If I didn't, I start to loose my sense of perception of how fast I'm going. Only about 2 times will I look at it. Turn 1 and turn 9 for me. 2 important turns. I'll glance out of turn 3. If I didn't and not having a timer, it's the only way I can tell if my speed is up or I'm holding back....because of fear. I see no harm in glancing down from time to time but only when I can. I know a millisecond of the eyes shifting off can be very hazardous!!! :o I just use it as a gauge to see if I'm getting more speed. I could do a school, but that then would knock me out of about 4 track days for the year. And that's about all I can do. So what did I learn??? Good technique and no more time to practice it. Sorry, but us broke guys gotta do what we can and if that means cheating a little, well then that's the way it is.

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My question is do you ride fast on the street?

 

I ride very aggressively on the street. (Not Crazy)

 

I started Roadracing 4 seasons ago with the Central Roadrace Association. The significance to your question is that they ran Brainerd International Raceway as the only track back in 2000. Since then they started running the Mid-America Motorplex. The speed you will run at BIR is unbelievable. In order to stay with the pack you will need to turn it on all the way up, top gear wide open on the pin and hold it there all of the way through turn one. You shift down into second gear and hold it wide open through turn two dragging your knee all the way. There is a short straight and then turn #3. Turn #3 in very slow and curves back on itself. You really need to get on the brakes to enter with the right corner entry speed. If you start braking too soon you will get passed every time.

 

I guess for me it was being so new to roadracing, but I never thought about how fast I was going because everyone else was holding it wide open too. Perhaps plain ignorance? Looking back at my lap times, I really wasn?t going that fast. It sure seemed like it. Since then I put a few seasons under my belt, and I have cut many seconds off of my lap times. The biggest time finder was getting on the brakes later and later.

 

The best thing I did was taking level one and two. I went back for my next race event and found that I cut 10 seconds off of my lap-times. If there is any way you can get to a class take it.

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Hi Doug,

 

You're problem is definately visual and would definately be resloved with the 2 Step drill, the last drill of Level One and the first of the visual drills you would complete in Level 2.

Feeling too fast comes from a lack of space to ride into. You experance this at the end of the straight, before the turn point because you are fast running out of road (space) to ride to, namely into the corner.

 

Get on a School!

 

Andy ibbott

School Director (Europe)

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Thankfully Doug has the TOTW (I & II) and Soft Science books, but a CSS school seems to be too far, and out of budget reach for the moment.

 

We?ve got Doug to have a look at some ?time & space? sections of the TOTW to start with.

 

Remember the first time you unleashed the full power of your motorcycle? You know the feeling, of your eyes the size of dinner plates pressing on the inside of the visor. :blink:

 

I know we get used to riding at speed. We?re looking for an exercise that can be performed in winter and off-track, that will allow the person to become comfortable with extreme speeds. ?motorthings? has come up with some good suggestions (personally, I?d give the cattle prod a miss :D).

 

Cheers

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I wish to thank you all for your answers! I'm very surprised and pleased of how much help you have provided, making this a great forum.

 

I still don't have a perfect solution but I'm going to follow your suggestions and try to do track days as often as possible next year! Meanwhile, I'm going to play some MotoGP2 (can't hurt) and try to learn tennis. It was suggested to me as a great way to get better hand/eye coordination (can't hurt either).

 

Doug

 

P.S. I really liked the cattle prod idea. It's certainly going to make the game more challenging! :lol:

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