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Track day report: Popping cherries(this is gonna be long, pics/vid included)
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Triple Secks
 
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Talking Track day report: Popping cherries(this is gonna be long, pics/vid included) - September 1, 2009, 09:20 PM





Fuck reserving, i'm posting gd it!



The day started early, I woke up at 3:40am. Got the car loaded up and was I on the road to OSDís just past 4am. Arrived at OSDís place just past 5amÖ Andrew (SW20 who never posts) was already there.. OSD was no were to be found! Apparently he fell asleep by accident and didnít set an alarm or have his cell nearby Ė as I was blowing it up with no response. About 10 minutes later the garage opens, his internal clock must have gone off.

I donít remember why but we were running a bit behind our planned schedule. Eventually everything was loaded and we were off!

No idea what happened, but i hope whoever was in the wreck is ok.


Arrived at summit point at 7:30am.. 1hr behind schedule! But it didnít matter since there was plenty of space for everyone. Went through tech with no problems. BSíd a bit then attended riders meeting. I paid close attention for once!

I popped a lot of cherries on Monday. 1st time doing a track day. 1st time breaking 100mph, believe it or not. Iím very conservative on the street (comparatively) and I like to think Iíve been able to do this due to amazing resolve. Others might say itís just due to having sand in my vaj. Which could be true after that trip into the gravel in session 3. Regardless I had a tremendous amount of fun. Having never really pushed my bike very hard on the street I was expecting to be the slowest person out there if not close to it.

Session 1:
I was nervous! I typically feel completely comfortable riding on the street. And I was comfortable on the bike, but once we got going I felt like a fish out of water. I wasnít pushing hard either, I was just trying to avoid something stupid. I thought I felt the bike slide a bit in turns 3 and 5 which kind of affected me for the rest of the day. I believe this session I had Adam(green SV) as my control rider. My biggest apprehension coming into the day was braking from the long straight. Adam lead me for the entire session except for the last lap as a result I think we were only hitting about 120mph going into turn 1Ö I realized that braking into 1 wasnít as scary as I had imagined. Adam gave me some good tips and said I did alright for my 1st time and I did a fairly good job of copying his lines. He said next time just pass him on the straight and he would retake me in the corners if I wanted to open it up. I was just happy I didnít crash.

Session 2:
I was lucky enough that Jay(boomboom929) and his friend whose name eludes me.. took time out of their day to make some adjustments to my suspension. I felt like the front end was pretty soft specially under hard braking. BIG thank you to Jay! This session went (in my mind) much smoother.. front tire had a lot more feel under hard braking and it felt more stable overall. I was starting to feel pretty comfortable. Started to find a non-rough patch through 1 that I liked. Turn 5 +carousel continued to be a challenge as I kept trying to find the smooth portions of the track. I donít remember specifically what adam told me to pay attention to this round and as the day kind of blurred together.

Session 3:
Another source of concern heading into this was the condition of my tires. I was running the oem Pirellis that had almost 6k miles on them. They had felt pretty good so far. I had been resigned to replace them asap but I seemed to be comfortable on them. This session started out fine.. but either on my 2nd or 3rd lap going into turn one I thought my rear tire died because it felt strange when I was tipping into 1..i immediately stood it up and went straight into the gravel trap.

Exhilarating! I just survived my first run off through gravel no less. Another cherry popped. I couldn't believe i kept it up. It was a sphincter moment for sure. I got off the bike and checked the tire.. it looked ok but I was fairly certain something was wrong with it - I did not want to find out on the track.

I kind of just sat there.. wondering what to do. Do I get back on the track with a questionable tire? Do I sit here the entire session? I wasnít sure and I didnít observe the cornerworker giving me any suggestionsÖ(I was kind of overwhelmed so I might have missed it) So what did I do? I decided to go exploring of course! I could see an adjacent road from where i was and i figured that HEY! That will take me back to the pits!



Well, some nice men in suits might have waved some guns at me or something. Ok, so maybe they didnít but I was wondering what was going on over there and I was getting the stink eye from 50yards away. I had also just seen the trail end of an unmarked vehicle ďlightíemĒ up and race out of the parking lot... I thought it was rather strange to say the least. I managed to find my way back to the entrance(without getting shot, itís a good thing I donít have Taliban leathers ) .. ok I stole that joke from jays friend.

At the entrance Rick was on his pit bike.. I donít know him that well but he seemed HIGHLY amused. Kind of like a shit eating grin while laughing. Thatís when he told me there was some kind of training exercise going on over there with a gov entity. He also mentioned something about the cornerworks, and crash truck but i had ear plugs in and after he said "guns. training. gov. session.. i think the rest of the msg was lost.

So lesson learned. Donít go wandering off the track. You might get shot.

