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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My most recent track day was at Autobahn (south). A little bumpy in spots, but a great track. Liked it more than the North circuit, actually.

The day generally went well, with some minor frustration. Some of the things I say about my own riding on this forum may seem like self deprecation, but it's very true that I'm just not very fast. Don't have the skill, don't want to wad the 748, don't like the emergency room.

My day this last weekend was with STT. I have been to many STT events, and Monte and Bonnie really do a great job putting together a quality track day experience. The beginner (or school) group is very structured and includes much of the same type of instruction that you would pay good money for by going to a riding school.

For anyone considering their first track day, or is still new to the track, I highly recomend the beginner group with STT. There are multiple classroom sessions during the day, many instructors to help you and generally a very good approach to teaching the skillset required for safe performance riding.

My problem is that I'm afraid I'm growing out of the beginner group, and may be forced into the netherworld that can be the intermediate group. In the 'school' group, alot of time is spent on drills through a good portion of the day, and I found myself getting a little frustrated as I kind of wanted to be set loose a little more.

I guess at any group level there is a pretty wide range of talent. I know we had some guys in the school group that looked pretty good, and I know there were also a few that were probably very new to the track experience and riding very conservatively. It's cool, they're there to do there thing like everyone else.

(An interesting side note. I remember going by this one bike later in the day. Later I thought that was wierd, because I remember her from Putnam last year and she was fast. Advanced fast. No way I would be anything but in her way under normal circumstances. Turns out it was her first day back (or maybe second?) after crashing heavily last year and sustaining some serious injuries. Really got laid up for awhile, but back in the saddle and working her way back up.)


Anyway, with passing very limited, it does make it very difficult to get into a rhythm and to work on the things I know I need to work on. But I guess this applies to all the groups, and is part of the game........ the faster riders in any group need to work through the slower riders.

Right now, I might be towards the sharper end in the school group, but I'm no dummy ......... plop me in intermediate and I'm gonna go way back down the food chain. This increases the pucker factor tremendously, as I don't like being ripped out of the cozy, safe little cocoon I have in the beginner group.

The last session of the day was kind of like hitting a 8-iron shot on the 18th green from 160 yards and 1 putting ........ on a day that you shot 150. You are headed to the clubhouse with a smile on your face no matter if the previous 17 holes sucked eggs. (don't get me wrong ..... the rest of my day didn't suck. Just a little frustrating at times. And I hate golf).

In that last session, I got waved by the 'coach', and had a clear track in front. Felt good and never saw anyone else until I came up on traffic a few laps later.


I asked the coach later if, based on his observations, I would not be over my head in intermediate, and he said definitely not. So, with STT days in the future, I'm going intermediate.

You fast guys ....... give a guy a break, willya? A guy can't get to the next level by staying in the beginner group. So when you blow by, try not to upset the poor guy on the 748. Thanks for listening ......

 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (JamesP)

Congrats on moving up and f the fast guys who like to buzz other riders when there is a clear track with plenty of room....

have my own vent to share.

Yesterday , I was riding with a close friend who hasn't gone riding for a while in our local twisties(highway 9). We both were out for fresh air more than anything else and have a great ride to a tri-tip place up the mountain in the town of BoulderCreek. Stuff and relax we headed back the same direction we came. Saw faster riders and we both move over to make room. 4 riders passed safely and we both gave eachother plenty of room. The 4 was NO more than 4 cars lenght away when I saw 2 additional riders inbound. As like before I move over to the right and waved them by. Both Aprillia had super closing speed on both my friend and the group ahead of us. With the first Aprillia close enough to take my hand off if I had wave a little longer.
Then I get to see this ausshole put a front tire up the rest of the group in front..whom by the way they were dressed(lack of full gear) I assumed a bit new and by their reaction to the 2 auss. Passing in mid apex like racing season was in FULL swing and money was at stake.


We arrived to the spot called 4 corners(seem like we all have) and I proceeded to asked the first auss if "was it neccessary to passed that close" Well blah blah blah later I just left because I didn't want it to escalate further


So be it street or track..ausshalt will be there. Ride your ride and come home in one piece
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (JamesP)

James, I'm in the exact same boat. At the last track day I started in Novice group 1, and we were hauling ass. At first we were going so quick I didn't know if I could keep up. My friend was running in the intermediate group. Our instructor in Novice 1 was really good, and most of the time we got clear track. Since most of us had done multiple track days previously we didn't have to sit through a lot of the classroom stuff. Out on the track we really didn't have to do many of the typical drills either.

I'm lucky that I have a wife who's into this stuff. She was keeping lap times for both me and my friend. The crazy thing was, by the middle of the day, our Novice group was running at the same pace as my friend in intermidiate, and we were slowing down to a crawl on the back straight. So, just because you're in novice definately does not mean you're going slower than the intermidiates.

I asked our instructor if I could move up, and he actually suggested that I not just because the intermediate group was a zoo. In Novice group 1 we pretty much had the track to ourselves until we started lapping people.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (georgeb)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by georgeb »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">In Novice group 1 we pretty much had the track to ourselves until we started lapping people. </TD></TR></TABLE>

You know, that's a good point. Sometimes the I group is the most popular and get's pretty crowded. If the B group is not overly restrictive, it sometimes pays to stay there and you get a bit more open track.

An important question though ........ where the hell does a guy find a wife that would accompany you to a track day?


