Let’s first start with a bit of history – ELAM have been attending Folembray for over 10 years and a very successful years at that. With the aim of not just a jolly, although that is a major attraction, but as an extra means to improve your riding in a safe environment.
A safe environment you say, what on a race track?! Before the panic sets in, the first thing you must understand is this isn’t a race, there are no prizes for being the quickest. It’s an ideal location to practice and improve. Let’s think about it for a moment. For a start everyone is going in the same direction, there’s no sneaky side turns, no blind bends, no main holes, drain covers, no car drivers on their phone and no street furniture to worry about. It’s a wide piece of perfect tarmac, with bends you can see perfectly clear, so nothing obstructing your view so plenty of time to get your IPSGA correct. Come on admit it, we all get this wrong from time to time.
Additionally it’s a continuous loop, so the same corners come around and around. Who hasn’t gone for a ride, and either nailed a corner or balls it up, then thought I wish I could do that again, you may think yeah I do that again so you stop, find somewhere to turn around go back turn around again, then you’ve lost your flow or get stuck behind a car. On track it’s only just over a minute and you’re back to the same corner again to either correct your mistake or nail it again. This is the beauty of riding on a track, nothing changes apart from how you tackle it. This is how it benefits your riding, you can start to experiment with certain aspects of your riding, how you change your approach, your lean angle, your braking, learn more about yourself and your bikes true potential.
This is the beauty of riding on a track, nothing changes apart from how you tackle it.
Now we can discuss the elephant in the room SPEED!! This is where I believe some of the fear of riding on a track comes from.
Yes in general the speed on track far exceeds the legal limit and this may scare some people. But take a moment to think about it, as I said earlier there’s no obstacles to look out for hidden dangers, the track is better than any road you currently ride on it’s designed to go faster on. Of course, there’s no pressure to go faster than you want too.
Let’s also not forgot, we don’t just get you to the track and say there’s the track off you go. Oh no! The ELAM coaches guide you there, brief you, then take you out on track and guide you as you learn the layout at a nice relaxed pace before gradually building up the speed. Never forgot, you only go as fast as you feel comfortable, we are there to help you improve, not to pressure you.
No one’s left to their own devices, even the most nervous rider will see their riding improve vastly. There’s plenty of coaches and others riders who are more than happy to help you out one to one, if desired. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, there’s the social side – what’s more fun than a group of like minded individuals discussing their on track endeavours over a beer or four.
The reason, I’m writing this isn’t because of some hidden agenda, I was one of these people who’d never been on track and was very nervous about doing so. Also I’m a bit of a wallflower and shy person, so was very apprehensive about going. It didn’t help the that I didn’t know a lot of people and hadn’t done any of the ELAM social rides. I got over my fear, plucked up the courage and paid my money. Now you may believe me or not, it was one of the best things I have ever done.
Firstly, my riding did improve, but I gained some valuable friends, who have since become very close friends. I’d would never have met them if it wasn’t for Folembray, as we did our IAM course at different times, even different years, and like I say I didn’t venture into the social rides or social side of ELAM. Since my first Folembray I have done 7 in a row, and also started joining social rides and meeting even more people I call my friends.
Come on! Stop sitting on the fence, you’ll get splinters. Sign up you won’t regret it!