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Slow Riding – The Return

Last Saturday was slow level 2 riding. It is not so much slow riding, but quick riding at slow speeds. It is about control to the extent of leaning the bike in to corners and using acceleration to pull the bike back up.
Again, the course took place in a large car park.

The first exercise was the slalom, again. I still hate it, though I did seem to find it easier.
My Observer had given me the tip that the best way to approach the exercise is to take it at speed and roll to and fro as you go through. He had also mentioned how Harley/chopper riders use their hips to help steer. Well that bit was all a bit too weird, and I don’t think I have taken that approach on the DX before.

Next up was a figure of eight, but this time it was a big one, that you could speed it up and then turn in harder, and then accelerate back out to stand the bike up, ready to slow and drop it in to the return.
That was followed by part two of the exercise which was a simple looking U-turn through some cones. The thing is, it was placed in a corner of two curbs, and the track was only about 2.5′ wide.
Again, it was a roll in, about 4′ of straight and then roll out.
One guy went up the curb and on to the grass, where he stopped and then made the mistake of putting his right foot down, which had the added 5″ drop of the curb. Him and the bike went down, but damage was minimal.

Next was riding a large square, the idea being to accelerate around 2 sides, then slow right down and make a hard right and repeat.
I had a fair amount of problem smoothly accelerating off again, and blame it firmly on the TDM, which has 51,000 ragged miles on the clock and a shagged chain (the chain has now been changed).
We then went the other way around.

The last exercise was to accelerate down the straight, slow down to the appropriate gear, then make a tight U-turn, then back down the straight, through a coned curve and then back around a tight U-turn and repeat.

All in all it was really beneficial, and more fun that the first course.

Oh yeah, at the end they made up a double S track, with some very tight coned corners, culminating with a blat down the straight to the finish line. It brought together all the exercises of the day.
It was not a race, in the sense that the fastest person won, but we were gonna find out who could get around it the quickest.
One of the guys, Phil, is an ex TT racer who joined IAM to tone down his riding. Needless to say he got the quickest time, though he did admit that he was not going to do it, until his competitiveness got the better of him.
Twas a shame really because I came second with a time of 41 seconds, 2 seconds slower that Phil.

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