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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:31 AM   #121
Ducati999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti View Post
This is clearly tied into not having enough mid corner reference points (as you recently discovered) but it is also tied into not looking at them soon enough. Think about it like this, if you were certain of where you wanted to be mid corner BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY TURNED THE BIKE, how much more confident would you be at turn entry? How much more consistent would your entry speed be?

1st step will be finding good consistent mid corner reference points, either the apex or as discussed in blind apex corners something BEFORE to lead you to the apex.

step 2 is the timing of WHEN you look at those new mid corner reference points. What happens if you look for them too late? What happens if you look at them at the SAME time you turn the bike?

How might things be different if you looked at those RP's BEFORE You actually turned the bike?

@Misty,
You will have to give me a little time to run this thru my brain before I can give you more than a guess as an answer. I will think about this and get back to you when I have worked this out.

Ant

Really like all the people hitting me with these questions. Helps me really focus on this issue and work out the answer from angles I would not have tried on my own.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:49 AM   #122
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@csmith12
Didn't nelson ledges get so bad they put cones in the potholes so you could see them, instead of filling the potholes?
Ah Nelson Ledges, they were large enough that... NOT "seeing" the holes was never even considered. The cones were put in place as a "when to call it" measure. If a cone was knocked over, the track day was OVER.

We hear street riders say stuff about hitting holes that would bend wheels and such, but this is the only track that is known to me where that has a very good chance of happening. Other issues were chunks of tarmac coming up punching holes in radiators or breaking helmet shields.

I humbly ask that you pardon me when I kinda chuckle a bit to myself when I hear riders reference "rough" surface. Since I have learned the bike can be going berzerk under you due to bumps and such, and a rider can still go fast, even in the WET! Let's call it an acquired taste.

Barring all that hot mess, Nelson will always hold a special place in my heart. I had so many "firsts" there. I am not talking about race wins, I am talking about personal skill breakthroughs.

@Ducati999
Hit the track man, new outlooks and revelations on previous issues are always finally solved at the track but this thread serving as a review and tone setting exercise will 100% serve you well.

Good luck sir!

EDIT: You use the term "pathetic" to describe yourself. Not cool... always be humble yes, but never think negatively of your progress in any way, shape or form. A WIN is a WIN! Remember my post a while back that says you can lean on your support system as a form of encouragement and inspiration? YOU are part of that too and nobody did amazing things while thinking they couldn't do it, it only happens when they believe they CAN do it.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 12:11 PM   #123
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Chris,
Your statement:
EDIT: You use the term "pathetic" to describe yourself. Not cool... always be humble yes, but never think negatively of your progress in any way, shape or form. A WIN is a WIN! Remember my post a while back that says you can lean on your support system as a form of encouragement and inspiration? YOU are part of that too and nobody did amazing things while thinking they couldn't do it, it only happens when they believe they CAN do it.
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I might have seemed down on myself but my intention was to show that I am at 50% of what is possible at this time---nothing more. I would not be updating this thread if I did not believe I could improve! The thread is entitled: "How to find the Edge" and I am still looking for it, but it cant hide forever
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Old February 1st, 2017, 02:10 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
@Misty,
You will have to give me a little time to run this thru my brain before I can give you more than a guess as an answer. I will think about this and get back to you when I have worked this out.

Ant

Really like all the people hitting me with these questions. Helps me really focus on this issue and work out the answer from angles I would not have tried on my own.
Of course!!! You've got a lot to think about and work through and I certainly don't expect you to have it perfected right away. Love that you are willing to take the time to really think it through before firing off a random answer. Take your time

And I like what Chris suggests about hitting up the race track and of being kind to yourself :dance cool: You're putting some good solid time into training and improving and that is admirable in and of itself!

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Old February 10th, 2017, 11:37 AM   #125
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@Misty,
I spent a bit of time on my (crashed) track bike really thinking and visualizing this and I think I have some answers for you now.

Your #1 Question: Minimum amount of reference point for a turn> I would have to say 3. Turn in point, Apex and Exit. Of course there could be any number for a given turn but the bare min# would be three I believe.

#2: How would knowing where I would be mid turn (for sure) before I turn in effect my confidence and consistency mid turn. Positively on both. Anyone would be more confident and able to have more consistient speed mid turn if they knew where they were going thru a turn!

#3: Most obviously easy answer. Bike goes where you look so looking at a reference point too late will be bad and early will have the bike turning or ready to turn when the time is right!

I will continue to think about these questions until I have all the "math" worked out in my head but that is what seems right to me so far
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Old February 14th, 2017, 12:44 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
@Misty,
I spent a bit of time on my (crashed) track bike really thinking and visualizing this and I think I have some answers for you now.

Your #1 Question: Minimum amount of reference point for a turn> I would have to say 3. Turn in point, Apex and Exit. Of course there could be any number for a given turn but the bare min# would be three I believe.

#2: How would knowing where I would be mid turn (for sure) before I turn in effect my confidence and consistency mid turn. Positively on both. Anyone would be more confident and able to have more consistient speed mid turn if they knew where they were going thru a turn!

#3: Most obviously easy answer. Bike goes where you look so looking at a reference point too late will be bad and early will have the bike turning or ready to turn when the time is right!

I will continue to think about these questions until I have all the "math" worked out in my head but that is what seems right to me so far
Excellent! Correct on all 3 questions and I love that you took the time to really think about and analyze before you answered. I'd like to hear about how it goes for you when you get back to the track and you can experiment with finding more RP's and then deciding when to look at them.

We've talked about how you can look towards the apex too early and/or too late....so how do you think you determine WHEN exactly you are supposed to look towards the apex RP?
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Old February 16th, 2017, 08:05 AM   #127
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Update on Physical conditioning

I just wanted to give a quick update on my progress with getting into better shape. Been a while since I drank a soda! This is a huge accomplishment for me as my job puts me in constant temptation to grab a cold soda. They are everywhere here and free! I have been drinking loads of water and some unsweetened Iced tea, I have lost enough weight for it to be noticeable and there is some sign of "muscle" in the expected areas. I know and feel I have much more energy and my strength has increased. Not bragging just posting results, I am no where near my target weight but I do feel better and have more energy. All this will help with my track time later this year.

I have many of the parts for my 916 rebuild and more on the way and the 999 is just about ready for a rip around the block as a shake down! Just need some warm weather to make it happen. I may have just worked out a deal to have my entire year at the track paid for( not a sponsor but selling some stuff)
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Old June 6th, 2017, 09:22 AM   #128
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Hello Everyone,
I have had a lot going on the last 4 months and have not been able to post up here much but I want to continue with what I have learned and my attempt to learn how to ride a motorcycle fast n safe. I have not yet been able to get out on the track this year but that will change in July! I have all the parts to get my bike ready to get back out there and more importantly, I am more physically ready! I have lost 12-15lbs and have been exercising more often. My endurance is higher and I am stronger and more flexible than before the crash. One of my biggest issue we (thank you @Misty and @csmith12) found was my lack of reference points. This problem is not easy to address off the track especially when I have not even ridden a bike since the crash. I have been trying to train my brain to run tracks while looking for and setting reference points. There is no way to tell if my "brain training" has worked until I get out on the track but I do feel I have improved.

