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Old 04-01-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
KazMan
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Passed my New Riders School!

On Monday, March 28th, I successfully participated in a New Riders School hosted and instructed by Pacific Track Time.

As many of you know, I was hit by a car in late November of last year and luckily only sustained injuries to my lower extremities. However, having both legs immobilized for a month, and then wearing a cam boot and restricted to crutches for several months following, can be a huge hurdle in regards to preparing physically and mentally for an upcoming racing season for any racer, let alone an old guy who hasn't raced or ridden a motorcycle in a long time.

Along with these hardships, also came the mental anguish of trying to compile captures of working out, building up to a great race season, making promotive packets to entice anyone who would like to be involved, and now losing these priceless offerings was devestating to the race plan. For who would want to sponsor an old has been with no current experience, based on watching videos of a guy laying in bed staring at his feet in high def shot with a helmet mounted GoPro HD?

But here we are, in March receiving the doctors release and making the best of it as we commence the journey of a 49 year old who would once again, like to compete in a premiere class at the noble age of 50 next year!

The NRS with Pacific Track Time at Thunderhill was very informative. Working with Bess could not have been more pleasant and then finally meeting her with that big smile, made the very chilly weather and the aches from being on the road for a couple and half hours seem to disappear. With all that energy, how could anyone not start getting pumped up to take a class and ride all day.

As I made my way to the Feel Like a Pro pits, I was greeted by an equally energetic Brian Bartlow and Matt, who made me feel....well....like a pro! Bikes were being put on the stands, final preparations to ensure that everything was just so, and then Brian asking me if there was anything about the bike that I felt needed adjusting. Did I want some coffee, water, etc., oh man! I could definitely get used to this.

We then went over to the riders meeting and post riders meeting, sat with Bud Anderson (? sorry, I am not so good with names) to begin are learning. As a former racer, I tried to clear my mind of what I thought I know, and just concentrate on what I am supposed to know now. This worked out great as there are things that have changed, and there are things that are still the same. But at least they are confirmed now. After taking our test, we walked back to the pits and began getting ready for the riding aspects of the NRS. Keeping in mind, just ride smooth lines and DON'T CRASH.

Now in my original plans assembled last year, I would be riding my R6 affectionately known as The Pumpkin, but alas, Pumpkin met her demise at the hands of a 20 year old with no drivers license or insurance as she and I were going straight through an intersection on our way home from work. The young man, decided that his left turn, was more important than us making it through an intersection on a green light, ending Pumpkins and my relationship that rainy night. Although being 100% in the right, it did not make losing Pumpkin any less painful.

But luckily for me, Brian Bartlow has a racing motorcycle rental program and a stable full of Kawasaki Ninja 250's. However, my plans were to be able to ride well within the limitations of an R6 as well as my own, so that I could ride smoothly and effectively pass my NRS. Not on a little 250 where I would have to ride the piss out of it so that I could keep up! I mean for gosh sakes, those are beginner bikes...right?

Well to my pleasant surprise, after a couple of sessions used for sighting Thunderhill, a track which was not even in existence the last time I raced, I found that my previous career riding small displacement bikes was very much at home on these very well set up little racers and that these bikes could rail any line I asked it to. To make my time even easier, Flyin Brian flew right up my right side and pointed at his tail section. I jumped on (best I could) and followed Brian around with him thankfully letting off every now and then to allow me to catch up. But the visual of Brian not downshifting and laying his bike over, provided the mental confirmation that these little 250's could offer any rider a lot of fun and CORNER SPEED! To see Brian going around 600's and 1000's in T1 and T2 was just the little confidence boost I needed to try to push a little bit more.

Now of course there was my travelling mate Glen on his R6, with whom I have spent many a mile going back and forth with on my past couple track days there to ensure that I was ok, all the while nipping around my heels like a puppy with ADD, but it just provided that bit more familiarity to breed more confidence. But chasing him did take the game to the next level as well.

