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Texas Tornado Bootcamp

  1. #1
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Texas Tornado Bootcamp


    So, early this spring My girlfriend (JerseyGirl) invited me to do a private bootcamp in Nov. What do you say to that? Sign me up, that's what! As it happened the organizer needed some help filling the camp, so Kerry invited 10 of our friends to join us. Wooot! That made the camp roughly half roadracers/trackday peeps, and half flat trackers. An interesting mix of levels, experiences and ages. The stage was set for an incredible experience, and it did not disappoint!

    The cliff notes: the camp is amazing and worth every penny. A year's worth of learning crammed into four exhausting, exhilirating, humbling, and at times frustrating days. Also, Colin and his crew are really rad people.

    The long version:

    Day 1: We arrived Thursday afternoon and signed a shitload of waivers, then got set up with a gear bag. There was a quick welcome and orientation by Colin and his crew. Rider coaches were Joe Prussiano, Jake Johnson (Flat track champ), Cory West (road race phenom) and Shea Fouchek (also road racer). The day started with picking a ttr125 and spinning some guided warmup laps of 3 separate tracks, one perfectly flat, smooth covered ring, one outdoor TT track, and one big oval track with a TT type course set up. The surface was red clay on top of sand. Conditions varied throughout each day ranging from moist and very grippy, to dry blue groove, to sandy, to slightly rutty. Generally speaking, the riding surface is both the best, and most challenging/confounding part of the whole event. As soon as you think you have it figured out, it changes drastically and you are back to square one.

    After practicing each track for 10 minutes or so, we lined up for superpole 1. This is a timed event. Each rider against the clock linking all 3 tracks together. Conditions were all time grippy and you could almost roadrace the whole course, wheels in line and go fast. Corners range from WOT 3rd gear sweepers to 2nd gear stop and go hairpins. This lap sets a baseline and kinda sets the tone for improvement as you will repeat this challenge once each day. One shot unless you fall in the first corner or two. Then you might get to start over. The coaches are phenomenal at this, and they set times in the 1:28-1:31 range depending on conditions. I set had a clean run and set a 1:36 on day one. This proved pretty hard for me to beat as the track got drier and drier (slipperier) as the days went on.

    After superpole, they turned the lights on and we had free ride time. They highly discouraged go too hard as the weekend is long, and bodies are not prepared. I listened and packed it in early. Dinner with the crew followed by some fun games of Crud with Colin and the crew.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171116_125127-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171116_125137-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171116_132133-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171116_132549-jpg  

    Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171116_132637-jpg  

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    Last edited by Paul_E_D; 11-20-17 at 07:29 PM.
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Very jealous Paul, this is definitely on my bucket list.

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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by theducman View Post
    Very jealous Paul, this is definitely on my bucket list.



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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    I literally hate you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
    My favorite was you going through T2 with your eyes closed.

  5. #5
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Another for the jealous column.
    Looked like a fantastic time.
    Sorry to hear about JerseyGirl's off. Hope she's back at it soon.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittenger5 View Post
    I literally hate you.
    Don't hate the playah, hate the game.

    Day 2 started with some calisthenics and stretching. The formula for each day came clear. Free ride warmup, 2 riding drills, lunch, shooting, some more free riding, then superpole. This all ended right about dark. Then the lights came on and we had some structured races of different styles, followed by free riding til you dropped or 10:30, whichever came first.

    The instruction and drills were fundamental. The first one was a simple vision and line choice drill. Starting from the exit, they put a tire in the track to force us to exit inside the tire preventing us from running wide. This also forced a better entry and appropriate mid corner speed. Then they worked towards corner entry. Again placing a tire in the line and forcing us to enter outside the tire. In each drill they eventually removed the tires to see if we could maintain the lines, or if we would cheat back toward apexing too early.

    Next was a braking drill. Straight line, both brakes. MSF style with a twist. It was a competition. You launched four at a time and the first person to stop between the lines won. Unfortunately this drill went awry for Kerry. a rider next to her did not stop straight, and closed the gap where Kerry would have stopped. She was forced to lock it up and slammed into the back of his motorcycle. She hit his rear tire and brake assembly with her back right about the kidney. The resulting bruise and scrape was instantly impressive. She was hurt, and her participation was in doubt.

    She did tough it out and got back on, but very shortly after she had another fall, this time hurting her wrist and she sat out til lunch. It turns out she broke her scaphoid and her bootcamp was over. I was so bummed, but she was even more so.

