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Old 12-03-2011, 10:16 PM   #41
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A good instructor is not only someone that is fast, but also knows WHY they're fast. Some of the best riders just go out there and "do it." it's almost instinctual, and they have no ability to tell someone what it is that makes them fast...because they barely understand themselves. This results in the two most common and equally useless pieces of advice offered in trackday instruction: "hang off more," and "just twist the wrist"/"go faster."

What trackday companies look for is someone who is capable of riding fast enough to instruct and also is willing to instruct. The latter, as has also been mentioned, can be an issue as some ""instructors"" look at their sessions as free riding ride time. However, even those that want to instruct can fall short because they really can't. Instructors need to be evaluated, and the individuals who, despite wanting to help, are only capable of offering the same boilerplate advice as everyone else need to be removed.

And honestly, this means it should be ok for an instructor to be more specialized. If a dude can only fix someone's braking problems or lines that's still a step ahead if "just hang off more."
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:14 AM   #42
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:59 AM   #43
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ive been the student for about 2 years now and ive been dealt a fair amount of bad instructors but ive also had, on a few occasions, that instructor that went the extra mile to really help me.

i instructed for the first time (level 1) a couple weeks ago.
i used all my past experience and tried to be the instructor i had always wanted when i was a student.

i think it is really important to build rapport and a relationship with each student. each and every student is different (age, weight, experience, bike, gender, habits, strengths, weaknesses, etc.) Two students may want to work on the same thing but the solution to each may be different. Attention to detail is key when assessing a student.

as a student/rider i know its hard to make multiple changes to the way you ride all at once. i tried giving my students 1 or 2 specific things to work on each couple sessions that would have the highest positive impact on their riding. it may have been as simple as always keeping their eyes on the next apex or keeping the outer thigh tight against the tank. i even told them silly things i do that help me when i ride like talking to myself as i putt my way around the track

by the end of the day i knew everyones names, what they rode, what we've worked on, how they looked in the morning, and how much they had progressed throughout the day. in the afternoon they were all so grateful for the help and happily packed up feeling great about the day. that was truly the most gratifying part of it all.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:37 AM   #44
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A lot of great feedback has been provided here. My perspective of instruction is different. I don’t see it as – “I want to get the best instructor there is” but rather – “This is the instructor I got, what can I learn from him/her?”

I started doing TDs back in February 2008. Since then I've been fortunate to have had several instructors, some of them worked better for me than others, but there wasn't a single one of them that didn't leave me with a new learning at the end of the day.

As a student, I think that is the mentality everyone should be having at the track, especially people that is fairly new to the track scene.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:31 PM   #45
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A couple of things I learned working with the Calif Superbike School...

Just to get in the door to apply to be an instructor, you have to have gone thru all 4 levels of the school so that you at least have been thru all of the information, and have been exposed to the instruction side on the track. You have to either be a racer or a former racer. There is absolutely no substitute for being comfortable at speed than a racing background. Throw in shagged tires on stock instructor bikes, sometimes other than optimal track conditions, and having to catch and evaluate from a complete beginner to up to a pro level racer. You have to be a good observer to be able to pick up the tells of what a rider is doing, what he is not doing, (why is he running wide ? bar input, throttle control, bad line... ?) what the bike is doing and not doing and how to bring all of that back together. The last thing, but probably the most important is the ability to communicate all of that to a student.

You don't necessarily need a racing background to be a good track day instructor, but it certainly helps.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #46
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I actually agree with the last few post more than most of the others in this thread haha

I think for starters some people expect to much out of a school and a day. I say that for the dact that many people want to pay 100 dollars for a track day and expect to be expect to be a Mtaught by rossi one on one and by the end of the day expect to be a MotoGP Racer. Its not going to happen.

Someone said they would pay 300 for a day with less people. Whats stopping you? You and a few others can do a Whoopie or Ty day and have a open track with less than 5 people and proven great instruction and top expert racers.

At the same point how many level 1 students if they had the best teacher in the world could take full advantage of it? Its alot to process all at once and that is the biggest problem to me. People get to the track and think pin it and go fast and try to put a million things together at once. Most people as you advance learn to work on 1 thing maybe 1 corner all day to try and get better. How many level 1 guys do you see doing that? But if you can spend all day at the track instruction or not and not learn anything that is your own fault. Colin Edwards has said every day he rides a bike, even the little 125 at his boot camp he learns something new. And im pretty sure no one on this board is at his level and can no longer be taught.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:28 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamucc2004 View Post
I actually agree with the last few post more than most of the others in this thread haha

I think for starters some people expect to much out of a school and a day. I say that for the dact that many people want to pay 100 dollars for a track day and expect to be expect to be a Mtaught by rossi one on one and by the end of the day expect to be a MotoGP Racer. Its not going to happen.

