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Old 04-11-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
CarbonJames
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My full review of the Texas Tornado Boot Camp with CE II

This weekend, for me was spent at Colin Edwards Texas Tornado Boot Camp, learning how to first ride a dirt bike, and on the clay/dirt!!! i've spent some time as a kid riding dirt bikes years and years ago but, never did anything more than ride it fast in a straight line... i have 0 experience on a dirt bike.

First of all, I arrived at the camp by 4:30, it opens at 5. no big deal, i walked up and was directed to registration where i signed my waivers, went over a the rules and regulations of the camp, I was directed to my room where my gear bag was packed and waiting for me to verify that all was there, and that all would fit to my liking. I walk upstairs to the room, find my bag and pull everything out to check off of my list. Small Arai helmet, check, size 41 Sidi boots, check but don't fit, Size 30 One Ind. pants, check, size medium One Ind. jersey, check, Spidi back/chest protector check, Spy goggles, check, 1 Monster energy water bottle, check, no gloves as I opted to bring my own; all top notch gear.

Now that I have it all checked in and verified, time to get some boots that fit, I walked downstairs, before I could get a word out, I was asked if everything fit ok and was everything there, “well, my boots are too small”,” no problem we'll walk you over and trade them out”, we find the next larger size of brand new Sidi Crossfire supermoto boots, fits perfect!

Now that all of my gear is checked in, I had already spent a few hours out there 2 weekends before, so I had met all of the instructors, the director and a few other key people so I walked around and we b/s'd until more of the riders showed up. Thanks to a good friend for introducing me to these guys prior to me signing up.

Once all of the riders showed up, all of there gear was checked in, a few of the instructors had us grab our gear, suit up and took us out for some sighting laps, they showed us where everything was located, each of the 3 tracks, the skeet shooting area, the paintball area, and the gun shooting range. After this, we went back to the covered arena and were given the chance to do a free ride to get a feel for the bikes we had picked out to ride for the weekend, they allowed us and, suggested that we make any necessary changes that we felt like doing to make the bike more comfortable for us.

Now, we have our bikes set up for our liking, (levers adjusted to our liking, foot brake adjusted to the right height), whatever we felt needed to be adjusted or changed, we took a bit of a break b/c we probably rode for a good 20 minutes at this point, went into the saloon, sat down and we were all b/s'ing waiting for Colin to show up. He came in through the back, he was more excited than we were I think, he talked to us a bit about the camp, asked us all a few questions, by this time, dinner is just getting set out, man did it smell great!!!

So we all gather at the bar to get a plate and get whatever food we wanted and then sat down. I sat down at a table by myself (I knew no one there other than just having met the instructors a couple weeks ago), another guys sits next to me (Eric, from Michigan) we chat for a minute and then Colin sits down with his plate and starts chatting with us about random things, it was awesome to be sitting at the same table eating with Colin Edwards, he even made me a drink that we both enjoy (a special “cheap” formula) I was more nervous about talking/meeting CE Sr. than I was with CEII; not sure why but, he was that older wiser man that you really looked up to your whole life, almost like the grandfather you never had.

From the start, it was as if we were all best buds from childhood. Everyone had common interests; we were all there for the same exact thing.

After dinner we were given the opportunity for another free ride under the lit covered arena, this, we did not expect at all (extra riding time, YEE F*N HAW) so everyone geared up, jumped on our bikes and we went at it. Remember, I have 0 experience with riding dirt bikes the way the were meant to ridden. I was having trying to control this wild little TTR125, I was given a few pointers which helped me to ride a little more controlled but still, all the guys who were there had a ton of experience on dirt bikes, riding trails, racing moto cross, hare scrambles, etc.

After finishing “looking good and going fast, or so we thought” it was time to park the bikes and begin the b/s’ing, drinking our beverages, hanging out and getting to know one another, learned something about each other, including all of the staff. We gave Colin a million questions to answer, not one hesitation on his behalf, he was ready and very well prepared to handle any questions thrown his way. Man, this guy is really down to earth, just like the guy that you would hang out with every weekend. Before I know it, the clock is rounding 11 pm, time for bed for me!!

So come 6:30 am Saturday, I am bright eyed and bushy tailed, nervous, and ready to get the day started. I figured we would do a bunch of drills and ride half the day, boy was I way wrong. The morning started off with a great breakfast, muffins, cereal, fruit, CANDY (yumms for the kiddos) tacos, OJ, milk, and I may have missed a few things. I personally went for the banana’s and water, (got to hydrate and keep the potassium loaded up to keep away the cramps). After everyone finished eating, we geared up, and met back down stairs, all of the instructors which included Merle Scherb, Joe Prussiano, Shea Fouchek, Mike Myers, Steven Bodak and Colin Edwards all took there turn at going over the days events, the drills that we would be working on, and the extra curricular activities of the day. Were all told that during the extra curricular activities time, we did not have to participate if we wanted to ride instead, some chose to ride, and some didn’t. I can shoot guns anytime, (not with CEII, but I can go shoot) I’m here to learn how to ride.