    The first day of shooting was to get a chance to fire each gun that would later be in a competition. A Glock 9mm, a Colt .45, a 12 gauge, and a 10 gauge. I'm not a gun guy, but it was fun to experience and it provided a much needed mental and physical break to the riding. In terms of learning motor skills, breaks are important. They built this in with a nice distraction.

    Back to riding and superpole. People really started cutting chunks of time off. Since I started with a relatively quick lap, and the track was getting drier and slipperier, I managed a half second and a 1:35.8 or so. Kris bumped ahead of me with a 35.5 and Tommy was right there with a 36. Superpole is tough. with the track changing day by day, hour by hour, your technique is critical. You can't rely on track knowledge. And just 1 try. Oooph.

    The first organized race was a short track oval. Complete with qualifying heats and a main event. I entered, and transferred straight to the main, but got boxed out on the start and once the order was established, passing was really tough. Riding well in race conditions proved really difficult. I felt like a beginner again.

    Then dinner, and some free riding. I opted to have a few beers and suck at Crud...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171117_134520-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171117_185443-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171118_105228-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171116_200719-jpg  

    Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171116_194117-jpg  

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    Last edited by Paul_E_D; 11-21-17 at 08:30 AM.
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    I think this means you have to take Kerry back to do it again next year.

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    Straight cash homey Pittenger5's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by feralchimp View Post
    I think this means you have to take Richie to do it next year.
    I went ahead and fixed that for ya!

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    Zip Tie Alley #505

    Quote Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
    My favorite was you going through T2 with your eyes closed.

  9. #9
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Hmmmm

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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittenger5 View Post
    I went ahead and fixed that for ya!
    Don't make me laugh...it hurts! As I type this one handed!

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    You can take the girl outta Jersey.....

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    Senior Member Tas's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
    Don't make me laugh...it hurts! As I type this one handed!
    Is surgery in your future?

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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Luckily, they have an orthopedic surgeon on staff. He looked at the xrays and doesn't recommend surgery. Just a cast for 8ish weeks. And some electrical stim.

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    Senior Member Tas's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Good to hear.

    Sounds like they have a nice setup there. They need an athletic trainer on staff? I’d be willing to help out, ha!

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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Tas View Post
    Good to hear.

    Sounds like they have a nice setup there. They need an athletic trainer on staff? Id be willing to help out, ha!
    Just lots of roadrash to deal with. And occasional acl stuff. Hahaa

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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    So... sorry to hear about the injury! Breaking my scaphoid was one of my first road racing injuries. I cannot stress enough that it is the most stubborn SOB bone in the body when it comes to blood flow. I had the same recommendation from more than one doctor. Months in a cast, with stim, the works... proved fruitless and frustrating. Had a screw put in, out of a cast in 2 weeks. I know that everyone heals differently, but many people have had issues with scaphoid's healing, re-breaking, or never fully fusing back together and having it screwed eliminates all of these issues.

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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    We talked to the surgeon who fixed Brad Baker and other pros. He said putting a screw in it will cause inevitable trauma leading to arthritis long term. He highly recommended no surgery. Another anecdote: Mine healed perfectly without surgery.

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    Last edited by Paul_E_D; 11-21-17 at 04:54 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Awesome, I hope she has a similar positive outcome for sure. I did everything possible before surgery and in the end it felt like such a waste of time and it was so frustrating with it just not healing naturally.

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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    The days fell in to a routine. Day 3: calisthenics, warmup riding, then we did a corner entry drill, setting up wide entries to allow late apexes and early throttle application. After this drill we held a 1 hour team endurance race.

    I think this was my favorite "race" as everyone could compete at the same time at their own level. There were some pretty fast/experienced flat trackers there, so Tommy, Kris and myself teamed up to see if the roadracers could represent. After a LeMans start, Kris slotted in to... LAST place. LOL. He spent his entire first stint working his way back to 1st place (other than the instructors/Colin, and the solo effort of Jake Johnson). The rider changes were dicey and Fouchek actually clipped someone and went down hard. We did ten minute stints and we built a 14 second lead over the flattracker and managed it for the win. Woot!

    Lunch was followed by the shooting comp. I had little hope, but it was fun. Again, it was a refreshing break from sliding.

    The afternoon saw a warmup and superpole. This time Cory West followed each rider with a gopro. I had a huge moment in the first sweeper and it got under my skin. I made a series of mistakes that saw me 2 seconds slower than my friday time. Kris messed up too, and Tommy surged ahead with an excellent time of 1:35.2 Ah well. One more shot sunday...