I will continue to update this thread with whatever I learn and experience in the hope that someone else with similar goals can benefit. Please do not hesitate to correct anything I might post that is incorrect or potentially dangerous as I am still learning and what I think and reality might be very different.

Ant
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Old June 6th, 2017, 11:43 AM   #129
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FWIW Ken Condon said to me during one-on-one instruction that you should develop a "relationship" with the track. Get to know it in detail. That means choosing marks and hitting them every time... and slowing down until you can do that.

If you can't hit your marks, why not? Either you're not focusing on them, or you're riding in such a way that you can't get there. No matter which it is, the answer is to slow down and focus.

Consistency is where it's at.

It's the same conversation we've had before. Speed will come by itself. Get the basics right first.

Vision -- identify your marks and consciously look for them.

Consistency -- have a plan, but be adaptable if it doesn't go right.

Think ahead... Chris has said, IIRC, that he tries to think one or two corners ahead. At Palmer, that means he's thinking about turn 6 while he's in the middle of the 4/5 esses.
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Old June 7th, 2017, 12:12 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
FWIW Ken Condon said to me during one-on-one instruction that you should develop a "relationship" with the track. Get to know it in detail. That means choosing marks and hitting them every time... and slowing down until you can do that.

If you can't hit your marks, why not? Either you're not focusing on them, or you're riding in such a way that you can't get there. No matter which it is, the answer is to slow down and focus.

Consistency is where it's at.

It's the same conversation we've had before. Speed will come by itself. Get the basics right first.

Vision -- identify your marks and consciously look for them.

Consistency -- have a plan, but be adaptable if it doesn't go right.

Think ahead... Chris has said, IIRC, that he tries to think one or two corners ahead. At Palmer, that means he's thinking about turn 6 while he's in the middle of the 4/5 esses.

Andrew,
Thank you for this input! I have been thinking about this very thing a lot lately and think I have a plan to work on this very issue of "Learning the Track". I have noticed that the new assistant I have at work gets lost often in the buildings where we work. We rarely work in the same building for more than 2 days and there may be several rooms we are working in and he often does not remember the way back to rooms we worked in earlier in the day or even the entrance. I don't have this issue and why should that be? We both spend the same amount of time traveling the same route yet I remember and he gets lost. Apart from any possible learning disability, which I am fairly sure he does not have, the main difference is that he is new to this type of work and I have done this for over 15 years. Why is this important? What the He!! does this have to do with the race track???

I have realized that his mind is busy thinking about the job and what he might need to do and other aspects while I am comfortable knowing my job and have the extra "broadband" in my mind to remember the route to and from the exit or rooms. This is definitely part of my issue on the track. While trying to lap at 80% of my possible pace, I have no additional mind capacity to think 2-3 turns ahead. I am familiar with the track but with braking, shifting, entry speed, lean angle and the proper line in the front of my mind there is no space for this processing. The only way to assure I can keep my mind focused on what I should be thinking about (where I should be headed and my line/reference points) and not what I am forced to think about (entry speed, shifting, braking and correcting mistakes) I need to slow down to the point where I can do all the other tasks automatically and devote my mind to following the correct line thru my reference points!

I have spent hours over the last few months working this out and the answer is to simply slow down and smooth out my riding so I can shift less and brake less and hit my marks more. I know it sounds simple but when you are out on the track there is always the temptation to "go fast". Going fast is relative to your skill level and your lack of skill can make you feel like you are going fast when your lap times show the opposite! The closer I get to 100% of what my skill will allow, the faster a turn may come up but the speed may just be 1-5 MPH faster than last time. The major difference is that I have less time to do the things I need to do just to not crash--not the things I should be doing to be smooth or set up the next turn. Rushing up to a turn requires me to rush my shifting, brake less smoothly and possibly (no matter how slightly) overshoot my entry/turn in point. Once speed reaches past the point where you can continue to be smooth and accurate with your inputs and controls, mistakes are made and correcting mistakes just takes more of the available "broadband" from your mind. I can see no other way to work up to "fast" other than to slow down and work on getting everything done correctly at that level then slowly add more speed and repeat until other people tell you that you are "fast"! I cant say for sure because I have not yet been there but I think that once you are fast it does not really feel that way because things are still happening at the level you can process!
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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:22 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
Andrew,
Thank you for this input! I have been thinking about this very thing a lot lately and think I have a plan to work on this very issue of "Learning the Track". I have noticed that the new assistant I have at work gets lost often in the buildings where we work. We rarely work in the same building for more than 2 days and there may be several rooms we are working in and he often does not remember the way back to rooms we worked in earlier in the day or even the entrance. I don't have this issue and why should that be? We both spend the same amount of time traveling the same route yet I remember and he gets lost. Apart from any possible learning disability, which I am fairly sure he does not have, the main difference is that he is new to this type of work and I have done this for over 15 years. Why is this important? What the He!! does this have to do with the race track???

I have realized that his mind is busy thinking about the job and what he might need to do and other aspects while I am comfortable knowing my job and have the extra "broadband" in my mind to remember the route to and from the exit or rooms. This is definitely part of my issue on the track. While trying to lap at 80% of my possible pace, I have no additional mind capacity to think 2-3 turns ahead. I am familiar with the track but with braking, shifting, entry speed, lean angle and the proper line in the front of my mind there is no space for this processing. The only way to assure I can keep my mind focused on what I should be thinking about (where I should be headed and my line/reference points) and not what I am forced to think about (entry speed, shifting, braking and correcting mistakes) I need to slow down to the point where I can do all the other tasks automatically and devote my mind to following the correct line thru my reference points!

I have spent hours over the last few months working this out and the answer is to simply slow down and smooth out my riding so I can shift less and brake less and hit my marks more. I know it sounds simple but when you are out on the track there is always the temptation to "go fast". Going fast is relative to your skill level and your lack of skill can make you feel like you are going fast when your lap times show the opposite! The closer I get to 100% of what my skill will allow, the faster a turn may come up but the speed may just be 1-5 MPH faster than last time. The major difference is that I have less time to do the things I need to do just to not crash--not the things I should be doing to be smooth or set up the next turn. Rushing up to a turn requires me to rush my shifting, brake less smoothly and possibly (no matter how slightly) overshoot my entry/turn in point. Once speed reaches past the point where you can continue to be smooth and accurate with your inputs and controls, mistakes are made and correcting mistakes just takes more of the available "broadband" from your mind. I can see no other way to work up to "fast" other than to slow down and work on getting everything done correctly at that level then slowly add more speed and repeat until other people tell you that you are "fast"! I cant say for sure because I have not yet been there but I think that once you are fast it does not really feel that way because things are still happening at the level you can process!
Very well put! I've written an article in the past called Go Slow to GO Fast and the premise there is that you often have to slow down your riding in order to learn a technique correctly before you try and do it at speed. It's pretty hard (as you mention) to head out for a track day and find new reference points while riding at 70-90%. Slowing down the overall speed will give you time and space and brain capacity to choose and remember and incorporate reference points. Once they become solid and consistent in your mind, then the speed will naturally increase as you confidently move from one specific place on the track to the next.