Someone said they would pay 300 for a day with less people. Whats stopping you? You and a few others can do a Whoopie or Ty day and have a open track with less than 5 people and proven great instruction and top expert racers.

At the same point how many level 1 students if they had the best teacher in the world could take full advantage of it? Its alot to process all at once and that is the biggest problem to me. People get to the track and think pin it and go fast and try to put a million things together at once. Most people as you advance learn to work on 1 thing maybe 1 corner all day to try and get better. How many level 1 guys do you see doing that? But if you can spend all day at the track instruction or not and not learn anything that is your own fault. Colin Edwards has said every day he rides a bike, even the little 125 at his boot camp he learns something new. And im pretty sure no one on this board is at his level and can no longer be taught.
whether im an instructor or student, everyday at the track is a learning experience
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:36 PM   #48
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A lot of great feedback has been provided here. My perspective of instruction is different. I don’t see it as – “I want to get the best instructor there is” but rather – “This is the instructor I got, what can I learn from him/her?”

I started doing TDs back in February 2008. Since then I've been fortunate to have had several instructors, some of them worked better for me than others, but there wasn't a single one of them that didn't leave me with a new learning at the end of the day.

As a student, I think that is the mentality everyone should be having at the track, especially people that is fairly new to the track scene.
I like this post... It makes me think about my time with my different instructors. As a student I wanted some of my instructors to know what I wanted to get out of my riding....sometimes I didn't want the class to just get practice for a day to feel more comfortable... I always hear different things in the classroom students want to learn form their time there. I would hope that a good instructor has a good eye and ability to communicate and tweak what I want to work on in my riding....sometimes you don't want to just go fast but work on a certain techniques... but yes so I can ultimately get faster... Sometimes it really has to do with the amount of time you spend with your instructor and how much communication goes on after the session, or between hot pits. I have done several track days and one thing I notice is that most instructors wait till the student is actually adamant of coming up to the instructor....they should come to the student... we are the ones paying the money... but then hey if the student wants to raise their hand I guess that's okay too..Its still nice to have the opt out option though..I wanted to attend Fastline but i was rained out. today. Before I was able to opt out.... there were level one days I only got the "do this" or "do that" kinda talk.. not the actual critique I was looking for...

I have had good instructors from Ridesmart.. but I think one thing both schools should do it use a camera as a tool without charging to get that level of service out.. Seeing my self would really help. then I could think of what my bike was doing and think how I could correct it by watching the vid.. I just don't wanna pay to do that... guess I gotta start taking my laptop to the track...... If I was an instructor and had the time..not saying I know what it takes to be one.... but.. I would try to record my students each session and at least show them the footage so they can assess themselves immediately after the session is over..
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spidermonk-E View Post
whether im an instructor or student, everyday at the track is a learning experience
agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rykoson View Post
camera stuff
i have a camera and i like to film those i'm working with, but i don't have a laptop
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:17 AM   #50
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of all the posts in this thread, this is the one I found the hardest to deal with.
Man I would love to set down over a beer and discuss your points of view with you. I do not agree with most of what I read in this post, not that the points are not valid, but the circumstances that bring you to your conclusion do not in any way match my experience with either of the track day organizations I have riden with or the students I have attended with.






Quote:
Originally Posted by tamucc2004 View Post
I actually agree with the last few post more than most of the others in this thread haha

I think for starters some people expect to much out of a school and a day. I say that for the dact that many people want to pay 100 dollars for a track day and expect to be expect to be a Mtaught by rossi one on one and by the end of the day expect to be a MotoGP Racer. Its not going to happen.



I have not seen anyone complaining about how much they are paying for a track day, I do not know how the track day groups can put on a track day and make much if any money for the prices they charge. So I know of no one wanting to pay $100 or less and get primo instruction. If you had read what I have already posted you would know that I for one have had no desire to have my instructor be a well known racer, in fact I have commented that in my view, racing in itself does not qualify a rider to be an instructor. I have never heard any of my fellow students express that they expected to attend a track day and suddenly become competitive in their riding....I know of no one who expects to be a moto gp racer after a track day or 50 trackdays...not sure what facts you are using to come up with this statement... but maybe your experiences have been different than mine.






