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Señor Member
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1,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Some of you read my rantings in another thread in February about track day rules on passing... I had avoided track days for about three years at that point because of a philosophical difference on passing rules between me and the most vocal members of our local track day club.

"Could I suggest a safer way to do things?" was my position.
"Rules is rules, piss off" was their position.

More discussion here: http://www.speedzilla.com/forums/street-track/59657-whos-fault-3.html#post599433

So I came back to that track day org two weeks ago, wearing a disguise as was my plan. I rode with my brother, and had a pretty good time.

I was reviewing my helmet cam video, and found at least one instance of the sort of behavior that got me a stern talking to way back when. In the clip below, I get a stronger run out of the last chicane, and pass my brother on a Speed Four on the straight, and another rider on the outside while we are tipped in to turn 1. By the rules of the organization, I messed up double. I passed the second rider in a turn, not on a straight. Also, I may have violated his "six foot bubble" depending on how you draw your imaginary bubble. No one was concerned about it, at least I didn't get lectured and threatened this time. Watch the video - questions to follow:


Clearly, if you take the "rules is rules" approach, I am a bad man.

But ignoring the rules, in your opinion, did I do anything dangerous? Did I put anyone at risk? Did I do something you wouldn't have done? What would you do different?
 

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Munky
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532 Posts
All the Org's I run (Team Promotion and CornerSpeed) those looked like clean passes to me. I guess you could argue the 6 foot rule with the outside pass going into the turn.

You were smooth, decisive and not a danger to the other riders.

Ian
 

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Premium Member
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6,388 Posts
I say that rules are there for a reason.

You don't know how much I hate sitting at a red light around midnight with no other cars on the road. It's kind of like that. But you're better off just following it because God forbid something happens to someone else, you can say that you followed the rules.

For me it's more about liability than anything.
 

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Registered
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2,607 Posts
I don't get it... both passes look very clean to me. Absolutely zero danger to anybody.
I understand the will to keep it safe but this is simply ridiculous. :confused:
 

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Señor Member
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Discussion Starter #5
I say that rules are there for a reason...
I believe in following rules. I do.

But I also believe in examining the rules to see if they work - do they solve more problems than they create? And I also know that changing a rule can't be done lightly either... it's hard to communicate that change. There are legitimate reasons to leave a bad rule be. I get that.

Here's where I was taking this: If a safety rule is hard to follow, or causes an unsafe condition when it is followed, is it worth reviewing the rule itself?
 

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Premium Member
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6,388 Posts
I believe in following rules. I do.

But I also believe in examining the rules to see if they work - do they solve more problems than they create? And I also know that changing a rule can't be done lightly either... it's hard to communicate that change. There are legitimate reasons to leave a bad rule be. I get that.

Here's where I was taking this: If a safety rule is hard to follow, or causes an unsafe condition when it is followed, is it worth reviewing the rule itself?
You make good points as well. But if you would have backed off you would not have had to make those passes since it is afterall a 'track day' and not a race.

You only had to make those passes because you didn't want to lose time. Losing time is a part of track days unfortunately. So the rule is fine.
 

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Señor Member
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Discussion Starter #7
You make good points as well. But if you would have backed off you would not have had to make those passes since it is afterall a 'track day' and not a race.

You only had to make those passes because you didn't want to lose time. Losing time is a part of track days unfortunately. So the rule is fine.
I am so glad you see it this way - I am interested in this discrepancy of thought, and hopeful to have a respectful discussion about it.

The first pass I made carefully, with a plan, according to the rules, no where near a corner.

The second pass was a bit of a surprise to me. That guy was a dot way down the track when I crossed start/finish. Would you have expected such a rate of closure? It only became obvious to me that the closure rate was very high once the turn had begun. What would you have done at that point? Because it was a track day, should I have stood it up on the brakes? At what point in the video would you have shut it down and known to fall in line behind that rider? I am not heckling your point of view at all. I am very interested.
 

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Premium Member
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I am so glad you see it this way - I am interested in this discrepancy of thought, and hopeful to have a respectful discussion about it.

The first pass I made carefully, with a plan, according to the rules, no where near a corner.