I like to use the analogy of "Connect the dots"- when you do a connect the dots little drawing/puzzle activity thingy the lines from the sequencing numbers at first tend to be straight and rigid but as you being to notice what type of shape or drawing is being made with the connect the dots (maybe a firetruck or a busy or a dog, whatever) the lines become more fluid and rounded even- instead of a straight line you may arc it slightly to form the rounded part of the bunny's ear. This is similar to how it might feel at first when you begin utilizing your reference points. You may feel like you are just going from point to point (Turn in, apex, exit...etc etc...without much flow) BUT as you become more secure and familiar with the track and your location on the track the information coming in becomes much smoother and more fluid. Suddenly you aren't dot-to-dot but you are flowing from your turn in point to the apex to the exit in a smooth fluid motion.

Now, what are some ways that might help you pick up reference points more quickly or some strategies to help you remember the reference points that you do pick?

(I'm really enjoying this thread and all the updates btw, thanks )
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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:41 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti View Post
Very well put! I've written an article in the past called Go Slow to GO Fast and the premise there is that you often have to slow down your riding in order to learn a technique correctly before you try and do it at speed. It's pretty hard (as you mention) to head out for a track day and find new reference points while riding at 70-90%. Slowing down the overall speed will give you time and space and brain capacity to choose and remember and incorporate reference points. Once they become solid and consistent in your mind, then the speed will naturally increase as you confidently move from one specific place on the track to the next.

I like to use the analogy of "Connect the dots"- when you do a connect the dots little drawing/puzzle activity thingy the lines from the sequencing numbers at first tend to be straight and rigid but as you being to notice what type of shape or drawing is being made with the connect the dots (maybe a firetruck or a busy or a dog, whatever) the lines become more fluid and rounded even- instead of a straight line you may arc it slightly to form the rounded part of the bunny's ear. This is similar to how it might feel at first when you begin utilizing your reference points. You may feel like you are just going from point to point (Turn in, apex, exit...etc etc...without much flow) BUT as you become more secure and familiar with the track and your location on the track the information coming in becomes much smoother and more fluid. Suddenly you aren't dot-to-dot but you are flowing from your turn in point to the apex to the exit in a smooth fluid motion.

Now, what are some ways that might help you pick up reference points more quickly or some strategies to help you remember the reference points that you do pick?

(I'm really enjoying this thread and all the updates btw, thanks )
@Misti,
Thanks for your input and kind words. I don't have "skill" to teach other riders but my hope is that new riders might read this long thread of my experience and find some of the answers--hopefully quicker than I --that I have learned. I am not much of a writer but I do try to make what I am thinking make sense as best as I am able.

I have not yet figured out what I need to set the right amount of correct reference points. I can say that the first few times I rode on a race track that the X's and cones did not make much sense and like your analogy, I was riding in rigidly straight lines from one to the next. Once I was able to get not only my entry point to a turn right but the orientation of the bike at the entry point and hit the apex at the correct angle/line, I was able to carry speed while accelerating out of the turn to drift the bike out to the next marker. Once this made sense, the lines between markers/reference points become more sweeping lines than straight point to point riding. I have this down fairly well but there are still a few (especially large sweepers) turns where I need more reference points to "flow" thru the turn. I anticipate once I get back on the track late next month, with my slower pace, I will be able to figure out where I need to add markers and will be able to finish these large turns better and set up for the next section. There should be no issue with remembering the points once I have them picked out but first I must find not only a reference but the correct one to keep me on the right heading thru the turn.

As always,
Thank you for your time

Ant
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Old June 8th, 2017, 10:24 AM   #133
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@Misti,
Thanks for your input and kind words. I don't have "skill" to teach other riders but my hope is that new riders might read this long thread of my experience and find some of the answers--hopefully quicker than I --that I have learned. I am not much of a writer but I do try to make what I am thinking make sense as best as I am able.

I have not yet figured out what I need to set the right amount of correct reference points. I can say that the first few times I rode on a race track that the X's and cones did not make much sense and like your analogy, I was riding in rigidly straight lines from one to the next. Once I was able to get not only my entry point to a turn right but the orientation of the bike at the entry point and hit the apex at the correct angle/line, I was able to carry speed while accelerating out of the turn to drift the bike out to the next marker. Once this made sense, the lines between markers/reference points become more sweeping lines than straight point to point riding. I have this down fairly well but there are still a few (especially large sweepers) turns where I need more reference points to "flow" thru the turn. I anticipate once I get back on the track late next month, with my slower pace, I will be able to figure out where I need to add markers and will be able to finish these large turns better and set up for the next section. There should be no issue with remembering the points once I have them picked out but first I must find not only a reference but the correct one to keep me on the right heading thru the turn.

As always,
Thank you for your time

Ant
I look forward to reading about how it goes next time you are on track.

Now, have you ever tried to draw the track? Not copy a track map but to free draw the track from memory? Can you see any kind of benefit to trying this exercise? What could come from drawing the track from memory?
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Old June 8th, 2017, 11:24 AM   #134
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Quote:
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What could come from drawing the track from memory?
Positive demonstration of an utter lack of artistic skill?

In all seriousness, it would solidify your memory of the track in the same way that writing things down solidifies them in your mind. I've taken to doing the latter more and more... the action of applying pen to paper triggers memory formation and recall in a way that's different from digital input. It forces you to slow down, be deliberate and think about what you're doing.

Something I like to do is run a movie of the track in my mind, over and over. I can see every marker, feel specific bumps, recall individual moments from the last time I was there.... I can readily describe every part of the track at Palmer in detail, based on that visual memory.

YouTube is an amazing tool for this. Every track I'm ever going to ride has been captured on video by riders far more skilled than I. Sometimes they're even narrated... I have a couple of those posted in the Northeast Track Day thread.

My wife doesn't get it but it sure beats binge-watching NCIS.
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Old June 8th, 2017, 10:05 PM   #135
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My wife doesn't get it but it sure beats binge-watching NCIS.
What's wrong with binge-watching NCIS? Some good eye-candy there.
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Old June 9th, 2017, 04:49 AM   #136
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Ant: A couple of things from the posts above... First of all, for the tracks we're riding at the pace we ride, you really don't need to shift except on the straight. You ride a Ducati 999, which can pull stumps. You've seen the TTD instructors... did you know that people like Ken and Paul Duval ride the entire lap (except for the straight) at Thompson in third gear... on 600s? Similar with Palmer. And you know how fast those guys are.

Point is, that you're increasing your workload for no reason. The less you have to do, the less you have to think about, and the less you have to think about, the more bandwidth you've got to pay attention to what actually matters.

Which brings me to the second item... bandwidth and focus. Really like the story about your coworker and how he's so preoccupied that he's ignoring important things. I've ridden with you enough to believe that you're similarly preoccupied, trying to solve the whole equation at once. "I know what I need to work on," you've said many times, and then comes a list. What's worked for me is to concentrate -- REALLY concentrate -- on as few things as possible.

Forgive the windy anecdote, but it illustrates the point:

Many years ago I was taking a university course in plant biology. One day, the topic of the lecture was nutrients. We were discussing the three key elements necessary for growth: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). When you go to your local garden center and look at fertilizer, you’ll see a number like 15-2-2 prominently displayed on the label. That’s the percentage of those three elements in the bag.

