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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hitting a plateau

What do you do when you've hit a plateau in your riding?


This past weekend's CCS races were both an excellent learning experience, and at the same time hugely disappointing for me personally.

I've averaged out my times from the five races I've completed there. I dropped a full 10 seconds from my first ever race to the second, and since then I've dropped .10 second per lap race average. That might be a big deal when you're trying to beat the track record, but I'm barely cracking the 20s as a personal best. (I'm also on a 20 year old, 62hp, 100mph bike - my SO ran my bike in GTL and his times were consistently 6-7 seconds better than my PB - 24's I think. He said with more time on the bike he could maybe get down to 22's so I know it's me, not the bike.) The reason this is so hugely disappointing is that I *felt* like I was going so much faster than before.

There's a 4 second difference between my slowest and fastest laps, so I gotta work on some consistency too... but being the slowest rider at the track and having last place pretty much guaranteed every weekend is starting to wear on me. My closest competition and the guys I want to beat average 1.9 seconds a lap faster than me. How do I find the 2 seconds I need to beat them?

Don't get me wrong, it's still a lot of fun, and I'll keep going. There was one bright spot in my first race, got a great start and was doing really well the first lap and a half and then it was red flagged and we had to restart. Restart sucked and I had last place from turn two on. (Well, last place of the people who didn't have problems and off track excursions.)

I did find more speed in some crucial places, and know where I need improvement. I should be going from a single two piston front brake (yeah, brake, I have one front brake) to a six pot caliper and different rotor for the next race weekend which I'm hoping will help me immensely. I suck at downshifting into T1 and I think the better brakes would help.

What do ya'll do when you're feeling no forward movement in your development?

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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 02:49 PM
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Quick question for you. Did you take the Learning curves school this year at Blackhawk. Also do you have dread locks. If so i met you at Blackhawk a couple of months ago.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yeup! That was me, you passed me in the race and waved.

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 02:55 PM
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I am curious if you have considered track days, and/or schools? You can get a ton of time in at track days for a good value. You can also get a ton of help to pick up your pace, improve your shifting, braking, line and body position.

If BHF is your track of choice, there is a track day there at the beginning of September you might wanna check out.

Just a thought.

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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I've been at every track from Road America to Mid-Ohio this summer - every weekend since April we've either been at a track day or racing. (and we'll be at the track every weekend until October) It's not track time that's the issue so much as specific things that I'm having a hard time with that I haven't really discovered yet...

Everybody tells me my lines and body position are great. I have the motions down, but always look like I'm only going at 80% of potential.

I 'won' a date with Super Dave at the RFF auction, and so I'll be doing that school in August. Hopefully I'll learn something new there that helps.

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:00 PM
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Yeup! That was me, you passed me in the race and waved.


LOL just didn't know if you knew who I was. I got a little close to you in that race as I was trying to catch 1st place. Just wanted to say hi!
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:02 PM
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:04 PM
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I've been at every track from Road America to Mid-Ohio this summer - every weekend since April we've either been at a track day or racing. It's not track time that's the issue so much as specific things that I'm having a hard time with that I haven't really discovered yet...

Everybody tells me my lines and body position are great. I have the motions down, but always look like I'm only going at 80% of potential.

I 'won' a date with Super Dave at the RFF auction, and so I'll be doing that school in August. Hopefully I'll learn something new there that helps.
You don't get coached on track in a race. So, unless you already know what you need to know, there is a slower learning curve vs. getting instruction.

As far as SuperDave, I wasn't aware that BHF had any track days in August. Heartland does however.

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:05 PM
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Hey I know who you are too! Unless there's another chick with dreads that race. At road america, I'm the dude who came by to get Swagger to go take a look at Geoff's NSR500V. I believe you went as well. Yes? Is that you?
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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I've been getting a lot of coaching from my SO and other STT staff off track, as well as starting to lead some of the slower Novices who need extra help. I'm a *competent* rider, smooth, predictable, just not very fast.

