I'm a little late getting around to doing a ride report, but it's a long trip back from Texas to SC and I like sleeping in. That said, here's the skinny:
The track day at COTA was run really well with everything starting on time and moving like clockwork. There were plenty of coolers with free water, as well as stuff like watermelon and other snacks throughout the weekend which was awesome and much appreciated.
The classroom sessions between each outing made the day go by a lot quicker and it was great to be in the A/C between sessions so everyone could relax and pay attention to the instruction well. The instructors by all the big ticket items like body position for those that needed it, how corners worked, entry and exit procedures, and general track ettiqute that first timers would need to know. I signed up for the Novice (Level 1) group so I wouldn't have to worry too much about other riders with a new bike and partly to see how good of a job RideSmart did at showing new riders what a track day is all about.
I'm happy to say they did a great job instructing new riders and the control riders worked with the riders at their own pace, allowing plenty of track time to work with newer guys who would run wide in corners off the track and those who couldn't pick up the lines quickly. They would be taken 1 on 1 and methodically shown and reinforced the proper way to ride the track so that they would improve their riding skills and be happy with their progression. As anyone who rides track days know pit out procedure is ways a gamble if the riders are going to signal in advance or not sometimes and that's about my only gripe on the day but that lies on the riders. Track days are a lot to take in your first few times but as the day went on track awareness got a lot better among the group.
I primarily talked to Dave with RideSmart who was great to deal with on the phone and in person when he could be tracked down zipping about on his little honda dirt bike in the pits. The coordination on the day with track incidents being cleared very quickly, the PA system giving out lots of useful info throughout the day, and of course the amazing track made for my best track day yet. Plus getting to use the paddocks where the big boys race was great as well. Woods Fun Center from Austin graciously let me use some garage space where Nate Kern, a BMW factory rider who knows the S1000RR like the back of his hand, was housing his machines. I was able to glean a lot of knowledge from him during the two days there that really helped me get my bike set up right. I went from new bike no scratches mentality to dragging knees in half a day thanks to such an amazing bike and the help of some awesome people.
I'm a long way from Texas, but I'm going to make it back out there for another RideSmart track day for sure. Here is the video from the weekend that was put together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAMAFfp30h0