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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by NeoScout, Jun 19, 2018.
Glad to. I'll PM you with phone number.
RawHyde is SOOOO worth the time, effort and money! We drove from NC to Castaic, CA this past week (arrived Sunday Dec 2, 2018) to get some training. 2 days of lessons and 1 day of a 200+ mile “adventure road trip” (being done tomorrow) to bring together the real world application from the controlled “classroom” teaching. I decided with my business/schedule to take advantage of some private lessons they offer (when a coach is available) to maximize the experience and really work on the areas my skills were lacking in the most. Turns out for me it was the right call. Had a blast!
Here’s a few things to seriously consider if you’re thinking about going (which I HIGHLY recommend):
Do some extra physical exertion before jumping into this training cold turkey. If I had to do it all over again ...as a noob I would have spent a couple of weeks before doing 15-20 minutes a day of basic squats, lunges, burpees, etc just to toughen up my legs and back a bit and keep the soreness to a minimum. It’s physically demanding at first ...it gets easier but I was sore (in a good way) after the first day.
Buy an exercise hand gripper. It can be a soft spring ...just work it a few times day for at least a week to build up those grip muscles. NOT for hanging onto to the bars (they actually teach you the proper technique for bar grip and its a very light touch 90% of the time). The exercise gripper is for the hours and hours you will spend learning to finesse the clutch and front brake levers to control the bike. I ended up using one finger for each lever on the 2nd day in order to not overdue the movements needed to keep the bike in the “friction zone”. Very cool stuff!
Stretches are also highly recommended. The way you have to learn to turn your foot on the pegs and lean your backside off each side of the bike in order to control most of the turning maneuvers is critical to “getting it” quickly. It’s not a natural posture but once learned (and trusting the bike will stay balanced) ...it is amazing how damn slow these bikes can go. Quick example: The Master Mechanic is a BEAST on these big bikes. I saw him today moving bikes around for a large group coming in this weekend and he was literally starting each bike he moved... pushing over/off the center stand... and immediately turning the bars full lock to lock around tent posts and then stopping ...and I mean FULL STAND STILL STOP... balancing the bike for several seconds just with the bars then craaaawwwwlllling forward completely under control and relaxed. Barty is the MAN ...and he’s the Mechanic!!
The facility is sneaky nice. It is not posh but also not overly rustic. Not overdone or underdone. I grew up on a farm and it was basic and practical and that’s how I would describe Rawhyde’s facility in Castaic. Everything has a purpose ...it’s got a camp feel but with all sorts of well thought out space and refinements where needed most. They have obviously spent an eneromous amount of time developing the tracks, courses and levels to ensure you won’t encounter much “in the wild” after you leave that you didn’t get a chance to tackle while there. It’s a very cool place.
Bring a light weight dual sport or motocross helmet if you have one. I brought my Shoei Neotec 2 and even though the weather has been a near perfect 55-60 degrees and sunny ...I sweat like a champ and was on the verge of being uncomfortable due to the exertion. Yes, I dumped the bike 5-6 times (see the “best” example pic above) and picking the bike up is a breeze once you learn the technique but the adrenalin gets going ...you’re naturally nervous to tackle certain challenges and you just get hot. A lighter and more airy helmet would have been a plus.
Break in your gloves before going. I bought new ones and that was a mistake. Again... lots of hand work on the levers and my new leather gloves were tough to deal with while learning. Might seem like a small thing but it was distracting to me at times. Fortunately, I brought some well worn boots!
Bring a camel back for water. They recommend this, but I didn’t bring one. For obvious reasons they strip the bikes down to bare essentials and there’s no where to store a bottle of water on the bike (unless you bring bungees/rock straps). I ended up using the back pocket of my Rallye jacket for a water bottle but ideally a camel back bottle is a good call.
Will update this post after our 200-miler to the Mojave and back.
I looked into this a number of months ago and even traded some emails with Audrey about whether my DR650 was an appropriate bike for the class. I thought the classes I was considering were in the Death Valley area. Could be wrong about that, but either way these summaries of the experience are even more motivation to actually sign up...I certainly could've used some sand training before trying LAB2V for the first time and effectively being off dirt for about a decade.
Thanks for the reviews
I used my DR650 a couple of years ago in Colorado and definitely felt like I was cheating. Still learned a ton. I'm planning on going again in 2019 - since I've moved to AZ it'll probably be a CA trip.
Yeah, I imagine I might get a side-eye or two, what can I say? I'm a luddite, the perfect demographic for a DR!
They train all over the northern part of LA ...between the Mojave (see pics) and Castaic, CA ...where Rawhyde’s HQ is. They go to Vegas, Death Valley ...literally all over.
Man, RawHyde looks awesome. I'm going to have to start planning for one of their classes when I get a few more months on my bike.