Mayhem's 2015 & 2016 Track Day Shenanigans - Page 2 - ZX6R Forum
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post #16 of 58 Old 02-20-2015, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Conclusion

Well, it would seem that there have been some changes to the track photography policy which resulted in a pretty ridiculous pricing system. Still, I found a few pics that sufficiently captured my progress and I figured it's always good to buy at least one so you can compare and contrast as you move along.

All in all I am chalking the day up to success. I rode well, I felt good (but I've said that already) and if I may I'd like to address my C group decision just a little more elaborately. Last night, I was discussing this very same logic whilst on a date with a guy who is very familiar with this organization, this track, and these dynamics and the best way I can sum it up is by saying that there is a lot to be pulled from riding in C group a little longer. I definitely have some areas of improvement but what I like is that it affords me a better margin of pace-fluctuation. So for instance, I need to work on being more comfortable with switching up a line to make passes. C group pace allows me to do so comfortably without feeling like if I push too hard, backing off a little will result in some catastrophe. Whereas in intermediate group, I am pushing that much harder and having less of forgiveness if I decide that I ran in too deep or made a poor line choice. Does that make sense?

Some people see it as a shit-show whereas I see it as the perfect environment for experimentation (at my pace anyway).

Anyway, enough blabbering, here are some pics:







Most of what I suspected I needed to improve as far as BP was pretty spot on in comparison to how I felt on the bike. It didn't help that I was pretty out of shape but refused to sacrifice perfectly good sessions.

The other challenge I was having was with not having sufficient grip on the tank. When I had tank grips I could easily find a niche and plant myself but I felt incredibly unstable and I kept having to scoot myself back on the seat. I've got some tank grips en-route so I expect this will be dramatically reduced next time around. Otherwise, I would say it wasn't a bad start to the season.

I have some video too, but I am going to outsource some experts to put some tunes to it since it's rrrrreaaaaaallllly boring to watch on its own.

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post #17 of 58 Old 02-20-2015, 08:49 PM
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1st pic is badass MoM
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post #18 of 58 Old 02-21-2015, 03:53 AM
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Our track organization only has an A and a B group. They set A group lap times so you have an idea of what it takes to ride in the next group. A big part of that is also being comfortable with being passed, not so much passing. There are no rules for A group other than safe and courteous riding.

Another thing they mention about moving up is getting frustrated in the group you are in. At some point you will want to lay down consistent lap times and that can be difficult when riders are very slow, taking bad lines, etc. On a 600, it is a bit different but since I come from a 650, there is a lot of catching in corners and then being pulled away from in the straights. It is very difficult to get in a rhythm and pulling off/on the track each time to get in a different position isn't fun either.

Since I didn't mention it yet, congrats on the track day.
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post #19 of 58 Old 02-21-2015, 06:09 AM
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Can we get the gopro video from the rear? For educational purposes of course.
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post #20 of 58 Old 02-21-2015, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hah!!! That's actually the one I was going to post. But now I'm feeling self conscious about it.

Either way... I downloaded it onto my damn computer and now I have no idea where I saved it.

In the interim, here are some additional pics I took from the day:







Side note: I am still so madly in love with this bike...

No shit: this bike has seen more mileage and bullshit with me than most humans...

... and she still fires right up. That's a champ right there.
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post #21 of 58 Old 02-22-2015, 06:42 AM
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Mom, I know how you feel about your bike. My 05 has seen about 20 K miles in 2 years. 6 track days. 3 low speed low sides in the mountains when I was learning what the heck a twisty is. A lowside at VIR. And a high side at CMP... My baby fires right up. She treats me good and she's almost ready for this season.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a Ride! ~Hunter S. Thompson

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post #22 of 58 Old 02-22-2015, 07:52 AM
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Your BP has improved IMMENSELY!! Looks great!
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post #23 of 58 Old 02-22-2015, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Ramblings: Feel Free to Disregard

You know, it's weird actually. I was just talking to someone else about how I have done CLASS and CSS and how long I've been riding. For a while there it's all I did: canyons, commutes, a track day here and there, I got to my prime and I would say that my pace was somewhere a few seconds faster than where I'm at right now (some people say I was faster but it's hard to tell unless you're talking to faster riders). But then somewhere along the way I started to lose it. I spent a solid 3 years feeling so estranged from riding to the point where I looked and felt like I was starting all over again; like Groundhog Day...

