Author Topic: 1st time at Gymkhana - is smoking the course after a few hours  (Read 5675 times)

dredman

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on a big Victory too.

His story from a previous post:

My First Gymkhana

Well, it wasnít exactly my first Gymkhana, just the first one I participated in. I attended the previous one, but never found the courage to ride.

When I first saw the flyer for this event I knew I needed to attend. I needed to learn. Somehow I had to overcome the fear and just try it. I emailed Scott (postmaster) and asked if there would be opportunity for one on one instruction. He simply said ďYesĒ.  ThenÖĒI will see you thereĒ.  I was instantly nervous, even though it was many days away. I immediately began to think of excuses to back out.

Then, just one day before the event, I see a ride to Warm Springs GA was posted on my groups website. Now that sounds like fun. Thatís what I should do, right? My wife reminded me of Scottís emailÖĒI will see you thereĒ. Thanks, now I feel guilty, committed.

So, itís off to the basement to get the bike ready.  Ok, letís take the FZ6R.  It is light and the one I can maneuver the easiest. I check the bike out, itís ready to go. Then I remember you should take the bike you ride the most. Fine, Iíll take the M50. It is my go to bike for most occasions. I check the bike out, itís ready to go.  Then I see the Victory. No way. But, Iím about to embark on a 5000 mile trip to Colorado. It would probably be smart to take it. It would almost be worth taking the Victory just to see Scottís reaction when he sees it coming. Besides, Iím pretty sure I canít do these maneuvers with this bike, so it will be a short day. I can say I tried and call it a day.

So, Iím off, amazingly on the Victory.   As I pull into the parking lot, I see Scott coming my way. He has no reaction to me being on the Victory. I ask Scott if he can see what Iím riding. He says, ďyeah, so whatĒ. I ask him if he honestly thinks I can do this on this big bike. He says ďsure, why notĒ.  Scott then proceeds to explain to me what we will be doing today, carefully explaining the different courses. He then not only brilliantly explains the first maneuver and how to accomplish it, but demonstrates itÖ.ON MY BIKE. Great! That took away my excuse that this big bike wonít do that, I should have brought my Yamaha. Several other instructors introduce themselves, offer some words of advice and encouragement, and Iím off.  Heart rate really up there, I will have to admit, a very shaky start. For some reason, I canít force myself to get my bike inside the freakin' circle of tennis balls, so I stop. After some great advice from another instructor, I give it another try. I get into the circle of tennis balls. Nice! However, I am now riding over the top of every freakin' tennis ball. Or at least, thatís what it felt like. So, time for more advice. Apparently I donít need to be looking at the freakin' tennis balls.  Something that may seem so simple to some was a huge accomplishment for me. I DID IT!

Some of the more amazing tips I got today...
---Breathe.  Wow, Scott was right. I think I just did 4 figure 8ís without breathing.
---Ease up on the grips. Wow, so thatís why my hands are hurting so badly.

Iím certainly in no position to offer advice. I donít have the experience or talent. But I think one of the reasons this was so beneficial to me was that I checked my ego at the door. I listened to every word from every instructor. And, even though some of their advice and instruction made no sense whatsoever, I believed them, trusted them, and just tried it. And, Iím glad I did.

I have heard from day one, from the purchase of my very first bike, ďLook where you want to goĒ. That has always seemed like the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Why would you look where you donít want to go? But, after today, I know exactly what it means. And amazingly, it works!!

So, I would like to thank everyone who provided instruction and encouragement.   It was very much appreciated. Thank you to Don and the gang for the Most Improved Award medallion. It actually meant a lot. Although most of the credit for that award goes to the instructors and everyone who took their time to set this up and offer their knowledge of experience. I rode home today a little taller. Of course, thatís not much of a challenge when you are only 5í4Ē to begin with. Who knew 5í4Ē, 120lbs could Gymkhana with a 900lb motorcycle?

After today, this is how I feel. I believe there are at least four groups who should attend Gymkhana:
1)Those who think they need to learn some new riding skills
2) Those who think they need to improve on their riding skills
3) Those who donít think they need to learn some new riding skills
4) Those who donít think they need to improve on their riding skills



1st time at American Motorcycle Gymkhana
Learn to ride better before your riding days are cut short.

BillZ

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Re: 1st time at Gymkhana - is smoking the course after a few hours
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 03:17:32 PM »
Wow, just....wow.  Good stuff.  That right there is a real "Victory!"  Welcome to the slow ride!  Take it easy...
Lean into it...

Vulfy

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Re: 1st time at Gymkhana - is smoking the course after a few hours
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 05:11:30 PM »
Why is it a "slow" ride?  I keep hearing this expression on these forums and I am a bit perplexed about  it.  As Duncan expressed in his post, and I agree with him wholeheartedly, Gymkhana is not "slow" but "maximum" riding.  Even for beginner rides, those are not exactly "slow" for the type of riding they are doing. 

I just hope as Gymkhana enthusiasts, we are not portraying or encouraging  "slow" with this sport and our language about it. 

Rant over.   ;D

As for the video,  kudos.

BillZ

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Re: 1st time at Gymkhana - is smoking the course after a few hours
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 05:59:32 PM »
Vulfy, you are very right and I am corrected.  I was speaking of my first runs in which I was struggling at a slow speed to complete the 8's.  It is truly not slow, but very correctly verbalized as Maximum riding.  When I ride Gymkhana, I am riding using my maximum abilities.  I really like the ideal of maximum riding, maximum fun.  Let's use that instead of "slow."
Lean into it...

dredman

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Re: 1st time at Gymkhana - is smoking the course after a few hours
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 07:37:28 PM »
Maximum - yes
It is still slow.
We had a really fast course setup this time.  It consisted of some really big sweeping turns, and speeds were excessive - you know, around 25-30 mph.  Sorry, that is slow to me. 
We are still pushing machines, tires and brakes to the limit, so maximum, but slow.

I guess it is still just a choice of words - I do love maximum tho. :)
Learn to ride better before your riding days are cut short.

Vulfy

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Re: 1st time at Gymkhana - is smoking the course after a few hours
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 08:05:15 PM »
Sorry for derailing the thread a bit   :D
I'll start a new topic on this.

Again, BIG kudos to the rider in this video, and anybody who is trying their best at this sport. 

 ;D

P.S.  couldn't help it  :D   I think this is all about scale and relativity.  Scale up any Gymkhana course to the size of a standard GP course, and you'll be traveling GP speeds.  Speed is relative to our senses as well.  100mph on a straight highway won't feel much, but 20mph in GP8 in Gymkhana equals to reflexes of a fly and adrenaline pouring out of the ears.  :D 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:20:13 PM by Vulfy »