The professor was talking about factors that limit growth. He drew a simple illustration: an old-fashioned barrel, the kind with vertical wooden staves. He labeled three of the staves N, P and K.

“The level of water in the barrel represents growth potential. Now what happens if I make one of the barrel staves shorter?” He erased the upper half of the P stave. The water level in the barrel could then, of course, be no higher than that.

“Phosphorous is limiting growth here. It doesn’t matter how much of the other two key nutrients you’ve got. If you don’t add phosphorous, you won’t improve growth. Here’s the point: It’s a waste of time, money and effort to add nitrogen fertilizer if what’s really limiting you is phosphorous. You have to focus on what’s holding you back.”

That one lecture changed the way I think about complex systems. Ever since, it has been my guiding principle for setting priorities.

Carry this over to riding. If what's limiting you is nailing your marks, then working on other stuff is a waste of time. Think hard about what your single greatest issue is, and work on that. Once you've got it, another weakness will emerge as the limiting factor, and you can work on that.

More in the next post....
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Old June 9th, 2017, 05:12 AM   #137
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Here's what I learned during one-on-one with Ken.

I went in with that "What's holding me back?" mindset and I decided before the instruction day that it's confidence. I'm too tentative everywhere. My form and basic skills are good but I just have a hard time really committing.

So we worked on that. What Ken saw was way too many corrections, caused by overreacting to perceived issues that didn't really matter. I'm working too hard trying to stay out of trouble and get it right. The couple of laps where I really paid attention to letting go (my true limiting factor) were great. I wasn't focusing on how hard I was braking, or my throttle roll-on, or other such things. It was all about that one element.

It goes without saying that in order to focus like this, you have to ride at a pace where the other stuff can take care of itself. If you're going into corners so hot that it's triggering SRs, then you instantly lose the lock on what you're trying to accomplish. That doesn't mean you can completely ignore those things, but it does mean riding at a pace where they're not going to rise up and dominate your attention.

The point about pace is exactly why I've paid so much attention to fundamentals like body position. I want to make them second nature so that I can move on and focus on more important things. If I'm riding so fast that I'm starting to think too much about braking or staying on the track or... ahem... my left foot in Turn 7 at Palmer then I no longer have the bandwidth to deal with that one, true, limiting factor.
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Old June 9th, 2017, 07:29 AM   #138
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WOW @adouglas,
Lots to think about there and I have never even seen NCSI!. Let me think about this for a little while before I really reply. I spend lots of time running the recorded video and my memory of every track I ride on. I don't think "knowing" the track is the biggest issue but I need time to process you last posts before I really reply.
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Old June 12th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #139
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Positive demonstration of an utter lack of artistic skill?

In all seriousness, it would solidify your memory of the track in the same way that writing things down solidifies them in your mind. I've taken to doing the latter more and more... the action of applying pen to paper triggers memory formation and recall in a way that's different from digital input. It forces you to slow down, be deliberate and think about what you're doing.

Something I like to do is run a movie of the track in my mind, over and over. I can see every marker, feel specific bumps, recall individual moments from the last time I was there.... I can readily describe every part of the track at Palmer in detail, based on that visual memory.

YouTube is an amazing tool for this. Every track I'm ever going to ride has been captured on video by riders far more skilled than I. Sometimes they're even narrated... I have a couple of those posted in the Northeast Track Day thread.

My wife doesn't get it but it sure beats binge-watching NCIS.
If you draw the track then yes, it helps to solidify it in your mind for sure. But it also helps to point out the areas where you have more visual information and confidence. this usually coincides with your speed through that section. The more info you have about that section of the track, the quicker you can go.

So it also shows where you are lacking visual information and therefore gives you a target area to practice. When I raced AMA at Daytona and Fontana I had never even turned a wheel at the track and had only one full practice day and 3 sessions the following morning before qualifying. I drew the tracks and that clearly identified my weakest areas (which also corresponded with my slowest split times) So I made sure to focus on that area the next time I went out to find more reference points. Each session out I picked a few corners to add more reference point and each time I came in I drew a new track and added my points. Each time I drew the track I had more information and I was quickly able to learn the track and get my times fast enough to be able to qualify for the grid.

It works to push you to pick specific areas to work on and to really be conscious of track layout and reference points
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Old July 7th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #140
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I low-sided to find the edge. With the stock road winners i have about a 1/2 inch strip on the edge of the tires. tiny little area i could probably press into but that area gets spooky on the road. I'm not dilusional enough to think i am a superbike track star on our canadian roads but every day i ride i push it i to corners at the edge of its traction. Suspension, tires, tire pressure, suspension condition are big things though, the more abuse we put on those things the less the bike will stay sticking. I dont baby my bike and im starting to feel it now... time for a new rear shock and a new set of sticky buns. how people ride into corners is huuuuge though common mistake is folks ripping into a corner way way to hot and having to use the breaks which is a terrible effing idea. The little 250 is a rocket into corners i ride twisty old logging roads where folks who have larger bikes have a hard time keeping up because power doesnt mean fast. in that scenario its about technical riding. anyone can go strait line fast but it takes planning and experience to know where to be when and i swear on a stack of bibles the only way most people learn is to low side it.



all one can do is have the bike set up well, then press through the optimal line faster and faster until.they feel it shake.
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Old July 7th, 2017, 12:53 PM   #141
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I'm not dilusional enough to think i am a superbike track star on our canadian roads but every day i ride i push it i to corners at the edge of its traction.
This is a really great way to learn what crashing is like first-hand.

Pushing it to the limit -- whether it's yours or the bike's -- leaves no margin for error or the unexpected.

Also... pushing INTO the corners at the limit of traction? That means you're on the ragged edge BEFORE you add traction-related elements like changing lean angles, trail braking, throttle application, etc.

Slow in, fast out.

Ride well within the limits -- of you, of the bike, and of the road and traffic conditions.

This is how you keep from losing it and getting hurt.

This is what has kept me rubber-side-down for 30 years with zero crashes in that time.
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Old July 7th, 2017, 12:55 PM   #142
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it takes planning and experience to know where to be when and i swear on a stack of bibles the only way most people learn is to low side it.
I respectfully disagree. You will never convince me that crashing a bike is how people learn to plan or ride better.

What crashing teaches you is that you screwed up. It does not teach you how to avoid crashing in the first place.

Proper instruction, mindful riding within the limits and practice teach you how to ride well.
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Old July 7th, 2017, 01:57 PM   #143
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I respectfully disagree. You will never convince me that crashing a bike is how people learn to plan or ride better.

What crashing teaches you is that you screwed up. It does not teach you how to avoid crashing in the first place.

Proper instruction, mindful riding within the limits and practice teach you how to ride well.
I'm not going to disagree with you at all, i get all my breaking done strait and acellerate through but i do kinda push it in places i shouldnt. crashing is a terrible way to find the "dont go here" area i totally agree just seems people want to find that spot or accidentally do it before they learn not to go there. crashing sucks, it really sucks. was more or less just pointing out some folks gotta learn the hard way. i did... tbh dieing doesnt spook me its the loosing an arm or leg or arms and legs or use of arms or legs that spooks me.
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Old July 7th, 2017, 05:18 PM   #144
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MOTM - Nov '17
I took 5-sec off my lap-times at Thunderhill this last weekend compared to last month. This now puts me mid-pack in 250 Prod instead of dead last!

