Track Mentorship? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Track Mentorship?

Greetings all,

I hope this doesn't make me a tool, because I haven't seen anyone else on here request this, but I am seeking someone who is a very experienced track rider who is interested in taking someone under their wings to teach them the track/racing ropes.

I am not new to riding, but I've never ridden a track, nor competitively (yet), but I STRONGLY desire to change that. I currently ride a VFR800FI and have a FZR600 I have just begun to prep as my track bike. I would like to be able to get on a track this year still, and will be signing up for the novice course hopefully for the Aug 30/31 session. But more importantly, I am new to the scene altogether, and could use the knowledge and experience of someone who'se been into this a long time to guide my and teach the the do's and dont's, in's and out's and the nuances of the sport.

Anyone interested in passing along their knowledge and experience?

~ Monty

"The tragedy in life is not what we suffer, it's what we miss."

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:55 AM
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you've come to the right place. I'm a n00b myself, but have done a couple trackdays and there are TONS of people willing to help out. Best way is to try and socialize, can be scary at first but a good group of guys.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:59 AM
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come out to any trackday event, find one of us guys that has been doing it for a while. we will fill your head with so much info it will explode.

-Mopar

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:13 AM
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The short answer is that there are tons of folks willing to help you out both on and off the track.

Pre-Track -
Leverage the forum and social events on this site.

To and From the Track
Seek out some members here and go to a track day with them. You can lean a ton on the way to and from the track.

At the Track
Pitting with experienced people is great to help you learn all sort of things and deal with things as they come up during the course of the day.

On-Track
With another member - Find another member who is just a little faster than you, and work things out together on the track.

On-Track
With a Control Rider - Control Riders exist to show you the lines, coach your body position, teach you where to brake, turn in, apex, exit, accelerate, how to pass, etc... That is their "JOB" although it is a volunteer job.

Take advantage of what EVERYONE at the track has to offer. You will find that there are very few areas in life that have this many people in many categories willing to help you this much.

Have fun and get out to the track as soon as you can! Why wait 7 weeks to get to the track?

Last thing, is make sure that your first track is a good LEARNING track, i.e, Road America is a great track, but too long and too fast to really learn and improve quickly.

===========
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:15 AM
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O yeah, get ready to open up your pocket books, this hobby isn't cheap. I wish I had read that warning before getting started.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
oh my...
 
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Thank you all so far, for the great feedback...

I was out at autobahn last weekend actually, both sat and sun... but it just felt like I'd be such a dork to walk up to a group of guys I don't know at the track and say something to the effect of "hey guys, you don't know me, but I am looking for someone to take me under their wing and counsel me in the ways of the track... interested?" or "could you please take the time to teach me all the things I don't know, but should?"

Not to mention a big assumption that they would have either or both the interest and the time to do as much.

Now granted, I'm hardly anti-social, but I'm also not the first one to volunteer to run naked through the street, so just blindly approaching a group of guys like that is hard, yes... LOL

I guess what I was hoping for here is someone who IS interested in donating their experience and knowledge to raise their hand, so that I could avoid panhandling to the crowd in general, inlcuding those both not intersted, nor having the requisite experience to take my request under consideration.

I'm all for working as the n00b track grunt for it's natural course in exchange for this mentorship.

And for the costs? Is there any expense to be spared for my dear sweet mistress?

"The tragedy in life is not what we suffer, it's what we miss."

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Last edited by Timmay!; 07-09-2008 at 10:29 AM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romeo View Post
Thank you all so far, for the great feedback...

I was out at autobahn last weekend actually, both sat and sun... but it just felt like I'd be such a dork to walk up to a group of guys I don't know at the track and say something to the effect of "hey guys, you don't know me, but I am looking for someone to take me under their wing and counsel me in the ways of the track... interested?" or "could you please take the time to teach me all the things I don't know, but should?"

Not to mention a big assumption that they would have either or both the interest and the time to do as much.

Now granted, I'm hardly anti-social, but I'm also not the first one to volunteer to run naked through the street, so just blindly approaching a group of guys like that is hard, yes... LOL

I guess what I was hoping for here is someone who IS interested in donating their experience and knowledge to raise their hand, so that I could avoid panhandling to the crowd in general, inlcuding those both not intersted, nor having the requisite experience to take my request under consideration.

