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Just wanted to share with everyone that our fellow .orger Gautam, had another track incident this weekend.

This was his 3rd track event and he has managed to completely trash his bike.  He's a bit banged up with a broken collar bone but otherwise is ok.  Hopefully, he had some sense knocked into his head too.

From what I'm told (I was on the track at the time and not in the vicinity), he locked up his brakes, had a terrible tankslapper and went flying through the air along with his cartwheeling bike.  

He's one lucky dude to only break his collarbone.  Thank goodness he was wearing his back protector because surely he would have had serious injuries to his back other than being just sore.

I think his new nickname should be 'wildman' because he can't control himself on the track...must be too much testosterone clouding his brain.

Just so everyone here knows the progression, here's a recap:
1.  NFMP - May - Gautam goes 'moto' trying to keep up with HGToo.
2.  BeaveRun - June - Gautam lowsides trying to keep up with HGToo through a fast carousel.
3.  BeaveRun - Oct - Gautam runs off the track and highsides.

Looks like a pattern, doesn't it?  

Sorry to use you as and example, G, but I hope this will be an example to any new person wanting to ride fast on the track.  Instruction is key to being able to ride proficiently and in control.  This is a case of someone being too stubborn to ask for instruction as well as admit that he was riding over his head.  It's not ok and it's not 'cool' to crash.  


You owe us big time for helping you, dude!!!!!    


edit: spelling
 

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Yeah, what HG said, you owe us, bigtime, for getting you from the hospital and then getting you and the what's left of your bike back home from the Pittsburgh area.

We're not trying to pick on ya, we just don't want to see you seriously injure yourself, and you've had an 'incident' at every single track weekend you've attended (all 3).

You could be a good rider if you don't kill yourself in the process. We've talked about smoothness and stuff, but it hasn't sunk in yet.

My recommendations:
Get a smaller bike for trackdays
Take instruction
Stop trying to keep up with the fast guys (I'm not one of them, there are even faster guys I suspect you were trying to catch that I can't even catch up with).

Please, dude, we want you in one piece!!
 

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It is very hard to keep your ego in check at the track. 'If he/she can do it, I can do it!' Smoothness is the key to going fast. Start by concentrating on technique and the speed will come. Sorry to hear about the injury and bike destruction.
 

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Ever read DeSpain's piece called 'The Devil Inside'?

I used to have it, but now cannot locate it.....anyone have a link?
 

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tigerblade :  Smoothness is the key to going fast.  Start by concentrating on technique and the speed will come.  
Yup, we've had that conversation. More than once. That's really true. We wouldn't lie.
 

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That stinks... Glad to hear that Gautam will be ok.
 

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Gautam,

Quick healing man...  Sorry to hear about your incident.  Very lucky the hondagals were around to take care of your stuff and you.  Having been around when a very close friend crashed once, and having to take care of their stuff as they ride away in the ambulance, I can tell you that its more tramatic for your fellow riders than it is for you...  The stress level for them was astronomical I am sure.  Thankfully, they are VERY good people...

Sucks that things keep not going right for you at the track.  Maybe hit a school next, like pridmore's school...  IN the mean time, get better and regroup...

let us hear from you...

Charlie
 

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boy, am i glad i didn't wreck when i rode with the girls (in the rain no less). Guatame, you were lucky to have people like the girls around to help. show your appreciation, ASAP.
 

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I'm glad to hear that Guatam isn't seriously hurt and even happier to hear that the 'Girls' took care of him. As a new track rider, these reminders help a lot. I had my 954 on the track once this year and passed a lot of riders and felt faster, but less in control than I had before. I bought a 600, worked more on throttle control and corner speed, and improved more than ever before. I beat my previous best lap time by over a second the 4th session ever on my F2. My happiest moment on the track is passing a liter bike coming onto the back straight. Feeling full of myself on the last session, I gassed too much in a turn and lost the front while chasing a faster rider. I have yet to put my knee down again on the F2 in 3 track days, but improve every time out. It seems to me that speed comes from confidence and confidence comes from control. I also always attend track days with friends just in case something were to happen. Next season I plan to do other orgs trackdays. I think a different perspective could help my learning curve and maybe I can follow an HG through a corner or two and pick up a few things.

Bill
 

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Smooth is definitely the key. If you give the bike harsh inputs then it will react in a harsh manner and dump you on your head.

For a good example of this, pull up some of the AMA races that Nicky won in 2002. The camera would follow him and he made it look easy out in the lead. Then when they would show EBoz or someone else and they would look like they were on the ragged edge and just about to crash at any moment. Part of it may have been related to the bike and the fact that EBoz had to push it to the limits to get his tired old Kwak to keep up, but the other guys on the RC51's (Roberts, Duhamel) just had to fight the bike more which translated into slower lap times.
 