1. In two weeks between, I watched a lot of YouTube videos of previous 250 Prod top-finishers. Lots of slow-mo and freeze-frame analysis to determine their key braking, turn-in and apex points. I found I was right on with braking, but slightly off with turn-in and apex (more later). I also listened to engine sounds to determine when they got off and back on throttle.

2. CRASHING! It's been a while since my last crash, about 20 track days ago back in March. However, I did tuck front-end last weekend in turn-2. It waggled bars something fierce, I stood it up, went off-road and came back on. Both these incidents had NOTHING to do with rider-skill in handling bike or navigating track; it was 100% error in judgement and choosing markers.

Previous crash occurred because I was too gung-ho on first lap out and went like bat-out-of-hell trying to pick up at same pace as last lap of previous session. Even with tyre-warmers, they cool off on way to start-line and waiting around. Recent front-end tuck was due to me increasing throttle while tightening line and adding lean-angle!!! Due to incorrect apex selection...

3. REFERENCE POINTS! This is what helped me most! Using Misti's idea of connecting dots (or Code's 2-step entry process), I worked on optimizing my turn-in and apex points. As I approached turn-in, I looked for apex before actually turning. I found that cones they placed for apexes was off from what I saw on YouTube videos. Cones were set with very late apexes for big bikes to drive down straights (and sacrifice cornering speed).

On the 250, I'd come in faster than them and had to tighten line to hit late apex and end up with lots of extra space on outside coming out of corner. That's when I tucked front-end, trying to get more speed coming out of corner before even hitting apex.

4. MODIFY MARKERS for 250! I found by moving apex earlier to match what I saw in videos and having them more towards centre of corners allows me to go around corners faster and get on throttle earlier. I was finally able to use up all that extra space on exit.

Going around corner faster also had an effect on my braking marker. I found myself coasting more after braking because I didn't have to slow down as much. I removed one extra downshift in couple corners. So I moved my braking markers further down these straights.

So.... watching faster 250 riders (even better, follow them), and optimizing connect-the-dots markers really reduced my laptimes. All without having to push it and risk crashing.
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Old July 8th, 2017, 02:04 PM   #145
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In case I wasn't clear, I don't think going faster and finding "the edge" is about pushing harder and harder until you crash, then backing off. That's just making the same mistakes over and over again wishing for a different result.

No, I think getting faster is riding smarter, it's a brain game like chess, not pushing harder and harder like boxing. It's about being observant, flexible and resourceful in analyzing the track and your bike's behavior. Then re-adjusting reference-points, braking and throttle-control to maximize speed and traction. You'll be able to creep up to "the edge" slowly and gradually without actually going over and crashing. There's plenty of warnings and signals from bike when you're approaching "the edge". Even then, it's not a hard-edge and you can optimize physics of traction with adjusting body-positioning and fore/aft weight-balance.

I'm still 10-sec off the 250-Prod lap-record, so just because I slid the front-end, doesn't mean I'm riding as fast as possibly can or up to bike's ability. Someone else has gone faster on similar equipment, so I need to determine how to extract another 0.7s per turn out of my RPs and technique. Got some ideas I'm going to try next time!
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Old July 8th, 2017, 02:45 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by JacRyann View Post
In case I wasn't clear, I don't think going faster and finding "the edge" is about pushing harder and harder until you crash, then backing off. That's just making the same mistakes over and over again wishing for a different result.

No, I think getting faster is riding smarter, it's a brain game like chess, not pushing harder and harder like boxing. It's about being observant, flexible and resourceful in analyzing the track and your bike's behavior. Then re-adjusting reference-points, braking and throttle-control to maximize speed and traction. You'll be able to creep up to "the edge" slowly and gradually without actually going over and crashing. There's plenty of warnings and signals from bike when you're approaching "the edge". Even then, it's not a hard-edge and you can optimize physics of traction with adjusting body-positioning and fore/aft weight-balance.

I'm still 10-sec off the 250-Prod lap-record, so just because I slid the front-end, doesn't mean I'm riding as fast as possibly can or up to bike's ability. Someone else has gone faster on similar equipment, so I need to determine how to extract another 0.7s per turn out of my RPs and technique. Got some ideas I'm going to try next time!
Jack are you coming to rnd 4 at thill next week? ill be in race 1, 250 superbike, join the fun. will find the edge together.
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Old July 8th, 2017, 04:21 PM   #147
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Jack are you coming to rnd 4 at thill next week? ill be in race 1, 250 superbike, join the fun. will find the edge together.
I want to go, but MSreg.com won't give me any options to signup for practice or races. Multiple emails to AFM have gone unanswered. I'll try ringing everyone's number I can on Monday.
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Old July 13th, 2017, 12:42 PM   #148
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Another Update

Hey everyone,
I am back again to update this thread. Finally made it thru the busiest 4 weeks of my life. The wifes family is back in England and the Bathroom is finally finished. Over the last 3 weeks I have been to Canada, Southern New Jersey, Newport RI, Boston 2X and Jamestown. Spent more time in the car than sleeping for a few weeks! I did manage to get the bike back together and she sure looks pretty! I am finally ready to return to the track!

My original plan was to hit Palmer as I know that track best, then try some other tracks once I had shaken the cobwebs from my head. Looks like that will not be the plan. My first track trip is shaping up to be NYST on Aug 5-6. Never been to this track but I am going to use this as an opportunity to learn a new track and apply what I have learned in an unfamiliar environment. Anyone can learn to do good lap times if they always ride the same track but I am going to test myself and see how I do on a new to me track. I will update once I know more.
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Old July 22nd, 2017, 07:35 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacRyann View Post
I took 5-sec off my lap-times at Thunderhill this last weekend compared to last month. This now puts me mid-pack in 250 Prod instead of dead last!

1. In two weeks between, I watched a lot of YouTube videos of previous 250 Prod top-finishers. Lots of slow-mo and freeze-frame analysis to determine their key braking, turn-in and apex points. I found I was right on with braking, but slightly off with turn-in and apex (more later). I also listened to engine sounds to determine when they got off and back on throttle.

2. CRASHING! It's been a while since my last crash, about 20 track days ago back in March. However, I did tuck front-end last weekend in turn-2. It waggled bars something fierce, I stood it up, went off-road and came back on. Both these incidents had NOTHING to do with rider-skill in handling bike or navigating track; it was 100% error in judgement and choosing markers.

Previous crash occurred because I was too gung-ho on first lap out and went like bat-out-of-hell trying to pick up at same pace as last lap of previous session. Even with tyre-warmers, they cool off on way to start-line and waiting around. Recent front-end tuck was due to me increasing throttle while tightening line and adding lean-angle!!! Due to incorrect apex selection...