It was awkward, as though my mental and physical muscles had atrophied over time. I got to a point with all of the mechanical stuff going wrong that I was so untrusting of the bikes that I actually started developing bad habits born of apprehensiveness. I mean, having a wrench find its way into your sprocket, or a chain snap and bind up, or your bike shut off mid corner when your knee is literally inches from the ground (as happened to me years ago) really adds up after a while and before you know it there's a little gremlin in the back of your brain asking you what would happen if your chain snapped again or something. Of course, that's also not that worst that can happen and this is not meant to be some self loathing pity party excuse-fest. It's a reflection of how being human, and having human experiences can get in the way of the superhuman craft of riding a motorcycle.

This weekend after I got the bike put back together none of those feelings were there. I am not really sure what I did differently. I got to the track and my only hope was that the cam chain noise wasn't indicative of some looming catastrophic failure, but that was it; the only time I gave it thought was when I fired her up to go to tech. I can't put rhyme or reason to where the gremlin went but it's pretty nice picking up where I left off again. Hell, maybe I just got tired of worrying about it, Hahaha! I've done these chores on the bikes so many times now that I finally feel pretty confident in my wrenching ability, and a lot of people under estimate how important competent wrenching is when they throw a leg over a rocket bike and throw themselves from side to side at 80-140 mph.

This has actually been on my mind all week because on Tuesday my track day buzz was killed when my mom informed me that my cousin died in a horrible car accident Tuesday morning. My cousin was the daughter of my mom's twin sister and she is the only other girl in my family. She was ten years younger than me and I grew up knowing and loving her as the little sister I never had. I mentored her until she hit adulthood and then our paths deviated. The news was more than a little unsettling and my mom immediately freaked out about the prospect of me being killed on one of the bikes. Add to it that she very vividly recalls my highside incident where I almost died and this week made for a lot of bittersweet motorcycle talk.

To be honest, I wasn't at all offended or annoyed. In fact, I was actually sickened at the thought of my mom having to go through such an unbearable experience. It was enough to make me want to drop everything and jump on a plane and fly to Denver just to give her a reassuring hug. I know firsthand how devastating it is to lose someone you love, and I can't imagine it being one of your kids. I would never want my family to experience that magnitude of grief but at the same time we can't all just tiptoe quietly through life only to arrive safely at death's door. I understand her worry and I even sympathize with it, but I had to reiterate to her how cautious and mindful I am when I get on the bike (not for me as much as for the people who care about me), and most importantly HOW much I love it.

My best friend and I were on a drive to Vegas over the holidays and he made a joke about my loyalty to riding, he said: "With all of the shit that has happened, and all of the friends you've lost, it's pretty damn clear how much you love riding. Most people would have hung up their hats a long time ago, and most people who ride won't experience half the shit you have."

This week I've thought a lot about all of that. I am extremely heartbroken for my family, for my cousin who was only 24, and for the children she leaves behind. I look at my track photos and I ask myself: "Is it worth it?" And without any hesitation at all, and with as much deep consideration and forethought as I can muster there is a firm and resounding "Absolutely." I go on dates sometimes and sit across the table from guys who pause before saying: "Your life and adventures sound amazing... I don't have anything to compare to that." And there's nothing wrong with that but it's odd to me that my small life can be considered extraordinary at all... I haven't done or seen even a fraction of what I would like to and yet I am sure that when tragedies like this arise, people are prone to look at people like me and wonder: "Why not you, you have no kids or husband or anything to leave behind, you do all of this high risk shit... why are you still here?" OR maybe I only ask that of myself, but whatever the answer is, the fact is that I am living a very lucky life indeed and every moment is worth investing in to it's fullest.

