Jump to content

MY day at Pahrump...


Recommended Posts

Pahrump, Nevada is somewhat a desolate place…




But there is certainly a good reason to go there…






How did I spend my holiday weekend? In therapy…TRACK therapy, baby!


So I started out the day in my usual way, nervous about, well, everything. It was windy…REALLY windy. It was cold and I was on new tires. What if I fall? I was in new leathers on a new bike. I was at my first real track day (all others have been Keith Code schools or Femmoto, all ladies (so less egos and macho…sorry fellas!), and a demo day, so everyone was taking it easy). I was really looking forward to my first session, as it isn’t until after the first session that the nerves leave. So of course, my group was last, so I didn’t get to ride until 9:40AM! (and we were there at 6:40 AM to get a good pit spot!).


Here’s me smiling pretty anyway:




Remember back when ST.com used to assign a nickname to you based on how many posts you had, and one of them was “peg-scraper”? Well that was me on Saturday at the track! I just kept draggin’ the heck out of the footpegs on the FZR. Russell did make a suspension adjustment at lunch, and that helped, and I really worked on body position after lunch, and that helped too.


Anyway, the first part of the day I went pretty slow, concentrating on the visual skills I was taught at Keith Code. I looked for reference points (and never did find as many as I should have), I kept a wide view, I two-stepped. I was feeling pretty good with all that, so after lunch I started to work more on body position, since it was necessary - apparently - with the FZR!


I had a pretty good session working only on upper body skills. Didn’t drag a thing! I also had a pretty quick pace. I don’t have a lap timer; well, I do, his name is Russell. He timed me for a few laps, and I was between a 2:12-2:15. That’s pretty good, I think, considering the fast guys were 1:50’s.


However, after that session, an “instructor” (they call them track moderators) came up to me and said “It’s time”. I asked, “Time for what?” He replies, “time to get off the bike!” It took me a few seconds to realize he wasn’t asking me to leave, rather, he wanted me to start hanging off the bike a bit. I was leaning the bike over too much (true), and could fix that with more of me hanging off. OK, this is all true, and it was time I started working on that. However, he did say that my lower half was heavier and therefore more important to hang off than my upper body. I had always been taught the exact opposite. I didn’t make a case of it though, and I resolved to work more on lower body as well as upper body position.


I was well slower the next session (down to the 2:30s) in order to work on the lower body stuff. I noticed that I grip the tank with the wrong knee! I have both knees locked in the tank, I move my butt off, then lower my upper body, then I go to fly my knee out like the big boys do, and realize I don’t want to let go with THAT knee…that’s the one that’s really grippng! (I need to slide back in the seat more in order to get the correct knee in a better place to grip. It would also help to get some of that grip stuff that Code sells to help keep your knee locked in place better!)


Another thing I noticed, which seems “well, DUH!”, but it was an epiphany to me: The visual skills and the body position skills really fight with each other. It’s really hard to maintain a wide view of the track, when your body is really low and close the ground! I want to sit up so I can see better, yet I want to hang off the bike. Consequently, your neck gets QUITE a workout, craning it up so you can see better. That part of me hurt the most the next day!


All in all, I think I improved quite a bit. Here are some snaps of me riding.











Me and my bright colors sure stand out in Pahrump!




So, I was a little tired at lunch!




On the grid for a long time...



...Turns out, were were there for a while because there was an ambulance picking someone up to take a ride with this guy frown.gif Turns out, a cart racer on the other track had a nasty accident, and needed to be lifeflighted out of there. I thought it was impressive that he could land that thing in the small space he did, around all those power lines.




Can it be that this lady is an even bigger Hayden fan than me??? (she’s got Roger’s number on her bike, and she’s wearing Repsol leathers)




What a great way to spend a day! grin.gif


Link to comment

Man it sis great to see you progressing so well. And having so much fun doing it.t is killing me not being able to go to the track this year. probably a couple more months. I hope to catch up to you guys when you go to Reno Fernley. That is a FUN track. something like 43 turns or something. I went there the first weekend they opened the new expanded version last fall. you are looking thru the turn very well from your pics. It might help to check out your spring rat e too. Where was Russell? Being PIT B&^%$#@ch ?JK Great to see you out there

Link to comment

It might help to check out your spring rat e too.


