Sunday, July 30, 2017

Why Dainese?

INTRODUCTION
Dainese Racing Lady P. Estiva (front)
The Dainese Racing P. Estiva is a moderately-featured perforated one-piece suit with elastic inserts and decisive cut lines targeted primarily to men and women track day riders. Though moderate in design and features, this suit has managed to attract the attention of many motorcycle racers as well. The Dainese brand offers a less expensive option in protective race gear. 

Dainese Racing Lady P. Estiva (front)
WHY DAINESE?
For me, the Dainese Racing Lady P. Estiva's styling, breathable internal lining and durabilty are what sold me on the brand from the beginning. On top of the small motivator of seeing all of my favorite Moto GP racers wearing the brand initially. This suit can be found in both men's and women's cuts, unfortunately, the women's sizing ran a bit small in some areas and too large in others for me. It's difficult to size a one-piece suit for women for obvious reasons of course. Therefore, when looking to purchase a one-piece suit, be prepared for possible sizing issues. It seems that this male dominated sport/hobby that we love so much, has yet to catch up with the fact that more women/girls are entering the disciplines of road racing, super-moto, enduro racing or simply street and track riding. Until this message reaches the mass motorcycle suit manufacturers, I would recommend ordering 1 or 2 sizes larger for good measure - especially if you're purchasing online.
Super-moto sliding I thought I'd
test run the Estiva Suit (2016)
It's easier to take these suits in as opposed to adding elastic/fabric to let the suit out. If in fact you choose the latter, I would strongly urge you to send your suit to a knowledgeable motorcycle suit specialist who has experience in this area.


Knowing what it feels like to hit the ground at speeds of 60 - 90+ I would not want my perforated race suit nor street jacket compromised by someone's lack of experience in stitching and working with race grade materials.

PROTECTION & COMFORT 
Constructed of race grade Cowhide leather, brand specific S1 stretch fabric for elastic inserts and CE rated Pro Shape protectors, the Racing P. Estiva suit offered many of the same great features found on their more expensive suits.

After racing and riding in several brands, I noticed Dainese was the first to incorporate elastic inserts. These are the thick layers of breathable elastic found in the areas where the rider/racer requires the most flexibility in movement. Elastic inserts can be found around the collar, under the arms and in the groin areas. In some brands, the leather is sewn leather-to-leather, causing the rider to exert more energy than needed to simply get comfortable while riding. The Dainese elastic inserts help to provide a more natural feel and decreases the time it takes to break into the riding gear. It only took a few sessions of practice for me to get comfortable in this suit and has lasted me 3 successful seasons of racing.

Most race suits and riding gear comes equipped with impact protectors found in the shoulders, elbow, and knees. Dainese's pro-shape protectors are cushioned to absorb the impact in these areas including the hips, all are placed perfectly for ease in movement. In newer suit models they've even incorporated the external aluminium shoulder protector as well. Dainese understands that riders need to focus only on the ride, not spending time readjusting their riding gear for a comfortable fit.

The "P." in the name Racing P. Estiva stands for PERFORATED which is normally worn during warmer temperatures. All riding suits come with liners, this suit liner is also perforated and built in with a nano feel for the purpose of ease in slipping the one-piece suit on in temperatures of 90+ degrees. In short, the rider doesn't even know it's there but provides an extra layer of comfort as the suit begins to take on the shapes and bends of the rider wearing it. Dainese does makes a non-perforated versions of the Estiva Race suit and other types of riding suits and jackets. Contact any D-Store in your area for more informationhttps://www.dainese.com/store-locator/.

CONCLUSION

Undoubtedly, motorcycle riding gear exists because things happen. While developing race skill and pushing limits I've become familiar with things happening in particularly, on the ground.
1st Place-AM Moto3 winner
(Summit point, WV - 2017)
From experiencing hot and wet asphalt, uneven pavement, rumple strips, grass to gravel pits, my Racing P. Estiva suit has been through it all. Walking away from each event, this suit has  assisted in helping me reach the podium several times over. I've been thankful to have the Dainese brand on my back and bottom for protection. 

Dainese prides themselves on being the leader in developing innovative, protective gear specifically targeted around the athlete. It would only make since that average road warrior and street riders would experience the same level of protection in Dainese's riding jackets, boots and gloves. My vote is in go to https://www.dainese.com/ for the experience.

    Sunday, July 9, 2017

    BIG GLOVE, Little Glove

    "YOU DON'T HAVE TO PROVE ANYTHING TO ANYONE" RIGHT❓


    Sometimes people need to prove some things to themselves. This past race wknds. participation was for ME. I needed to prove to MYSELF that I didn't lose my heart for the sport.

    I did as promised and behaved myself by staying in the back and not pushing anything which was really hard to do. All in all I had a great time on track w/my race buddies, all of the women racers looked amazing out there #girlpower.

