rurugger (Enthusiast) View all posts in this topic  
Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:06 am
Overall trackday impressions - Zoom Zoom at Thunderhill        

Loved it! Despite 100+ degree temperatures and my minor crash.

The organizers (ZoomZoom) were top notch, everything was run very smoothly, the staff were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

After spending some time in the classroom, the first session was following the instructor at a leisurely pace to get acquainted with the track, and for the rest of the day riders had the choice of going by themselves or asking an instructor to work with me. I did the second session all by myself - learned that most people in the novice group are actually slower than me despite being on bigger bikes, that I'm comfortable leaning the bike far enough to drag the knee on the ground, but that it doesn't actually mean I'm going fast, and that I have no idea how to pick lines through the corners. That's when I decided that I can learn far more sticking with the instructors the rest of the day rather than going solo.

Two of the instructors were on the 250s (both new gen), 2 riders had rented new gen 250s and 4 others, including myself brought their own. One of the instructors on the 250, Lisa, spent most of the day with me one on one, or two on one with another fellow on an old gen 250, and was extremely helpful, I felt like I improved steadily and was much more comfortable with my lines and with my speed in all of the turns.

One of the guys who brought his own 250 was also doing his first ever track day, and unfortunately crashed in the 2nd session (first real one after the intro to the track) and had to be taken to the hospital - apparently a couple cracked ribs and some bruises but fortunately nothing serious. By my amateur analysis he had poor body positioning and was dragging parts in almost every corner, and eventually dragged too much causing the crash. I also learned to watch for the corner flags, and memorized what they all mean after this.

My own crash is described in the previous post; one thing I did wrong in addition to crashing in the first place, was picking the bike up after I was done sliding, and riding it into the paddock myself. I learned that you're supposed to leave the bike where it is, walk away from the impact zone and wait to be picked up. Lesson learned.
A positive surprise that I was neither physically nor mentally affected by the crash and was able to continue as before once I got back on. I did take that turn 3 slower the first couple laps around.

There were a few cancellations for Sunday, so I had the option of staying for the second day, but I'm glad I didn't - I didn't realize Saturday night how tired I really was, but I slept for 11 hours and woke up with my legs being somewhat sore (wrists not so much, which I think is a good sign meaning I'm not holding on too tightly).

That's enough thoughts for the day. Summary: Thumb up for trackdays, Thumb up for ZoomZoom and huge Thumb up for Lisa.

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