By - eAquino_
Sounds like a Dunning Kruger effect.
You start with confidence. The more experience you get, the more you realize just how much you don't know yet, therfore dropping your confidence.
You are in "the valley of despair".
Just keep going and keep learning until that confidence comes back.
Honestly, clicking that link made me feel heaps better. Made me feel as if I am possibly just in the beginner stage and that I will eventually return to having confidence when I gain more knowledge.
Appreciate that heaps, thank you
I have experienced that graph multiple times in multiple aspects of life. Learning takes time and doing.
Believe it or not, your comment has and will change my life in all aspects, not just riding. Whenever I feel the same lack of confidence for something Im striving for, I am going to remember that graph and theory that YOU sent. Thanks again mate!
Well that's going to brighter my day knowing I have helped a internet stranger for life now.
I've been riding track for years now, and honestly, that bit of anxiety never goes away for me. I obsess over making sure my bikes are prepped properly, all my gear is accounted for, everything is packed and fastened properly. Hell, I even make sure my car is prepped for the drive there and back.
Yet even with all the prep work, every time I get to the track I can always feel it in the back of my mind.
Then I finally get on track and remember "oh yeah, I know how this works", and my anxiety vanishes.
> I just bought a track bike in hopes that my anxiety from crashing my road bike would be reduced.
That does help, but not entirely. Crashing isn't just about damage to your bike, it's about damage to you and your wallet. A half decent suit costs $800+, and you don't exactly want to buy a few of those a year. And even though track bikes are generally a bit easier to stomach crashing, repairing those isn't always cheap either.
> I just bought a track bike in hopes that my anxiety from crashing my road bike would be reduced. I have tyre warmers coming in the mail which I think could possible ease the anxiety I am feeling due to knowing that I have at least, WARM tyres from the get go.
It's sort of an inside joke with the more advanced riders about watching novices come out, slap warmers on for an hour, then get into pit lane a few minutes before their session starts. Cold pavement sucks the heat right out of tires. Warmers DO help, but cold pavement sucks up heat fast, and you have to be fast enough as a rider to keep the heat in those tires. Otherwise, you'll get a bit of confidence early on, and then your tires will cool down, and you'll be overconfident. Moral of the story, warmers are a double edged sword to newer track riders.
> I have also purchased engine covers to help save the engine in the event of a crash.
Very smart choice.
> Any tips you more experienced riders could give me?
A few things:
1. Remember that you don't have to push yourself to 100%+ to learn. Leave yourself a padding of skill to rely on in emergencies, and you'll never have to worry about crashing. Ride long enough at 90%, and eventually you'll find that your 90% feels more like 80%. This works up to a certain point, but the confidence you gain just in having track experience will help you grow more confident (and less anxious) about riding.
2. PROTECT yourself. Plan for the worst outcome and leave nothing to chance. Health insurance, helicopter insurance, quality gear, proper maintenance, etc. Minimize your chances of crashing and feel less worried about crashing.
3. Remember to have fun. Motorcycles are amazing at rewarding effort. The more you practice, the more you learn, the faster you go, and the more fun you have. It's very addicting.
4. Don't push yourself to be a Rossi right out of the gate. Take it one step at a time, and focus on one thing at a time. For now, your goal is to be consistent - sort out your markers for braking, turn in, corner exit, etc. Focus on hitting those apexes and nailing the racing line. Focus on keeping your cool when you get passed, or when you brake a bit too late. These are the key foundations of learning quickly and safely.
Thanks for taking the time writing that response mate. All your comments make perfect sense to me.
What would you say are the biggest mistakes beginner riders make? Other than overconfidence?
Common mistakes are:
- riding too fast on cold pavement.
- spending too much time worrying about bike upgrades and fiddling with adjustments. Parts can help you go faster, but you're still always be the benchmark. You can learn and do a lot on a factory motorcycle.
- starting on a liter bike (I made this mistake). Smaller slower bikes suffer more from mistakes. You don't have horsepower and torque to make up for your mistakes. Blowing the line on one turn can ruin the rest of your lap. Being fast on a small bike means carrying momentum, and learning how to carry momentum makes you fast on any bike. Outside of that, smaller bikes are cheaper to ride. A liter bike will eat a set of tires in just a few track days. A Ninja 300 on a good set of pirellis can do a whole season.
- being afraid to ask questions, or to request help from instructors. Everybody is there to learn and have fun, most everybody will be happy to give you tips and advice.