I think in hindsight of this week, this track day bears a hell of a lot of weight in how I proceed with the rest of the season. I can't wait. Life is about love... Do what you love and spend your life with WHO you love whether it's friends, family, lovers, etc. Live it and love it to the fullest, and that's not to be confused with burning through it like you're on stolen time. You're not on stolen time, you're on precious time.

And as we all know too well: every second counts.
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post #24 of 58 Old 02-22-2015, 11:14 AM
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I had to think about that just a little bit after totaling the bike last summer. My mom said, "Don't you think you need a new hobby? Your motorcycling is bad for my health." While I was instantly enraged and wanted to say many things to her, my only reply was "Not riding motorcycles is bad for MY health." Then I promptly went out and bought another bike. The conversation hasn't been brought up since. While I completely understand her concerns, it is terribly annoying when non-riding people make such ignorant statements without thinking about how selfish or soul killing such a thing would be to someone who has an actual love of what they do.

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DO NOT put a baffle in the racefit! Let that mf'er sing for the world the hear!
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post #25 of 58 Old 02-23-2015, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah. I mean, I wasn't all that upset by it this time around, but what I have to keep in mind is that people who don't ride or really do anything that engages them passionately tend to have a hard time understanding the risk. I work with people who seriously go to work, go home, and do absolutely nothing, tiptoeing through life. It's one thing if they are happy, it's another thing if they are miserable.

I was watching tv last night and some commercial came on for insurance. It was a family talking about feeling safer knowing their teenage son will have good insurance when he starts driving. Like somehow that is sufficient.

Why not send him through an intensive driving school where he can learn how to actually operate a car under adverse conditions? Why not make him as prepared and skilled as possible to be better equipped to avoid a crash? This is part of the benefit of doing track days; learning to operate your bike, and stay collected even at
atthe limit.
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post #26 of 58 Old 02-24-2015, 06:53 AM
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That's the society we live in today. Everyone is sold a bill of goods saying that everything is or should be completely safe. Your and my generation is probably the last one that was allowed a little bit of freedom to make mistakes and learn that there is risk associated with everything, particularly anything worthwhile. I am actually scared for the future because of this. There is a huge and growing segment of the population that would rather regulate everything into so-called "safety", rather than take life by the horns, find something to be passionate about, and risk a little bit to chase a dream. It's one thing to be happy with a hum-drum life if that's what suits you, but no one should ever settle to be drug down into mediocrity by someone else's false sense of safety.

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DO NOT put a baffle in the racefit! Let that mf'er sing for the world the hear!
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post #27 of 58 Old 02-24-2015, 05:29 PM
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post #28 of 58 Old 02-25-2015, 06:24 AM
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I understand what you are going through MOM. I have been going through my mother's resistance to bike riding since I was 14 on my first street bike. I tried to give up bike riding in 2010 and bought an S2000. It lasted 4 months and I was back riding again. I'm now on bikes 37, 38, and 39, one is for my son. My mother just offered to buy my son a car when he turns 16 if he would give up bike riding. And she is 82.
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post #29 of 58 Old 02-25-2015, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah man, if safety means compromising my liberty then I'll pass. I'm all for being responsible and mature but I don't need people legislating to me how I should be living my life when they are miserable in their own. Hell, I already have people telling me what I should or shouldn't be allowed to do with my body, and that pisses me off enough.

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post #30 of 58 Old 03-13-2015, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Prepping for the 15th

Well.... it's that time again. This Sunday is the next big date and I'm rollin' out some prep after a few delays in receiving parts. But first I have to take a few more minutes to ramble incessantly about how faaaahking badass riding is.

First: a snapshot of tasks to be done:


Late last year I decommissioned the bikes from street use (i.e., non-opped and stopped paying insurance on them). I thought this transition would be a no-brainer given how little I had actually ridden. I thought the adjustment would be pretty painless because while, in my prime, I was an avid (obsessed) rider who clocked thousands and thousands of miles a year in all temps on the bikes, it just hadn't been the same. It has been a long time since the days where all I had were bikes and I would get off work, suit up, and do a happy hour run over the top of our mountain passes every day by myself just to decompress.

