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Topic: First track school coming up, any insights?  (Read 2495 times)

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« on: April 18, 2011, 03:29:48 PM »

I'm heading out for my first day on the track @ Chuckwalla to attend the Jason Pridmore STAR school in two weeks.  The bike is preped with new tires, pads, and fluids. Riding gear is gathered and ready to go. I'm getting really excited about this Cool.

I figure I'll pack a lunch/water, note book, some tools, and thats about all I can think of really. Since the time not on the track will be spent getting instruction, I assume there really wont be a need for chairs and an easy up, right?
 
What am I missing?

This will be my first day on the track and I thought some of the collective experience here might have a few pointers for me.  Specifics about STAR or Chuckwalla for a newb to the track scene are especially welcome.

Thanks

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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 03:34:57 PM »

I took the Reg Pridmore version of that school at Mid-Ohio in 2005. There *is* some down time between riding and the classroom sessions, so a chair isn't a bad idea. Some kind of shelter from sun/rain might not be bad either. Stay hydrated (helps prevent cramps). Relax. Have fun. Don't be shy about asking the coaches to help you by showing you lines or following you and providing feedback on body position, etc.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 07:36:08 PM »

Riding to the track is a risk -- riding the ride you rode to the track is risk plus -- if you bin it, you and/or your ride may not be in condition to ride home. . ..   Sad    

Also, if you are riding your ride on the track, you may wish to check if your insurance will cover track mishaps.  I must admit that I've ridden my ride to the track (about 4 hours away), and ridden it on the track, but it was my first track day and I didn't know better.  

That being said, track days are a blast.  Welcome to the addiction.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 08:05:04 PM »

Bring the chair and some shade. According their site they provide morning coffee, breakfast snacks and plenty of water. If you want anything else, bring it. They will run their classes in the rain, so be prepared.

Bring an open attitude, both to the instruction and the speed you'll see on the track. It's nothing like riding on the road, yet it will make you a better street rider if you pay attention and learn.

Have fun.  
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 08:44:42 PM »

Thanks for the replies, keep'm coming.


Riding to the track is a risk -- riding the ride you rode to the track is risk plus -- if you bin it, you and/or your ride may not be in condition to ride home. . ..   Sad    


The bike will be loaded and ready in the back of the pickup the night before, so no worries there.  I considered riding there briefly since its less than an hour, but would rather just unload at the track and focus on the instruction and riding.


Bring the chair and some shade.


I'll throw a chair and some shade in the truck just in case.  Better to have it and not need it I guess.

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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 08:50:14 PM »

Is there any reason I'd need to get the rear wheel off the ground while not on the track?  

I was going to remove my center stand before I go (one less lower hanging piece).    I don't have a swingarm stand, so if I need to I can leave it on.  I suppose I could bring it and put it back on if needed, but if its a must, I'll just leave it on. I've never touched it down before, but I'm not sure how far over we'll be leaning and wouldn't want it to be a distraction.
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 09:07:45 PM »

There is absolutely nothing at Chuckwalla besides a parking lot and a track. If you're lucky, they will have porta potties.

Bring shade and a chair- you absolutely will need them. Also, it can get windy so be prepared to have your ez up destroyed.

Bring gas, too.  There is a pump on site, but it is really expensive.

Chuckwalla is a fast, flowing track, with no real gotcha corners.  After a couple of sessions you'll know it well enough to start feeling comfortable. It's also got excellent run off, so don't be afraid to ride off the track if you need to.

Do go for a ride on the back of Jason's bike. It will open your eyes to what is possible.

Don't take the whole thing too seriously. I don't mean you should be too cavalier about it, but remember, it's all about enjoying yourself and improving your skills. Don't push too hard- winding up on the deck takes the fun out in a hurry.  
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 10:01:08 PM »




Don't take the whole thing too seriously. I don't mean you should be too cavalier about it, but remember, it's all about enjoying yourself and improving your skills. Don't push too hard- winding up on the deck takes the fun out in a hurry.  


Gee, a couple of crashes and *his* tune changed pretty fast!   Lol

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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 10:25:29 PM »


Don't take the whole thing too seriously. I don't mean you should be too cavalier about it, but remember, it's all about enjoying yourself and improving your skills. Don't push too hard- winding up on the deck takes the fun out in a hurry.  


This is pretty much my attitude about the school.  Over the last few years of riding, I've read the Twist and Total Control, watched a couple dvds and have taken my self about as far as I'm comfortable out on the road.  Some track instruction seems like the logical next step.  I've been interested in hitting the track for a while now. If I'm comfortable out there on the Tiger, I'll probably start looking for a more track oriented bike to get more involved.  

Also thanks for the info on Chuckwalla  Thumbsup.  I'm looking forward to the learning experience, and wanted to fill in the blanks for what to expect/need the day of.

Anyone happen to know the name of the road for the track entrance by chance?  I road the DR out there a few months ago and must have gone right by it, never saw a sign.  The website just links to google maps, and that doesn't seem to work out  Shrug.
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 10:55:40 PM »

Pay attention to your stamina towards the end of the day - fatigue can be sneaky and make for mistakes.
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 12:37:28 AM »




This is pretty much my attitude about the school.  Over the last few years of riding, I've read the Twist and Total Control, watched a couple dvds and have taken my self about as far as I'm comfortable out on the road.  Some track instruction seems like the logical next step.  I've been interested in hitting the track for a while now. If I'm comfortable out there on the Tiger, I'll probably start looking for a more track oriented bike to get more involved.  

