Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hampton Downs Superbike School

The California Superbike School has run its first set of sessions at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. Thank you to Dave who alerted me to this, and further to Patricia who alerted him...

I was there for the Level 1 day - I so wish I had known how totally awesome this would be and prepaid the whole damn program!

I booked this motorcycle rider training day way ahead, and the months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds counted down very slowly... but then suddenly its tomorrow, and you have to try and sleep - I woke at 11:30, 12:30, 2:00AM, 4:00AM... and then the alarm went at a quarter to 5:00 and I was UP, SHOWER, DRESSED, BREAKFAST, PACKED, and on the road - grin already spreading.

Off to Dave's place and then meeting up with Ivan and a fill up with high octane gas at Mercer (well 97.5), before heading to the Hampton Downs track.

Windingroad: Red Suzuki VL1500 (C90)
Dave: Red Ducati 998S
Ivan: Black Yamaha R6

The ride down was good, the day looking like overcast but not raining. We ran into a few familiar faces... there were 6 current or ex-Datacom staff there (Ivan and I the current ones).

Arriving at 7:00AM for the registration we geared up and began the day with a counter-steering drill. On the cruiser you have to use countersteering and with the wide bars you get good leverage - it is a basic skill that underlies the physical drills in the courses.

Then into the classroom for a discussion of our Survival Reactions (SR's) - you come to the conclusion that our basic survival instincts are actually extremely dangerous when it comes to operating a motorcycle.
The riders job is to stabilise the motorcycle with the throttle.
The simplicity belies the difficulty of unlearning some very dangerous practices that we didn't really understand were so ingrained.

What an education, what a blast, what fun - but serious fun... no seriously...

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