Because they are true. I was anxiously awaiting the photos from On The Track Media over the last weekend’s track day that I would check almost daily to see if they had posted yet. Well my unrelenting hounding of their site has finally gave fruit and the entire day’s album has been posted.
Why the hoopla over photos? Wouldn’t you rather watch a video of it instead? Of course you would want to see a video but nothing beats a photo. You see everything in one photo, remember that phrase ‘a photo is worth a thousand words’? That idea is the same here. A video is great to see things in motion but when I look at the photos I can see the way my body is positioned, or not positioned, where my hands are placed, where my feet rests on the pegs, how far through the corners I am looking. The minor details become prevalent in photos over video. This is why I eagerly await for them to be printed, however many of them are taken.
It’s a great way for you to self critique yourself.
All of them still contain the watermarks as I just retrieved them directly from the site. I do purchase whenever I feel like its worthy but for now it’s all for referencing.
My friend Sam’s kid, Brandon, is really into bikes as much as his old man is. Dont let his graying hair fool you – this guy is fast.
There’s a lot of first time track day riders that day as well. Then there is my girlfriend, whom I invited to show her what I get so worked up over whenever a track day comes around. Thompson isn’t like Loudon where it has more viewing areas for the spectators, this resulted in a pretty boring day for her.
When at a new track the most important thing is safety – AND RUNOFF! Usually I find myself placed in groups I am not that fast for, specially at a new track like Thompson. The last time this happened, at New Jersey, I found myself running off the track twice the first day and twice the second day. Thompson wasn’t different. I couldn’t find the apex for Turn 4 which proved itself to be the slowest corner on the track with its late braking and really late apex. It was reminiscent of Turn 8 at NJ, at turn I went down at. Not my favorite, but over the course of the day I found a slight rhythm through there.
If you took the MSF course the most basic thing they teach you is ‘LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO END UP.’ Your body follows your head, so use it, put it in the direction you want the bike to go and never stray. Not the same corner but you can see the head placement is vital for the kind of turn you are undertaking. Always look for the apex and pace your vision steps beyond that through the exit.
Above is from Turn 4 – the slowest corner at the track.
In this sequence of photos you can see that as the day progressed and I became more and more comfortable on the track that my head positioning has changed to look through the corner. Imagine the mirror of your bike is still there and that the pocket it creates between it and the rest of your body work is where you ultimately when your head and vision to look through. I also started to drop my shoulders more and squared them out to allow the elbows to dip lower and more outward. This helps with lean angle.
Thompson forces you out of your comfort zone as it is more of a ‘stop & go’ type of track with very few sweepers.
These are turns 5&6, double apex lefts, which I must say are the more favorite of mine. Knee out, looking through corner, lean it over. I must admit this corner I could have taken faster, but I did not want to ride outside my comfort zone that day. After gaining a rhythm I worked hard for I didn’t want to toss it down the shitter. Maybe the next time I visit this corner the speedometer can read a little bit faster.
When I was in the faster group. After this session here I bumped down to the slower group, Yellow. Riders must know if the pace of the group is faster than they like that it’s OK to bump down. It’s better to learn it at your own pace and have fun, rather than trying to keep up with everyone else. Also this picture showed me the immense slack I have in my chain. Before my next ride I will have to address this issue.
I am already looking forward to the next track day in July – keep it #gasgas!