So by 9 am, we’re geared up, briefed on the days schedule of activities, and headed out to our bikes for a little free ride time till our first drill was set up. Now I’m into track riding, not dirt riding, I’m the only one out of my element, I was nervous and scared, the track surface looked so scary to me, I’m amongst 10 others who’ve all had plenty of time riding in the dirt, knowing what they are doing, I was scared of getting run over, needless to say, I was the slowest rider on the track by far. Now that our first drill is ready to be started, we all line up, listen to Joe P. and Shea F. to explain what we are about to do, we all get started on our first 90 degree drill going around hay bails set up to a configuration that I thought was physically impossible to navigate using body position, SMOOTH, SLOW inputs to the back brake, front brake, throttle and the clutch, man did I suck the first few times, I finally get it figured out, but we all had our own troubles.

After about 15 minutes worth of 90 degree drills, we were instructed to go do a free ride, shew, the pressure is off for now.

The good thing about doing the drills, we didn’t have to work on them for an hour at a time, they fed us a few bits of info, had us do some drills (usually about 15 mins. worth) and then hit the track. We were given some seemingly impossible drills to perform such as, feet up, hand on the gas cap; WHAT THE HECK, I can’t do that, I’m going to crash for sure. Sure enough, most of us fell over or failed b/c we were going to fast, took our hand off the cap, or put our feet down.

They also set two tires out in each turn on the TT track, come around the turn, go outside the first tire, and inside the second tire while rounding the corner, and onto the next turn, and the next lap around, what do you know, (they warned us) but the tires had moved, oh , time to adjust my lines, forcing you to keep your eyes up, looking for your next marker.

Braking drill, this one I liked a lot, we had 6 brake markers painted on the track at the entrance of basically a 90 degree left hander, I was able to brake late enough that some of the fast guys weren’t able to stay on my back wheel because I would brake later than them, not really knowing what I’m doing compared to these guys, it made me feel good about them saying to me “hey James, you’re doing great”, finally I was doing something that I had learned from riding road racing bikes and racing mini motards with TMGP and CMRA.

By the end of Saturday, I think we were all beat to , this kind of riding to me, is very physical, and takes a toll on the ole body. We break for dinner sometime between 6:00 and 7:00pm. Most were finished riding so they grabbed a “no more riding for you bud” beverage, I was ready “mentally” to ride some more, so I hopped on and took off under the covered arena with the lights on and continued to ride, working on some of my bad areas, Shea come out to observe, gave me even more pointers, and tips on body position, this I fought with most of the time given my past years of road racing style of riding, to me most of it was totally opposite. I was working it all out and getting better, smoother and faster the whole time. Once I stopped riding Saturday, I was beat, I know they had helped me work my self to my limits, physically and mentally, it’s a ton to learn and I learned two tons.

Sunday was much of the same as Saturday, we were all pretty much on the same level by now, I was able to keep up with most of the guys on the track by now (not getting passed in every turn), and there were 2 guys who were just smoking fast compared to me. Our group was never split into 2 different skill levels, this made me feel good about their instructions, the patience of the instructors, and my own ability to learn, adapt to this style of riding. I learned so much riding with these guys, the simplest of drills, gave me more confidence than I could have ever expected.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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As for the camp itself, I never needed something that was not there, it was just like being at home, all the food you could eat, all of the drinks you could drink, the showers were excellent, towels, wash cloths, deodorant, tums, q-tips, tampons (not that I needed them, but they were available) lotions, shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, body soap, you name it, it was there, if you didn’t see, could not find it, all you had to was ask for it and you’ll get it. I was in need of bandaging after my bike fell over a few times and took me with it, all I had to do was ask, it was there, thanks to Steven Bodak and the lovely TTBC ladies, they had me bandaged up and back on the bike in no time at all.

Food, oh my , Jimmy can make some unbelievable meals, if you walked away unsatisfied; you weren’t in the same place I was. Lunch was great, brisket was excellent, and the pasta salad was to die for, Thanks Jimmy for the food.

Spending time talking with the instructors was great, they were all eager to help with anything, whether it was something you were having trouble with or just simply talking about their careers in racing. I feel like I made some life long friends with these guys I spent the weekend with.

I will be back for sure to do another weekend run. I did not expect the seat time that we were given, we rode more on Saturday than I thought we would ride for the whole weekend, if you can ride all day, for two days, you’re a champ!! I tried my best but my body failed me!

In my personal opinion, for you guys who have not done this, you’re missing out on a part of life that is essential to your riding. It was the best vacation ever (minus the vacations with my family) the best experience you can pay for. Is it worth the cost, oh yeah!!! Some one asked me about my knee and arm being bandaged up from the falls, I’m limping, taking it easy on my elbow (it’s swollen, gashed open, I’m missing a little skin) “was it worth it”??? It was worth twice what I paid!!! I took home a lot of new friends, some great techniques, experiences, and along the way, I left behind some blood, sweat and tears!

