A Lap of The Ridge

The Ridge is a new race track outside of Shelton.  I was there the other day to take part in a Puget Sound Safety Advanced Street Skills class. Since I had taken the class previously, this time I  was placed in the Level 2 class, which had only 4 students and one instructor.

I highly recommend this class for the quality of the instruction and the learning. I have now taken a version of it 3 different times on 2 race tracks, and I’ve learned something new about riding or about my own skills  (or lack of them ) each time.

The video shows just over one full lap of The Ridge.  You will notice the track layout is modified by Puget Sound Safety for these classes, with orange cones sending the riders down the pit entry each lap and also into a small loop section. Both of these are designed to allow the students to practice more corners per lap of the type encountered in street riding, and remove a 140-160mph straight followed by a 50mph corner, which is of interest only to racers.   Suited me fine. I had many thrilling moments during the day, and did not ever exceed 95 mph.

In my opinion, The Ridge offers more riding thrills than Pacific Raceway, even though the top speeds are much lower. Interesting.

In the video I am following my friend and the instructor of the day, Pete Chartrand. I am riding a 2013 BMW R 1200R, and he is on his trusty and well-used Yamaha FZ-1. He wanted to lead me around for a lap and show me a couple of cornering lines that were the most efficient, but not obvious or intutive. The fun part comes near the end, as we were accelerating up a straight toward “The Complex,” which is The Ridge’s version of the famed Corkscrew at LaGuna Seca.  Pete lost track of where I was behind, and spend about .5 of a second too long thinking about it. When he realized he was right on top of the corner he dive bombed the brakes, and you will see that I got pretty close to him.  Good stuff!




Copyright 2013                                              David Preston

About david

I am a 69 year old motorsports nut who lives in Bothell, Washington. After a 31 year career as an English teacher, I segued into a self-created job in the motorsports business. Now retired, I was involved in customer relations for Ride West BMW in Seattle, after almost 10 years of similar work for the Cycle Barn MotorSports Group. I have been married forever and have two grown children. I own, at the current time, a Triumph Bonneville T 120 , a Triumph Thruxton, a Fiat 500S and a VW Tiguan. What else would you like to know?
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