Posted by: Jessie | April 26, 2010

California Superbike School


California Superbike School

I apologize for how long it has been between posts.  Since I got to  California and have been doing my updates on my webbook the “publish” button has been missing from my WordPress page.  I have been writing the posts, but I have not been able to publish them.  How frustrating.  The “save draft” button is missing, too, so I have to leave my drafts on the screen until it autosaves.  (Update: When I got back I sent them an email and they fixed the problem.) 

Above you can see California Superbike School’s new logo.  It used to be green, back when the school was taught using Kawasaki motorcycles.  This year they switched to BMW’s new superbike, the S1000RR.  With the motorcycle change also came a logo change.  All the instructors have new BMW leathers instead of green Kawasaki leathers.

California Superbike School is exhausting.  Both days I was too tired to blog by the time we got back to the hotel.  We had to be at the track at 7:00am (California time, 10:00am Cincinnati time).  All day we would go to a seminar, then a ride session to practice what we talked about in seminar, then session debrief to talk about how it worked on the track, then back to another seminar.  We didn’t get lunch until 1:00 (4:00pm Cincinnati time).  We did 5 sessions each day.  On Saturday we did not get out until about 6:30 (9:30 Cincinnati time).  Then we drove about half an hour back to the Lancaster, found someplace for dinner, and then bed.  

Keith Code has been teaching Superbike School for about 30 years.  His curriculum is well-developed.  Each lesson builds on the previous one.  This weekend I did levels 1 & 2, Eric did levels 2 & 3.  There were 3 students per ride coach.  The ride coach followed us around the track, then pulled out in front of us to give us tips, then followed us around some more.  In the session debrief they talked to us about what they saw us doing on the track.  Very helpful.  We also had off-track exercises like steering drill (level 1), lean bike (level 2), and watching videos of ourselves riding so we can see our mistakes (level 3).  There was also a professional photographer there so if we wanted pictures of ourselves on the track they were available.  Unfortunately I did not do anything picture worthy.  I learned a lot in the class, though.  It was a very valuable experience.  Eric was right not to let me do any track days until after I had gone to California Superbike School.  In two days of class my riding skills improved dramatically. 

People came from all over to take this class.  There was a guy from Germany in Eric’s group.  There was a woman from Canada in my level 1 class on Saturday.  There was a British woman in Level 2 with me on Sunday.  Late Sunday afternoon she came up to the rest of us girls and said “I KNEW that guy looked familiar!  I knew he was British before he even opened his mouth.  Now I know who he is!  Have you figured it out yet?  That’s Christian Bale.  It’s a good thing I didn’t go up to him and say “You look really familiar… how do I know you?”  Now that I realize who he is, I don’t even know what to say to him!”  

Yes, Christian Bale really was at California Superbike School.  I did not talk to him, he wasn’t in my group.  He did bring his own motorcycle, a beat up old 600.  Several people who did talk to him said he was really nice.  A regular person, even.  Pretty cool. 

There was a 10-year-old kid there, too.  His parents brought him with a race trailer and they set up their own pit.  He was getting private lessons, but he was riding with Eric’s group.  He was the fastest one on the track.  I could see him zipping around everyone else on the track from way back by the classroom.  He was on a little 125 Moto GP bike.  Wow.  Keith has two students racing in the Mini-GP, and they are the fastest in their age group.

The Streets of Willow Springs is a street course built for motorcycle racing. They have several different courses at Willow Springs Raceway.

You can bring your own bike if you want, or you can ride one of the school's new BMW S1000RRs.

Some people brought their own bikes.

The school has a lot of specialized equipment, such as this "lean bike"

Keith Code introduces the Superbike School staff and instructors

The trailers now have the BMW logo on them


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