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Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure

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Motorcycle TourMagazine

Whatchathinkin1
About Whatchathinkin'

Backroads’ fairer half, Shira Kamil, has an interesting perspective on the day-to-day things riders run into which is both extremely well written and informative. She adds a new polish to the editorial team here at Backroads.

Name: Shira Kamil

Current Rides: Honda 919, Suzuki V-Strom 650

Favorite quote:

If it all falls down, falls down, falls down; If they solve my life, if they find me out; Never thought to keep all I have found; I have had my fun, if it all falls down.

- Jimmy Buffett • If It All Falls Down - Floridays

Life is Good Today

(Sung to Zac Brown Band Toes)

 

Got my toes on the footpegs

My ass on the seat

The road up ahead is curvy and sweet

Life is good today, life is good today.WhatCLASS

 

Left northern Jersey

The wind at my back,

When we got down to Danville

They were under attack

Seems Michael had been there

And brought the high sea

VIR had to scramble

So they went to Plan B

 

Got my toes on the footpegs

My ass on the seat

The road up ahead is curvy and sweet

Life is good today, life is good today

 

Adios and vaya con Dios, yeah I’m leaving VA

With a head full of knowledge

That's better than college

I learned the Pridmore way.

 

The south course was different

Turn One was The Bitch

But Reg and his crew

Brought if off with no hitch

The next day was north course

We knew it fair well

Our class and track sessions

Made our confidence swell

 

Got my toes on the footpegs

My ass on the seat

The road up ahead is curvy and sweet

Life is good today, life is good today

 

Adios and vaya con Dios, yeah I’m leaving VA

With a head full of knowledge

That's better than college

I learned the Pridmore way.

Another year had passed and it was time to head south and spend a few days with Reg and Gigi Pridmore and the great crew of CLASS. You’ll read in these pages about the trip there and back as well as the two very full days of learning, fun and camaraderie at VIR. What I’d like to address is the incredible feeling of accomplishment and the fact that this, and/or ANY other skills training that you might take, will bring your motorcycle riding and the adventures and travels that you take to such a higher level of enjoyment.

I first was introduced to the Pridmores and CLASS at Watkins Glen in 1995. Brian and I, and some folks from our riding club Sport Touring MC, headed to the Finger Lakes for a day on the track. Thinking that this was going to be just a day of goingWhatchathinkin fast around the track, I was pleased with the instruction, attention and sophistication exhibited by everyone involved. Sure, the riders in the A group had a bit more testosterone than we in the B, but having that separation of track/classroom time gave me the space needed to concentrate on the lessons taught and to practice without feeling pressured. The ride back to Englewood NJ, beautiful on its own, became that much better as I felt I had gained levels of riding experience in that one day. The exuberance and confidence (and accelerated speed) made the ride much more enjoyable. The next time I was out for a ride along the backroads, I tried to remember all the things I was told and apply them to my street riding.

Fast forward some 20 years: I have had the extreme pleasure of attending CLASS at a few different venues – Laconia, Pocono Raceway and Virginia International Raceway – and for the past few have taken the two-day course. When we first started attending at VIR and taking the two days on the track, I would lose some steam after the lunch break on the first day and cut the day short by a session or two. By the second day, my energy and excitement returned and I’d go at the turns that vexed me with renewed gusto, but come the afternoon sessions, I’d again find my mind and energy waning. This year, I vowed to myself to make the most of every minute and went at the days just a bit differently. While I certainly was there to increase my smoothness and precision each lap, I didn’t try to increase my speed at which I attacked the course. A funny thing happened – while I felt that I did hit my marks and get around the course with increased ease as the day went on, I’m pretty sure that, had I put a lap timer on, I was little by little decreasing my lap times. I also found that my energy level stayed up, perhaps due to the fact that I was not so concerned with the speed I was maintaining but that I was concentrating on my efficiency of getting around the course.

The ride home was spectacular; the roads, scenery and my riding coming together for a perfect trifecta of what would probably be my last long road trip of this year.

Got my toes on the footpegs

My ass on the seat

The road up ahead is curvy and sweet

Life is good today, life is good today

 

Adios and vaya con Dios, yeah I’m leaving VA

With a head full of knowledge

That's better than college

I learned the Pridmore way.

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