The whole suspension on the bike is terrible. The "adjustment" I made was to max-out the rear preload on the 16 year-old stock shock (which was creaking and groaning like a door in a haunted house). It's going to get racetech bits in the forks (I doubt the fork oil has ever been changed), and something better on the rear. I found out that the 2006 R6 rear shock fits with very minor modifications, so I might look into that (used on eBay), rather than paying all the $$$ for a Penske/Ohlins/Fox unit.


Where was Russell? Being PIT B&^%$#@ch

Yessir...that's me.


I rode Sunday


Looking forward to seeing you at Reno!!

Link to comment

Djoh I just hadnt gotten that far down in the forum. Your gonna have to give ME a tow next time Russell thumbsup.gif Your body position is looking to be on the right track.

Link to comment

Lisa...you and your bike look great!!!! Louise wants to know if they'll let her ride on the back..LOL...New shocks will help a bunch.....How many sesions did you do???...and long are they??.....Did you like it better than the class room style??? How many guys did you pass????...



Link to comment

10? 10% hoon? I think not woman!


You sure are 100% honest. Has anyone taken one of your early ride tales and put them side by side with the track veteran you are becoming?


Thank you for the detail. For folks like me who've never been on a track it's very comforting to get this information the way you deliver it. It also illustrates what good education and practice means to a rider.


I think the 10% hoon thing needs some tweeking, but it's obvious the angel part is intact. Do you know any witty moderators who can tweek your nickname? grin.gif

Link to comment

Way to go!


As noted in previous post! Heart rate is up!


Congratulations on your first day with your new baby. I promise you that the FZR is a great bike. You will really see her (or is that his?)open up her heart to you once you play with the suspension a bit.


As previously noted as well, I am available for test rides! grin.gif


I think your assessment on you riding is wonderful. Your honesty with us, and more importantly, yourself will truly allow you to improve leaps and bounds!


Thanks for sharing and keep 'em coming! clap.gifclap.gif

Link to comment

Lisa...you and your bike look great!!!! Louise wants to know if they'll let her ride on the back..LOL...New shocks will help a bunch.....How many sesions did you do???...and long are they??.....Did you like it better than the class room style??? How many guys did you pass????...


At track days, I actually think you might be able to have a passenger on the back! grin.gif


I think the new shock will be great! If I ever braked real hard, the thing dived like a submarine, so hopefully that would get better too. All in all, I like the bike; it seems to fit me better than the Honda; just needs some tweaking to make it even better.


As for the amount of sessions, we actually got a BUNCH! We did seven 20-minute sessions. At the Code school, most levels do five 20-minute sessions, but Level 4 gets six.


I'm not sure if I liked this better than the classroom style or not. I like being able to work on whatever I want, as long as I want, but I miss that immediate feedback that an instructor would give me. I think I could stand to repeat all of Level Three of the Code school now; when I took that level, I wasn't really doing body position stuff. Really tentative with it. Now that I am hanging off a little more and getting a feel for it, all that stuff they taught us makes so much more sense now! I'd ask a question, and Russell would go "well that is what knee to knee (a level 3 drill) is for", and I'd be "oh yeah....!"


At one point, a track moderator had me follow him around the track, but I am not really sure why. With Code, I know what I am working on, and thus what to watch the instructor for when I follow them. And even if I can't figure it out on track, they'll talk to me afterward and tell me what we were working on. To this moment, I have no idea why I was following the moderator. I guess he was just showing me a different line or something. confused.gif


I suffice to say that it is nice to be able to pay less money (about half of what a school is) to really work the drills, but I would NOT be out here BEFORE taking a school; you have to have some idea of what you are practicing! smile.gif


As for passing, I still royally SUCK at passing. I'm just terrible at it. MUCH too tentative. Fortunately for me, it isn't much of a problem! blush.gif However, I did pass 3 people! smirk.gif

Link to comment
Paul Mihalka

Rides like a girl? Heck, Yeah! This girl kicks A$$!

Lisa, you look superb on the bike. Great style, great attitude, you know there is always something additional to learn (I'm still learning grin.gif).

Russell, you did create a monster! One day she might whip the pants off you thumbsup.gif

Link to comment
Marty Hill

Way to go Lisa. The so/cal girls who ride like a girl...wish I was half as good. dopeslap.gif


Lisa/Laney/Norah...Wow! thumbsup.gif

Link to comment



You rock. Definately an inspiration to me, as well as lots of others on the board.

