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Last Post 06/26/2007 6:11 PM by  krek
Cone blind
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06/25/2007 9:56 PM

    I attended an event this weekend and found that I go "cone blind". All  can see is orange I become disoriented and lose my way. I had a great time even though I came in dead last. I have some track experience but I find auto-x intense and very challenging. Any and all advice, ideas, whatever will be greatly appreciated. 

     

    Thanks


     

    Larry Kronemeyer
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    06/25/2007 11:02 PM
    Walk the course with an experienced driver as many times as you can.  Some drivers draw the course as they walk it so they can study it while they are waiting for their run.  Never forget to ask questions.  The Solo is the same as the track, except smaller.  You still have to read the line ahead, just as you read the line at the track, you just have less time.  Try to run the first time slower and feel the track, then pick up speed on each run thereafter, you get 6 runs and only the quickest counts.   I am not one of the fastest on the Solo, have gotten lost and missed turns, but I did finally complete the last few times without getting lost or flipping cones.  Haven't been out this year yet, but hope to before long.  Keep trying and do not let it get to you, you'll pick it up and you will find it carries over to the track. I'm no spring chicken either, and the kids really are agile in response and reaction. 
    rkoradi
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    06/26/2007 3:43 AM

    First of all: practice, practice, practice! What happened to you at your first event is not unusual at all. It all seems clear while you walk the course. But then you move about 10 times faster when you drive, and the brain is overloaded. And if you get nervous, that makes it even worse. It will get easier after a few events.

    Everybody approaches things differently, and you'll have to find out what works for you. Here are a few things that I find helpful:

    Walk the course as many times as you need (I like to walk 3-4 times, some people need less). And focus while you do it. Walk alone, and don't talk to anybody. Just being able to remember the course is not enough. It almost has to be wired into your brain. You don't really have time to think while you drive, it has to be almost automatic.

    Focus on the cones that really matter. The line you drive on a typical course is defined by maybe 20 key cones. The other 90% of the cones don't matter. Some of them can be completely ignored, like most of the cones on the outside of turns. Others might help you to find the key cones (see below).

    Instead of trying to remember each cone, or the exact line, I try to memorize the images I see at key points on the course, which is for example approaching or exiting a turn. And in that image, I need to be able to pick up the key cones as quickly as possible.

    I don't find course maps very helpful.

    drgnrcr101
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    06/26/2007 11:15 AM
    If the all of above still dosen't work for you we do allow ride alongs. So ask someone that is doing well if they can ride with you.
    mugwump
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    06/26/2007 12:04 PM
    What I did, especially at first, is walk the course several times.  Maybe the first time with someone experienced (like our Rookie Walkthrough) but the other times by yourself so you can focus.  After each walk, close your eyes and go through the course.  You should be able to 'drive' the course in your head.  If you get to a section you can't mentally picture, its time to walk again, focusing especially on the area you were having difficulty recalling.  Trying to recall something, failing, and then re-studying it is one of the most effective ways to learn new information.
    krek
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    06/26/2007 6:11 PM

    It is nearly impossible at first to remember the course (IMO) and nearly impossible not to be dead last.  Unless the announcer suggested "additional course walks" to you over the PA, it can get worse.

    Experience, heeding the above advice and Evolution School Phase 1 are all cures for cone blindness.

    Now I have a song from Styx stuck in my head. [8]

    Ghost of Autocrosser Past
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