Lunch:
BSíd with lots of people. Huge thanks to Jay again.. he edumacated me on how to remove the rims from my bike so I could put on some new shoes. Thanks to SW20 for helping me remove them and reassemble. I barely made the session after lunch and wouldnít have without SW20ís help. Riders meeting right before lunch, Rick noted T5 was all chewed up, but that there was a smooth slab of pavement on the very inside line, and the outside was also in good condition as well. I had been struggling all morning with T5 so I decided Iíd start trying the outside line.

Session 4:
New tires? Check! I took it easy the 1st couple of laps to acclimate to the new tiresÖ They are sticky. I was starting to feel much more comfortable and starting to get into a rythym, as well as finding lines that didnít go over rough stuff. Midway through the session my legs were dying.. I started to half ass it more and more. I was doing this earlier in the day to a degree but not as bad in the later half of the day. My only real pucker moment was i cut T3 too hard and went up on the curb slightly and it felt like i slid down it.

Gus(600killer?) had picked me up somewhere in the session. He said that turn3 I was turning in way to early and I needed to take it much later. He also said I need to stop ďwanderingĒ down the straight. I started the day off just going down the left side but kidcycle gave me some good advice that I shouldnít stay far left in case people want to pass. I took his advice but apparently failed at executing it. Gus mentioned that I seemed to like the outside line of turn 5 more because it was smooth, and he'd show me the inside line next time. He made a note that while the outside line is smooth, be aware if you run turn 5 hot and take the outside lineÖ you have no where to go but off. It was a great point, it reminded me to make sure I didnít take T5 too hot.


Session 5:
This was a good session. In comparison to the 1st session I was now feeling MUCH more comfortable and I felt I was riding a lot smoother overall. By this time I was actually enjoying turn 5 and the carousel. I was happy with the outside line I started using in session 4 and loved it. I tried to follow a couple control riders (including Gus) through the inside line of 5 in both this session and I think session four..but every time I did I either panicked or didnít follow it correctly and I would almost run off the track. I decided to stick with the outside line for the rest of the day. I didnít get any feedback from this session as I pitted early due to fatigue Ė I wasnít sure who was following me at the time. My legs felt like they were made of jello, I couldnít roll my bike backwards when I got to the pit.



Session 6:
I was worried Iíd be too tired but i think i ended my best overall session of the day. I think I was following several control riders at one point, but ended up with Ron towing me around the track.. Then he started following me. I ended the session a couple laps early but was able to track him down for advice. He gave great feedback(which is probably easier when both of us are are off the bike without helmets or earplugs). Turns 3, 9 and 10 where giving me the most issues. Turn 3 I knew I was having issues with. I always felt like I was running wide and going to hit the opposite shoulder. Turn 8 and 9 I was told to let the bike carry me through the corner. I would come out of 9 and 10 leaned over and stay leaned over instead of letting the bike stand up and drift to the far left side. I wish I had another session to apply it with but I was beat, and certainly content.

A few random observations.

*This track day made me a far more competent rider in a single day than all my prior riding experiences put together.

*The whole idea of going in too hot, resisting the urge to stand it up and just flat out lean more to make the turn was applied more times than I care to count. Small ass pucker moments for sure, but I was able to actively implement the command and overcome the survival reaction. Iíve had to do it a few times on the street but to far less of a degree.

*One of my better attempts at a later (and harder) braking point down the main straight Ė caused snot to shoot out straight out of my nose. It distracted and surprised the hell out of me; I had to apply the lean harder NOW method as described above to make the turn.

*Going to brake at the end of the straight at the 140-150mph(indicated) range.. the amount of wind resistance that hits your finger(s) as you reach for the brake is surprising!

*Turn 7 scares me.

*Fatigue was a huge factor. Iím in fairly good shape, but my legs felt like jello after every session. Got lactic acid? I would start sessions tentatively to warm up the tires, start to getting into a groove, get tired and start being lazy with just about everything from leaning off the bike to staying on the throttle. Sometimes Iíd just half throttle through places(like between 3 and 5 and kind of just cruise )


*I had a tendency to let off the throttle really early on and coast through lot of the faster braking points(like T1).



*The D675 makes sexy noises, but it shifts like a mule. I repeatedly missed shifts going down the main straight more than any other place.



*After seeing pics and vid of myself, I realize now im not hanging off NEARLY as much as I thought. I have a long way to go.

Some thank youse,


OSD Ė John, because if he hadnít offered to tow the bike and help prep it, I donít make it out to the track to have such an awesome time. Helped on a lot of other little things. Stand up guy, canít really express how grateful I am without offering a reach around. I'm kidding of course, but i can't really put in words how appreciative I am that he made this happen for me.