Someone said they would pay 300 for a day with less people. Whats stopping you? You and a few others can do a Whoopie or Ty day and have a open track with less than 5 people and proven great instruction and top expert racers.
Some of us will do just that... but lets face it, how many newbies at track day even know that those type of opportunities exist..
I did not know that there was even any such thing as a track day until a couple of weeks before I went to my first one...and some folks will not want to spend that kind of money until they know what it is all about...a track day with any of the organizations out there is a good way to find out if you are even interested... spending $180 and finding out it is not for you is much better than spending $300 or $400 and discovering that is not what you really want to do








At the same point how many level 1 students if they had the best teacher in the world could take full advantage of it?
this is a hard question to anwer, the ability of each student is different, but I believe each one could benefit from having "the best teacher in the world", because the best teacher would not put them in danger and would teach in accordance with their ability... the quality of the instructor is of prime importance when considering what each student will get out of a trackday...both organizations I have riden with have made a point in the early class sessions to point out that it is not race day, it is trackday... they have both pointed out that smooth is fast... and that you need to learn the things it takes to get smooth on the track and speed will come later...



Its alot to process all at once and that is the biggest problem to me. People get to the track and think pin it and go fast and try to put a million things together at once.

I do not know what folks you have been in class with, but neither of the organizations I have ridden with would allow that type of behavior in the novice/level 1 group... pin it and go fast without the experience to do it will get you a helicopter ride and no organization wants that... again in novice level both groups I have riden with have stressed to un in novice that at no time should we ride above 80% of our ability, to watch, learn, get smooth, then add speed.. with either group if you got out there and tried to pin it, you would have gotten a black flag and talked to... they both have done a good job of stressing safety...



Most people as you advance learn to work on 1 thing maybe 1 corner all day to try and get better. How many level 1 guys do you see doing that?
again I do not know who you rode with, but most level 1 guys I have ridden with do that, I know i do...




But if you can spend all day at the track instruction or not and not learn anything that is your own fault.
what you have said here is true, I have never been to a track day that I did not learn something... but if I learned it on my own through trial and error, what good was it to have an instructor...so your statement that if you did not learn anything on a track day with or with out instruction, while true, has no bearing on the topic of this thread... this is about what you expect from an instructor, what makes a good instructor, not about what you learn by surviving your errors...



Colin Edwards has said every day he rides a bike, even the little 125 at his boot camp he learns something new. And im pretty sure no one on this board is at his level and can no longer be taught.
This part I find humorous, I quite agree that all of us can learn.. no matter what level.. after all that is what this thread is about.. getting a quality instructor so we can learn more...
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:51 AM   #51
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I got general feedback from the Instructors on the Novice td's I did for the most part and the best thing one ever told me was "Just go faster, you look fine" and that pretty much summed it up. Almost everything i was doing was a pain in the rear because I was going too slow, once I started going "too fast" for my comfort zone I realized that everything suddenly got 100% easier to do and finding the line was a breeze. Braking improved, corner speed improved, finding the line was easier, everything was more fluid.

The tough thing was that I wasn't really doing anything particularly wrong other than going too slow and someone finally noticed that. I got the same feedback often, real positive, found some minor issues with footwork and bp i could improve and some pointers that showed that they were certainly paying attention to my riding but it wasn't until someone told me I just needed to drop my and get on the gas until everything seemed to fall into place. I actually felt more comfortable going faster and identifying that is what i needed to to no doubt took some foresight on the instructors' part.

The last TD was when i really committed to trying to go faster and really pushed to follow the faster guys when they came around. Pretty much blew my mind when I realized how much more the bike and tires could handle than I was giving it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:02 AM   #52
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Quote:
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At the end of the day, most instructors get nothing. They spend their time, money, burn up tires and put wear and tear on their bikes for nothing in return.