    They held a TT style race before dinner. I got boxed out on the start and failed to make the main. Afterward, Kris, Tommy and I ripped laps under the lights until we could barely keep the bikes up. We started riding a lot better and had an absolute blast. One corner was in the dark and it was interesting that I struggled less there than I had in the light. LOL
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Texas Tornado Bootcamp-ttbc-11182017er-0513-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-ttbc-11182017sp-0454-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171117_134142-jpg   Texas Tornado Bootcamp-ttbc-11182017sp-0446-jpg  

    Texas Tornado Bootcamp-20171117_084907_edited-jpg  

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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Day 4 was by far the most fun. We started the day with the final superpole. They did this first thing to try to benefit from the best traction conditions with some overnight moisture in the track, but it was windy and dried out anyway. I set an OK lap, but I was ultimately a little bummed that I didn't crush it. 1:36.0

    Then we did the best drills of the weekend. The 90 degree brake slide turns, followed by donuts, then a first gear oval with the goal of overlapping brake slide and throttle slide. This was incredibly fun and really started to bring all the weekends learning into focus. The free riding afterwards was insanely fun. To apply the seamless slide technique on the various tracks was awesome. They also opened up the large oval for the first time and we did some high speed, higher risk sliding.

    We shot the .50 cal after lunch, then free rode until 4pm. Most people were smoked, and it was mostly Kris, Tommy and myself just lapping until they kicked us out. LOL. Today's drills definitely sunk in and we rode by far the best we had all weekend. This left us exhausted, but wanting MORE time and another shot at superpole!

    I was running a gopro most of the weekend, so I have lots of vids and stills of the guys, but none of myself. Oh well! My best riding moments are burned in my memory banks anyway.

    Here are the results of the weekend for Kris and Tommy.




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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Looks like an absolute blast!!! Even more so with a whole crew down there!

    How much do you think this will help your road track riding? I can't see myself trying to slide it around corners on the pavement, but in the dirt it makes sense. I just feel like I would be trying to keep traction rather than slip, which probably wouldn't make me very good at it. Love that you get to take a break by shooting guns, LOL!

    Thanks for the write-up, definitely put this on my radar as something to pursue in the future.

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  21. #21
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Fuckin hell... I knew I shoulda said "fuckit" and spent the damn money.

    So bummed when I heard about Kerry's mishap. But super glad you guys all went & had a great time otherwise. Maybe next year.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 11-22-17 at 10:02 PM.
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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaPod View Post
    Looks like an absolute blast!!! Even more so with a whole crew down there!

    How much do you think this will help your road track riding? I can't see myself trying to slide it around corners on the pavement, but in the dirt it makes sense. I just feel like I would be trying to keep traction rather than slip, which probably wouldn't make me very good at it. Love that you get to take a break by shooting guns, LOL!

    Thanks for the write-up, definitely put this on my radar as something to pursue in the future.
    This discipline helps all riding because you learn to find the limit. What things contribute to loss of traction and what things create traction. The goal is actually to stay in line as much as possible. The sliding is not a technique. It is the result of using fundamentals so well that you can pass the limits without falling or spinning out.

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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    Quote Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
    Fuckin hell... I knew I shoulda said "fuckit" and spent the damn money.

    So bummed when I heard about Kerry's mishap. But super glad you guys all went & had a great time otherwise. Maybe next year.
    This was one of those times to just go over the spending limit. It'll happen again. Be ready to pull the trigger

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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    I showed my wife this thread and told her this is what I want to do for myself when I retire in seven years.. hopefully it's still around.

    Surprisingly she didn't object

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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Tornado Bootcamp

    This reminds me. So what did we learn at bootcamp? The answer is surprising. Nothing new. Just the fundamentals. load the front brake before braking hard, don't coast, always have one input on the bike, use maintenance throttle to turn mid corner, don't try to GO until you have finished turning, use dynamic body positioning to maximize grip. There is nothing new to learn. The slippery surface simply makes each part of the riding equation critically important and magnifies any "slack in the rope". Slack means any time in between actions when you are doing nothing. eliminate the slack in the rope in each corner, and traction magically appears. Transitions between actions need to be smooth, and if they can overlap, even better.

    That's it. There really are no secrets, or advanced techniques. Advance riding is just the fundamentals done extremely well. Sliding (the good kind) is just a result of smooth inputs timed right with zero slack in the rope. If you try to slide for sliding sake, you are doing it backwards and will never be fast.

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