Got the baby to take a nap... sorta. I'll try to get another post in with a few more pics.
Sink or swim.
We started by riding a few laps on the track. Aaron says that they use about 24 different configurations when teaching the class. I fell on all of them. To start there were twelve students and 2 instructors on a 35 second loop. Well, 35 seconds for the instructors and fast guys. Probably closer to 50 for me. That's if I stayed upright... which I didn't. In fact, I spent so much time on my knees that I thought maybe I was actually pledging a sorority and not learning motorcycle skills.
After 20 minutes of that punishment we were pulled off the course. The instructors had a baseline, they knew where to go from there. We were broken down into 3 groups of 4. Group one was the repeat takers and fast guys, and groups 2 and 3 were both new and slow.
The learning curve was steep. Aaron talked to us about remaining neutral on the bike and allowing the bike to move underneath us. The focus would be using our core and lower body to manipulate the bike. The class was reminded that we had handlebar skills, what we needed were skills that would properly allow us to use the bars.
Typical scenario went like this: One or two of the instructors would model some aspect of the course. Could be body position, braking, transitions. Then the students would try to replicate.
Instructor Tim. Guy is a fucking animal. Notice how he's got his foot off the pegs. Apparently it was kosher for the instructors to do this, but if we the students tried it we got beat... with a stick... by a seven year old. I'm not making this up.
Paul on the same corner. Notice his motard style foot... he was beaten for this. The pictures of the beatings were confiscated before we were allowed to leave.
Matt's turn. Notice his foot... and the instructors ganging up on him. It was a brutal beat down.
After a few laps working on staying neutral we set to working on crisp, heavy braking. First using rear only, then front only, then both. Locate a reference point, apply brake (coming into a turn) and stop where the instructors indicated. The rear was no problem, but they also wanted us to lock up the front tire at the end of each station so we could begin to get used to that happening. 'Twas a bit harrowing but no major get offs. It was amazing to discover how much front braking force you could apply in a fairly low traction environment and still maintain control.
Baby is screaming at me. More later.