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Thread: CLASS Rider Course (Reg Pridmore)

  1. #1
    On the road to Find Out leaveword's Avatar
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    CLASS Rider Course (Reg Pridmore)

    Hi all,

    I just completed the 2011 CLASS at VIR in Virginia. While I will be making generally positive comments about the course elsewhere on the forum, I want to direct one specific comment to the gals.

    I counted a maximum of five women in a field of 75 riders this week. Not only was i surprised by that, but I was really unprepared to be the the only girl without a husband. There weren't even any gal pals or mixed unmarried couples. This class is raging with testosterone which can sometimes inhibit everyone's ability to learn, as you may read if somebody reports on the class to our group. That doesn't mean you won't have a blast, but girls ready to shell out the thousand bucks for this extreme learning and racing adventure will want to know this info.

    I bonded with half a dozen great guys, by the way, and I'll never forget our days in CLASS. But they need to balance the group with more women, no doubt about that.

    Stay smooth,
    Suzanne

  2. #2
    I love to lurk! tvgal2000's Avatar
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    I've thought about taking a track class but have always thought I'd be one of the few women in the class but I didn't want to be overwhelmed by testosterone... The Yamaha school at Miller Motorsports in Salt Lake City offers a women-only weekend track school and although I can't make it this year, I'm thinking about next year for the women-only...
    Sarah B
    Milwaukee,WI
    '09 R1200GS 'Starbuck' my big silver baby
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  3. #3
    Registered User dsauer608's Avatar
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    I've taken Jason Pridmore's Star School 3 times now, and usually there's me and maybe one or two other gals in a big herd of guys. I don't think it's a big deal, I'm there to learn to ride better and I don't really care about what anyone else is doing on the track. The instructors were wonderful, very helpful, and I came away a better, safer rider. Don't let the numbers intimidate you.
    Deb Sauer
    Golden, CO

  4. #4
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Love your attitude!

    I've said many times, I identify more with the group "rider" than the group "woman".

    My first Reg Primore CLASS I was the only woman. But I knew guys felt scared too. In fact Reg said it was the guys who weren't afraid that he was worried about!


    Voni
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  5. #5
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    Well, as a male instructor (cars, not bikes) I've had many many students and while its true that the women among them were sometimes very nervous, THERE IS NO USEFUL DIFFERENCE IN ABILITY to learn so there is no reason for it.

    1) Many of the guys are nervous the first time on a track but simply can't admit it. The more frequent urination that goes with it is a dead giveaway..
    2) Hormones, red mist, etc are only a way to get in trouble. The fastest drivers are relaxed and comfortable on the track.

    Many women show up at the track with boyfriends or husands, of course. But more single women especially those hunting male companionship might want to try it. My daughter (when she was about 20) had a great time at her first track weekend, immensely enjoying all the attention she got from the guys. She found it vey ego boosting...

    I still remember one of my earlier female students who came with her husband and was driving his fully raced prepped Porsche. Now stiffly sprung track cars on race tires with all the gear are not exactly what one recommends for novices because they can get one in trouble in a hurry with no apparent warning to a beginner BUT that's what she had so off we went. My student could not bring herself to bury the throttle going over a blind crest on the back straight of our local track- despite the vigilant corner workers "no flag" status making very clear that everything was fine on the other side of the hill her inherent street caution kept her to about 100-105 (slow on a track). It was apparent I was going to have to get her past this mental barrier but HOW? Well, I noticed she had a bit of a sense of humor and a shy grin so I departed from my usual practice and decided to take her on track in one of my vehicles immediately so she could see it was perfectly safe to blast over a blind hill on a track (normally I wouldn't do this until a student had a couple more track sessions so he/she could better understand what they were seeing and feeling with the instructor). Anyway, I strapped her in and went over the same blind crest, throttle buried all the way to the braking zone on the far side, going about 160ish...I knew I had her when she broke out laughing when the car crested the hill. From that point on she was relaxed and did well on track while having a lot of fun doing it. By the end of the weekend she had informed her husband that the Porsche was now her race car and that he would have to get himself another and she got him to buy her the firesuit and other gear she'd need for racing. She did get her race license and I saw them competing in separate cars at various events for several years afterward.

    One of the things for anyone to remember is that racers and track junkies are very accepting of anyone with a good attitude - sex, race, nationality whatever doesn't matter. I once had a male student who was pathetically slow and as unskilled as possible while still being able to actually turn a steering wheel BUT he was a truly likeable guy with a great personality. I had a fun weekend with him despite his utter lack of talent and ability. Somehow, a bit later, he managed to get a race license and I saw him "competing". Well, "on the track" while others were racing would have been more accurate...But despite his regular last place finishes he was popular and well liked by other racers because of his attitude and behavior- no one ever gave him a hard time about his slow times...

