» Help Support .NET!
DCSportbikes Premier Membership for 25$ per year. Discounts! Click here for full information.

Now available in the .NET Shop:

Get your DCSBN Gear!
» Shoutbox
Sorry, only registered users have the ability to use our real-time shoutbox to chat with other members.

Register now, it's free!
» Online Users: 538
3 members and 535 guests
2blueyam, dubplaya, GRN96WS6
Most users ever online was 4,519, September 2, 2015 at 03:26 AM.
Go Back   DCSportbikes.net > Sportbike Operation > Riding Tips

LinkBack Thread Tools
Chasing The Ball
AMA Superbike Champ
otb's Avatar
Posts: 715
Join Date: December 22, 2010
Location: Pasadena, Md
Chasing The Ball - January 13, 2011, 08:04 AM

Have you ever been riding back roads or been at the track and felt "off"? You know, a couple of steps behind, a little off-kilter....corner entrances come up before you are "ready", you miss the apex, scallop the turn or have to make constant corrections, maybe even have to hit the brakes and stand the bike up mid-turn to keep from running wide?

I used to work for an ex-navy fighter jock who also rode; he called the phenomenon "Chasing The Ball". It's when the pilot trying to make a carrier landing in difficult conditions starts reacting to the visual aid on the back of the carrier that lets pilots know the horizontal and vertical orientation of the moving flight deck (the Ball). Rather than grooving down the flight path, the pilot focuses on the constantly changing visual aid. Because he's REACTING, he's always behind the changes, rather than developing a rhythm and practicing his fundamentals.

Chasing the ball usually results in a wave-off, a hard landing.... or a crash......

"Chasing the ball" usually happens to me when I really tired and or stressed or when I am group riding; either I'm trying to impress someone with my style and flair or when I'm running with better riders and trying to keep up. The admonition to ride my own ride goes out the window and my ego momentarily shoves common sense out the window.

I've been around long enough to (usually) recognize the signs:

A. I am holding my breath.

B. My elbows are straight and my arms are stiff.

C. My back is rigid and starts to get sore.

All of these physical manifestations are signs to me that I am over my head one way or another. If I'm on the road trying to make time, it's past time for me to stop, take a break and put this hurry in perspective (is being late for the meeting, appt. ect REALLY worth dying for?)

If I'm riding with a group, it's time to stick my ego in my back pocket, suck it up and know that I ain't no Rossi...and never will be.... and that the whole purpose of this ride was to have FUN.... not prove anything (like ER docs REALLY give a shit about how fast I WAS...).

If I've dialed it back and still are in that mode, there are a couple of things I can do:

A. BREATHE.... holding my breath literally is part of the fear response.... I can counter it by remembering to breathe slow and deeply...it counteracts the tension caused from adrenaline and also helps clear the lactic acid out of muscles.

B. Flex my elbows. Rigid arms feed back all the road bumps into the frame, amplifying wobble and weave which causes more tension, which causes more rigidity, which.....well, you get the idea..

C. Force myself to do the basics...curved, relaxed back, hold myself up by the lower abdominals, grip the tank with my knees.....I kind of do a little self-talk "breathe, relax, now shift , shift, downshift, brake, slide my butt, turn, shift , shift...ect."

Dialing it back, taking a break, remembering fundamentals all see seem put me back in the groove , again...

....which is where we all want to be, anyway, isn't it?

Riding fast bikes slowly since 1969....
  Facebook Page MySpace.com Page Send a message via AIM to  
Reply With Quote
Has an idiot exemption
Triple X's Avatar
Posts: 8,501
Join Date: September 29, 2002
Location: Stephens City, VA
January 13, 2011, 10:11 AM

You hit the nail on the head with this my friend.

Being relaxed when riding is HUGE!
We stress this at Cornerspeed and Cornerspin.
Riding at Spin on a 150 lb bike really lets you know if you are relaxed.
Everything you do on those bikes is magnified, especially near the limits of traction.

I also really notice it when I give 2-up rides at VIR.
If the passenger stays relaxed, I can go pretty quick.
If they are tense, no way.
I was surprised the size of the passenger doesn't matter too much.
A small passenger that is tense really messes things up.

(BTW...I'd be tense riding behind me too.)

2015 Yamaha R1
2011 Harley Electra Glide Limited
2009 Yamaha Zuma 125
2006 Honda CRF150F
2004 Honda CRF150F Monster
2003 Honda CRF 150F Mini-monster
  Send a message via AIM to  
Reply With Quote
Fitz's Avatar
Posts: 17,473
Join Date: October 1, 2002
Location: King George, VA
January 13, 2011, 10:13 AM

Normally when I feel like this i do speed runs on the beltway.


2016 Harley Softail Slim S
2012 Harley Ultra Limited in Ultra Annoying Orange Sold!
2012 V-Strom 1000 Sold!
2009 Buell 1125R Sold!
2005 Superhawk Sold!
2001 Superhawk Abandoned!
1981 CB650C Destroyed!

Brace Yourselves... the cries of "It's too cold to ride" are coming...
  Send a message via AIM to  
Reply With Quote
Eddie would go ...
Dutch's Avatar
Posts: 10,507
Join Date: April 16, 2006
January 13, 2011, 12:14 PM

good post,

there is no shame in peeling off a group ride on days when you just don't feel it

Originally Posted by spud View Post
No one gives a fuck about your puff out your chest bravado.
  Send a message via AIM to  
Reply With Quote
Qualify or Quit
ZX Knight's Avatar
Posts: 417
Join Date: June 10, 2010
Location: VA
January 13, 2011, 01:03 PM

I always seem to be a little off after a couple days of not riding. Its like it takes me a couple minute to get back intouch with it.

-Not intended to be a factual statements.

I can't pull over......I forgot which ones the brake.

"I though that life was a bad bitch bad car,
Life is with your kids watching madagascar"
  Send a message via AIM to  
Reply With Quote
Я - Ребенок Люциферов
vonstallin's Avatar
Posts: 15,825
Join Date: November 2, 2006
Location: Wash DC: (2 min from Adams Morgan)
January 13, 2011, 01:18 PM

On group rides i only get stressed when i see riders trying to Jihad me.
I think the worst crash is the one you didnt see coming from a Jihad bomber from the back.

The Nightmare of Summit Point
WERA Nov# 325 / CCS # 326
2016 ZX10R ABS (Street) | 2011 ZX10RR(Race)
2011 R6 (Street & Track) | 2009 WR250F
GunnRunnaz.com|GR on FaceBook | www.2666ad.com|
  Facebook Page MySpace.com Page Send a message via AIM to Send a message via MSN to vonstallin  
Reply With Quote
GP Racer
badguy's Avatar
Posts: 1,190
Join Date: August 29, 2006
Location: PG
January 13, 2011, 04:37 PM

What is this shit? It's winter...you're supposed to be creating drama and whining about stuff.

Great post! I've definitely gotten better at recognizing these signs - now to work on doing something about them...
  Send a message via AIM to  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Skin developed by: vBStyles.com
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest 2002-2010 by DCSportbikes.net. DCSportbikes.net is owned by End of Time Studios, LLC.