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Tulsa Sportbike Riders • View topic - Please Read This: THE PACE

Tulsa Sportbike Riders

"Riding's more fun when there's more than one"
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 Post subject: Please Read This: THE PACE
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 6:49 pm 
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THE PACE, by Nick Ienatsch. (This article appeared in the November 1991 issue of Motorcylist, (http://www.motorcyclistonline.com)

Racing involves speed, concentration and commitment; the results of a mistake are usually catastrophic because there's little room for error riding at 100 percent. Performance street riding is less intense and further from the absolute limit, but because circumstances are less controlled, mistakes and over-aggressiveness can be equally catastrophic. Plenty of road-racers have sworn off street riding. "Too dangerous, too many variables and too easy to get carried away with too much speed," track specialists claim. Adrenaline-addled racers find themselves treating the street like the track, and not surprisingly, they get burned by the police, the laws of physics and the cold, harsh realities of an environment not groomed for ten-tenths riding. But as many of us know, a swift ride down a favorite road may be the finest way to spend a few free hours with a bike we love. And these few hours are best enjoyed riding at The Pace.

A year after I joined the Motorcyclist staff in 1984, Mitch Boehm was hired. Six months later, The Pace came into being, and we perfected it during the next few months of road testing and weekend fun rides. Now The Pace is part of my life - and a part of the Sunday morning riding group I frequent. The Pace is a street technique that not only keeps street riders alive, but thoroughly entertained as well.

THE PACE

The Pace focuses on bike control and de-emphasizes outright speed. Full-throttle acceleration and last minute braking aren't part of the program, effectively eliminating the two most common single-bike accident scenarios in sport riding. Cornering momentum is the name of the game, stressing strong, forceful inputs at the handlebar to place the bike correctly at the entrance of the turn and get it flicked in with little wasted time and distance. Since the throttle wasn't slammed open at the exit of the last corner, the next corner doesn't require much, if any braking. It isn't uncommon to ride with our group and not see a brake light flash all morning.

If brakes are required, the front lever gets squeezed smoothly, quickly and with a good deal of force to set entrance speed with minimum time. Running in on the brakes is tantamount to running off the road, a confession that you're pushing too hard and not getting your entrance speed set early enough because you stayed on the gas too long. Running The Pace decreases your reliance on the throttle and brakes, the two easiest controls to abuse, and hones your ability to judge cornering speed, which is the most thrilling aspect of performance street riding.

YOUR LANE IS YOUR LIMIT

Crossing the centerline at any time except during a passing maneuver is intolerable, another sign that you're pushing too hard to keep up. Even when you have a clean line of sight through a left-hand kink, stay to the right of the centerline. Staying on the right side of the centerline is much more challenging than simply straightening every slight corner, and when the whole group is committed to this intelligent practice, the temptation to cheat is eliminated through peer pressure and logic. Though street riding shouldn't be described in racing terms, you can think of your lane as the racetrack. Leaving your lane is tantamount to a crash.
Exact bike control has you using every inch of your lane if the circumstances permit it. In corners with a clear line of sight and no oncoming traffic, enter at the far outside of the corner, turn the bike relatively late in the corner to get a late apex at the far outside of your lane and accelerate out, just brushing the far outside of your lane as the bike stands up. Steer your bike forcefully but smoothly to minimize the transition time; don't hammer it down because the chassis will bobble slightly as it settles, possibly carrying you off line. Since you haven't charged in on the brakes, you can get the throttle on early, before the apex, which balances and settles your bike for the drive out.

More often than not, circumstances do not permit the full use of your lane from yellow line to white line and back again. Blind corners, oncoming traffic and gravel on the road are a few criteria that dictate a more conservative approach, so leave yourself a three- or four-foot margin for error, especially at the left side of the lane where errant oncoming traffic could prove fatal. Simply narrow your entrance on a blind right-hander and move your apex into your lane three feet on blind left turns in order to stay free of unseen oncoming traffic hogging the centerline. Because you're running at The Pace and not flat out, your controlled entrances offer additional time to deal with unexpected gravel or other debris in your lane; the outside wheel track is usually cleanest through a dirty corner since a car weights its outside tires most, scrubbing more dirt off the pavement in the process, so aim for that line.

A GOOD LEADER, WILLING FOLLOWERS

The street is not a racing environment, and it takes humility, self assurance and self control to keep it that way. The leader sets the pace and monitors his mirrors for signs of raggedness in the ranks that follow, such as tucking in on straights, crossing over the yellow line and hanging off the motorcycle in corners. If the leader pulls away, he simply slows his straightaway speed slightly but continues to enjoy the corners, thus closing the ranks but missing none of the fun. The small group of three or four riders I ride with is so harmonious that the pace is identical no matter who's leading. The lead shifts occasionally with a quick hand sign, but there's never a pass for the lead with an ego on the sleeve. Make no mistake, the riding is spirited and quick -- in the corners. Anyone with a right arm can hammer down the straights; it's the proficiency in the corners that makes The Pace come alive. Following distances are relatively lengthy, with the straight-aways -- taken at more moderate speeds -- the perfect opportunity to adjust the gaps. Keeping a good distance serves several purposes, besides being safer. Rock chips are minimized and the highway patrol won't suspect a race is in progress. The Pace's style of not hanging off in corners also reduces the appearance of pushing too hard and adds a degree of maturity and sensibility in the eyes of the public and the law. There's a definite challenge to cornering quickly while sitting sedately on your bike.

