You don’t ride dirt and you don’t want to flat track race but you ride street bikes--And you think those skills and experiences don’t cross over? Actually… The best riders in the world both street and dirt are consistently those who learned how to go fast in the dirt (Marc Marquez was on dirt at the age of four and did Enduro and Motocross). American Supercamp (ASC) is a traveling flat track school in the US that teaches all ages and experience in control, critical thinking, and riding in the dirt. It is led by Danny Walker, MotoAmerica RaceTeam Manager and ex-road racing champion along with various accomplished instructors from all over the world such as Chris Carr, Shayna Texter, Josh Hayes, Nicky Hayden, Robbie Petersen, and many more.
ASC has been a flat track school for over two decades and continues to go on strong—bringing beginners, experts, pro and amateur racers, celebrities, women, children, and two wheel addicts to their school from all over the country. It is one that is highly recommended by so many of its alumni. Me being one of them—this past weekend was my return and second time to ASC (after a year and a half ago from the first time).
ASC is a two-day crash course that’s about 8-9 hours each day of pure grit and fun. No matter what the level of experience, they will always begin with the basics and drill it into you. They drive both form and technique into you while pushing you to go further and further based on your consistently in performance—giving every individual tailored feedback on your areas of opportunity (mine is often Danny telling me how slow I am going or elbows up or relax and not be stiff). It is not for people who don’t want to push themselves, or don’t want to learn new things, and certainly not for people who think they know it all. It is humbling and honest and because of that, it is fun and rewarding. Especially when you know what you are improving at and what you can do better next time.
Since my last ASC classes in Spring of 2016 to the end of my session this past weekend, I had made tremendous improvement. It was incredible to have been able to work with the likes of Robbie Petersen, South African Motorcycle Ex-Racer with kind but straightforward feedback; Cameron Petersen, MotoAmerica racer who just glides effortless with a bit of style and fun throughout the track; Dalton Brisbois, American Flat Track racer; Harlan Hildebrand, AMA Dirt Track racer; and 11 year old Ben Gloddy, a Flat Track and GP Road Racer who makes it look so easy as he zooms past you around the turns.
If you’re a stranger to the dirt bike and motocross culture, it may seem strange and out of place at first—weirdly bright patterned attire, flashy helmets with goggles, chunky trail/dirt boots, tiny and possibly temperamental dirt bikes that are small and don’t belong to you. It’s hard to believe or understand how learning this type of riding and experience can translate to everyday riding—but I can personally attest that it has.
ASC makes you think critically while riding—opening your line of sight to anticipate situations sooner and proactively react and learning how to control while riding. My commuter bike is a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R and I ride it every day and everywhere (currently 20,000 miles, traveled most of the east coast, in four years) and there has a few incidents in mind where I should have gone down but instead I made it out. Going into a turn that I have been taking daily but lost control on the turn because of rain and oil slick or an odd highway situation at night where they repaved everything except the shoulders and exits—making it a large gap to cross over into traffic at highway speeds. Times like that where the bike lost a bit of control and I should have eaten it but I focused on where I needed to go, reacted and positioned my body in a way where I can straighten out as soon as I can and gain that control.
At the end of the day, regardless of why you go to ASC for and how it has affected your life—it’s fun and it’s fun with good people. And that is well worth the cost in time and money, the cost of signing up, the accommodations and travel. I would do it again. And again. And again.
Find out more information about ASC classes at American Supercamp.