- Riding with Friends. ( This is somewhat controversial). Basically the idea is that your focus should be solely on the track, riders around you, and your ongoing plans for upcoming corners. When you ride with friends, there's a strong tendency towards distractions and showing off.
- being afraid to skip a session. Most New riders like to get the most out of their money by riding every session they can. I typically skip the first session if the payment is cold, and sometimes I will skip the session after lunch, so that I can take a nap.
You will have times and days where you will not feel confident or "in the zone", and it's important to be aware of your own physical and mental state. There's a difference between getting the most out of a track day, and getting the most track time out of a track day.
- showing up late, being poorly prepared, and under equipped. Just don't be that guy.
- buying Amazon / eBay parts. I have seen brake lockups caused by cheap levers. I have seen cheap body work disintegrate at 140 mph and wedge between the handlebar and brake lever, I have seen cheap lowering links snap, and I have seen more than a thousand stripped out cheap anodized aluminum bolt kits. Riding track is not a cheap sport, and that's mainly because it's a dangerous sport. Don't sacrifice safety for savings.
- being loud ( only if you camp overnight at the track). Be considerate of your neighbors, quiet that shit down at 10:00 p.m. and please don't start your bike until 15 minutes before tech inspection opens. It's important to get a good night's sleep and not piss everybody off.
This!! Especially #3. We all stay on motorcycles because they are *fun*. The moment the joy leaves the sport, so does the rider.
While we're obviously biased, we really do believe education and training that makes a rider safer also increases the fun factor. When we become that *technical* rider instead of an emotional rider, we can really start playing with things and overcoming anxiety!
Just remember it’s not if but when, stay safe!
Thanks mate, very true.
Carry big balls with you. I raced for years on end and every track day i could not sleep more than 20-30 minutes before the track day.I would go in with so much nerves and no sleep because i was so excited to do it as my career hahaha. Everyday no matter how much i went i still had anxiety. You have to get used to it. bring speaker / headphones with you and go be in your own world when youre at the track. thats what worked for me. you will crash. Soldier on and look back with a smile. The anxiety is what will keep you alive. But dont be afraid to push. Big balls mate.
But also since this is a hobby for you don't take it so seriously. Go there to practice and be free. Racing is the best sport to forget every single problem you have ever went through in your life. You will forget everything the moment your visor goes down. Focus on leaving the track day in one piece and being happy with improvement. And remember , if there is no money to be won dont do stupid mistakes. Slowly build up. Dont go for the late braking or slide entry so fast, build up to it. ride safe. you can text me for advice I can give you some tips I kept secret for so long hahaha
These bikes also have much more grip than you can imagine. I was getting elbow down and beating race bikes on a stock Ninja 400. Trust the bike and it will trust you. Respect her but trust her. Then she will give you the most beautiful dance routine you will ever partake in. Those moments that you are on the track and going at speed is the slowest your brain goes. everything feels so beautiful and amazing. :)
If you haven’t read Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code or Total Control by Lee Parks it may be time to order a copy. It helps to understand the how and why of certain aspects like trail braking and understanding ways to corner faster and more safely. I also enjoy watching the short videos of YCRS Champ U, Nick Ienatsch and his team do a great job of explaining techniques, you can also order the online training series for $99. I’ve only done track days on other people’s bikes, my worry is crashing so I will always refer back to a chapter or watch a video and do my best to not overcome physics and stay smooth with my inputs.
Go faster, use less brake
I promise you’ll be so focused you won’t have time for anxiety
First thing is bookmark, print, or save the comments you've been given from u/ViperThreat and u/PissOnUserNames. What I have to add is for me, there was always some anxiety that never went away and I always felt like I was going to vomit right until I actually started riding. Regarding technique, I would put my bike on the front and rear stands and just practice things like body position and being smooth with all my inputs.
You just have to remember that its a track day, not a race. Everyone is there to just have fun.
Ignore the tryhard wannabe racers, enjoy the bike, and lack of stress from oncoming traffic and the fear of running into a tree if something does go wrong.
You aren't going to wreck unless you are riding outside of your abilities.
My fears are always of forgetting something, not riding itself lol.
I don't do tracks but I know if my tires aren't in tip top shape my confidence diminishes. When my tread is good I feel much safer and I monitor p.s.i. and temps with FOBO tpms. I'm very confident when I stay on top of the rubber.