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For me, the subject of playing 'catch-up' has been the cause for a lot of introspection.....

Once on the track, the temptation to follow a faster rider can be quickly rationalized as a means to develop ones own skills. The question for me becomes, how to determine how much 'following' is safe and productive, and where does the testosterone take over and begin to cause a problem.

In the past, I have tried to make the distinction by evaluating my own inner dialogue. I try to keep my thinking focused on MY bike, and MY actions...ie, 'okay, I was a little wide there', 'hold the brakes a little longer here', and the like.

If I catch myself analyzing the other rider's actions, such as - 'how did he brake so late there', or how the heck did she flick the bike so quickly' etc....then I recognize that I am probably not on the learning path anymore. If my thought process becomes urgent or impatient, then its a red flag to hit the hot pit lane, let them go and ride my own ride again....

My apologies for the threadjack, I am not implying that Gautamde was playing catch-up. But the subject was broached, and it seemed like an interesting thread to discuss it.....
BTW....I'm not recommending my method, or even endorsing its suitability.....its just what I personally choose to do. As I usually find myself with no shortage of faster riders around me, the opportunity to follow is always there...
 

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True, you can learn a lot following a smoother, faster rider. I know that helps me. What Baketech says makes sense...you have to know when they are too fast for you to follow. The method he states ...when you start thinking too much about what the leader is doing to the point where you are no longer paying attention to what you're doing.... makes sense. Also, if you're having a lot of 'Oh sh!t' moments following someone you probably need to back off too. I hadn't thought about it, but I think I do that too. If I'm following someone thinking 'Oh my God, how'd they go through that turn so fast' I forget about trying to continue keeping up because they're a lot faster than me. If I'm following and can think 'ok, they turn in here' or 'ok, they start accelerating harder here' then it's probably ok to continue following.
Good point, Baketech.
If you start thinking 'well, he can do it, there's no reason I can't' that is ok to a point...a very fine line
 

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I agree with you guys and gals, seeing it happen helps me a great deal. I find it lasts for a corner or maybe from one straight to another. My 2nd day out I met a fellow org member with more experience than me. He (Ebola) passed me like I was standing still. As I got comfortable I was able to stay with him as he went by for short periods. I never had a scare and didn't stuff my bike into places because he did ahead of me. At that point I had taken 4 seconds of my first track day. After lunch we followed a control rider who worked with us and I was staying with Jim. At the end of the day, I was pushing him a bit, he recorded better lap times and I had 7 consistent, worry free seconds off my laps. I'm always looking to follow a better rider and they are easy to come by, so there is no pressure to stay with one rider an entire session. I've learned more lines than I thought existed, make safer, cleaner passes and improve each time out. I guess patience is a virtue and knowing you won't be the next Troy Bayliss helps too. I've been involved in many activities where no one wants to give up their 'secrets' or help anyone improve. That is opposite of what I've found in Motorcycling and being a little older now I'm only out to prove things to myself.

Bill
 

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I have to agree wiht Baketech. About three track days ago I had a video made of me riding for 20 minutes. I could easily see places where I was loosing time, based on how fast the recording rider caught up, as well as seeing a couple of better lines. The next track day I tried to focus on those sections where I knew I could save time. The result was that I was so uncomfortable entering the corners that it ruined most of the day. I finally dropped that strategy, and just focused on getting comfortable and gradually picking up the speed. For me, a much better approach.
 

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Good post by Baketech. I go quite a bit faster when I'm racing than I do by myself in large part I think because I'm chasing people. All of the sudden I'm dragging knee in turns that I didn't before. It does help pull you along at times, but you have to find your own threshold. If I'm getting left behind, I'll try to find that comfort level and focus on the job at hand instead of the guy in front of me.
 

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john954rr : I have to agree wiht Baketech. About three track days ago I had a video made of me riding for 20 minutes.
ahemm....Baketech, you care to share your video with the rest of the class?!!
 

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Red Rider : ahemm....Baketech, you care to share your video with the rest of the class?!!  
I would, but everyone would think it was on slo-mo.....
 

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When all is said and done, you have to remember to ride your own ride. Sure, you have to push a bit sometimes to improve, but I always stay within my comfort level while doing so. I've gotten faster this year, but I don't push beyond my limits. My main goal is to stay upright and have a blast, in addition to improving my technique. The speed is secondary to smoothness and technique. If I fall down, it could put me and/or the bike out of commission for the rest of the season, and that would suck. Would the extra 2 seconds off my lap time be worth crashing over? Not to me.
 

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Heal up quick-like, G Buddy!
 
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