The rest of the story...

Here's where I tell you all the stuff that wouldn't fit in a 2-minute TV story.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

California Superbike School

Note: The initial blog was in fact written on a smart phone while watching the WWE Smackdown at the Civic Center. Call it bad time management on my part. I am now adding some pix and links. -- jc


Reader beware. This blog is being written and filed from my iPhone. While I am attending the WWE Smackdown at the Roanoke Civic Center. I'll explain later.

Meanwhile, at the track....

Seeing motorcycles buzz by in excess of 150 mph is a thrill. But when you see these guys laying the bike over in the corner, hanging off the seat with an inch of rubber holding the road, it's like watching a magic trick.

This school takes that racer's ability to handle a bike, to the realm of everyday safety. The better you can handle a motorcycle, the reasoning goes, the less likely you are to wreck.

No one knows that better than Keith Code, a cycling icon who has raced at the top levels of the sport. Code has developed all kinds of training tools to help his students "get it."

The lean bike might be the coolest. He's attached training wheels with hydraulics to one of the school's superbikes. Now to be fair, I want to be clear that students xo not take to the track on this contraption. Instead, under the watchful eye of Code's team, they circle a parking lot at about 30 mph. They lean as if they were going much faster-- with essentially no chance of wiping out. After a few loops the instructor re-positions the rider on the bike. Small adjustments here make a big difference on the track or the highway.

I asked Code why he trains people on the BMW bikes, which are billed as the world's fastest production bikes, rated at 200 mph right out the box. "People think speed and power are dangerous," he said. "They are not.
Our incident rate has dropped by 40 percent since we went to these bikes."

Code even teaches U.S. Marines how to handle bikes so they don't get hurt off the battlefield. "Those guys think they are invincible. We need to give them training to match their confidence," he said.

Most of the guys in this class are far from marines or racers. They were mostly middle aged executives who could afford the roughly $2,200 cost of the two day event. But they were all smiles, hanging out with Code, and learning hang just right in the curves.

1 comment:

  1. That was me, Tony Salatino, on the lean bike. Enjoyed the school very much! Top notch equipment and instructors!! Would recommend the school to any rider. The skills you learn may save your life one day.

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