New rider indoctrination takes some time because The Pace develops very high cornering speeds and newcomers want to hammer the throttle on exits to make up for what they lose at the entrances. Our group slows drastically when a new rider joins the ranks because our technique of moderate straightaway speeds and no brakes can suck the unaware into a corner too fast, creating the most common single-bike accident. With a new rider learning the pace behind you, tap your brake lightly well before the turn to alert him, and make sure he understands there's no pressure to stay with the group.
There's plenty of ongoing communication during The Pace. A foot off the peg indicates debris on the road, and all slowing or turning intentions are signaled in advance with the left hand and arm. Turn signals are used for direction changes and passing, with a wave of the left hand to thank cars that move right and make it easy for the motorcyclists to get past. Since you don't have a death grip on the handlebar, your left hand is also free to wave to oncoming riders, a fading courtesy that we'd like to see return. If you're getting the idea that The Pace is a relaxing, noncompetitive way to ride with a group, you are right.

RELAX AND FLICK IT

I'd rather spend a Sunday in the mountains riding at The Pace than a Sunday at the racetrack, it is that enjoyable. Counter-steering is the name of the game, a smooth forceful steering input at the handlebar relayed to the tires' contact patches through a rigid sport-bike frame. Riding at The Pace is certainly what the bike manufacturers had in mind when sport bikes evolved to the street.

But the machine isn't the most important aspect of running at The Pace because you can do it on anything capable of getting through a corner. Attitude is The Pace's most important aspect; realizing the friend ahead of you isn't a competitor, respecting his right to lead the group occasionally and giving him credit for his riding skills. You must have the maturity to limit your straightaway speeds to allow the group to stay in touch and the sense to realize that racetrack tactics such as late braking and full throttle runs to redline will alienate the public and police and possibly introduce you to the unforgiving laws of gravity. When the group arrives at the destination after running The Pace, no one feels outgunned or is left with the feeling he must prove himself on the return run. If you've got something to prove, get on a racetrack.

The racetrack measures your speed with a stopwatch and direct competition, welcoming your aggression and gritty resolve to be the best. Performance street riding's only yardstick is the amount of enjoyment gained, not lap times, finishing position or competitors beaten. The differences are huge, but not always remembered by riders who haven't discovered The Pace's cornering pureness and group involvement. Hammer on the racetrack. Pace yourself on the street.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:30 am 
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http://www.tulsasportbikeriders.com/php ... .php?t=332


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:36 pm 
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September was last week? Where have I been?

And that post exceeds 5 lines, without any pictures to look at

:out

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 9:58 am 
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Location: Does anyone read this part?
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excellent re-post then ... this is as close to riding "scripture" as it gets ...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:16 am 
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Yeah, it is a good read no matter how old it is. I just like giving Keith a hard time...

:)

Rob

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:20 pm 
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After the little incident on Sunday i thought some might benefit from reading this! :confused


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:08 pm 
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or re-reading it after a winter layoff. Good call Michael... :up :up

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:48 pm 
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Location: Tulsa, Ok
I Ride: on the streets
Just to add to this, I just bought his book "Sport Riding Techniques" and so far it's very good. I'm only about half way through it, alot of the info most of us already know, but it puts things in real life situations instead of just explaining it. It tells you the proper way to do the simple things, like sit on the bike (yes there's always a wrong way). It also says how you can tighten your steering in a corner by stayin on the brakes (more weight on the front wheel, makes for quicker turning) and to stay on the gas to allow some weight on the rear tire for more traction.

The reviews put this book well above the keith code books, because this one was written recently and talks about current bikes / situations. It also tells you how it should be done and the differences from the street and the track. For example, it says NOT TO tuck fully when on the street cause cops love to see that and pull you over, whereas you need to do it at the track.

Anyhow, I hate reading, but I'm finding this book interesting enough to read it. It seems some of you liked "the pace" and this book is written very similar to what was just posted. (oh and there's lots of colored pictures lol)

25.00 at Borders or Barnes and Noble.

I was searching online for the Keith Code books (twist the wrist 1 and 2) and I ran across this book and saw the reviews. All of them said this book was by far better than Twist the Wrist.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:04 pm 
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Thats because the pace was written by the guy that wrote the book you are speaking of. And I believe he has a chapter in that book called The Pace.

I had read that book cover to cover numerous times before I even got a motorcycle.

Proficient Motorcycling and More Proficient Motorcycling are excellent reads as well. They geared more towards urban survival.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:34 pm 
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jmurphy9 wrote:
Just to add to this, I just bought his book "Sport Riding Techniques"
:redflip

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:41 pm 
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jmurphy9 wrote:
It seems some of you liked "the pace" and this book is written very similar to what was just posted.


Coincidence? :redflip

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:42 pm 
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lol buddy, I know they are written by the same person, this is why I wrote what I did in here. I was just suggesting if you liked the pace the book is written very similar. I knew it was same author, that's all I was stating.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Whateva. :redflip

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:01 pm 
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don't whateva me... had I known you had this book, I wouldn't have paid 25 bucks for it. I woulda just stolen yours :redflip

now I just wish I could retain things I read

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 Post subject: Re: Please Read This: THE PACE
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:49 pm 
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bump for 2009. a "Must Read" for anyone new to street riding outside of midnight StarMart runs

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 Post subject: Re: Please Read This: THE PACE
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Like Jim says, a Must read if you plan on doing any TSR rides.


Its no fun picking someone up off the ground.


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 Post subject: Re: Please Read This: THE PACE
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:50 pm 
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JCruz wrote:
Its no fun picking someone up off the ground.


And just in case you do have to pick someone up, read this:

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=4901

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 Post subject: Re: Please Read This: THE PACE
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:12 pm 
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also, it is NOT a race and trophies will NOT be handed out at the end of the ride.

yamajj

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