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Old April 6th, 2017, 12:04 PM   #1
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Pre Viewing New Tracks?

When you guys go to a new track do you pre-view it with maps or watch videos online? Do you find this helps? Is it better to do that then just show up blind with no idea about the track?
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Old April 6th, 2017, 12:51 PM   #2
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Misti, I asked this same question here to the pros at California Superbike School (CSS). Pre-viewing a track - Cornering - Cornering Forum

I'm pretty new to the track scene, but I've done it every time before I go and i find it helps provide a certain degree of familiarity. If you can find the videos CSS made, they can be really helpful, because often times you can find the dots they place on the track before they start teaching. The dots represent a nominal turn point. I say nominal, because turn points are different for everyone, but it gives the students someplace to start from. So, its really a well-placed reference point.

Otherwise, I find the videos online to not allow you to see enough to make any super precise reference points of your own. Typically the wide-angle nature of the lens distorts the sides (places where your references are usually located) of the image too much.

Having said all that, I really like to watch a decent rider to try and pick up his/her line. Also, maybe you can see some brake marker boards that are useful.

I have a track day coming up and I have several copies of the track layout printed out. I plan to try and curb my enthusiasm enough to come up with a systematic way of identifying various reference points for each turn and documenting them at the end of each session. I'll try and record as much info as I can recall like shift points, gear, entry speed, etc. Not sure how much I will remember after a 20 min session, but that is the plan at least.

Anyone else have any strategies for learning/analyzing a track?
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Old April 6th, 2017, 02:30 PM   #3
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Pre Viewing New Tracks?

I do the same. Try to find some good videos on YouTube. The other thing the videos lose is elevation. I've ridden several tracks with significant elevation changes (Laguna Seca, Thunderhill, Pueblo, High Plains, and Sonoma) and the videos never do them justice. Although some media footage of the Corkscrew come closer than the GoPro vids. I even tried my PlayStation for Sonoma and Laguna. It was more accurate with the elevation, but still not close enough to be useful. So, along with the elevation changes is the camber. The off-camber turns are the ones that make my butt pucker and I'd like to know that before I go barreling in, knee-down. Still haven't solved that problem.

In the end, I find that the videos can't give you anything specific to go off of. Really they only help you get a general sense of the flow of the track. At first I tried to get very detailed in my track studying but found that I didn't remember most of it while actually riding it. What I found that helps the most is following some experienced riders, and adopting their lines that felt comfortable and made sense. Sometimes I'd figure out a line on my own that worked better for me. Bottom line: nothing works better than seat time.

Oh, another thing I found that helps is your own videos. Normally it's not a problem remembering a line in a corner that just hit that sweet spot. But it definitely helps to have that immediate feedback with the video specifics to complement the feeling you got when you sliced that apex and pinned the throttle to the opposite side of the track.
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Old April 11th, 2017, 12:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider View Post
Misti, I asked this same question here to the pros at California Superbike School (CSS). Pre-viewing a track - Cornering - Cornering Forum

I'm pretty new to the track scene, but I've done it every time before I go and i find it helps provide a certain degree of familiarity. If you can find the videos CSS made, they can be really helpful, because often times you can find the dots they place on the track before they start teaching. The dots represent a nominal turn point. I say nominal, because turn points are different for everyone, but it gives the students someplace to start from. So, its really a well-placed reference point.

Otherwise, I find the videos online to not allow you to see enough to make any super precise reference points of your own. Typically the wide-angle nature of the lens distorts the sides (places where your references are usually located) of the image too much.

Having said all that, I really like to watch a decent rider to try and pick up his/her line. Also, maybe you can see some brake marker boards that are useful.

I have a track day coming up and I have several copies of the track layout printed out. I plan to try and curb my enthusiasm enough to come up with a systematic way of identifying various reference points for each turn and documenting them at the end of each session. I'll try and record as much info as I can recall like shift points, gear, entry speed, etc. Not sure how much I will remember after a 20 min session, but that is the plan at least.

Anyone else have any strategies for learning/analyzing a track?
Great write up! I love that you referenced CSS as I've been a riding coach with them for the past 13 years. You mention some excellent points about finding reference points and marking them down on the printed copies of your track maps. You can start with writing down whatever you remember so that you have some really specific places to start and then you can modify your reference points as you get more and more familiar with the track to make things more specific.

Have you ever tried DRAWING the track yourself? Instead of relying on the printed maps, how do you think drawing the track from your own memory might help?
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