Games/Field Events: Tips & Techniques
By David & Dori Dirig; CA-1F
GWRRA Skills Games Competition is a fun-filled opportunity to “show off” your
Members’ riding skills. Most people, however, will not feel comfortable
competing in front of scores of their ‘closest friends’ if they have never
before attempted the Skills Events. The remaining months before Rally are time
to use your Parking Lot Practices and Safety Talks/Articles as an opportunity
to explain and practice the drills for Rally competition. It just kills me each
year at rallies to be an impartial judge, not being able to give tips to help
people improve their scores in the Skills Games. Here are some tricks &
tips that we used in the past as a competitor (first place dontcha know!) as
well as Chapter, District, and Region Educators preparing our people for Skills
Games. Some may disagree with these tips. Take ‘em for what I charged ya. J
1-up Cone Weave. The interval between cones decreases over the course. Use the entire width of the lane. If you start the course with a narrow weave, your rear tire will run over the last 2-3 cones at the end.
1-up & 2-up Slow Ride. Pick a focal point that keeps your head and eyes up. You can get a running start to stabilize the bike, but I prefer to start from a standing stop at the time line. If you get a running start, you then have to slow to maximize your time, thus losing the stability from the running start. Time starts from the time your front tire crosses the starting gate until your rear tire exits the course. This allows you to ‘park’ at the end and leave your rear tire in the course for increased time. The trick here is to trade the risk of hitting a line, killing the bike, or putting a foot down for extra time.
1-up Circle (“The Box”). Score is based on your smallest circle and keeping the bike within the box. Internal scoring lines touched by your front tire determine the size of your circle. Put your tight circle in the corner of the box furthest from the scoring lines for the best score, but be advised that this increases your risk of running outside of the box. Turn your head and counter-balance. With practice and technique, the GL1500, 1200, 1100, and 1000 will all do less than a 19-foot circle. I don’t know the capacity of the GL1800.
2-up Balls on Cones. Driver – Slow/freeze the bike next to each cone allowing the Co-Rider to place the balls on the cones. Don’t pull up so far away that your co-rider cannot reach the cones. This drill involves 2 passes – Put the balls on the cones, U-turn, and then come back to pick the balls up. If you stop and make a 3-point turn instead of a U-turn, you just lost points for putting your feet down. Co-Rider – Establish a leaned out position early in the approach and stay in this position throughout both passes. If you shift your position trying to reach the cones/balls, this will un-balance the bike causing the driver to pull away or run into the cones.
2-up Beanbag Toss. Driver – Maintain constant speed so Co-Rider can judge approach to toss the beanbags in the buckets. Stay beyond the marker line and keep the speed slow enough that your Co-Rider has time to hit all three buckets. Co-Rider – Maintain leaned out position and take your best shot.
2-up Highbar. Driver – Maintain constant speed. Co-Rider – Throw the ball straight up. It’s a lesson in physics. If the speed is constant and the ball is thrown exactly straight up, it will come right back in your lap.
Trailer Course. Course run twice; one for elapsed time, second for elapsed time corrected for water remaining in beaker placed on trailer. First run for best time, second for smoothness. No reverse allowed. Note that you can pull as far forward through the exits of the Y-alley as needed to back up without penalty. Take the GWRRA Trailering course and learn how to use those mirrors while backing your trailer! This is the only case I can think of where you should NOT turn your head.
Trike Course. Same as above except that reverse is allowed. Think about the use of reverse, though, in terms of elapsed time lost finding neutral and backing up with the creeper gear.
Whatever your Members’ interests in various aspects of Safe Motorcycling, Education provides the tools that members need to be safe and have fun at the same time. Skills Games is a fun way to compete while emphasizing the need to develop and maintain slow-speed riding proficiency. For further information on slow-speed riding teaching materials provided by GWRRA, contact your Chapter Educator
Ride Safe and COAST (Concentrate On A Safe Trip)