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So This past weekend @UAV and I had a lot of fun at Butonwillow. Sunday we rode Clockwise in C group and had a bunch of fun. It was Hot! (95F) Towards the end of the day I would get a couple good laps in and then just start to drift a bit because of the heat and then just come on in. I also raised my rear 1" or 10mm at the Dog Bone. Huge Smiley Difference! Sunday we ran Counter, and in my mind I thought it was going to be easier... OMG! until lunch I could never get a clean lap in... I was sitting up all the time, because this way was new to most of the big bikes also, I was like this way sucks... After lunch it got a whole lot better and I was getting my groove. My main frustration was trying to pass the bigger bikes. (Straights or Outside with a 6ft) I finally figured out a couple good places.
On our UAV and mine's last session, we finally got to go out together, with me in the taking the lead. First lap, we did 80% to warm up the tires and then I started hunting down the big bikes. I was on the tail of a couple 600s coming up Phil Hill when both of them decided to brake check my ass so bad I thought I was going right up their tail pipe. I sat up and told UAV to go first for a bit... We got by those guys and started hunting for more. Came up to another backmarker in the straight and it was a all out drag race. I was going to late brake on the inside line, which in going against the bigger bikes is a pretty easy thing to do, But UAV was going to do the same thing. I was hoping to stuff UAV behind the slow guy, but no. I came in to hot and UAV came in on the outside around me. Back on UAV's Butt our next passing point was to go wide on the sweeper. everything was going to plan until UAV went a a little too wide and went into the dirt! Yes, I threw my arm up in celebration, laughing my ass off! Not only did I get the pass but UAV went dirt biking:surprise:
I had a really great weekend, and would like to thank my TO, Let's Ride... and UAV for making the weekend fun.
 

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In fact that was only 1 of 3 "off-track excursions" I had on Monday. Managed to keep it upright every time, though.

Sunday was my 4th time going CW there and I had been studying Dave Moss's reference points.. so I felt pretty good all day. (It was hot as balls, though.) In the morning sessions I was taking a lot of hot pits to find open space. But in the afternoon the group had thinned out, spread out (sped up), and I grew bolder with my passes. The rules in C are pretty restrictive---for good reason, of course. And the beginners tend to use an outside-inside-outside line through every turn. So other than Riverside and the Sweeper it's challenging (with only 300 cc's) to complete a pass without feeling like you're bending the rules a little bit, or blocking the other rider on the exit or the entrance of the next turn. And once you're stuck behind them it's harder to see the open space around them, or keep enough momentum at corner entry to get past them by corner exit. On more than one occasion I found myself in the middle of a turn, side-to-side with another rider, without the power to drive out past them. Anyway, I guess I did OK because I threw out a lot of peace signs and didn't get any black flags.. not for passing, anyway.. :grin2:

CCW at Buttonwillow I had done once before, last year, but without reference points I felt like I was out there "without a map". I should have spent more laps following instructors to find those RPs. But I got impatient. June 20th is CCW again so I'll have to redeem myself.

The other thing I need to work on is trusting the grip in the tire (S20 Evo) and utilizing more throttle at higher lean angles. Dave Moss pointed it out to me before. The wear pattern on the rear tire shows the transition clearly:



That nice "windswept beach" texture fades away as I get onto the edge of the tire. Ironically, if I gave it more gas at those higher lean angles the bike would handle better and have more grip. It's one of those self-fulfilling prophecies.. I feel like I'm going too fast, leaning it over too far, on the verge of running out of grip---so I don't give it enough throttle and it makes the bike run wide. In some spots (esp. the hairpin "Off-ramp") I even felt the rear slide a bit at neutral throttle. I think I'm gradually getting more confident, but I still need to re-calibrate "this feels fast" and let the tire tell me how much grip is has.. not the other way around.
 

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Sand baggers. LOL j/k. Sounds like an awesome time. I swear, reading this stuff gets mybloodaboilin to hit the track. I probably won't be able to go till August or September. It would be fun to dice it up with you guys. When are you guys going again?

I got your PM but it was too late bro. Definitely next time. You guys got any vids?
 

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Here you go, ingrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAkBQ_27dN8

Turns out there is an upside to being stuck behind another rider for an entire lap.. this one had a rear-facing camera! Thanks to James for sharing the video with me. He was on an R3 in the New Rider School (maybe a first timer?) so should have been an easy pass, right? Nope.. He was getting good drive out of the corners, making passes of his own, and it took me an entire lap to get around him.

Watching myself like this.. it's not pretty. You can see I'm sitting up a lot of the time, trying not to plow into him at corner entries. We were running the Sweeper and extension at the Off-Ramp. I can't find a highlighted map of this exact configuration, but this is close:



If I had planned ahead, gotten a better drive out of the Off-Ramp I probably could have passed him cleanly on the outside ahead of/through Sunrise. That extra 20cc's really makes a difference.. he walks away from me on the straights. My 300 is totally stock power-wise.. for now.

...

Next time is Monday, June 20th. Hopefully it will be a little cooler. But it could well be another roaster. July 16/17 could very well be in the triple digits. But I could be convinced..
 
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