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Penguin 5-20-2022

  1. #1
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    the humbling river

    Penguin 5-20-2022

    A shout out to Penguin Racing School for making this past Friday amazing after such a long time away!

    I have mentioned on the forum that I have been away from track activities for quite a while....just about 11 years at the time of this post. I've been riding here and there on the street over the years and have been playing bike-poacher the entire time. Long ago I decided to adjust for incoming parenthood and homeownership so I sold two street bikes, two race bikes and an entire self-sustaining race program (most of the tools (including tire changer and balancer), trailer, stands, warmers and nearly enough spares to build a 3rd bike). It was a tough decision but it was the change I was willing to make to ensure I could be available for life's new duties.

    So....we've got all that mushy stuff out of the way, now it's time to get down to business!

    I signed up for the Penguin Racing school because you know why.

    The weather on Friday was perfect, changing from heavy overcast, mid-50's and intermittent misting in the morning to high 70's-ish, sunny and partly cloudy in the afternoon.

    The classroom group was smallish...I believe we started with 8 then dropped to 7 after the 2nd or 3rd session. We lost one because the person thought the day was far too intense and basically cut out during the FTL sessions, even after being offered to move to the beginner group. Now, I don't know about you but when I am signing up for anything that has RACING in the title I'm going to plan accordingly. Unfortunately this person lost out on an amazing opportunity and an outstanding day to ride and truth be told, there wasn't anything exceptional regarding on-track manners that I encountered the entire day. Everyone in our afternoon combined riding group as well as the classroom group all looked to be operating comfortably and within their skillset.

    Our class instructor was Steve Nogueira. I remember crossing paths with him on several occasions back in the racing days but never shook hands with him so it was good to get a friendly sort of "hello/welcome back" greeting. Steve pretty much had everyone's riding level pegged by the 3rd session....kinda funny, actually because he'd know to ask just the right question to a specific individual so everyone, to some degree, engaged in the class time.

    The track time for me was used to sort out a number of things. Not knowing anything about my new bike (only rode it enough to terrorize my neighborhood), coupled with the lack of seat time in any regard for years, there was plenty for me to work on throughout the day.

    I stayed easily at 70% all day in order to feel the bike out, to remember what everything feels like and to recall somewhat proper body positioning and muscle memory. As I stated in the R6 thread, the forward leaning ergos took a few sessions to adjust to but none of it was intimidating overall. If anything, the bike always felt eager to do whatever I wanted it to, be it turn, accelerate, never felt out of sorts. That all said, I was riding dog-shit slow so I wouldn't expect anything other than bad riding habits to cause an issue.

    During one of the later sessions in the day I was passed by Penguin instructor Sergio 298 who tail-tapped to hang with him but I wasn't mentally there yet. I rolled with him for a few corners but that was it. At the end of the session he came up and offered a single piece of advice, and something I never did even when I was "fast"......."get up off the seat and use your legs as suspension." Admittedly I was always lazy in that regard.

    I'm looking forward to finishing off the Bridgestone RS11's that came with the bike. Front felt great all day but the rear started getting greasy during the afternoon sessions and at the pace I was running, that's a little concerning.

    I felt I started riding like shit late in the day simply due to the fact that I am not yet conditioned for track riding but I kept it safe and had fun the entire day so that's a win in my book!

    All in all, Penguin put on an excellent event this past Friday. The environment was open, welcoming and full of smiles. The day's sessions were executed to perfection and the staff was always right there to assist a rider in whatever way. Even if the racing school isn't your desire, I'm more than willing to bet their Trackday Experience would offer at least the same level of entertainment I describe above. Good times!

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  2. #2
    WMC original sdog30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Penguin 5-20-2022

    You did the basic school?


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    14 Triumph Street Triple R, 18 TM 450SMX sumo, 15 Husky 250SXF tard, 14 KTM 250SXF and Cole's Grom
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  3. #3
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    the humbling river

    Re: Penguin 5-20-2022

    Yep. Talked with Mr Aspland and he made a great point, the school would have the added benefit of a race diploma should I decide to get recertified

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