Thursday, May 23, 2013

Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic

A couple weekends ago, I attended Lee Parks' Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic.  It was held on a helicopter landing zone (LZ 16) at Camp Pendleton.  It's a nice large swath of level concrete.  Classroom portions of the day were held in an adjacent explosives training building.  This venue just has "danger" written all over it .. figuratively and literally.

The course is intended for street riding (most other courses are about the track) and I gained a whole lot more confidence in my bike and myself.  We learned to smooth out acceleration and deceleration, to keep the bike level, to flop into turns.    We even learned how our suspension works, and how to adjust it to match the rider's weight.

On the course, the class was broken into teams of five or six, with a section of the zone to themselves.  Each group had an instructor dedicated, and instructors were rotated among teams with each new exercise.  The personal attention really made a difference.

A really interesting moment came when we were preparing for lean-off turns.  In the classroom, we ran through the steps of a lean-off turn.  But on the course, rather than just wing it, we practiced it on our bikes while standing still.  Each group surrounded a single rider's bike.  The rider got on, and then actually got to try the technique, with the group leaning the bike to simulate it.

It's just about the only time I got out my phone during the whole eleven hour span, just to shoot this video.  Incidentally, when they showed the whole class how we'd be doing this, they demonstrated on me.  Talk about pressure to get it right..