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I spent the past two days, Friday and Saturday, riding at the Mid-Ohio track. Prior to this I had only ridden at the track for one day at VIR with PRE and it was a very wet day. I have to admit I was a little concerned at how Mid-Ohio would compare seeing as how they aren't an organization, they handle their own track days through the track. Come to find out my concerns were not justified, I had an amazing weekend.

When I got to the track on Thursday night the parking lot was pretty much empty. I was a little surprised since there was a line of 60ish vehicles waiting to get into VIR ten days earlier. I started setting up and I started speaking to one of the coaches, pretty sure his name was Eric, has a multicolored 08 CBR600RR. I am terrible with names. Eric kind of took me under his wing and helped me throughout the weekend.

As the weekend went on the coaches / control riders just kept getting nicer and nicer. I don't believe there is anything these people would not do to help a new / fellow rider. Everything they did was positive.

The teaching for the novice group was more than I could have ever expected. Friday morning I registered then attended the riders meeting at 8:20. After the riders meeting we met up in the "classroom" for our first lesson. That is where the main instructor, Mr. Clean since I'm terrible with names, introduced us to all of the control riders, established groups (2-3 people per group) and went into the basics. Approximately 20 minutes later we got out of the classroom, got dressed, then got on the track at 20 minutes before the hour.

After our first session we put the bikes up, grabbed a bottle of water, then back to the classroom. The main lesson for the first session was to get the feel of the track and to learn how to get off of the track for pit row. For session two the goal is to get around the track without brakes to teach us how to better anticipate turns. This was a bit of a challenge but it was a great learning tool. Time to hit the track again.

After the second session back to the classroom. This time they show us some basics about body position. Things most of us know but have a hard time actually doing, myself certainly included. I know I feel like I am hanging off the bike like Rossi. Unfortunately pictures and video prove otherwise. I am working on it though. For our third session we are working on entering the corner a little later and hitting the apex correctly. Time for the track.

After the third session it is lunch time. The raceway provided huge subway subs, cookies, chips, etc. You couldn't ask for more. Once lunch was over we went back to the classroom. We reviewed everything we had already covered and talked about braking and acceleration. Simple things that are easily overlooked. Mr. Clean broke things down like you wouldn't believe. It was amazing. This time when we go back on the track we do leap frog. This means that the first lap the coaches lead. The next lap he goes to second and one of the riders go to the front. Then following lap the other rider goes to the front. This gives the riders a chance to be on their own and still have supervision before we are just "let loose" so to speak. It was awesome!

After the forth session we go back to the classroom and are told that from here on out we get to go out and ride our own pace. Passing is allowed but only in one place, the long straight. Only "rule" is that it has to be a very safe pass with 15 feet between you and the other rider.

On the track as a "free" rider was an amazing feeling. It let you know how much you had learned and how much more comfortable you feel on the track than when you started. The coaches / control riders would jump in front of you any time they thought you could use some help with lines. However they didn't do so in a way that made you feel like an idiot. They were perfect!

At the end of the day I was exhausted, mentally and physically. After we were finished multiple coaches came up and gave me feedback. They were able to do so in a completely positive way. When they would tell me that I blew a corner they would take their time and tell me how I should be doing it. They didn't care to do this multiple times with the same two corners either. They understand that we aren't going to be perfect the first, second, or even 50th time.

I ended up passing out in the back of my truck around 10:00. I got up the next day to do it all again. The only difference was on day two was that I did the "advanced beginner" course. With this course it is pretty much the same, exception being that you don't really do the drills. This allows you to ride at a little faster pace however still being supervised by the coaches. You still do the classrooms which is good since we were taught so much it is tough to remember it all. It was perfect. To make this day even better we got Pizza and apple pie for lunch. It was another perfect day!

I honestly believe to get an equal amount of one on one (or two on one) coaching you would have to spend two to three times as much money. I still don't think you would ever find a better group of people though. To make all of this even more amazing all of these people are volunteers.



Clif notes - Perfect weekend, perfect people, perfect coaches, can't wait to come back. Only difference is next time I'll be in intermediate!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvyYAoQ2Q-Q&feature=youtu.be

 

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Discussion Starter #2

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Bike looks great, man!

Glad you had a good time! You'll only get faster!

I can't wait for track season here in the upper midwest. Road America in 41 days!
 

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Thanks everyone. The only downside is I am exhausted today. I went to my Mom's and cut grass for a couple of hours but that is all I have accomplished. I still haven't uploaded the truck or trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A few other bikes.





This one wasn't nearly as pretty on the other side a couple of hours after this picture was taken.




Some people have money.


 
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