We haven't spent any time at BHF for a trackday yet besides the Friday practice. We went through every corner as a discussion of how many downshifts and upshifts and breaking points etc. I know some places where I should be braking much later but I don't have faith in the brake and I don't downshift quickly enough to make the corner.

Having my SO race my bike actually helped both of us, in that I learned where I should be going much faster, and the challenge of riding my bike made him drop 2 seconds on his own (gixxer 600).

Super Dave/BHF has a track day Aug. 29th.

G2G hello! Thanks for being polite, although I didn't think you were close at all! Gary Palmer rubbed my leg on the outside of T4, that was getting a little close.

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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Reverend Rice View Post
Hey I know who you are too! Unless there's another chick with dreads that race. At road america, I'm the dude who came by to get Swagger to go take a look at Geoff's NSR500V. I believe you went as well. Yes? Is that you?
As far as I know, I'm the only one. So yeah, that was me.

Jeebus, I feel like I've just revealed my secret identity or something.

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:24 PM
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LOL I recignized you by the hair and the bike. I remember I asked you about it.
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:25 PM
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LOL I recignized you by the hair and the bike. I remember I asked you about it.
man its like your STALKING HER



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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:25 PM
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Yanno, I was experiencing the same issues at one point. The first 1-1/2 years that I was racing, I consistently and steadily shed seconds until I was in the mid-20's... then I blew the motor in my "A" bike. Even though the "B" bike was identically prepped (shock, springs, settings... everything) I was markedly slower. Launching myself headfirst into the asphalt a year later at about 80 coming out of T7 at BHF so that I saw stars when I stood up didn't help either - it took FOREVER to get my time back to CLOSE to where it was.

And then I stopped having fun because I was frustrated by my lack of forward progress. I couldn't let go of the fact that I was running slower than I had the previous year, and it seemed that nobody could help me pull my head out of my ass (and I had an entire paddock full of folks who were more than willing to help). I was embarrassed by my lap times - and the harder I tried, the worse things got. I sensed that the secret was to just let go... but my ego wouldn't allow it. It was almost a relief when John and I split up and I could no longer afford to race, because by that point, the only time I really enjoyed being out there was if it was raining.

The feedback that I had from everyone was that I was incredibly smooth, and "solid"... I just couldn't seem to go any faster.

I think if I could have gotten my head around stepping back and just enjoying myself things may have worked out on their own... things "click" when you least expect it.

I've been told that endurance racing (REAL endurance racing, not CCS' GT races) will help bring down your lap times... you start to get tired, relax just a bit and things "click". Maybe some day I'll have the opportunity to do that again.

Dave Rosno will definitely help you from a technical/setup perspective - he helped me quite a bit.

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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:26 PM
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man its like your STALKING HER

No No no.
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:27 PM
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Mkay, now that we all know I'm the chick with the dreads (and don't forget the Lost Member of Spinal Tap leathers), and that I need more schoolin'...

I'm still curious what *YOU* all do when you feel like you've hit a plateau and you're getting down on yourself about it.

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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:38 PM
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Mkay, now that we all know I'm the chick with the dreads (and don't forget the Lost Member of Spinal Tap leathers), and that I need more schoolin'...

I'm still curious what *YOU* all do when you feel like you've hit a plateau and you're getting down on yourself about it.
if it is a a trackday i always try to track downa guy who is faster than me and push it a little more. Follow there lines see where they pull away from you. It helps alot!
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:39 PM
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I'm still curious what *YOU* all do when you feel like you've hit a plateau and you're getting down on yourself about it.
Buy a GSXR1000!
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:42 PM
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if it is a a trackday i always try to track downa guy who is faster than me and push it a little more. Follow there lines see where they pull away from you. It helps alot!
+1 getting a TOW sometimes can make you realize something about yourself.

mainly when you come back in and notice SHIT i just went 3 seconds faster.

then you wonder how you did it and wasn't bothered by it?

