Apr

27

 Here's what I've learned through personal experience, from a humbling time spent trying to improve my lap times on a motorcycle.

At 150 mph you're traveling 220 ft per second and things happen extremely fast. If you aren't ready for the next move you'll make a mistake and end up sliding across the pavement. At speed things happen rapidly and are constantly changing. Knowing where you are on the track is important because it determines your course of action. If you don't know where you are, you also don't know what you're supposed to be doing. Reference points guide you through your path.

The best reference points are on the track or very close to it: a patch of asphalt, painted line, or curbing — things that do not move. In order to be useable, your points should be in your line of travel and vision. Points outside of that will cost you attention and focus. At speed you simply do not need to have any such distractions.

It is up to you to choose what reference points to use and what to do once you reach them. Which means you must be a good observer of your own actions to be able to improve. Your choices need to work for you, based on your race lines, strengths, weaknesses. Another rider's points may not work for you, even if that rider is faster.

Reference points must also mean something to you. Every time you come upon it, it should communicate an action or message, such as, 'this is where I begin braking' or 'I should be to the left of this to avoid that bumpy section' or 'here's where I drop a gear and start my turn.' These points are reminders of where you are and the upcoming action to be taken.

I will leave it to the reader to draw his own conclusions and trading analogies.


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