Suddenly late last week I started experiencing a lot of anxiety. I had been stir crazy for about a month or so but the restlessness was manageable. I'm not the type of chick to really have trouble sleeping but this stuff came about abruptly and I think I clocked about 3 hours of sleep every night for the last 7 days. I've been working on a pretty big project for work and while that was part of it, one night randomly whilst lingering between sleep and consciousness I heard myself say: "Why don't we ride anymore?"

My eyes shot open piercing through the darkness at the ceiling above me as visions of many amazing local and long distance spontaneous solo adventures danced around in my mind. Days where I would just wake up, load a backpack, hit the road and figure out what the plan was as I rode along.

The weather has been warming up and it's my second favorite time of year. The nights lately have been just perfect for the fire pit and in the chill of a crisp night, my senses are tickled by the sweet smell of blossoms and the damp soil of the foothills. This is the weather that brings back all of the memories from days of wreaking havoc on two wheels. Meeting random riders at gas stations and blasting out through the dark of night to the lake and back, exchanging info and planning future rides. This is the weather that brings about the old haunts and echoes of friends who are no longer around to ride with but are always in my heart and on my mind.

So last night, this guy that I've been chillin' with pings me regarding our plans to hang out: "I'm going to bring the bike out tonight, where do you want to meet up?" Most of the day at work I had spent in a dazed fog from the lack of sleep. The only thing that got me through the day was working a youth conference where, ironically, the key note speaker went on a huge motivational schpiel about passion and following your passions. As he spoke, my mind wandered and I thought about the bikes, the track day and these kids... what they will become. I thought about who I've been and who I am and what makes me love life so damned much. And I hoped I would finally get some sleep before spending a day blasting around the track.

I saw the message as I sat at a stop light with my windows down. That same smell of soil and blossoms wafted into the car as a motorcycle rode by and I followed it with envious eyes as it disappeared down the street; without a second thought, I grabbed the phone and responded: "My house, pick me up."

There was a delay in response as I got home, grabbed my street gear out of the closet and dusted everything off (LOL!); my beloved black leather jacket, my helmet (still spattered with bugs from the track day), and my street shoes that I dusted out a million times to ensure that spiders hadn't taken up residency.

I made my way outside as I heard the song of the siren. The lovely 2012 ZX6R made her way down my street and as he popped up his visor, I glared through my helmet with intent but subduing a devious grin: "How long has it been since you crashed and what were the circumstances?" I asked him. He popped his visor up and looked me square in the eyes: "Well that's a hell of a question... but uh... it's been a couple of years and it was at the track."

"Fair enough," I retorted. I had already made the decision but I figured at least an attempt at making my point was necessary.

As we made our way around all of the great riding spots I felt all of the tensions and the anxiety fade away. Granted, it wasn't the same as riding my own, but it was just enough to make me realize that there is a time and place for everything and that maybe I need to reconsider my decision.

There are things about street riding that make all of the bullshit in life seem worthwhile. There are things about riding these roads in my shitty little hell hole of a home town that few will ever find redeeming but that remind me exactly how much there is to appreciate even in being somewhere less than accommodating to a persons preferences.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, and afterward I sat with my new friend and just smiled and praised the mighty red bike that had so graciously escorted me on my invigorating adventure. I can't help it. I can't help gushing. It's the ultimate love affair, these vessels of the soul. And as much as I love track days... it's just not enough.

Flashback Friday: The honeymoon stage... and the love affair is still strong (circa 2006) I still remember exactly how I felt, sitting on that bike the moment that picture was captured


So today, on this lovely day off, I prep my trusty ninja. The bike that is the monument of my passion and the vessel of my soul. Soon, I'll take her blinders off and put her back on the road, too. Because this is our life together. Because life is too damn short to sit around waiting to get back on track.
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Last edited by MistressOfMayhem; 04-03-2015 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Pic fail...
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