3stripes, your story is typical and just more reason that the track is the only place to really have a quick pace. Maybe it would been best for the tool if you did escalate things just a little bit and whomped him on the head. A guy like that may have gotten that close because of his own lack of control ........ can you imagine a dirtwad like that taking you out when you're just out to enjoy the day and the ride?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (JamesP)

Congrats on the bump
Just remember to have fun while you are out there...don't worry about groups and such...focus on your riding and the rest will fall into place
Next thing you know you'll be one of the "fast guys".

One of the married guys that I know makes "deals" with his wife to come to the track. Like he'll pay for some time at the spa for her if she'll come to the track and help her out...anything is possible


-Tifosi
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (Tifosi)

I am also on the verge of being moved to I but at times hesitate. It seems this year that most of the red flags conditions have been in the I group at several track days that I have been too. I guess sooner or later I will have to move, but don't mind taking my time.

I must be real lucky, my wife always goes to the track with me along with my daugther and I don't have to bribe her. A couple of times I suggested she stay home due to the heat and she wouldn't have any of that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (JamesP)

Never succumb to peer pressure, go as fast or slow as you are comfortable. Hell with the rest


 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (JamesP)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by JamesP »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">
An important question though ........ where the hell does a guy find a wife that would accompany you to a track day?

</TD></TR></TABLE>

Well you see, she has this horse addiction, and I have my bikes. So, we spend about 90% of the time with the horses... In exchange she records lap times, has drinks ready back in the paddock, and helps me with my suit toward the end of the day. She's still coming out way ahead in this deal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (georgeb)

I'm an intermediate speed rider that goes in the advanced group. Fastrack Intermediate is f'in nuts with the most less-skilled-than-they-think-they-are riders in it. I'm not the slowest in advanced but still get ridden around often enough. I'm comfortable with tight passing and close-quarters riding in general (actually, I kinda like it -- when the other guys know what they're doing, of course...) so I never feel in over my head. I think you'll find the extra freedom in your new group refreshing. Have fun!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (Mashuri)

I have to agree with Mashuri on one thing: Intermediate seems to be where all the crashing happens. It seems like every track day I've gone to, the first session of the intermediates gets red flagged while they pull a Gixxer Thou off of some fool.

I am a really poor racer: I am 15% off the pace of the pros. But I am much more comfortable being passed (lapped of course) by JR Schnabel or Benny Carlson, in a way in which our bikes or knees may actually touch, than I am trying to pass Joe Nitwit at a track day. I can pass my closest competitors without too much stress, but we're on similar machines, running the same pace... I just can't apply that to the liter-bike-riding early-and-weak-braking, corner-parking guys in the intermediate class at a track day... their utter unpredictability just messes with my head.

Track days kind of freak me out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (Chief748)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Chief748 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Never succumb to peer pressure, go as fast or slow as you are comfortable. Hell with the rest
</TD></TR></TABLE>
+1

Go out and have a good time try the more advanced group if you feel intimidated ask if you can move down a group,any good track day provider should be more than willing to accomidate this as it is a safty issue.
Just remember too keep a clean and predictable line so the faster guy's can get around clean and safe
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (3stripes)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by 3stripes »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"> Then I get to see this ausshole put a front tire up the rest of the group in front..whom by the way they were dressed(lack of full gear) I assumed a bit new and by their reaction to the 2 auss. Passing in mid apex like racing season was in FULL swing and money was at stake.


We arrived to the spot called 4 corners(seem like we all have) and I proceeded to asked the first auss if "was it neccessary to passed that close" Well blah blah blah later I just left because I didn't want it to escalate further

</TD></TR></TABLE>

3Stripes..

We all know the guys on Hwy 9 are slow as shit, and too afraid to come out to the track, where they'd get their ass handed to them on a silver tray... in the beginner group. You fellas should see these guys... it's really too funny. Sorry you had one of them act like an idiot.

Next time, bust the moron in the chops... see if he likes the taste of his own blood.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (Chief748)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Chief748 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Never succumb to peer pressure, go as fast or slow as you are comfortable. Hell with the rest


</TD></TR></TABLE>not that i want to argue your comment but i think a trackday can be very dangerous if slow and fast riders are on the track at the same time,i think if a slow rider doesnt feel confortable in the slow group and goes up to a faster group cause he thinks it will be safer i think he is wrong,i go to trackdays were some riders are parked and i cant beleive it when i see that.if a slow rider would like to be in a faster group thats ok but there are raceschools he can attend to get better and faster.a trackday is not a sunday ride and a rider that think it is is not at the right place.and i also think that the more space the better,no need to ride to close to the other riders.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (JamesP)

If you are running at the front of the Novice Group with STT, you will be running at least mid-pack in the Interidiot Group. You have to remember that many (most?) of the riders in the Intermediate Group spent one or two days (at best) in the Novice Group and then jumped up. Therefore, they are very unpredictable, don't hold their lines, and tend to blast down the straight (and me on my SV650 after I have just passed them) only to park it in the corners.


I'll give you the same advice I received from one of STT's instructors last year when I started doing track days: stay in the Novice Group until you have really learned the race line, throttle control, corner speed, etc. and then spend just enough time in the Intermediate to get the passing down. I ran in the Novice Group all last year. This year I was bumped into the Advance Group after only my second day in the Intermediate Group. I suspect that after one day in the Intermediate Group you will be determined to move out of it as quickly as possible.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Recent track day - Observations and Frustrations (livharder)

All you have to do is keep your line, watch out for slower riders in front of you and you will be fine. STT has passing rules in intermediate so if you get buzzed by some dipwad, report him and action will be taken. Plus, many times they have controll riders in intermediate and will curb such behavoir when they see it. The jump from intermediate to advanced is much less stressfull so you have something to look forward to.
 
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