We should be more grateful for those that volunteer. Myself included.
This is a very interesting point. What do instructors get out of it?
Why should they bother instructing at all?
Maybe that is a subject that those who want to instruct should take up with the trackday organizations, no body wants to work for free...
but then again, I wonder if the forum is the place to talk about that as all/most of us are potential customers...
I never ask the contractor what he pays his employees.. I as a customer am usually only concerned what it costs me and what I get in return for that expenditure.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:14 AM   #53
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i have a camera and i like to film those i'm working with, but i don't have a laptop
FYI I'm gonna be bringing my laptop to future TD's for this very reason, it's got an SD card slot so its super easy to pull up the vids. You're welcome to use it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:29 AM   #54
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[QUOTE=obed;3094645]of all the posts in this thread, this is the one I found the hardest to deal with.
Man I would love to set down over a beer and discuss your points of view with you. I do not agree with most of what I read in this post, not that the points are not valid, but the circumstances that bring you to your conclusion do not in any way match my experience with either of the track day organizations I have riden with or the students I have attended with.

Im always down to have a beer and meet a new friend! Until then I will elaborate alittle more in here. Sorry was on the phone the other day and I can be a little long winded.


I have not seen anyone complaining about how much they are paying for a track day, I do not know how the track day groups can put on a track day and make much if any money for the prices they charge. So I know of no one wanting to pay $100 or less and get primo instruction. If you had read what I have already posted you would know that I for one have had no desire to have my instructor be a well known racer, in fact I have commented that in my view, racing in itself does not qualify a rider to be an instructor. I have never heard any of my fellow students express that they expected to attend a track day and suddenly become competitive in their riding....I know of no one who expects to be a moto gp racer after a track day or 50 trackdays...not sure what facts you are using to come up with this statement... but maybe your experiences have been different than mine.

I have only been riding the track for 3 years now but heard this a million times. This is directed at all the comments in not only this thread but every trackday review about the number of people on the grid and the number of students per instructor. I think that many people expect a small grid and a small number of students per instructor. This would be amazing for ~$140 but is just not possible as in the end these orgs are still a business but there is places like that available. I agree that that price is a lot of money but Im sure you well know this is a expensive hobbie. Wait till you crash lol. But the other this is getting faster. I have heard many people that go to the track to push it off the bat. This is why there is crashes on round robin sessions. Yes the Orgs stress safety but there is always that idiot that doesnt listen and until there is a way to govern his bike it is a hard thing to immediately stop.

Some of us will do just that... but lets face it, how many newbies at track day even know that those type of opportunities exist..
I did not know that there was even any such thing as a track day until a couple of weeks before I went to my first one...and some folks will not want to spend that kind of money until they know what it is all about...a track day with any of the organizations out there is a good way to find out if you are even interested... spending $180 and finding out it is not for you is much better than spending $300 or $400 and discovering that is not what you really want to do


Yes and this kinda applies to my response above. I personally wish all the track orgs would work together more as I think they all have great and different things to offer. Some are more economical but with that have larger grids, while others are more costly but are more open and have more detailed instructions. Its a get what you pay for thing. I just think lots of people dont understand that. I agree on not spending that money on your first day also. That is why there is also great programs like half of your first day at times, and free leather and boot rentals your first day. These are designed to get people out to the track in a safe environment with the smallest initial out of pocket expense.

this is a hard question to anwer, the ability of each student is different, but I believe each one could benefit from having "the best teacher in the world", because the best teacher would not put them in danger and would teach in accordance with their ability... the quality of the instructor is of prime importance when considering what each student will get out of a trackday...both organizations I have riden with have made a point in the early class sessions to point out that it is not race day, it is trackday... they have both pointed out that smooth is fast... and that you need to learn the things it takes to get smooth on the track and speed will come later..

I agree that this is a very hard thing. And being a teacher and great instructor is a very hard thing. This is one place I agree with Thomass is that the more advance schools a teacer/instructor takes and the more books he reads the better he has the opportunity to be. He is going to see more ways to teach, more drills to work on, more vocabulary and have more skills to pass on. I do think that being a racer helps. Most of the best instructors I have had are current racers or long long time racers and prob retired riders. Looks at the top schools in the country. All instructors are racers or retired. Look at Colin Edwards TTBC. Most all are not only racers but proven Champions many on a national or world level. That says something to me.