And the best part is, Colin didn’t even charge me for the torn up grips and bent handle bars! 
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:24 PM   #3
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Awesome I might be there this Saturday with Ben Spies and Colin Edwards
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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Good times, James. Glad you had a ball. Thanks for the review. I'm sending it on to the boss man!
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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Good times, James. Glad you had a ball. Thanks for the review. I'm sending it on to the boss man!
thanks linz, it truly was a fantastic time.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:48 AM   #6
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... tampons (not that I needed them, but they were available) ...

In my personal opinion, for you guys who have not done this, you’re missing out on a part of life that is essential to your riding.
Great write up, James. I am glad you had fun. I'd appreciate if you could do a FUP write up once you have done a TD and applied the techniques into road racing.

Every write up I read, makes me want to go even more. I am sure I will do one for sure before 2011 ends.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:54 AM   #7
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looks like a good time! nice review James!
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:21 AM   #8
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Great write up, James. I am glad you had fun. I'd appreciate if you could do a FUP write up once you have done a TD and applied the techniques into road racing.

Every write up I read, makes me want to go even more. I am sure I will do one for sure before 2011 ends.

Dooo eeetttt! I promise to bring some kind of big- gun and maybe some fireworks...but I'm not holding them this time
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:22 AM   #9
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sounds like a awesome experience


I would love to go to the boot camp
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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Did anyone ask Colin about Assen 2006 or that MotoGP.com video where he starts off by saying every known curse word, and later apologizing thinking they were going to bleep them all out!??

'P*ssy, , , c*nt, f*ck, , ... but really... the bike is doing well, things are looking good... ' Azi was stunned.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:46 AM   #11
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thanks James! I've wanted to go to this since its inception. Possibly one day I will make it.

As far as riding dirt goes...you ready to head to College Station this weekend for a harescramble on my yz426? it's yours if you want it for the weekend.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #12
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thanks James! I've wanted to go to this since its inception. Possibly one day I will make it.

As far as riding dirt goes...you ready to head to College Station this weekend for a harescramble on my yz426? it's yours if you want it for the weekend.
make it happen James!!! No need to put your feet down, just grab the gas cap!
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Did anyone ask Colin about Assen 2006 or that MotoGP.com video where he starts off by saying every known curse word, and later apologizing thinking they were going to bleep them all out!??

'P*ssy, , , c*nt, f*ck, , ... but really... the bike is doing well, things are looking good... ' Azi was stunned.
Colin was drilled with tons of questions and never hesitated to answer a single one, the question/comment was made about the post QP curse session!!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotnanas View Post
thanks James! I've wanted to go to this since its inception. Possibly one day I will make it.

As far as riding dirt goes...you ready to head to College Station this weekend for a harescramble on my yz426? it's yours if you want it for the weekend.
those guys i was riding with were looking good and fast, and i listened to all of their stories, makes me want to do it.

They learned a ton and also have years of experience behind them, they will be back for more learning so it would def. benefit you guys to go as soon as you can.

BTW, i would never be able to kick that 426 over if it died.....

Last edited by CarbonJames; 04-12-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #15
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make it happen James!!! No need to put your feet down, just grab the gas cap!
hey you can knock that drill all day long but at least go out and give it a try, it's a wonderful learning tool. i AM on the hunt for a smaller dirt bike too.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Great write up, James. I am glad you had fun. I'd appreciate if you could do a FUP write up once you have done a TD and applied the techniques into road racing.

Every write up I read, makes me want to go even more. I am sure I will do one for sure before 2011 ends.
I'll do that Irak, i won't attend another until we hit up TWS (Texas World Speedway) next month. I can't wait either, i learned a few things that should be able to help me drop some time as well as pass along some new things to our students..
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:15 AM   #17
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hey you can knock that drill all day long but at least go out and give it a try, it's a wonderful learning tool. i AM on the hunt for a smaller dirt bike too.
I'm not knocking anything....I'm just sayin' no need to put your feet down now that you're well versed after a weekend with CE and all.

Get you a bike and come do some hare scrambling, you will love it!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:23 AM   #18
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I'm not knocking anything....I'm just sayin' no need to put your feet down now that you're well versed after a weekend with CE and all.

Get you a bike and come do some hare scrambling, you will love it!
i wouldn't say well versed, don't push my limit too far, i'm slightly experienced with the "drill" it did help me to later better control the bike. i would like to come check out a hair scramble event tho.. give me more details about this weekends event please.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:25 AM   #19
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the next 2 day event is on may 7-8 and i am trying to go back, if anyone is interested please let me know.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:26 AM   #20
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http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=177313

I'll even offer a place for you to rest your head and sleep with some AC if you choose to stay overnight on Saturday. FWIW, I'm racing both Saturday and Sunday if you can only make one day.
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