I'm all for working as the n00b track grunt for it's natural course in exchange for this mentorship.
Actually that is not the case. It is quite opposite.

The very first thing you will recognize in the track community is that EVERYONE is there to help and provide assistance. We help each other day in and day out. Those who muscle up and don't ask for advice are the ones who are labelled as tools. Those who step up from the beginning to show a humble interest in learning are highly respected when they show positive results.... and one day you too will be offering the advice to newcommers.

IT IS SO FUN once you find where you fit in at the track as you grow with the people you were learning with.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
O yeah, get ready to open up your pocket books, this hobby isn't cheap. I wish I had read that warning before getting started.
+1000!!! Did my 1st trackday 2.5 months ago... have done 5 more since. Shat is expensive.... but well worth it
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romeo View Post
Now granted, I'm hardly anti-social, but I'm also not the first one to volunteer to run naked through the street, so just blindly approaching a group of guys like that is hard, yes... LOL

Well... If you run up to Moparboyy naked then I'm sure he would bend over forward to help you out! HAHA, I made funny!

Seriously though. In my opinion, what your asking for is the best part about this website, hands down. I started riding and going to the track with people from this forum, and then with the help of Kruz, Doc, JimGoFast, etc.. I improved my riding every time I hit the track. These guys don't do track days anymore, but there are a lot of guys on this board who will be happy to help you out! Good luck, and be safe!

Sean
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by catwlights View Post
Actually that is not the case. It is quite opposite.
Well, I guess then there is only one way to find out then. Any chance I'd get a warmer reception if I looked like this though? -->


"The tragedy in life is not what we suffer, it's what we miss."

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romeo View Post
Well, I guess then there is only one way to find out then. Any chance I'd get a warmer reception if I looked like this though? -->

Maybe... J/k..

What she said is true.. everyone at these events is extremely helpful from unloading to track to loading up for the day! I've yet to have a day where I didnt learn something from a pit neighbor
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
O yeah, get ready to open up your pocket books, this hobby isn't cheap. I wish I had read that warning before getting started.
start racing.. track days are CHEAP!

-Mopar

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:48 AM
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So, the trick to accomplish what you are asking for Romeo, is to be a little simpler. Hook up with someone from this board and ask if they mind you hanging around their pit.

Or if you are riding, do a ride share to and from the track, and you'll be hooked up for the weekend.

Whatever you do, be sure to ask the CRs for help every single session and stop and get their feedback at the end of each session. While you are waiting for the next session, think about HOW to implement what the CR suggested, and make sure that you DO IT the very next session. That is how to progress quickly. Anytime you need clarification, you have 40 minutes between sessions to ask around in the pits or with the guys (or gals) that you rode with.

Forget the "Will you be my mentor" pitch. EVERYONE will be more than happy to help you, EVERYONE. So, go one weekend with group 1, go another weekend with group 2, etc... and pick up that each has to share. Take what makes the most sense to you, and implement it.

BTW - I'd be more than happy to help you. But so would anyone else.

We get together most Tuesday nights and talk about the track and racing. Feel free to come over and join us sometime.

===========
Great Quote - One would think that the Secret Service was smart enough to get serviced secretly.

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Last edited by Wink; 07-09-2008 at 10:50 AM.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 11:08 AM
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The paddock is always open to new people. Like Wink, Mopar, Cat, Busa and the others have said already - just introduce yourself and start talking. What usually will bring a smile to peoples faces is "Hello... I'm the new guy - can you help me spend my money at the track?"
You will be surprised at the response you get. Stop by the red and white ambulance if you want someone to pit with - maroon and blue bike #409.

And word of caution... if Mopar and Mort are in the same place at the same time; be afraid - be VERY AFRAID!!!

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean View Post
And word of caution... if Mopar and Mort are in the same place at the same time; be afraid - be VERY AFRAID!!!
What are you talking about?

Mopar helped me out a lot last year. He towed my bike to BHF one weekend and introduced me to Tony and we all pitted together. Mopar also helped me get my front tire on the right way.

Maybe you're talking about another mort.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
Mopar also helped me get my front tire on the right way.
that was funny.. "ummm dude.. your tire is on backwards"

-Mopar

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 11:52 AM
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C'mon out ..... let's have some fun.