But to me the most important thing to remember about a good instructor is what Cdill and Thomass said. First Cdill these instructors are not getting paid. They usually only get track time. The oil, gas, tires, travel expenses, hotels are all out of their pocket. And also I did not realize until I instructed level 1 one day but it is really hard to slow down to a slower pace and instruct at that slower pace. Good example from the TTBC, more funny story. Colin Edwards wife has never ridden a bike. Colin Edwards, one of the best in the world could not teach her. Besides the fact they are spouses lol, He did not know how to teach on that level. Joe finally started and Colin couldnt understand why she wasnt bliping the throttle and braking with both brakes and downshifting all at the same time. This is one of the key things to me in being a instructor is being able to simplify and teach one thing and pick up on those small things. And on what Thomass said the most important thing to me is the willingness and desire to teach and see people get better. You cant just be in it for the track time you will never make it. I am fortunate enough to know a few instructors and get a breif glance into the hard work and time they put into making a school possible. Both money and lots and lots of late nights and time, and sacrificing their on riding, literally like a second job they get paid little or nothing for but are willing to do to to teach and help out someone else. That is the most important aspect to me.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:29 AM   #55
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I do not know what folks you have been in class with, but neither of the organizations I have ridden with would allow that type of behavior in the novice/level 1 group... pin it and go fast without the experience to do it will get you a helicopter ride and no organization wants that... again in novice level both groups I have riden with have stressed to un in novice that at no time should we ride above 80% of our ability, to watch, learn, get smooth, then add speed.. with either group if you got out there and tried to pin it, you would have gotten a black flag and talked to... they both have done a good job of stressing safety...

I have ridden with 3 of the different orgs and done the Colin Edwards Boot Camp. Both seen and done this to a point in every single one of them. Not everyone has that mentality some just want to go fast. I think a lap timer is one of the worst things people run. I can count on one hand the number of days I have run one. And when I have focus on just going faster. But I noticed at my last day when I really worked on braking hard and attacking and driving out, one aspect one corner at a time. I was flying and when I go back and put a timer on I am sure will be doing alot better at the end of the day. I say this as it took me almost 3 years to learn. And I have seen and heard many people doing it.

what you have said here is true, I have never been to a track day that I did not learn something... but if I learned it on my own through trial and error, what good was it to have an instructor...so your statement that if you did not learn anything on a track day with or with out instruction, while true, has no bearing on the topic of this thread... this is about what you expect from an instructor, what makes a good instructor, not about what you learn by surviving your errors...

I think it first really annoyed me when someone said they spent all day at the track and didnt learn anything in this thread. Depending on the school this could have alot to do with the instructor. If you are at a private one on one school you have all day to be watched and worked with. If you are at one of the more local schools though you may only have 1 session or two half sessions to work on things. I think it is just as important as a student to have a plan when you get to work with your instructor just as it is when you head to the trackday, so when you have that short time they can share their knowledge with you and give you more pointers to go back and work on when you are not with them. Hopefully you can do this in the morning and then they can come back and see your progress at the end of the day and critique you again.

This part I find humorous, I quite agree that all of us can learn.. no matter what level.. after all that is what this thread is about.. getting a quality instructor so we can learn more...[/QUOTE]

I agree. I think that we are very lucky in all the orgs to have the instructors that we do. These guys literally put blood sweat and tears, money, their bodies, and sacrifices we will never know to get to where they are and the knowledge they have, and still strive to learn, and then share that with us for free is amazing! Yes it would be nice to have them certified and in uniforms and all this other stuff but at the price we currently get them at I think they do amazing. But most important I think we are blessed that they will and are in this thread and the feedback threads looking at what we as students have to say and take it to heart and work towards being better!

Told you I could get long winded. This is a short version for when you get me with a beer in my hand
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:36 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obed View Post
For me to learn from someone they do not necessarily have to have been a racer or the fastest guy out there.
What they need is the ability to be observant and to assess what is happening and have enough experience to know what is causing what is happening and to be able to suggest what it will take to correct it.
They have to be able to communicate what they see. They have to seem to care about you as a rider.
thats it right there.
Mechanical aptitude and analytical skills play a big part of being able to assess cause and effect. Good communication its also a necessary component to being able to instruct all kinds of riders, including the one who really shouldn't be out there.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:07 AM   #57
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I would rather pay 300$ for a track day with a lot less people and better instructors than $140 for double the students and half the instruction.
You should take one of the race classes offered by the orgs. Dont have to race or be fast to take it but you should be able to get the instruction you are looking for.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #58
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Quote:
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You should take one of the race classes offered by the orgs. Dont have to race or be fast to take it but you should be able to get the instruction you are looking for.
Or a private day with cdill or whoop. Whole tack to yourself basically.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:01 PM   #59
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Sum buck, yall can fill a thread up.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:10 PM   #60
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Sum buck, yall can fill a thread up.
so could you, if you actually said anything....
by the way, it was good seeing you yesterday too bad we got rained out and i did not get to meet your boys...
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