A note of gratitude

Forums ChampSchool ChampSchool A note of gratitude

  • This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by Alex Hatfield.
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    Daren Cummings

      I just started CampU and wanted to express my gratitude. I am away from home for weeks or months at a time for work and my schedule has made it near impossible to schedule in person classes to help advance my riding skills since I typically don’t know when or how long I’m going to be home until a few days before I go home. After learning of CampU I decided to give it a try, I’m thru the 4 core lessons and with that alone I can tell you my riding, and safety, will be at a higher level. I didn’t realize I was rushing corners, until I saw the real world examples with the explanation behind them. I’m looking forward to going thru the rest of the course, and really excited to go home and put my knew knowledge to the test. I love riding. I love technical riding. I know I will enjoy my trips thru the canyons much more with the confidence to properly get thru the corners safely.

      Thank you!

      Alex Hatfield


        Thanks so much for the support! Please keep us in the loop on your riding – rushing corner entry is one of the most common reasons we crash.
        I think I saw elsewhere that you’re a professional truck driver (thank you!!). Have you noticed any difference in your driving since you started going through the course?

        Daren Cummings

          I’ve gotten thru the entire course now, I’ll say there is a ton of information on this course that will aid many riders in being safer on the street and quicker on the track!

          I haven’t really noticed a difference in my driving, I’ve been driving truck for 30 years and have had some really good training. I’m not perfect, but who is?

          I have noticed there are some habits and techniques that I use driving that don’t transfer well to two wheels, and I’m going to have to correct those.
          1) I was taught to use engine braking as much as possible in the truck, they’re designed for it and it saves a lot of wear and tear on the mechanical brakes.
          2) I was taught to float the gears, or clutchless shift, it saves wear and tear on the clutch and relativity easy to learn to do extremely smooth.
          I realized I’m also doing both of these on my bike, and while neither are necessarily a bad thing there is a time and place for them. Clutchless shifting on a motorcycle is extremely difficult to get smooth, so doing on corner approach is a bad habit and an easy way to upset the bike. Using heavy engine braking while setting up for a corner leaves me unable to adapt easily, upsets the geometry of the bike, and puts more load on the rear instead of affectively loading the front and getting the traction where it really needs to be. So, while I’m driving I’ve been reaching and pulling work my clutch fingers while I float the gears in the truck, and also reaching and pulling with my brake fingers while I’m engine braking. I’m hoping this will start to muscle memory the act of using the levers while I’m slowing and shifting so when I get home it’ll be easier to teach myself to use my clutch and front brake properly. I’m going to go up a gear from my normal corner entry so I’m utilizing less engine braking and push myself to use that front brake. I’ve done hours of practice, both in a parking lot and on the street (when safe), on emergency braking, I’m extremely comfortable using my front brake and it’s saved me several times but I need to get used to using it more often and rely engine braking less.
          I’m going to guess those two bad habits are what is causing me to rush corners, I’m not really setting up for the corner properly every time so I’ve been confused why sometimes I corner smoothly and others I don’t. The lessons in ChampU are what brought this to my attention, and I can honestly say ChampU just saved me from a severe crash by opening my eyes to my mistakes. Having my geometry off and not having the front tire properly loaded on every corner was putting me at a higher risk level because I wasn’t prepared to smoothly adjust for the obstacles or debris I might encounter or radius changes.

          A big THANK YOU for bringing us this excellent resource at an affordable price that we can do wherever we are. Thanks to all of you that made ChampU, every one of you did an excellent job putting this together!

          Daren Cummings

            Finally made it home after 6 months at work and was able to get some riding in. I got some practice sessions in and really started working on my corner entry, specifically to unlearn the bad habit of rushing corners.

            I got the opportunity to go ride some canyons and loved it. I had one bad corner that almost got me, but because I didn’t rush the corner I was able to save it. Mid corner (lefty) there was a crack that had dipped pretty bad, when I hit the dip it threw me into a tank slapper and I was able to get it gathered up just a few inches from drifting into the guardrail. I know this would have a different ending had I not gone thru ChampU. I’ve had some close calls with my habit of rushing corners, I’m so thankful that I went thru the course during my of time and was able to see why I was having close calls and learn how to correct it.

            A very big thank you to all of you, I know my riding has improved, I also know my safety has improved and that means a lot to me. Keep up the good work!

            Alex Hatfield

              Wow, that sounds like a close call! Glad you’re putting the lessons to use, and we’re thrilled that you’re still with us and still improving!!

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