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Old 04-08-2013, 04:35 PM   #31
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Exercise #2

Hips (also known as the second "C" Core). People are bipeds. The majority of our major muscles are in the thighs and lower core. Thus, by placing your outside knee on the shroud, and placing your butt to the outside of the seat, you turn the bike. In low co-efficient riding (e.g dirt tracks), don't initiate ever turns with the handle bars.

To practice this one, we end up 3-4 riders on a 25 meter circle (which is banked). You ride the circle in 2nd gear not changing the throttle. Once confident with that, place your left hand on the gas cap and ride the same circle both ways. They say when you lose one of your 5 senses, the other ones get better. Losing a hand, and somewhere you find that outside leg...did you?

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Old 04-08-2013, 04:43 PM   #32
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Excercise #3

Now that we have conquered turning on a circle, lets do it on the open track! Notice the bike in front provides me a "lead"...begin a sporting person, naturally I oblige. No matter the person on the front bike is Aaron and we both only have one hand. Never fear, Blaster to TTRU...



I didn't notice the camera now begins to take vid of the front forks. If anyone needs about 45 mins of riveting front fork action, please let me know. Again, I can only provide this to the high bidder
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:15 AM   #33
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Post Day 2 Carnage Report

Yep, that is some tasty color on the forearm rasberry!

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Old 04-09-2013, 09:28 AM   #34
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Exercise 4-Head

Exercise 4—Head. People have evolved to be hunters. It's not intuitive to throttle through a turn with your head looking opposite direction. So the sooner you are looking through the turn, the sooner you are likely to get on the throttle. On the track it is about precious time, on dual sports it’s about getting the bike stabilized sooner. Remember our mantra: No Coasting (use your screwdriver hands), Use your Core.

Since riding the track is a hoot, let’s ride a few laps (or dozens!) to practice. There was plenty of time to ride the track. It’s surprising how many different configurations exist within the track. And even when you get good (better?) at one configuration, there is always the other direction!

Aaron was very generous about ‘track time’. There is a lot of pressure at track days to ride all your sessions, as there are only precious few minutes available. Aaron had it structured exercises to allow everyone to find their own exhaustion point. It allowed everyone to ride their own ride, and it was interesting though while he never “ended” track time, everyone seemed to appreciate the lack of “pressure” to get one more lap. Honestly, I don’t think anyone felt they didn’t get enough time on looking through the handlebars all weekend!
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #35
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One of the fun things about the class is the instructors just didn't stand and yell at us. Here you'll notice the 'tap the back tail'. It means follow my lead...or try in this case. This was mid-day of day 1.

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Old 04-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #36
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Man, that class looks awesome!
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #37
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Absolutely it is has been great return on investment.

A bit more about the track, when you really look at it, there are so many hidden features. Coming from a horse background, I can see there is so much pain staking thought put into the layout. Anybody can get behind a bobcat and tear some dirt up, but it takes real vision and understanding the physics to put good, teachable courses together. No doubt, he's walked gazed at, piloted, commentated, read books about, TiVoed, hundreds of tracks/turns to replicate this tiny model. There are descending radius turns, up hill turns, down hill turns, off camber turns, u-turns....I doubt there is anything in real world adventure riding that you wouldn't find there for turns.

With the small size of the track, you get to practice each turn a lot. Take Virginia International Raceway (VIR), you have to go 2.5 miles to try the same turn again.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:30 PM   #38
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One of the fun things about the class is the instructors just didn't stand and yell at us. Here you'll notice the 'tap the back tail'. It means follow my lead...or try in this case. This was mid-day of day 1.

One of the things I really didn't notice until we started doing the braking exercises was that I really didn't have one.....which made the exercises impossible and explained a lot of what I thought I was experiencing. Once we identified the problem one of the instructors loaned me his wife's bike, the one I was chasing in the video, so that I wouldn't lose out on the training experience. I thought that was a super nice move on his part....thanks! Once my bike had been repaired we swapped back....it's amazing how much better the exercises went after that. But since I was a little behind on the learning curve with the back brake I ended up taking a few dirt naps. That was OK since the name of the game was to push hard and really find out and understand the back brake and how it plays into the whole scenario of getting the bike turned...backing it in. I don't think I ever really became uber proficient at backing it in but I now understand the concept and can continue to work it on my own. One of the things we talked about was brake pedal feel and how it is hard to get a good feel with the thick heavy MX boots. Aaron stated that the Moto GP guys put a really stiff spring on the rear so they can better feel and modulate the rear brake...makes sense to me.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:52 PM   #39
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Exercises 5-7

Exercises 5-7 were all braking related. There were 3 stations. One uphill, one downhill and one flat. Start in second gear, get to full throttle, then brake at the first cone, and hopefully before the second cone. One of the great things about Aaron is that the mantra for the class is everything in second gear. No need to shift up or down, just concentrate on the exercise at hand.

Exercise #5: Start with the back brake, and let is lock. Learn to ride the wiggle, and as they say don't worry if I can read all 3 number plates at the same time . Naturally, the back brake is incredibly forgiving.