    Worrying about what someone else might think holds many back and should not. As a guy I don't even pretend to understand why this "hesitation" is more common in women than men but it should not be- its counterproductive in work, life in general, etc etc The only way more "balance" is going to happen on tracks is for more women to go do it. Like many other things on this planet from wars to construction it is at present more a male activity than female but there is nothing keeping it to that way except the reluctance of women to participate.

  6. #6
    Patti B PattiB's Avatar
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    2012 Pridemore in Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by tvgal2000 View Post
    I've thought about taking a track class but have always thought I'd be one of the few women in the class but I didn't want to be overwhelmed by testosterone... The Yamaha school at Miller Motorsports in Salt Lake City offers a women-only weekend track school and although I can't make it this year, I'm thinking about next year for the women-only...
    The new schedule is out for 2012 and there is a Reg Pridemore CLASS in New Haven, Michigan that I was thinking about, on June 30th. It's not to far from my home in Cleveland, Oh. I was also surprised at the cost...think it was $275! Which I think is pretty reasonable for a whole day of learning.

    But where do I find a leather racing suit? Voni?
    Patti B

    '00 R1100R
    '08 F800ST

  7. #7
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    I was lucky enough to find my Dainese at a rally where the owner was selling them at a great price.

    You don't need a leather suit, though . . .

    From the FAQ
    Either one or two piece leathers are preferred (no chaps) or a Gore Tex, Cordura or Kevlar type of suit with armor (no Kevlar reinforced jeans), leather boots, leather gloves and a full faced helmet which is undamaged and 5 years or newer. Joe Rocket "Phoenix" or similar ultra lightweight or mesh suits are not acceptable.
    Have a grand time!

    Voni
    sMiling
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  8. #8
    Captain R12C CaptainR12C's Avatar
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    I participated in a Keith Code, California Superbike School track day. Their was one woman and myself in Level 1. Unfortunatly, some guy cut me off on the inside corner and came within inches of causing me to crash. His testosterone got in the way of good judgement. So, i'm jaded by that experience.

    A year later, I participated in an all womens track day at New Hampshire International Speedway and was much more pleased.
    09 HP2 Sport: '06 K12R; '09 Buell XB9SX

  9. #9
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    Tires. . .

    Gotta have good ones - VERY good ones, or you won't pass the tech inspection. Thus, unless you've just bought new "shoes" -- figure in the cost of new tires, and make sure that they are already broken-in, or you might find yourself airborne.

    I've taken this course several times at several different tracks on several different bikes, from a Harley Road King to a K12, and absolutely, positively, recommend it for slowing down your riding world -- meaning, after you take this course, the other traffic on the road is (now) moving in slo-mo for you.

    They used to split the group into "A" and "B" groups, with the "A" group being people who've taken the course previously, and enjoy going faster than the new folks. "B" group is for those who are taking the course for the first time, OR those who want to learn at a slower speed. You can always move to the faster group when you're ready, and the instructors will suggest a move down if you're in the faster group, but can't stay with the pace -- you wouldn't be comfortable there if everybody is passing you all the time, anyway.

    I've seen a FEW (very few) track run-offs, low-sides, etc., and it was always guys (yes, guys) riding over their heads. SAFETY is paramount. And, the first time, you better be a little nervous, or something (IMHO) is wrong. . . The fourth or fifth time I took this course, I was STILL nervous before the starting gun. . .then, nirvana.

    Just to clarify, this is NOT a course for roadracers, and they will throw your a-- right out of the CLASS for ANY unsafe behavior, and I've seen that happen, too. Not allowed to pass on the inside of another rider on a curve, for instance. VERY safely-conscious.

    Oh, and by the end of the track day, you are going to be very, very fast, relaxed, and SAFE. Rather amazing, actually.

    One final comment: I've trained several people to ride, and have noticed a tendency for them (men and women) to be tentative with leaning the bike, which is the ONLY way a motorcycle makes it around a turn at speed. If this fundamental element of riding scares you, you're dangerous on the road. After taking this CLASS, you'll lose your fear of lean-angles by the end of the day.

    Regards to all you wonderful people -- that "you" is RIDERS (Thx V.)

    Walking Eagle
    Last edited by Walking Eagle; 02-01-2012 at 01:29 PM. Reason: typo

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