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December 5, 2003 in Ride Well
Good timing, my Duc Club is having a track event this weekend.
What he said is so true, unless you go to some type of school or ride with someone that can help you improve your destine to be as good a rider as you are right now.
For me, I need someone telling me what I'm doing wrong and suggest corretions because often I'm not doing what I think I am.
A good example is, a friend you mine was racing last month and got he's first second place finish. He said the difference was taking a class that morning before the race and applying what he had learned. I've also used the the same suggestion that was made to him and found that it works for me too.
Going out to the track without instruction is a blast but I find that I don't really improve my skills as much as I do riding one on one with someone that's there to help me.
Good article. Especially the part about picking the apples close to the ground first. It's easy to knock that first 10% of your times, but the remainder comes off, not in chunks, but itty bitty bits. On the three tracks I've worked seriously on times, my best laps are 124-125% of the lap record. It feels wonderful and I enjoy it at a plain that's hard to put into words, but the next 5% feel like 25%.
The best times I've had have not been on my own but following a better rider or instructor around, just aggressively passing everyone in sight without hesitation. Very much like Jerry mentioned. There's just no substitute for talking about technique and then emulating it with someone. That's where the Code program is exceptional in that it's structured very well.
The next step for me is aggressive speeds on the straights, with deeper braking. I don't enjoy that, so I've avoided it.
I am going to get my own track bike and do this stuff in a cheaper way soon, but I want to get as much out of the structured environment as I can first.
Back in the early 80's I raced in the AFM. They had a School to get your licence. The final test was one very fast rider up front which if not a national champion there was no way you would past him and at the rear i guy that was going at a race speed you could not fall behind him or you did not get your card to race. Since that time the level of training for track riding has improved so much. Maybe it's time to go back to school
A positive indication that you are out of your range is the negative moment when your survival instincts, Survival Reactions (SRs), kick in. The moment you go tense, the moment you target fix, the moment your right wrist backs off the gas unnecessarily, the moment you twist around on the bike or stab at the brakes, the moment you make unneeded steering corrections. The moment you hesitate. You know exactly what I am talking about.
Whether a rider's goal would be to avoid them by riding more moderately or to eliminate them through training (track days) depends on the rider. It seems to me that when a rider's SRs kick in it's because the rider has lost confidence for any number of reasons including equipment, speed, conditions, conditioning, training, etc.
Best article I've read on the subject - SRs, not cornering.
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