Tag Archives: MCRA

Learning the Curves

Last weekend was track day, as stated in my Motorcycle Fun blog.  It has taken awhile to get a video put together of the ride.  I’m new to motorcycling and new to video editing, so hopefully this doesn’t make you motion sick!  I think the primary problem was taking video with a cell phone with nothing to support my arms and hands.  And that damn fence that gets in the way.

More important than the video, to me anyway, is what I’ve learned from the experience.  Number one, I have learned that I need to understand what I am doing in the curve (or overall) – not what I am NOT doing.  For example, I knew right away that I wasn’t getting the result coming out of the curve that I wanted.  I kept going wide and could not figure out how to fix it.  In hind sight and with a bit of help from hubby, I now know that I was entering the curve at the wrong point and missing the apex.  As the lead riders pulled far enough ahead of me it became more and more difficult for me to follow a good track through the curves.  With this knowledge, I have something to focus on for improvement.

Number two, I have learned that cheap video editing software makes video editing seem like a chore.  I don’t want to spend a ton of money on software and some of the software is quite expensive.  I’ve heard a lot of people say they like Sony Vegas.  But $400 – ouch.  For this video I started with Windows Live Movie Maker and switched to AVS Video Editor.  AVS was better, but still not great.  It was definitely a smaller price tag than Vegas!  If you have an inexpensive video editing software ($100ish is OK) to recommend, please leave me a comment.

Here’s that video.

Motorcycle Fun

This weekend, Midwest Cafe Racing Association had an event at Gateway Motorsports Park just outside of St. Louis.  Hubby and I participated in the Test the Track part of the event on Saturday.  Riders run the track once in the morning and once in the afternoon in a private session. This group is chaperoned, speed restricted with a no-passing rule.  There is an experienced track guide as the lead bike and this person shows a good line through the curves.

The morning ride started out slow, even slower than I liked, but gradually increased in speed.  By the time we were done, we were going a perfect speed for me, but still too slow for hubby and our friends.  It seemed like the time flew by and suddenly it was time to quit the track.

The afternoon ride started out a bit more aggressive than where we left off on the morning ride.  By about the third lap there was a large gap between me and the bike ahead of me.  Hubby was behind me with camera rolling.  That was a good thing too, because it helped me to understand visually what I was doing wrong.  While riding, I could not figure out why I was going so wide at the end of a curve and everything I did to try to correct it just made it worse.  I think that it may be because I am not strong in math, especially geometry.  By the end of the afternoon session, I was ready to be off that track.  But I was also a little disappointed that I wouldn’t have a chance to immediately apply what I learned while we were discussing it right after the ride – and after viewing the video that evening.

All in all, it was a pretty fun day. Until the ride home – that is.  It started to sprinkle so we hightailed it out of there, only to meet the oncoming storm head on.  Of course, we did not don our rain gear that was safely packed in the trunk.  Here is a video of my drenched socks!

Here is a picture of my bike right after it passed track inspection.

Ninja 300 at Gateway Motorsports Park
Ninja 300 at Gateway Motorsports Park