Since buying the GS/PD, I’ve felt I needed a skills refresher. The BMW feels a bit top-heavy at low speed (over 8” of front travel and nine gallons of fuel have something to do with it)
and I’ve taken a few minutes here and there to do figure-eights, u-turns and circles but needed a more formal practice. I got it today.
The [SBONYC](http://www.sbonyc.org) email list members got together today for a
practice day. We met at 9am at Orchard Beach in Pelham Park. Patrick brought cut tennis balls and string for markers and Dan brought [Lee Park’s Total Control](http://isbn.nu/0760314039). No one remembered to bring chalk but it didn’t matter.
We spent the next three and half hours doing drills: circles, figure-eights, slaloms, entrance and turning and then braking. We started slow and each of us ratcheted up the speed as we completed the drill successfully.
No one crashed, fortunately.
Circles, turns and figure-eights left and right are no problem and I can do those without touching clutch or brake but I need more practice on the tight slalom. It took me five tries to complete the second forty feet of it (turn in left 180, slalom four marks, then turn out) without missing or running over the marks. Out of eight runs I only completed it without faults twice. My arms felt like I had rowed a couple of miles when I was done.
Vince with his VFR managed short, hopping, smoking stops but I managed to post among the shorter stops. My next to last run was my best: I dropped anchor from 50 mph on my speedo at the gate marks, so probably more like 45, and hauled it down inside the third mark- about 38 feet. Evan and Vince hooted and clapped. They said the fork compressed, the front tire looked totally flattened to the rim and the rear drifted a little but I didn’t lock up and got my foot down for a full stop. Dan asked if my model of bike has ABS. Nope, it was just a perfect run. It must have been- 1g of deceleration is 32 feet/second/second so even with all the slop and error it’s possible that I beat that (45mph is 66 fps). Not quite the same as on the street- you don’t get second tries and you don’t know when you’re going to brake- but I’m pleased.