What an incredible two days at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, WA with Jason Pridmore, Caroline Olsen, Benny Solis, Redspade (Anna Rigby), her hubby Steve and David Kolb (marketing/social media/transportation-jack of all trades). We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to come instruct and ride, than this crew. The weather was stellar, the people were in wonderful spirits and the pits were filled with riders grinning from ear to ear. Jason being the consummate professional and perfectionist squeezed in a lesson plan so filled to the hilt that it will require the remainder of the year to work on the intricacies of those techniques to feel confident enough to execute them consistently. The general consensus being that those who took the special session learned more in one day than they ever knew was possible.
In an environment of overcrowded track days and after instructing in many so overly filled every session that it was more a parade lap than the chance to work on practicing your techniques and working on your riding, we proved there is a better solution. The danger associated with overcrowded track days comes down to the sheer numbers of individuals on the track and the various skill levels. The two combined lead to crashes that could be avoided if we had less people on track and more room to maneuver. If we can provide an environment with far less riders where people can learn, go faster, is significantly safer and you can get knowledge from a renown world class coach who you can ask anything wouldn’t you want to? It’s a question I’ve asked myself through the years and after witnessing this during our event days, know that this dream is now a reality. Less traffic on track means more opportunity to work on your riding, making that plan and being able to implement it to practice and improve the timing and confidence of that technique.
JP and his crew are amazing people, not just referring to their riding abilities, but as individuals. Knowledgeable, kind, helpful, gracious, lovely and immensely talented people who truly want to better this sport and raise rider education awareness. JP having retired from racing, although still quite involved in training riders such as Caroline Olsen and Benny Solis (who are on the rise in MotoAmerica) as well as commentating with beIN sports for MotoAmerica, is still at the top of his game. JP and his crew rode with our clients, towed and instructed them and by the end of the day I saw remarked improvement in each rider. Sitting in the classroom and listening to JP teach and answer questions made me want to hop on a bike and go out and ride with all of them but alas I could not and still run the show. JP’s teaching style is one I’m especially receptive to, purely because when a question was asked, it was answered with facts to support the answer. No one left that room without a plan to adhere to on their session out on track, yet with that mission there was a levity and ease knowing that while we are working on these drills, we can’t forget why were are doing this…our love of riding. While this sport is inherently dangerous and things can happen, with the proper training you can only improve…your riding, knowledge and confidence.
From the outpour of emails, texts and calls since the event it is clear to me that people want more of what we offered with JP and our event days. When I started instructing, it was different, there was a sense of family and community in the organizations, but over the years that has changed. My goal is to kill two birds with one stone, provide an environment where staff feels appreciated as well as a part of a family and the clients have the best experience possible while in our care. I do this out of passion, for the love of the sport and keeping riders safe. This is not a lucrative business (very seldom is one done from passion), I could very easily just do track days and jam them full of people, but I love this sport and teaching riders is important to me. A great deal of planning goes into keeping costs down to pass them on to the clients, this is in hopes we make lifetime riders from everyone we touch. Whether you ride a cruiser or a sport bike, we just want to you have the skills necessary to enjoy this sport and share it with everyone around you. If you missed our event with JP we will be bringing him back again next year, so stay tuned for the announcement later this year (once I can pin him down with a schedule).
Our second day ended with a birthday celebration for Troy, the last two years have been celebrated at the track and how poignant since motorcycles brought us together three years ago. Clint and Di prepared a feast for JP, Caroline, Benny, Anna, Steve, David, Troy and I where we stuffed ourselves then got everyone on horses to show them what horsepower used to mean! The friendships we developed from this event, the memories and laughter we shared are experiences that we will remember for a lifetime. More than being about business is the sense of community and family which we will strive to bring back into our industry. Passion fuels my desire to make this successful, giving people opportunities that are hard to come by and options to achieve their goals, creating an environment to develop and grow, supporting our industry by providing continuing education to riders and advocating for rider safety.
Come out and ride with us, we have another date on September 10th and signups are limited. JP will be in New Jersey, but Troy Cook will be holding classroom sessions which will be listed the day of the event. The schedule will be that of a typical track day, 20 minute sessions every hour. Check the event listing for more detailed information.
Special thanks to Oliver Jervis (for breaking in my new bike and driving me around the track in his snazzy car), Spero Benias, Wendy Leber, Chrissy Wiley, Jenny Besaw, Brian Pinkstaff, Moaka Clay, Alan Schwen, Steve Cook, Troy Cook, Pat O’Connor, Adan Mendoza, Matt Staples, Chris Larabee, Tyler Oxos, Matt Darling, Marie Kile, Renee Johnson, Cory Osburn and James Ketchum who with their dedication and support on these days made it possible for me to focus on making this event fantastic for all who attended. Thank you Clint and Di for the lovely BBQ and fun at the farm for the gang after our two day event, they had more fun than they ever could’ve imagined. Also, huge thank you to Fred and Andy at the Ridge Motorsports Park for allowing us to take it over and put on an amazing two days. Not to be excluded all of our sponsors who so generously donated products to help make this event truly special: Ducati Richmond, Pacific Powersports, Triumph of Seattle, South Sound Honda, South Bound Honda, I-90 Motorsports, Sena, AGV, Dainese, Dunlop Tires, Cycle Gear, KFG Racing, Mike Sullivan, Cycle Wipes and Racer Gloves.