The second pass was a bit of a surprise to me. That guy was a dot way down the track when I crossed start/finish. Would you have expected such a rate of closure? It only became obvious to me that the closure rate was very high once the turn had begun. What would you have done at that point? Because it was a track day, should I have stood it up on the brakes? At what point in the video would you have shut it down and known to fall in line behind that rider? I am not heckling your point of view at all. I am very interested.
What group were you in?
Sometimes if riders are not assigned correctly it can cause issues like the one you experienced. If a fast guy is in a slower group he is bound to have to break the rule to get around a slower rider. And if a slower rider is in the faster group but doesn't belong there he will be a hazard and the faster riders may have to make evasive maneuvers to get around.

Then of course there are the times when we just make mistakes. Nobody is perfect.

In my case, I can usually tell if I'm going to plow into the back of someone. Especially if I get a good drive out of the last corner. So I tend to just back off. It sucks but it's safe.

..please don't take any of my posts as a knock towards you. I'm just giving my personal opinion.
 

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Registered
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5,748 Posts
hell man, just back it off in there and stuff the shit out of them, they'll get the hell out of the way next time... :D
 

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Registered
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969 Posts
I only see safe passes. If anything perhaps the passed rider is in the wrong group. You are OK Banda...
 

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Registered
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239 Posts
The first pass posted looks aok to me, If this was a beginner session that might scare the newbie rider, but in a intermediate and advanced session there was no problem with that pass in my eyes.

The second pass was a squid who blew the corner, almost rearending a fellow rider. fail.
 

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...clink...!
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1,725 Posts
That was a bad pass. Running wide is proof. Banda's pass under his clubs' rules was probably bad form too. Fix it by moving up a class, Banda. You're ready ?
 

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V4 CyclePath...
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6,827 Posts
It was close but not that close... but then again I've gotten called on the carpet for passing...
 

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Ducatilicious
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My first question would be what org. were you riding with? Also, what group are you in? And third, what are the rules for passing within that group? Sure they look like ok passes for an advanced level group, though as Turbo mentioned, rules are there for a reason. I would say without knowing anything that if you don't like the rules, don't ride with that org, switch to an org. that has rules you do like. If you want to continue riding in that org. you should get involved and talk to the appropriate people about how the rules could be different.

You mention passing only in a straight line and a 6' rule, I'm going to guess that you were riding in the intermediate group. Rules like these are there not only to protect the rider being passed but also the passing rider. In the I group, there is the biggest bandwidth of skill and speed as you experienced with the second rider:

The second pass was a bit of a surprise to me. That guy was a dot way down the track when I crossed start/finish. Would you have expected such a rate of closure? It only became obvious to me that the closure rate was very high once the turn had begun. What would you have done at that point? Because it was a track day, should I have stood it up on the brakes? At what point in the video would you have shut it down and known to fall in line behind that rider? I am not heckling your point of view at all. I am very interested.
In Intermediate and even Advanced groups (think RS250 -vs- literbike) you should expect such a rate of closure. Here is a perfect example of why you should always be scanning with your eyes, expecially down the track in a fast section. Ideally, you should be thinking about the corner you're approaching, the following corner and any riders you may encounter at that time. From the way things are laid out, sounds like you were going too fast to make the right decision (according to the rules). If the rules state no passing in the turns, looking down the track or riding at a slower pace would have given you enough time to slow down before you were on top of the rider, then just get 'em on the gas out of the next corner. The option of standing on the brakes is there but that's not the meat in this sandwich. If you were staring at your front wheel and looked up only to see a slower rider up ahead right in front of you, then sure, pass the rider and ask yourself if what you could have done differently to avoid breaking the rules. Not trying to bust your balls here, just adding some constructive crit. :)
 

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Señor Member
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Discussion Starter #20
That was a bad pass. Running wide is proof. Banda's pass under his clubs' rules was probably bad form too. Fix it by moving up a class, Banda. You're ready ?
That would have been a bad pass in all but the top level session. It is implied (although not explicitly stated) that the "expert" group is for licensed racers on equipment meeting the CCS tech standards. I ride my street bike and hold no current race license.

There is no question that what you saw on the video is against the track day rules. I'm not disputing that.

But was it the wrong thing to do in that instance? Closing speed was probably about 20 mph... that's a lot. At what point would you have slowed down if you were in the same situation? Would it have been enough? Bear in mind there's at least one guy right behind me - the one I passed, maybe more... How soon and how hard do you brake to stay behind that guy?
 
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