Novice passing zones?

rschiela

New Member
After riding for a couple of years and seeing both some well-behaved novice groups and some really rough days, I am wondering why not have defined passing zones for the novice group only. To basically take the gray area for the less experienced of bad judgment like "well, I'm sort of straight up or parallel for this instant in the middle of the esses, I'm sure I'll pass in time before it upsets the passee." It seems to me that well defined passing zones would remove some of those issues. "From exiting this corner, squared up, to the turn in (or braking zone for novice, but that would be another question) of the next corner.

And, I guess since I raised it, why not passing until the braking zone for Novice, since the novice have such a huge variation in when they all start braking and when they all choose to turn in. Even the same person lap to lap. As in "be passed before you hit the brakes."

It seems to me that would save a lot of headaches and frustration in the group and add to general safety and satisfaction.
 

Otto Man

John
Control Rider
It's about as clearly defined as you can make it. Passing is allow on the straight sections on the track, either on the gas or the brakes. It is considered an inside pass if the bike you're intending to pass is on the brakes and has already begun tipping into the corner (assuming you are trying to pass them on the inside of either a left/right corner).

Post apex, it is not considered an inside pass if your trajectory and the slower bike's trajectory are going away from each other. This ensures there's no way of you running into the slower rider if you get too froggy with the gas.

When in doubt? Don't be a dick, and pass someone how you want to be passed. If you have to ask yourself "Can I safely pass here", your question is already answered. There is nothing to gain from making questionable decisions at a track day, but a whole lot to lose.
 

rschiela

New Member
Perhaps I should clarify. I am not asking for guidance for "how do I know where I should pass people?" I am asking "how do we help guide, if not control, people that are making bad decisions and actions, and are seemingly out of control? How do we avoid the mid-day meetings?" And specifically, "Why should we not add more prescriptive definitions for where and how to pass, for the novice people that don't have a good foundation for decision making, especially with the added sensory inputs, speed, and stress of being on track?"
 

Slow Steve

I hate pushups.
Control Rider
We go through all of those points at each individual track in the novice only meetings and we generally stay after to answer more indepth questions as well. Unfortunately not everyone feels they need to attend those meetings. There can also be a large experience gap between the riders in the group that sometimes makes it feel like they aren't following the rules when they really are
 

Otto Man

John
Control Rider
Perhaps I should clarify. I am not asking for guidance for "how do I know where I should pass people?" I am asking "how do we help guide, if not control, people that are making bad decisions and actions, and are seemingly out of control? How do we avoid the mid-day meetings?" And specifically, "Why should we not add more prescriptive definitions for where and how to pass, for the novice people that don't have a good foundation for decision making, especially with the added sensory inputs, speed, and stress of being on track?"

You can't legislate common sense. Rules are defined and discussed in the rider's meeting at the beginning of every single morning. Riders can listen, nod their head in acknowledgement, but how do you stop it once they're on track? You can't. Best you can do is see it, correct it afterward, and use it as a teaching moment.
 

tdelegram

Control Rider
I think there's an element of getting to know your peers and holding each other accountable. Don't go into someone's pit and fly off the handle but introduce yourself have a calm adult discussion. The CR's are not able police the entire track and would rather coach than be police.
 

D-Zum

Alex's Ohvale Mechanic
I have a soon to be 12 year old that races MiniGP and will be driving in 4-5 years. We’ve discussed this type of thing about him driving some day in a similar context.

I told him that driving is easy. Decision making is hard. One of the things Novices have to adapt to is decision making in a closed course environment. They all can ride fundamentally. On the track has fewer but different variables to its calculus.
 
My $00.02.

N2 has much to be thankful for.

I rode with a club for the first time in January to learn the raceline before an important event. My buddies warned me but I thought “it can’t be that bad”.

I couldn’t have scripted the utter chaos that day and their CRs were some of the biggest violators. Besides the incredibly high number of red flags across all groups was the club’s culture. “Those rules don’t apply to me” was palpable in the paddock chatter and on track riding behavior.

Cappy’s safety brief is a bullseye, IMO, and my observation is the N2 CRs are ready to coach or correct as the situation warrants.

While not everyone can be selected to be a CR, we can all function similarly to a CR with the right approach to teach, coach and mentor (as pointed out above) more junior riders who may not be able to afford an ATP or Champ School.

If hardheaded, that’s a safety issue to flag for more explicit correction or ejection by N2’s trackday organizer.
 
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