Excerise #6 So onto using the front brake only. Well we all know that locking the front brake can have violent consequences. Ironically, racers only use their front brake, while the back brake is reserve for high-end techniques. Way different than dual-sporting, but I can't say the front brake scares me.

Well it really should have. I took one nasty dozer off the bike. I was enthusiastically coming uphill, and hit cone one. I started to brake. All was going well. Remember, you only want the front brake to lock right at the very end. As I crested the hill, I missed the tell tale sign there was a second, subtle dip. It was just enough to unload the front forks (which were also under braking), and WHAMO! Dirt snorkeling I will go. While I wish that little nuance was a bit more highlighted before we started, I won't make that mistake again. Ever.

It was the most violent get off I took all weekend, and I took a little time out to get my mo-cheese-mo back over some Gatorade. But I was in good company under the shade tree with 3 other pilots making the same error.

The last exercise (#7) was same pattern using both brakes. This will be the pinnacle principle for day 2.

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Old 04-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #40
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Man, that class looks awesome!
We are seriously considering going back every year as it was that good...I will most likely do the 1.0 class again as there is a lot yet to learn and perfect. One of the guys was doing the class for the 4th time and it showed as he was doing really well. One of the other guys commented about how many seconds it took off his track time and allowed him to pass a buddy of his on a much bigger bike, which he was unable to do before, due to the skills he learned the previous year.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:51 AM   #41
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The days always ended with 45 mins-1 hr of free run on the track. Usually everyone did a few laps, and some didn't call it a day until they dirt napped. Here was one of the more eloquent get offs.
Quote:
The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.
Damn if Jamie is right quick getting vertical again!

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Old 04-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #42
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Sat Evening Festivities!

About 17 or us went out dinner at Outback. It was instructors, their familes and a bunch of students. Aaron got us a swanky dealio and comped our appetizers!

Dinner was filled with war stories, comparing scars, and track stories. Although I needed more advil and decided to retreat to the hotel, I probably could have laughed all night with (at?) them. It's interesting to listen to their stories, always starting a sentence with turn #xx at track yy. It was also interesting to see how many tracks up and down the east coast they had ridden. Those boys get around I'd say.

Our Vermont contingent even had 1 crutch as his standard packout for track days. Which reminded him, he needs to get another crutch as he gave the other one away recently. I guess he thought 2 crutches took up too much space, but he made room for the 1 crutch.

Aaron has a wee one and he's already got a roadmap to making a little pilot. All the things that come into the house will have handle bars vs steering wheels. The metric to beat is only 30 mins with training wheels when on the PW50. By the time he's 13, he ought to be force to be reckoned with. I think Aaron even introduced him as the 2041 world champ
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:31 PM   #43
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Exercise 8: Three Ring Circus

The pre-lunch session was literally a 3-ring circus. Aaron had an instructor based at each station, and we rotated through in groups of 3-4 pilots. The first station, was my absolutely favorite event all weekend long. I think it is my strange predilection to circles. On a 25-meter circle, there are 3 marker gates (e.g cone with a tire about 2 feet away). Each marker gate is equally spaced on the perimeter of the circle (12 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 8 o’clock). The objective is really to make the circle a triangle. To do this, you will need to back the bike into the marker gates. The circle is even banked into the turn to help. It’s a neat exercise because it removes all extraneous inputs, and allows you to focus on backing it in. Keep the bike in second gear and use only the rear brake.


Second station was the ribbon of shame. The ribbon is really a series of related turns (think “S” shaped). However, they are also not-constant radius, which seems to the mantra on this track. In order to ride the exit of the last part of the “S”, you need to approach smartly on the first turn. You also need to back the bike in using both brakes. But remember you should only have one brake and one gas per turn, so 2 inputs on this particular configuration loop (easier said than done apparently). And screw driver hands, just roll on/off the throttle.


Third station was the bus stop. Think the same principles as the second station, but a slighty different track configuration. This is the first time we’ll give our hand at downhill off camber and decreasing radius turns. Same principle, but more advanced than station two.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:39 PM   #44
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Exercise 9: Circle Track Racing

Aaron was lucky enough to find some red clay on the property...so what could be a better idea than to build a circle track! The track has been expanded a few times, so watch the far end. Lest you rocket launch off it, and I've heard it described as "epic" as you navigate over the rip rap rocks and into the tree line!

Anyhow, here Aaron demonstrates a few laps. He's even spying getting some rental "hot shoes" bought to really up the ante on the circle track!



Aaron reminds me much of Crazy Frog Video. While I am dressed out with armor on every square inch of my human hoping to survive battle with a rabid rhinoceros, he is just looks like he is out for a Sunday stroll. All relaxed, just doing his thing. It almost appears that the bike is an extra appendage on his body.

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:56 AM   #45
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It's not often that you get both the 1st person and 3rd person perspective on falling...twice in 40 seconds no less A wee bit too much lock on the rear brake. I guess he was still refining the modulation. Nice gouges on the track on the second fall.



At this point, I thought it would be better to put down the camera before I needed to call the paramedics!

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