3. REFERENCE POINTS! This is what helped me most! Using Misti's idea of connecting dots (or Code's 2-step entry process), I worked on optimizing my turn-in and apex points. As I approached turn-in, I looked for apex before actually turning. I found that cones they placed for apexes was off from what I saw on YouTube videos. Cones were set with very late apexes for big bikes to drive down straights (and sacrifice cornering speed).

On the 250, I'd come in faster than them and had to tighten line to hit late apex and end up with lots of extra space on outside coming out of corner. That's when I tucked front-end, trying to get more speed coming out of corner before even hitting apex.

4. MODIFY MARKERS for 250! I found by moving apex earlier to match what I saw in videos and having them more towards centre of corners allows me to go around corners faster and get on throttle earlier. I was finally able to use up all that extra space on exit.

Going around corner faster also had an effect on my braking marker. I found myself coasting more after braking because I didn't have to slow down as much. I removed one extra downshift in couple corners. So I moved my braking markers further down these straights.

So.... watching faster 250 riders (even better, follow them), and optimizing connect-the-dots markers really reduced my laptimes. All without having to push it and risk crashing.
Wowzers!!! 5 seconds off from last month! That's a hefty chunk and I love how you did it. You seem to have taken careful thought and a planned process of analyzing where and how you could make up time. I LOVE IT!! I love how you noticed that you had to modify your lines to work with the 250 and carrying corner speed and that you noticed how important having good reference points and LOOKING at them in the correct timing and sequence. This is a great write up and I'm happy for you that you made such progress. Well done!!
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Old July 24th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #150
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Wowzers!!! 5 seconds off from last month! That's a hefty chunk and I love how you did it. You seem to have taken careful thought and a planned process of analyzing where and how you could make up time. I LOVE IT!! I love how you noticed that you had to modify your lines to work with the 250 and carrying corner speed and that you noticed how important having good reference points and LOOKING at them in the correct timing and sequence. This is a great write up and I'm happy for you that you made such progress. Well done!!
Why thank you!

I just noticed looking ahead at markers gives me more time! Time slows down and I have more time to set up for braking & cornering!
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Old July 24th, 2017, 08:30 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
My original plan was to hit Palmer as I know that track best, then try some other tracks once I had shaken the cobwebs from my head. Looks like that will not be the plan. My first track trip is shaping up to be NYST on Aug 5-6. Never been to this track but I am going to use this as an opportunity to learn a new track and apply what I have learned in an unfamiliar environment. Anyone can learn to do good lap times if they always ride the same track but I am going to test myself and see how I do on a new to me track. I will update once I know more.
We are rowing the same boat sir, let's help each other in the paddock in a couple of weeks. It is always fascinating to me how different riders approach a new circuit that they have not ridden.

@JacRyann, well done sir! It's awesome to read the success of other riders applying skill while lowering risk. Very rewarding aye? In racing, 5sec is FOREVER!!!!!

Now, I got the next challenge for you sir. You mentioned "coasting." If you have followed me here for any amount of time on this forum, you would know that I am not a big fan of just "coasting".... EVER. 99% of the time, the track is very black and white. You're either on the gas or on the brake. It should be very, very, very rare that you coast. You might just "pause" the throttle roll every now and then in chicanes and such if that is what you mean, but rarely coast. When I hear a rider use that word, it triggers me to challenge their skill in steering extremely quickly.

I will give you a clue to very, very, high skill levels of riding... coasting is a throttle control error. It tells you something can be done better or optimized in some way.

To start, I would ask you where your markers are for the corners you coast in, then adjust them so you could steer faster to make your intended line. 9 times out of 10, if you steer faster you get back to the throttle sooner, but.... it also might affect another marker which is very, very helpful for racing. Got any idea what it is?

Bonus question: If your skill in steering increases, what happens to your available line selections through a corner? Is it helpful in racing?
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Old July 25th, 2017, 10:36 AM   #152
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We are rowing the same boat sir, let's help each other in the paddock in a couple of weeks. It is always fascinating to me how different riders approach a new circuit that they have not ridden.

@JacRyann, well done sir! It's awesome to read the success of other riders applying skill while lowering risk. Very rewarding aye? In racing, 5sec is FOREVER!!!!!

Now, I got the next challenge for you sir. You mentioned "coasting." If you have followed me here for any amount of time on this forum, you would know that I am not a big fan of just "coasting".... EVER. 99% of the time, the track is very black and white. You're either on the gas or on the brake. It should be very, very, very rare that you coast. You might just "pause" the throttle roll every now and then in chicanes and such if that is what you mean, but rarely coast. When I hear a rider use that word, it triggers me to challenge their skill in steering extremely quickly.

I will give you a clue to very, very, high skill levels of riding... coasting is a throttle control error. It tells you something can be done better or optimized in some way.

To start, I would ask you where your markers are for the corners you coast in, then adjust them so you could steer faster to make your intended line. 9 times out of 10, if you steer faster you get back to the throttle sooner, but.... it also might affect another marker which is very, very helpful for racing. Got any idea what it is?

Bonus question: If your skill in steering increases, what happens to your available line selections through a corner? Is it helpful in racing?
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Old July 25th, 2017, 11:44 AM   #153
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Old July 25th, 2017, 12:08 PM   #154
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Now, I got the next challenge for you sir. You mentioned "coasting." If you have followed me here for any amount of time on this forum, you would know that I am not a big fan of just "coasting".... EVER. 99% of the time, the track is very black and white. You're either on the gas or on the brake. It should be very, very, very rare that you coast. You might just "pause" the throttle roll every now and then in chicanes and such if that is what you mean, but rarely coast. When I hear a rider use that word, it triggers me to challenge their skill in steering extremely quickly.

I will give you a clue to very, very, high skill levels of riding... coasting is a throttle control error. It tells you something can be done better or optimized in some way.

To start, I would ask you where your markers are for the corners you coast in, then adjust them so you could steer faster to make your intended line. 9 times out of 10, if you steer faster you get back to the throttle sooner, but.... it also might affect another marker which is very, very helpful for racing. Got any idea what it is?

Bonus question: If your skill in steering increases, what happens to your available line selections through a corner? Is it helpful in racing?
I didn't actually coast in any corners; only at end of braking. I improved my corner-speed by adjusting my apexes to be more symmetrical and centred. This higher cornering-speed meant I can entre at higher-speed. Then braking into that corner, I didn't have to brake as much.

However, by using my previous braking marker, slowing down less from same brake marker caused me to brake too early, I had plenty of time & distance left over. Thus I coasted for a bit in order to reach turn-in point at higher-speed than before. For next laps, I moved my brake-markers about 25-30ft deeper into several corners after increasing cornering speed.

Good News!!! I took another 3-seconds off my Thunderhill time this last weekend! I was fastest in B-group (aside from some instructors on big bikes). One of them came up next to me on long straight and was reaching over to hit my kill-switch, so I kicked him off or else that would've ruined one of my fastest laps! hahhhahahahaha!!!!

