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Chasing the Carrot


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I believe that I'm a better rider than I was just a few years ago. Some new understandings, a couple CSS school days over the last few years (okay more than a couple), and a trackday or few thrown in.

I've used the level groups with an organization to give me a target on my progress. It seems like that organization isn't riding the same tracks in 2022 as they used to.

I'll need a new carrot. Chasing lap times for me doesn't provide an emotional hit, no immediate satisfaction. I get great satisfaction when I know I have a well-done corner, a well-done section and I begin to string together a few good laps.

What do you use to keep you coming back for more?

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I've found that chasing mastery of some specific challenge (my line out of this corner, my visuals for that section, the precision of my roll on for that exit) is what I benefit and enjoy most, and then lap times are a confirmation after the fact. If I just chase laptimes I find I don't enjoy myself as much, and often end up making more mistakes and not improving. Laptimes are a result, not a goal nor skill... well, with one exception: for race qualifying they're definitely the goal

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  • 5 weeks later...
9 hours ago, Jaybird180 said:

Some forward progress and then some regression...ah that's the way it goes. I was naive to think otherwise.

 

How long has it been between schools or trackdays (big track, not the minis, I know you do those too) for you?

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13 hours ago, Hotfoot said:

 

How long has it been between schools or trackdays (big track, not the minis, I know you do those too) for you?

Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!! You win the prize!

That was my takeaway from the School this time around. I don't have enough frequency of big-track time or training to solidify anything and I'm starting to see that many of the skills are perishable.

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On 5/6/2022 at 7:35 AM, Jaybird180 said:

Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!! You win the prize!

That was my takeaway from the School this time around. I don't have enough frequency of big-track time or training to solidify anything and I'm starting to see that many of the skills are perishable.

Yes, it does seem to take a few days to shake off the rust if you have not been on a big track for many months. That used to be a huge frustration for me. Now I just accept that it is part of the game, that if I am off the track for 3 months or more, I cannot expect to go right out and ride at the level I was at before. It takes some sessions - or even a couple of days, sometimes, if I was riding at a really high level before - to get my confidence and my timing back to where it needs to be. Honestly I also find that riding my smaller bike (the 250), while it improves a lot of skills, doesn't quite prepare me for riding an S1000rr on a big track like VIR. It helps fitness and flexibility and works the right muscles, but the forces are SO different because of the much harder acceleration and braking that it takes some time to get used to that, and the speeds go so much higher so much faster that my visual timing has to adjust, too.

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With your level of experience, you use 3-mos as a baseline for yourself. Do you have any thoughts (or maybe even some data) about how frequent mere mortals like myself should get to the track to maintain or improve proficiency?

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On 5/17/2022 at 12:06 PM, Jaybird180 said:

With your level of experience, you use 3-mos as a baseline for yourself. Do you have any thoughts (or maybe even some data) about how frequent mere mortals like myself should get to the track to maintain or improve proficiency?

Interesting question. The 3 month number that I threw out was a pretty rough estimate, just my sense of it for myself. I suspect it is very individual, that everyone will have a different threshold for how quickly they get "rusty" and how fast they come back. I asked Cobie that question once when I first started coaching and as I recall he said something like around once a month, but of course that is not always possible, depending on finances, weather, and proximity to available tracks. I will say that I see a LOT of riders feeling much more comfortable on their second day (in a row) of riding, which in my opinion is a big benefit of doing a 2-day camp vs just one day of school.

So - I'll throw that question back out to the group - anybody else have a sense of how long they can go between schools/trackdays and still feel sharp and ready to go when they DO ride next?

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While we wait for other participants, Josh Hayes has returned to racing at ViR. I won’t spoil it, but it was said that he had been training.

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