Also thanks for the info on Chuckwalla  Thumbsup.  I'm looking forward to the learning experience, and wanted to fill in the blanks for what to expect/need the day of.

Anyone happen to know the name of the road for the track entrance by chance?  I road the DR out there a few months ago and must have gone right by it, never saw a sign.  The website just links to google maps, and that doesn't seem to work out  Shrug.




It isn't easy to find.  Keep an eye on the GPS, and turn down the road that it will tell you to go left on.  It's farther from the freeway than you might expect, but the actual track entrance sign is easy to spot once you're on the side road.


You don't still have the Speedy?
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 01:29:32 AM »

No Speedy anymore  Sad.  Sold it a year ago along with the st13 to condense down to a 1050 I could tour on and a dual sport.  Can't say I don't miss it, but the Tiger is fine, just fine.

Thanks for the tips on the directions.  For some reason, I assumed the turn of would be on the right heading up Rice Rd.

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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 01:32:23 AM »


No Speedy anymore  Sad.  Sold it a year ago along with the st13 to condense down to a 1050 I could tour on and a dual sport.  Can't say I don't miss it, but the Tiger is fine, just fine.

Thanks for the tips on the directions.  For some reason, I assumed the turn of would be on the right heading up Rice Rd.





It is- by left I meant left onto Rice off of the freeway.


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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 01:49:31 AM »

Get good sleep the night before.  If you are like me, I was a nervous wreck the night before my first track day.  I got maybe 3hrs of sleep.  My adrenaline took me through the day but I did hit the wall on the ride home.  

That is a smart decision to tow the bike there.  I wasn't too concerned about a low/high side as much as being drained and then trying to fight traffic on the ride home.

Like others said, a canopy and chair will be nice.  Make sure you have plenty of food and liquids.  Extra gas is always great.  Maybe an air compressor with a decent air gauge, sun block, sun glasses,and plastic polish (for the helmet shield).

DON'T FORGET THE KEY!!! Yes, plenty of people left their bike keys at home. It is easily done since you aren't riding it there.

Have fun and take plenty of pics!  
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 01:58:46 AM »




Gee, a couple of crashes and *his* tune changed pretty fast!   Lol

KeS



Nah, it's always been that way for me.  Push, because you won't learn anything if you don't.  Don't push too hard, though, because you won't learn anything but how much crashing sucks.  

Fortunately, those two crashes were on my motard, and the second one only caused me to stop riding for as long as it took me to run over, pick up the bike and resume speed!
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 02:02:59 AM »

Thanks again miles.  This makes sense, I just don't know how I missed it when I rode out in the desert just north of there.

Mastros.  Yeah, I'm a little concerned about the sleep thing as I have a tendency to get jazzed up for stuff like this.  Plexus and air compressor are on the check list along with plenty of water and a change of clothes as May can get pretty toasty out here in the desert.  I've read of people doing the key thing, I'll put a spare in the gear bag just in case. My pics may be limited, as their site says no pics on the track or during class. I'll bring the camera along and see what I can get, but they have their own track photog for riding pics.

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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 08:02:16 AM »


Thanks again miles.  This makes sense, I just don't know how I missed it when I rode out in the desert just north of there.

Mastros.  Yeah, I'm a little concerned about the sleep thing as I have a tendency to get jazzed up for stuff like this.  Plexus and air compressor are on the check list along with plenty of water and a change of clothes as May can get pretty toasty out here in the desert.  I've read of people doing the key thing, I'll put a spare in the gear bag just in case. My pics may be limited, as their site says no pics on the track or during class. I'll bring the camera along and see what I can get, but they have their own track photog for riding pics.



a GoPro camera for on-board video is even better!

you'll have a blast (or at least you should). thinking back to my first track day, I would mention 2 things:
1. everyone is there for skill improvement, and everyone out there was a newbie at one time. You can talk with anyone.
2. you'll want to push your limits, but not too much or not too early. If you're like me, you'll get out there on the first few laps and have that "holy shit is everyone going fast" thought, and it makes you want to ride wayyyy over your comfort level.
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2011, 09:58:05 AM »

Lowering tire pressure 5 psi or so is common (low to mid 30s, no?).
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2011, 10:02:29 AM »

I used to set 32/30 cold psi  (front/rear) at the track.  But that will depend on your tires.  Ask when you get there, but be prepared to drop tire pressures at the track.
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 04:19:03 PM »

If they're providing water I'd bring a bunch of gatorade too.  
- I'd remove the center stand, I imagine it could limit your clearance in the corners.  The only reasons you'd need the rear wheel in the air is if you're running tire warmers or have to put a new tire on.  Since you just put a new one on you should be good for the day. (Edit - I'd ask the school about this specifically, they may have certain requirements regarding center stands)
- I like having ear plugs in - helps me concentrate on the riding
 -Bring an extra bike key and leave it in the truck
- Bring your own 5-gallon gas can, filled of course
- Air pressure gauge
- Sun screen lotion if it's to be sunny out
- I like to have a spray on cleaner handy so I can start each session with a bug-free visor
- Chair and ez up if possible
- When it's hot out I like to put a hand towel in the melting cooler ice and let it get nice and icy cold.  As I'm chilling between sessions nothing is nicer than throwing that ice cold and wet towel over your head to help cool you off while drinking cold water or gatorade.  Very important on those crazy hot days.

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