It's really fun to see what track days are like and to hear about your experience (as well as to see how awesome you are).



Link to comment

Good work, Lisa. As you probably know. Russell and I have a tradition and madly emailiing/messaging between sessions. It's just kind of fun. I guess it started during MotoGP.


Anyway, he's really proud of how well you are progressing. I thought I'd say that in case he was holding back so you wouldn't get a big head. smile.gif


As I told him after hearing about the shitty suspension on your bike, this could be a blessing in disguise because it forces you to use the right body position to keep the bike upright. thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

Thanks for the well wishes, everyone! That means a lot to me! I'm certainly having a ball out there, and I'm glad I can share it with you.


Sylva, you rock too! I can't wait to ride with you some day - you on your own bike! (Although, you and Mark are a phenomenal pair!)


Kathy, you were my inspiration to get out there and really enjoy riding! I hope you like the track as much as I do! (although, it does get a tad pricey once the bug really hits...! Of course, for us, it's times 2!) cool.gif


Whip, what happened in Torrey? How did we miss riding together there! I said hello to you, and pretty much didn't see you any more after that! frown.gif You going to Gunnison?


Anyway, I realized I forgot to give my impressions of the track, and the track day organization. Real quick:


The Track:


AWESOME! I really enjoyed this track. Two long sweepers at the front (turns one and two), which I need practice on (I can never figure out a good line in a sweeper). Turn two goes on for days. Turn three is a little sharp, so I would brake before I would throw it into that turn. The little kinks are pretty easy to straighten, but I kind of like turning them (I like the quick transitions). Turn four was another small sweeper, and probably my favorite turn of the track. I loved throwing it in there. One of the track day organizers told us a great line through 5A and 5B which I followed, and it worked beautifully. He told us the line after the first session, so I could compare how I was doing it with the new line. MUCH faster using his line. Turn 6 was a nothing turn. I loved it because it LOOKED like you needed to slow down, but you didn't, so you could just speed right through the corner. Turn 7 was a bit sharp, and the gateway to the back straight. I had to watch my speed gain on the back straight, into turn 8 - yes, you can carry a lot of speed through 8, but look out for 9 (a nice sharp left hander!). Turn 10 was where I dragged the peg the most, and pinned the throttle on the exit trying to build up speed for the front straight. I tried downshifting to second gear a few times, and that was a much better gear to be in coming out of 10, but it was kind of difficult braking in the middle of 8 to slow down for 9, making the sharp turn of 9, moving to the other side of the bike to make the sharp right hand of 10...it got to be too much to do all that and think about shifting. I worked on other things this time. Some day, I will spend an entire day just working on shifting!!


As for the Take It 2 The Track organization, I thought they ran a great event. The moderators were very nice, the food was decent, and the rules were fair. We only had a very few number of crashes, and they were all minor lowsides. I would recommend these guys if you are thinking of doing a track day. thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

Let's see?


Gun - Check


Ammunition - Check


Old suspension - Check


Camera to record Russell blasting old suspension with gun and ammunition to pieces - Check


Date - ?


Oh yes!!! I nearly forgot. Liquid libations to celebrate above said event - Check


Ready? PULL grin.giftongue.gif

Link to comment
... in case he was holding back so you wouldn't get a big head. smile.gif


Someone could call "scoreboard." Last I checked, 90% Hoon ... er, Lisa, was leading in congratulatory replies.


I'm with Marty. Could someone please teach me to ride like a girl? thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

Awesome! Looks really good!

(Same to Russell, but we'll keep your thread at the top longer grin.gif)


Christine and I (David too) are headed to Barber this weekend to work on some things too. I also feel like I need to do Level 3 again, but this weekend, it is just corner working and practicing. Christine is taking Level 2. I think it will really help her.

Link to comment

Christine and I (David too) are headed to Barber this weekend to work on some things too. I also feel like I need to do Level 3 again, but this weekend, it is just corner working and practicing. Christine is taking Level 2. I think it will really help her.


ARGH! We'd love to join you guys again this year, but alas, it just isn't in the cards this year. (With the money we save on airfare, that's a few more track days!) thumbsup.gif


Have fun. I'm tempted to sign up for the corner-working gig; a long day in the sun, but free track time, and you get to watch everyone all day and learn from them (either from how they are doing it right, or how they are doing it wrong!)

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...