Boomboom929 Ė Jay, Schooled me on removing rims and suspension adjustment. Doesnít sound like a lot but he was there to ride and I felt bad for asking. My day wouldnít have gone nearly as smooth without his help. <3

Marrc Crew Ė Iíve constantly been reading about you guys for around 3 years. Only on Monday was I able to actually witness the enthusiasm and efficiency that i've read about so often. Thank you! I didnít really get to meet any of you, maybe next time.(I guess I should have introduced myself to a few while we were waiting on the truck/jeeps to return).


SW20 (Andrew) Ė Our ďpit helpĒ Made the day go much smoother, and he took all the pics below.

Blue-R and Nobrains Ė For the feedback, advice, and camaraderie in our lil mini pit.(And the gas! ty very much)

The Control riders: I got great feedback literally every session(cept 5 when I exited early). You guys played a big part in how far I progressed by the end of the day. Itís probably not measurable, but my confidence and comfort at the end of the day were by far much, much higher than the 1st session Ė despite being exhausted!

.Net people: Was amazing fun, I finally met a lot of you and hope I wonít forget names.


The Wife: Just because.



Sorry if i forgot to thank anyone. I swear it's not intentional i'm just tired.


Video below, I welcome (constructive) critiques. I think this is session 5. (Thanks again to Vic, Blue-R for shadowing me and getting the footage - he could have blazed by me at anytime )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c87IT1GmBHM

I'm tired and ready for bed. Here's the link to flickr, only going to list a couple. I'll edit tomorrow and insert pics so people aren't forced to click on a link.
Edit Apparently i forgot the photostream with the rest of the pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38573858@N05/

















I believe i can see the future;
because everyday i repeat the
same routine.

Last edited by Abrasive; September 2, 2009 at 06:38 AM.. Reason: minor changes added link
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September 1, 2009, 09:29 PM

[quote=Abrasive;805603]

Well, some nice men in suits might have waved some guns at me or something. Ok, so maybe they didnít but I was wondering what was going on over there and I was getting the stink eye from 50yards away. I had also just seen the trail end of an unmarked vehicle ďlightíemĒ up and race out of the parking lot... I thought it was rather strange to say the least. I managed to find my way back to the entrance(without getting shot, itís a good thing I donít have Taliban leathers ) .. ok I stole that joke from jays friend.

so that was YOU who wondered off onto Jefferson... how did that go?

Glad you had a great day!


ay ya yay
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September 1, 2009, 09:38 PM

Great report

I love reading first track day reports. The first track day I did changed my life.

edit - cherry popping stories are encouraged too


BECAUSE I GET OFF ON IT!

Last edited by WKDBLD; September 1, 2009 at 09:41 PM..
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September 1, 2009, 09:58 PM

Nice meeting you even though it was at the end of the day. Your lines looked very clean but its scary the first time you're out at the track and you could have pushed it much harder You're doing much better than I did the first time I was out.


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September 1, 2009, 10:09 PM

Wow...nice report! Glad you had fun


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where the good spotz at ?
 
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September 2, 2009, 06:41 AM

you had some great improvement from when you arrived to when you left .... great job !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrasive View Post





DBR 4 Life
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September 2, 2009, 06:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by onel0wcubn View Post

so that was YOU who wondered off onto Jefferson... how did that go?

Glad you had a great day!
I admit i felt a bit of trepidation when i saw the (i think it was an SUV) hit the lights and fly around the corner.. but mostly i was thinking "shit i hope i can't get a ticket here" and "how the hell do i get back to the pits."


I believe i can see the future;
because everyday i repeat the
same routine.
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September 2, 2009, 06:51 AM

Excellent report. Listen to the experts and you will continue to get better.
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September 2, 2009, 08:14 AM

Good report.


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September 2, 2009, 08:15 AM

to long.. add kicking in.


-Mossburg
"Dont make excuses, Make adjustments"





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September 2, 2009, 09:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Duct_Mossburg View Post
to long.. add kicking in.
I'm add, how long do you think it took me to write it?

Cliff notes:
Had amazing time.Learned alot. Didn't crash. Oh hey shiny pics and a vid.

Fin.


I believe i can see the future;
because everyday i repeat the
same routine.
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September 2, 2009, 09:58 AM

Cliff notes are good..

any of the local guys wanna hit up the 10pm happy hour at mcgarveys for wings and beer?


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"Dont make excuses, Make adjustments"





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September 2, 2009, 07:37 PM

I had a good time reading it, thanks for taking the time. After you put on that new set of tired you were flying around the track, glad you didn't give up trying to get them on. Thanks for posting the pics, I think I was lower/faster in turn 10 last year though, I'm getting old.
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September 3, 2009, 08:01 AM

Nice report!


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September 3, 2009, 09:24 PM

Long report, but it kept me interested
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