Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Never had one lesson...

Words made famous by Ferris Bueller, but that's how I entered the Team Oregon Advance Rider Training course Monday.

The class started off with usual classroom introductions, my name is Brad and I ride an 07 Triumph America, 20 years riding experience, no formal training so I'm here to shake some bad habits.

We were fortunate to have the legend himself teaching our class, almost as if he was lurking in the forums, learned that his fellow bloggers and former BRT students were signed up for the 8/23 ART course and moved mountains to make sure he was instructing that day.

The classroom was informative and although it made sense at the time, as one rider put it at the end of the class "it clicked" out on the track.

We didn't have much time to stop and take pictures, the four instructors kept the class moving so we weren't standing out in the sun all day.

We spent most of our time riding which is where all the fun was. One exercise had us stopping while in a turn, which I seemed to have the most difficulty with, but it wasn't long before I got it. Head and eyes forward stupid.

After that it was *swerving exercise, then practicing our turns, apexes and exits.

*Photo blatantly stolen from Musings of an Intrepid Commuter

I took this opportunity to explore the limits of my bike, or as Dan put it in class "depleting my reserve". I've always been overly cautious leaning into turns on my bike, never knowing how much it would lean. I would touch a peg to the pavement and startle myself which would cause me to upright the bike, mess up my line and blow a corner. I started the class ever so slowly, leaning and learning with every pass, listening to my bike while she "talked" to me.

*Another photo blatantly stolen from Musings of an Intrepid Commuter

By the end of the day, much to the dismay of my classmates, she wouldn't shut up and talked through every corner.

I learned not not be afraid of touching down, I learned how much I had in reserve, but I also learned that when the peg folds up in a full lean, my boot is scraping and the pipes touch down I am flirting with traction deficit.

It wasn't part of the curriculum but I got over one of my biggest fears of leaning the bike all the way over.

No more chicken strips.

I have a better understanding of entry speed, apexes and exits. I learned to turn my head and look all the way through the corner and I now know how to properly stop in a corner. The ride into work this morning was the same route but a completely different ride.

Thank you Team Oregon and to Irondad, Dan, Dave and Scott.



  1. This is what it sounded like to follow Brad around the track:








    Did I hear someone yelling "Wheeeee!!!"?

  2. Great new banner! ;)

    I love the 2nd "blatantly stolen" photo. Look at your lean angle compared to mine in the same corner. Awesome job! Not that I'm wanting to lean anymore than I did...for now. I saw you take one corner and the pipes were right at the ground. No surprise they got a little scuffed.

    Haha, yeah Stacy got that right!

  3. Thanks, and you two were awesome out there tearing it up.
    I don't think anybody saw the apex flag I took out with my boot on the first couple laps. I felt something tap my boot and I looked down to find a flag caught between my boot and my footpeg and I laughed like hell. I tapped and upset an apex cone with my peg after a couple laps after that and then Stacy was behind me when I upset the second cone (but never said anything).
    I was having so much fun, they need to open that track to motorcycles more often, wheeeeeeeee!

  4. My experience following Brad was a bit different. :)

    Scott and I noticed that somebody had taken out an apex flag. We just didn't know who. Until now, that is! Go put it back where you got it.


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