I went to support my friend Cory Osburn on his last day to receive his endorsement card for successfully completing and passing his 3 day course with WMST. He had three great instructors, Chris, John and Ed, who welcomed me to stay and watch, cheer and proudly watch him pass this course. Upon completion of the testing, Chris stated something to the graduated class that seems like common sense, but many people don’t do it. Not only get seat time, but get coached properly, seek out more classes and instruction, build upon what you just learned. I can’t stress enough the importance of doing that, you just learned something, now go out and practice, practice a lot, if you don’t it will be forgotten. Practice with a plan and set a goal for yourself every time, it can be small like going up and down your street to get comfortable with your bike, then head out of your neighborhood, then tackle the freeway. Some people read to gain knowledge others do better by doing and attending classes, it’s up to you, but make sure you check in time to time with someone who can actually help you assess if you are improving or creating bad habits. Bad habits are hard to break and when they become second nature your tendency is to revert to them since the new concepts are harder to implement as they require more focus and concentration.
Riding is an amazing sport and for those of us who love it, we understand it is a never-ending process. You will never be able to fully appreciate what your bike is actually capable of, it is an incredible piece of machinery that you will get to know and love like your best friend (only it won’t drive you nuts). Some days you’ll feel like one with it and other days it’ll seem like a complete stranger to you, that’s completely normal but remember that the bike is the constant, it’s you that is inconsistent so if you are having an off day just be aware and adjust your riding accordingly. I still feel a great deal of anticipation and adrenaline every time I climb on to one of my bikes (each one rides so differently) yet somehow once I’m there, everything quiets down and fades away. Riding for me feeds my soul, quiets my mind, centers me and reminds me why I do what I do. Find a group or a friend(s) and get out there. Skills are tools that need to remain sharp so the more you practice technique the more comfortable you’ll start to feel in no time. Don’t let those tools and skills get dull and never be complacent about your riding. Things happen and they happen quick.
Track days are great for practicing, it is a controlled environment, controlled conditions and depending on which track organization you choose to signup with, can either be a great experience or one you may never attend again. For those new to track days look for providers who limit riders per session it will be a more relaxed environment for you to practice and learn instead of a stressful experience as you get buzzed or end up in a pile up in the corners. If you are more experienced you make those decisions of signing up knowing there is a chance of a lot of traffic. Make informed decisions based on your skill level. I’ve instructed at several organizations and I’ve seen tears, frustration and outright anger because of traffic on the track, just do your homework and make sure you get the most out of your day. With less riders there is more time to work on your technique and you spend less time figuring out how to negotiate your way out of traffic. Makes sense right? Nothing is worse than being super excited to ride and then encounter a misfortune in your first or even second session, it ruins your entire day. It can be due to individuals who can’t hold a line, someone clearly in the wrong level, a mechanical issue, lack of focus, too many people on track, etc. As an instructor through the years for track organizations, I’ve seen some pretty interesting things and knew that there had to be a better, safer way to put a track day on. If you haven’t had a chance to attend, sign up, we provide the perfect environment to learn, have fun, not feel self conscious or intimidated and our biggest joy is seeing you happy at the end of the day and smiling ear to ear. Our last day is on September 10 at The Ridge Motorsports Park and it is limited to 30 riders in each session. There are control riders and instructors there at your disposal and the classroom is free to everyone who wants to attend. Don’t forget to bring anything you might want to sell, barter or trade with other riders…you never know what someone might have that you absolutely can’t do without! (OK That’s the fashionista in me) Signup at www.motovixens.com/ccevents
Looking forward to seeing you out there!