Well, to answer your question, being able to steer decisively and quickly lets me select from any number of lines through a corner (or make corrections as needed). I was able to pass people on pretty much anywhere I wanted. Take wider line to pass them on outside while in corner. Set up late-apex to pass them up on inside at exit. Do an early apex and pass them on outside at exit. So much fun! Wish I had camera ready, I could've made one of those "Ninja 250 vs. Bigger Bikes at Thunderhill" videos like the Laguna Seca ones! Next time for sure.
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Old August 15th, 2017, 06:41 AM   #155
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Return to the Track

Hello everyone,
I have just returned from New York Safety Track last weekend and I wanted to give my update.

I really have to say that "were it not for the friends I made on this forum, I would be slower on the track or possible would have never even tried the track". Having such great people to support, encourage and instruct you as you are learning to do what you love just makes the experience that much better! This trip to NYST is a perfect example of this concept.

I have not ridden my Ducati since I crashed it last August, that make it a full year since I last operated this bike. I have only ridden my wifes 250 2-3 times and the 999 for less than 15 minutes since last season. Hitting an unfamiliar track after such a long break of riding added to the challenges of "finding the edge of traction". I am in much better shape than I was last season but my "bike operating skills" were as rusty as possible. I have slowly learned how far I can lean the bike over and how hard I can brake before I even have to worry about nearing the limits (slippery conditions aside) yet all those references needed to be reset after so long a hiatus from riding. I usually try to go approx. 80-90% what I am capable (possibly part of my problem) at the track but this trip was closer to 60-65%. I will try to describe what was going on below. I discovered a few areas where I did really well and I had many issues which bring up some questions. I will do my best to spell out what I felt was going on and what questions arose from this and maybe someone here can give me insight into why.

My first few sessions were like a blind man in a new building, I was lost and had no idea what the track layout was nor what was beyond the immediate area I could see at that moment. The track was a bit busy with lots of other faster riders passing me (most safely) as I hunted for a safe line thru all 18 turns---most of which are blind. Not being able to see thru many of the turns made it very difficult to carry any real speed with confidence since I did not know if the turn tightened up and had no idea where the Apex was never mind the "line". Unfortunately I did not have any time to study a track map or even watch the great videos of the track that @adouglas and others have posted. I was fortunate enough to have an instructor, on a Ninja 300, give me the signal to follow him and this helped immensely in learning the layout of the track. I was only able to follow him for 3 laps due to one of several "RED FLAGS" which ended the session early. Once I got back to the paddock, someone had a track map and I sat out the following session just running the track in my head. I still did not have the "best line" down but I knew what turns were tighter than others and where I needed to find some markers for braking and the few spots I could use more throttle safely. This really helped me get around the track much faster than the earlier sessions but I was still not confident. When the first day was done, I had the track down and was beginning to find lines thru many of the corners which allowed me some sort of demented flow around the track.

The second day, the track was insanely packed with many more riders than the first day. Had day 2 been my first day, I would not have been able to learn the track with multiple people passing on the inside and outside of nearly every turn. I had one guy pass me on the inside of turn 1 with his tires on the curbing! I had to stand my bike up or he would have hit me! Overall I was able to follow some of the instruction given to me from Andrew and others to make real progress in putting multiple corners together and doing a few laps that were not terrible. This track has several turns that require you to hit the entry point nearly perfect and then the rest of that turn and event the next are much easier. Should you be off more than a foot you will not be in the correct spot later in the sequence to get a good exit or you will not be in position for the following turn. I know that is every track and what racing is all about, but I mean even at a slow beginning level, should you blow the entry as described then all momentum will be lost. I only did a few sessions on the second day since the track was so packed and people were passing unsafely, I quit before I had any issues.

With this being my first real ride of the year and my first trip to this track, I feel I did well enough. I could have pushed harder but I also could have crashed. I had a great time with some great people, went fast enough and did not crash----that is how you win a Track Day!

Now to the questions I have:
#1 I lost approx. 12 lbs since last season and I am in a little better physical shape but after a full year of not riding at all, I was not sore at all after riding the 2 days (and sleeping in the truck). Not sure why I would be less sore after such a long period not riding.

#2 I was working on the bike till I loaded it onto the truck to head to NYST so I had no time to study the track. Does anyone have a system to quickly learn a new track? Once I had a track map and time to study it, I was able to "build" it in my brain and riding was much easier after that but I need a solution for quickly learning a track while riding when studying before hand is not an option.

#3 My final question is a bit hard to get across. I was so unsure of where the track went and where the line was that I had to hold back and could not fully commit to a turn or begin rolling on until I would see the exit cone. I was really holding back quite a bit until I was sure I could make the turn-VS. turning in and letting the bike run wide then pulling it back into the apex--yet my tire looks more properly shredded than ever before. The tire looks like it should after a proper track day with lots of torn up rubber (but not too much) yet it does not look like that after I ride the tracks I am familiar with like Palmer. When I let some of my friends, who are way better riders than I, ride the bike the tire looked the way it does now when they returned to the paddock yet I have never been able to do this till now. Why should this be?

Not sure if there is an answer to #3 but would love to hear anyone's thoughts on why this might have happened this way.

I am planning on hitting Pamler on Labor Day, hope some of you can come out--they are running the track backwords!!!!
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Old August 15th, 2017, 08:12 AM   #156
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Hi, Ant.

On #2... IMHO there is no substitute for study/visualization before you're actually on the track. We talked about concentrating on just one thing while riding to make progress... if you're adding yet another task (learning the track) to all the other stuff it's just going to hold you back even more.

Little tricks I use:
  • Watch video of the track in spare moments, even if you're not able to concentrate on it.
  • Make time for at least one study session where you have the track map in front of you and a video for reference. Really pay attention to make best use of your time. Time at the track is expensive. Time when you're eating lunch at work is free.
  • Visualization... you see Olympic athletes doing this. Skiers, bobsledders... they're running the course in their mind, eyes closed. Aerobatic pilots and skydivers too, at the highest level. I do this before going to sleep at night, or when I wake up and can't get back to sleep. That's down time, right? Use it to learn. Of course, you have to have the image in your mind already, which is why it's good to watch those videos in the days and weeks prior to hitting the track. If you're going to Palmer in a couple of weeks, the time to start watching that reverse video in the NE Trackday thread is NOW.

If you really must hit the track completely cold, I'd suggest:
  • During the first session or two, laser-focus on the line... what the instructor in front of you is doing, or lacking an instructor, what a faster rider is doing. Also on picking up reference points. Let the riding itself become secondary... speed is unimportant until you have some idea where the track goes. Make learning the line that "one thing" that consumes the majority of your attention.
  • Lift your vision/go wide-field. See above about picking up reference points.
  • As soon as you get back to the pits, stop and re-run the track in your mind's eye to burn what you just saw into memory. That will reveal where there are gaps in your recollection. Prioritize. A number of times during the weekend you said that at X part of the track you were still getting lost. That's a signal that next time out, you should make a point of focusing on X part of the track. The fact that you were still getting lost in the same places after multiple sessions is evidence that you were not doing that... likely due to overload from trying to do too much at once. It's clear you're working diligently out there... but are you working in the most productive way?

Something I started doing recently is writing down track notes as soon as possible after I hear a pointer or make an observation... then go back and review later. You probably saw my notebook. This is in one of Code's earlier books, and is a thing some top racers do. You see it in other sports as well... in golf, the caddy has detailed notes of the course. The less you "wing it" the better.

