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Old 11-17-2012, 07:29 AM   #31
blaster11
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Thanks, that helps a lot!
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:58 AM   #32
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What riding gear did you use and was it adequate or what would you have changed. Garrett seemed to talk about being on his knees a lot , was the padding in your gear good enough?
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:42 AM   #33
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Bruce,

I brought my own boots and padded shorts, but used their gear otherwise. The full package includes, knee pads (I swear mine didn't work... I think they were made of concrete or something), elbow pads (see knee pads), padded shorts (I lent them to Matt as they didn't seem to be as substantial as my Klims), boots (I can't remember what they were). I used my TCX Dunes. It would have been nicer to have something lighter to help modulate the rear brake. I don't think the danger of foot damage is significant at the low speeds and with the light bikes we were using. I used their helmet and goggles. The goggles were cheap, but both worked fine. I also used their riding pants and jerseys which I found to be effective. I forgot to bring my gloves so I used theirs.

I would recommend that you bring your own equipment if at all possible. Matt mostly wore his street gear, which sufficed as far as protection goes, but he thoroughly soaked them even in the mild temps we had. If you get there and you realize you've forgotten something, they can rent to you a la cart.

More late.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #34
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I think the only gear I really need to buy would be padded shorts or a decent set of KLIM pants, which are ventilated, with knee and hip armor.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #35
HeadShrinker
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Looks like great practice for when you come visit out west!


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Old 11-18-2012, 01:56 PM   #36
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Final thoughts

The whole class was great and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I believe Garrett did some research and a repeat offender gets a nice discount. As a result, I may join you in the spring

When I go back I will rent their gear. My street gear did a nice job of protecting me from the myriad of spills but it wasn't designed for the hot conditions that we went through. I know it was only 70 as a high but it was brutal and you work your ass off the entire time.

I was pretty sore on Sunday and Monday from achy muscles. My shoulders were killing me from having to keep my elbows up. The only lingering effect I have is a loss of feeling in my right thumb. I'm not sure what I did but I have partial feeling and it's been a week!

Here's some tips:

Tip 1: drink a lot of water!
Tip 2: drink even more water than you think necessary!
Tip 3: if staying with Gastone bring a plunger
Tip 4: get a mx helmet and goggles - it is muddy, dirty, and dusty
Tip 5: knee pads are a must! You'll be on them so much even the Pope will think you're catholic.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by macorell24 View Post
The whole class was great and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I believe Garrett did some research and a repeat offender gets a nice discount. As a result, I may join you in the spring
That would be awesome! I can't guarantee Spring but definitely not summer!
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:48 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by HeadShrinker View Post
Looks like great practice for when you come visit out west!




Final thoughts:

The class is great. Paul said he's going to sock away $25/month so he can go every year. I can see myself doing the same. I think I can take away something new/something more for quite a few seasons. In fact, I would definitely take 1.0 again before I moved up to 1.5. At the end of the class I was more confident and moving faster, but a lot of my decisions and movements were still of the conscious variety. That is, I had to think about what I was doing prior to doing it. And plenty of times I would think of one aspect of instruction while completely forgetting another. Until the skills get to be second nature I don't see any reason to muddle them with more skills.

The class is pricey for first timers, 525 solo and 475 with a friend. But, repeat takers is 325. Only problem is they won't let you reserve a spot as a repeat taker further than 1 week out. Take into account travel costs to/from, hotel for at least 2 nights, food, etc. and you are looking at closer to 800+ for a first time student and 600+ for a returning student. If I go again I'll probably leave after Sunday's class. There was plenty of time left in the day to get home (5 hours) and the pain wasn't any better Monday morning.

I guess the big question is how will it translate to the riding that I do. Currently I ride a R1200GS. A big, pig of a bike. My goal was learn skills to help me keep it upright on the fire roads and such of the GW forest, where I do most of my play riding. I hate the fact that I'll get to a tight corner, scrub off a ton of speed, plod my way through it and then get back on the gas. I hate that douche that rides like that on the street and I don't want to be the douche that rides like that on the trails. So I've learned some things that I hope to apply. Bit of a difference between a 140# dirtbike and a 500+# dual sport bike. I'm not opposed to practicing on my bike (anyone that's ridden with me knows that I'm not afraid of dropping her), but I'd rather do it in a controlled environment. Many of the dirt roads in WV can be quite unforgiving with long drops into oblivion if you make an untimely mistake.

Edit: one more thing. This ain't Rawhyde or the BMW class. If you drop the bike nobody comes to help. Which didn't phase me until about the 30th time that I went down. Then it started to suck.

Edit 2: I wouldn't do this class in summer. I think Kevin and Stacy had a hell of a time with the heat. Even when the temp rose to a balmy 70F we were struggling to stay hydrated.
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I'd be cranky too if I had to blow 500 horses!
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gastone screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 07:27 AM
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:55 AM   #39
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Nice Garrett et al. Thanks for the tips in the "Final Thoughts". Looked up their calendar and they've got classes going on every month; may have to start saving up some pennies to see about heading down around March 'ish before it get's too hot down there.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #40
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Thought I'd add on here instead of adding yet another thread.

Exec Summary:
Great class, learned lots and had a blast. Would do it again - in the winter.

Report:
Started with 8 students. One showed late as he battled food poisoning with frequent trips up the hill to the port-a-potty. His buddy tweaked his ankle pretty well and they were no-shows on Sunday. My buddy from work grabbed a handful of front brake, fell, broke his collarbone. It was right before lunch on day one, so I took him to the hospital where he got scanned and drugged. His wife came to retrieve him Sunday morning. Class was down to 5 students on Sunday, so lots of time for riding w/o waiting and good ratio of teachers to students.

Unfortunately, I missed all the braking drills of Sat. afternoon - having had to deal with my friends breaking drill. So Sunday was lots of riding to "catch up" and that plus the heat and humidity made me lose concentration and the ability to focus well - learning stopping for me and sloppy falls started. I still have bruises and scabs that are healing from last weekend. It was fun and I need to go back to "make up" the parts I missed.

The good: lots of seat time in changing traction conditions. The track started with wet slick patches on the NC clay that made get offs in those sections look like cake frosting when the fallen rider got up. It glopped off slowly and was slicker than... it was slippery. By the afternoon, the sun hardened things to allow black rubber patches to be laid down with terrific traction. Most of the track never got dry enough to be dusty - slippery.

The bad: No electricity means a generator provides the water supply and power. The fan with a mist-er-izer helped, but the humidity limits the effectiveness of the thing like you'd get in Palm Springs. Lots of hydration was available, but it is hard to keep ahead - in the sun with lots of gear. The weather was damp enough that the flat track never dried out enough to run on Sunday. So we missed that part of the class due to all the rain. The summer months also allow lots of critters to live by the track. Sitting down on the grass in the shade by a tree allows the chiggers to find you. My son now knows what a chigger is.... as well as knowing there is rarely only one chigger that finds you, there are lots.

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