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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 12:50 PM
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If you're doing the Novice class at ACC on August 30/31, you'll be put in a group of 5 or 6 people with a coach, ask that coach and the lead instructor for the day all the questions you can think of - that's what they're there for. Make sure to attend all the classroom sessions as there's a lot of valuable information to be gotten out of it.

Lots of the coaches are licensed CCS racers so feel free to ask any of us questions about that process and what the differences are between racing and trackdays.

Bike racing people aren't like car racing people. Most of us are super open and friendly and willing to help and give advice. There's really no formal "mentoring" that goes on, we're like one big happy disfunctional family. The coaches and control riders are a good place to start though.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean View Post
What usually will bring a smile to peoples faces is "Hello... I'm the new guy - can you help me spend my money at the track?"
That's too funny, you're right though, I know I'd get a good chuckle out of that.

I really appreciate everyone's advice and feedback. While I'm relatively new to the whole forum/online friends aspect of all this, I can honestly say that it is nice to find others with similar and varied interests. Looking forward to putting faces with screen names.

~ M

"The tragedy in life is not what we suffer, it's what we miss."

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckstop View Post
Bike racing people aren't like car racing people... we're like one big happy disfunctional family.
That changes everything, I'll fit right in!

"The tragedy in life is not what we suffer, it's what we miss."

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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 01:15 PM
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Everyone is awesome at the track.....people you just met will help you out if they need it!!

I have been at 7 track days (I think) you lose count after awhile...lol...and everyone has been AWESOME!!!

Just say hi, make some friends and you'll fit right in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
O yeah, get ready to open up your pocket books, this hobby isn't cheap. I wish I had read that warning before getting started.
+100000000000000000000000

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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 01:34 PM
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Welcome to the addiction! You will never, ever find a better bunch of enablers than the folks who do motorcycle track days and racing.

Seriously, these are some of the best people you will ever meet. The camraderie and fellowship are in direct proportion to the thrill you will experience the first time you touch a knee to the pavement... or the first time you see the green flag wave.

Check your ego at the door, come with an open mind and embark on a great adventure!

I will now bestow upon you the best advice you will ever receive: PAY CASH. This is one of those hobbies that will quickly grow into a lifestyle, ESPECIALLY if you decide to take it to the next level and go racing. I did it for 3-1/2 years and could have paid cash for my house in IA with what I spent. Oddly enough, I wouldn't trade a penny's worh of that experience for ANYTHING on this planet. Those were some of the best times I've ever had on a motorcycle.

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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:49 PM

 
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Come out to a Nesba day and we'll teach you everything you want to know. Well not all on the first day.

The Nesba Control Riders did a great job for me!

Autobahn is Monday, come and hang out.

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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:09 PM
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If you end up in one of my groups while doing an STT day. Ive yet to have a student bring me a beer after the day was over. That would make my day.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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Ditto to whats been said. Thats how I met alot of these guys by just going up and talking and asking??? Now I live by Deans ambulance during track days. We usually have plenty of shade and seats so stop by. If you heard us all talking you would think we were all new as thats all we do is talk about each others riding and give suggestions.It never stops and that why I love this sport.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBOlsen View Post
PAY CASH.
+1 billion. I am still running in the black this year racing CCS, and I tell you it gets harder for me every weekend, but i'm pushing thru, it will make the off season SOOO much better.

-Mopar

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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:37 PM
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Don't be shy!

I just did my first trackday on the 5th at Blackhawk. It was a blast!
When I got to the track Friday night, I just kind of walked up and down the pits after I set up mine. I knew no one there at all. But people said Hi, and the conversation started. Absolutely No One was distant. The next day, people I didn't know lent me tools and parts to get on the track when I discovered problems with the bike. Awesome folks!

Even after many years on the street, on the track, I was obviously a noob. A CR grabbed me after the first session and worked with me and two others on body position. The next session another CR worked with me on lines on the track. By afternoon, I was starting to get the hang of it.

Before you go, read Wink's excellent site at ApexJunkie Read the STT and NESBA web sites info and riders manuals.

On the track, don't feel rushed. Work on form and lines. Don't try to keep up with anyone (at least not at first).

And no one looked at me and said "you're kind of old to be starting this aren't you?". (I'm over 50.) I had a great time and learned a whole lot. I'm looking forward to my next track day coming in early August.

Man, Just Do It. And don't be afraid to ask for help. If you ask, you will receive.

Craig
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