simple when we are by our selfs NOT getting towed, we relax up, the DRIVE is not there to PUSH HARDER.

when there is some one to chase, its ON.

it could be that? which for me it was, THEN i started working on referance points BIG TIME, knowing what gear i was in, and carrying that till the next BREAK maker in which i BREAKED big time for.

track day after track day i got my times better. after a while i found my self, racing my self. then the DRIVE started in me.


that was my personal issues...almost feel like i just sat up from being on a psychiatrists couch



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post #21 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:43 PM
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if it is a a trackday i always try to track downa guy who is faster than me and push it a little more. Follow there lines see where they pull away from you. It helps alot!
+1 you need a rabbit to chase. At a trackday, throw on some new rubber and follow someone you know is faster than you. stay on them for as long as you can, paying close attention to where they brake, turn in, and get back on the gas. They will pull you through the corners faster than you're used to and you will now own that corner speed knowing your bike will make it.

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post #22 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:47 PM
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post #23 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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if it is a a trackday i always try to track downa guy who is faster than me and push it a little more. Follow there lines see where they pull away from you. It helps alot!
Unfortunately though, I have to specifically ask someone to lead me around because slightly faster riders lose me on the straights, never to be seen again.

EDIT: What I meant to say, is that this is a really good idea, and I need to make a point of finding someone to follow. I was actually going to do this at the last trackday at RA and had asked for a tow/follow before I discovered my brake pads were shot and I didn't have spares.

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Buy a GSXR1000!
Perfect.

I was actually thinking more of going the 125 route. Inline fours are for the lazy. What, with their speed, ease of riding, ease of finding cheap parts, and lack of need for constant maintenance - why would anyone want one of those? (I'm kidding, I'm so totally kidding - but no really, I'm hoping to eventually move on to a 125)

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post #24 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:55 PM
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125's rule.

+1 on a tow.

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post #25 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:00 PM
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Unfortunately though, I have to specifically ask someone to lead me around because slightly faster riders lose me on the straights, never to be seen again.



Perfect.

I was actually thinking more of going the 125 route. Inline fours are for the lazy. What, with their speed, ease of riding, ease of finding cheap parts, and lack of need for constant maintenance - why would anyone want one of those? (I'm kidding, I'm so totally kidding - but no really, I'm hoping to eventually move on to a 125)

thats how i learned to carry more corner spped so i can get the drive out of the corner so it is harder for them to pull away down the straight. Once that straight comes i try to brake as late as possible to gain back some of the lead they pull. Trus me i have raced stock engine Sv 650's for the last 6 years and that is one thing I have learned stay on the gas longer and get on the gas quicker.
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post #26 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:02 PM
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I heard this once...(Ron, correct me if I get the wording wrong)

"At some point, there has to be a certain level of disregard in order to overcome your boundaries."

I think that sums it up.

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post #27 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:07 PM
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I heard this once...(Ron, correct me if I get the wording wrong)

"At some point, there has to be a certain level of disregard in order to overcome your boundaries."

I think that sums it up.
Ive never heard a better line! Im going to use that one.
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post #28 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:09 PM
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I like that line too

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post #29 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Think of how your SO took 2 seconds off his time after borrowing your bike.

Why did that happen? He walked away from his Gixxer 600, broke his patterns on your bike, and came back with a fresh point of view. Your bike forced him to break those patterns and try out something new when he got back to the Gixxer.
This is a really excellent point, as well as what Kim was saying about taking a break. I do this in all my hobbies. Hit a plateau. I'm usually flightly and just move on to something else. Don't really want to do that this time though.

G2G - Excellent points too, I just remembered that the last 4 trackdays I was at were all Road America... em, yeah. Next ones will be ACC North, and a much better opportunity for trying to chase someone down.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

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post #30 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:17 PM
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Agree with all the above....


Come to a track day..... get a tow.

Decide your form / lines / plan is good enough to add speed to, then do it.

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