On #3... really don't know. Perhaps you're unconsciously compensating for being overly cautious and hitting the throttle harder than you otherwise would when the corner exit appears?
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Old August 15th, 2017, 09:20 AM   #157
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1. Benefits of being in better shape. Lean, strong, stretched out, hydrated muscles do not tire or get sore as easy. Well done and gratz!!!!

2. I will admit, I hit the track cold too. My first two session was on the rear wheel of a coach. I honestly learned the line before the corner numbers. It worked for me... After that, started focusing specific sections. Turn 1/2, turn 11/12/13, turn 18 and the little chicane before it. I still find it fascinating how different riders learn the same track so differently.

3. Your tires looked like mine. Between air/surface temp, track grip, tire pressures, compounds, nature of the tire's carcas and our eager throttle control on corner exit, the tires look as they do. Lemme ask you, once you knew you had the corner finished was you harder on the throttle than normal to make up for lost time on entry? That is how I felt, since it was a new track that I didn't really know, my entries were slower... but the exits where ferocious. Am I close?
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Old August 15th, 2017, 01:19 PM   #158
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#2, for me, it's a feedback cycle of sorts with my own experience combined with others. I try not to re-invent wheel and go through learning-process if someone else has already done it. Following instructors around is great way to learn quickly.

I used to download track-maps and hand-draw fastest-lines in pencil, then re-draw it with fine-tuning after each session. Then I discovered that other people have already done this exercise, so I just download their maps: http://www.scarrottracing.com/trackmaps . Then fine-tune that slightly for my particular bike and riding style.

Watching videos of actual races and trackdays really helps (even between sessions help if you didn't do beforehand). First for helping me determine braking-points, turn-ins, apexes, etc. Once those are fairly well-learned and optimized, videos of races help me find alternate paths around each corner for passing.

#3, you'll want to re-visit the friction-circle. A tyre can experience loads from multiple directions and the resultant net-vector is final force on ground. It can take acceleration, cornering or braking and any combination of two (obviously one combination of those two cancels each over out and you have net of just one). At your current level, and for most people, they will not be able to brake or corner anywhere nearly as hard as what force engine can apply to tyre. So both you and your friend, will have same maximum-loading on tyre when you both go WOT. Any faster braking or cornering wear they do than you, will be eclipsed by wear of WOT acceleration.

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Old September 13th, 2017, 01:41 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post

Now to the questions I have:
#1 I lost approx. 12 lbs since last season and I am in a little better physical shape but after a full year of not riding at all, I was not sore at all after riding the 2 days (and sleeping in the truck). Not sure why I would be less sore after such a long period not riding.

#2 I was working on the bike till I loaded it onto the truck to head to NYST so I had no time to study the track. Does anyone have a system to quickly learn a new track? Once I had a track map and time to study it, I was able to "build" it in my brain and riding was much easier after that but I need a solution for quickly learning a track while riding when studying before hand is not an option.

#3 My final question is a bit hard to get across. I was so unsure of where the track went and where the line was that I had to hold back and could not fully commit to a turn or begin rolling on until I would see the exit cone. I was really holding back quite a bit until I was sure I could make the turn-VS. turning in and letting the bike run wide then pulling it back into the apex--yet my tire looks more properly shredded than ever before. The tire looks like it should after a proper track day with lots of torn up rubber (but not too much) yet it does not look like that after I ride the tracks I am familiar with like Palmer. When I let some of my friends, who are way better riders than I, ride the bike the tire looked the way it does now when they returned to the paddock yet I have never been able to do this till now. Why should this be?

Not sure if there is an answer to #3 but would love to hear anyone's thoughts on why this might have happened this way.

I am planning on hitting Pamler on Labor Day, hope some of you can come out--they are running the track backwords!!!!
1. Better shape/less weight = better overall health and fitness = less soreness

2. DRAW THE TRACK. If you go out cold and can follow someone do that but when you come in, draw the track and write down anything you remember, cones, skid marks, corner stations, lines, rumple strips etc. As you continue throughout the day begin refining the map and putting your reference points clearly on the map. Find specific things to look at immediately and then adjust as the day goes on. Reference points are THE answer to learning a track fast.

*I went to NJMP recently as a coach with California Superbike School and had never ridden the track before. I did two laps with the students doing orientation and picked out as many marks as I could taking note of where the tough corners seemed to be so I could be more careful in that zone. By lunch I had a solid handle of it and stunned my student (who was a regular track rider there) when he found out I'd never been there before but was leading him around at quite a decent pace. It ALL comes down to how quickly and efficiently you are able to pick out RP's.

#3- sounds to be like you were maybe leaning the bike over farther than necessary. You said you were letting it run wide then "pulling it back to the apex" so could be that you were using up more lean angle than usual. Also if you were pulling it down to the apex after you were sure you could see the exit you may have been adding lean angle AND throttle and using much more tire than needed. This is where having good solid RP;s quickly would help you find and utilize the best line around the track so that you could get around it with only as much lean angle as needed.

So, how do you find the best line through a corner? What are the positive outcomes of a good line?
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Old October 10th, 2017, 09:38 AM   #160
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Misty,
Sorry for taking so long in replying to your questions and comments. Running a business is keeping me from riding, the forum and everything else I love to do!

Your first comment on fitness. I sort of agree. I was not pushing the bike as hard so less effort to go slow but still not being sore would indicate some improvement.

Comment on Drawing the track: I had no Idea what the track looked like for the first half of the day, so no way to even begin to draw it at that point. I had not ridden a motorcycle for an entire year before this trip and did not even have any time to watch the videos of the track. Stupid me, I signed up for intermediate level thinking I might be able to keep pace with the slower guys in the group! Between not knowing the track, getting reacquainted with the torque monster bike, my lack of practice and faster riders flying past me everywhere, I was too overwhelmed to take any mental snap shots of the track in an attempt to learn. I did not even start to see the corners were numbered till after lunch! That was AFTER the instructor had bumped me down to the slower group! The first couple of sessions had me worried I would cross the fast line and get hit by someone trying to get past the slow guy so my mental capacity was way reduced and learning took a back seat to survival (SR's). Just before lunch someone handed me a map of the track and I spent lots of time between sessions studying it, which made a big difference for the remainder of the day. I still was out of practice but at least I knew where I was going!

Your final comment on my tire condition: Spot on! I am certain that I was using the HP for speed but not carrying it thru the turns. As soon as I began to lift the bike I was rolling on the throttle and putting a good load on the rear tire. I mentioned above that I had not ridden for a year (since my crash at Palmer) and was out of practice. I had no seat time but I had been working some things out in my head and one of those issues was throttle. I would always tend to roll on late in a turn and not corner with the throttle on where appropriate. I believe I might have corrected this and this may be some of the reason for my tires condition.


As always "Thank you for your time and comments" I will continue to learn how to be a better rider and with help from you and many others on this site, I feel I improve every time I ride!


Your final question's I will answer #2 first. With the proper line you can carry more speed thru the turn with the least necessary lean angle and will set you at the proper angle to set up for the next turn or to accelerate as early as possible

To find the best line: study. Study track maps, other riders lines, the corners and ride.
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