With my testing session scheduled for the last session of the day, riding aboard the FLAP bike provided all the confidence in the world so by the time that session came, I could hardly wait to show my instructor how smooth I could be and stay on my lines so as to not be too much of a danger to other racers, despite my doughboy appearance. .

After succesfully passing this portion with a much appreciated thumbsup by Eric as he blitzed by to indicate I had passed, I was looking forward to doing the starts! I have not seen a green flag drop in a long time and I always remember how it was, but I was soooo looking forward to how it is! In the past I had always prided myself on getting good starts but that was so long ago, could I still do it? Heck, I could barely see the guy But seeing the 2 sign go up, then the 1 side go sideways, well.....there aren't too many things in the world that can top those next several seconds on a clock. So many things going through my mind until the sideways board and then just focusing on the starter like a hawk spotting a field mouse....just waiting for that little sign....to drop the clutch. My first start was very good and I almost made it to the next row! With a couple more to follow, I am now totally juiced to see the real flag drop on the weekend of April 16-17 at Infineon!!!

Thank you to Bess, Michael and all the crew at PTT! Thank you to Brian Barlow and the Feel Like a Pro team, Brian, your efforts to see al of us succeed in 2011 are very much appreciated! To my track day travelling mate Glen, thanks for the continued support leading me around the tracks and for providing those verbal words of confidence each time we ride! To Matt and GoPro for ensuring that I am able to keep a visual memory of this round of racing in my life. BARF for allowing a great place to share these events with others who have this 2-wheeled addiction. And of course, to my Wife Robyn, my kids, family and friends who have supported my in the past and are supporting me in the present. Love to you all!

and here is my little video of this event
http://www.vimeo.com/21804450

Last edited by KazMan; 04-01-2011 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
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cool beans

Sorry to hear about Pumpkin and your injuries, but good on you for passing NRS

See ya at Round Two (let us all know what number you are so we can say hi in the pits)

I can sponsor a sammich for lunch
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #3
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I'm bummed I won't be able to see your debut at Round 2, but I will definitely be there for round three.

I had a great time reading your report, keep them coming
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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Welcome back dude!
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:03 AM   #5
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WTG Eric!

I would love to come out and support you and all my "riders" but it's the misses B-Day and I think she would kill me
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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Great writeup Eric. I rode one of Brian's bike last year at Infineon and rode equally as i do on my R6, and that was just one session. Am seriously contemplating on dropping to the 250 if i do not see improvement in my riding with the R6 this year. And, hopefully i should be ready for the NRS next year.

Very happy to see you back on track
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:55 AM   #7
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Nice job, Eric. I knew you'd pass the NRS with no trouble at all.
Looking forward to seeing you out there on a 250 this year!
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:15 AM   #8
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Good Job, can't wait to see you out there!
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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Sweet I'm in the video.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:55 PM   #10
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Excellent video, and congrats on passing New RACER School

Round 2 CLW at Infineon, I'll see you there. Maybe even F40 LW if you come out to play.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Corey View Post
Excellent video, and congrats on passing New RACER School

Round 2 CLW at Infineon, I'll see you there. Maybe even F40 LW if you come out to play.
Thanks

I have to play somewhere on Saturday so it will probably be F40 LW. and yes, new racer school...i know *hangs head in shame*
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:58 PM   #12
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That's OK excitement makes you do strange things.

You'll have to do the Clubman Races this round, and others, right? What will you be racing on this year?

Stop by and say hello.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:22 PM   #13
KazMan
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I will be campaigning one of Brian Bartlows Feel Like a Pro Monster Energy Drink Kawasaki Ninja 250s this year and hopefully in some later rounds of the season, experimenting on a 600 to see if my 2012 season can sustain a competitive 600 pace. And hopefully returning next year on a 250 as well.

Definitely will stop by and/or you can find me in the Feel Like a Pro pits . I'll be the old asian buddah shaped fellow in a cowboy hat
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:23 PM   #14
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Great! Your video makes me smile.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:43 PM   #15
KazMan
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Glad it makes you smile. Do you mind if I ask you why? Would love some feedback.
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