    Sending a great big THANKS to our Race Circuit - ASRA/CCS racing Championship Cup Series Racing for always putting on the best race events for us.

    My clutch-wrist held up well w/the extra large glove for the brace to fit in (in pic) Huge thanks to Justin at Trackside Parts Club for the help. I'm glad I went out there.

    "I KNEW MY WRIST WASN'T 100% YET, I NEEDED MY HEART TO BE."

    Turn 5 at Thunderbolt - I was just taking it easy as promised.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017

    FAQ's (continuously adding info here)

    1 - HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? - I was kidnapped by a few girlfriends and taken to Myrtle Beach - Bike Week.
    My 1st ride ever on the back of a friends, friend's bike who only rode 55 mph and who couldn't see in the dark (poor thing) - In my defense I didn't know the child was blind. I drove faster than 55mph in a car on a regular basis, I knew that wasn't going to suffice. Thankfully we went to "the strip" where (there were so many bikes for show) we could only go about 12 mph. Plus it started to get dark and well I didn't wanna die at 55 mph with a blind guy (I found out the guy couldn't see well while on the strip). It was then that I sought a faster, safer, rider with much better eyesight and the ability to teach me how to maneuver NYC traffic safely. During the same summer I found a teacher. He was at least a 20 yr. street rider who had never been on track. By 2009 I was Class M licensed and ready to fly. My sense of speed was beyond beginner street rider and the bike I started on was above my skill level (which a lot of street riders hop on and find out that fact a little bit too late). Luckily, I was aware enough to know that I wanted to go faster but it wasn't going to be safe in the streets.
    http://www.absolutecycle.com/raceshop/ 
    I sought out a Track Day Organization to gain more skill on the street. From then on I've been riding and racing on track and that my friend, is how it all started for me. Currently, I am fully supported by Absolute Cycle Experience Track Day Organization

    2 - WHO TOLD YOU WHERE TO LOOK? - Google (duhhhhhh). Look up "motorcycle track day near your zip code" I didn't know the 1st thing about what I needed to get started on the track. So I actually searched for Women Track Riders. The initial search brought up only 2 women M. Paris and E. Meyers. I read their start stories and the most relevant one was Melissa Paris'. I saw all of the gear she wore, and the way she looked on the bike in those turns. Yep that's what I wanted to do. I did a little more research because I still hadn't found a way to get on track. Well I typed in the above quote and ran across a Track day Org. that frequented the closest track to NYC. Know that any track day organizations website should tell you what you need to bring for your 1st day on track. I had all of this street gear but only the helmet was acceptable for a track day. Pay attention to every thing you need or you might not be able to get on track. Some organizations rent gear but your size and sit may not be guaranteed (esp. if you're a woman)

    3 - HOW MUCH DID YOUR GEAR COST? - A lot. It's truly rider preference but I certainly recommend not skimping on your safety. My gear costs what I thought my body parts were worth. Basically, it was an investment. I still have my 2-piece Spidi Race suit (in the photo) till this day and it still fits. The boots lasted until I started racing and the gloves well... I wore those out quickly. The helmets are good for 5 years or a good drop on the floor. INVEST whether you want to just hit the track one time or become a track junkie or a racer, INVEST IN YOUR BODY. Thank goodness for Nexx North America Helmets, sponsors since 2013 check them out here  https://www.nexxnorthamerica.com/ 

    4 - DO YOU HAVE HELP IN THE PITS? -  Yes, Always. It's not like I always have a pit crew of my very own, that I can pay to be there but there has been one person that has assisted me from the beginning. Remember the blind guy who rode 55 mph? Yeah NOT HIM  (LOL) but the one who truly taught me how to ride has definitely jumped through plenty of hoops to assist where he could to be there especially since I've gotten faster. Personally, I think he digs seeing me whoop some of these guys butts. Also, I had to basically hog tie a gentleman that I call "Mr. Bishop" to assist me for the last 2 years. A former racer himself, he tells me what I need to hear and makes me think about the important things. I have a mini Pit Crew who does come through for me regularly along with my knuckle head Track Family and fellow racers, who look out for me if I need anything. WE ALL HELP ONE ANOTHER OUT NO MATTER WHAT. We know what we need. Racers are racers. I have a few "secret weapons" that i can reach out too at the drop of a hat who will surely have me covered. Overall, all racers are there to help all racers its just how we take care of each other.

    5 - YOU DON'T PAY FOR EVERYTHING YOURSELF RIGHT? Uhhh, Yes I do. 

    I used to think that also when I first started.If you're over 21 and have a full-time job or jobs and your parents never rode anything other than a bicycle than guess what? You're paying for everything on your own. Oh, SPONSORS? My sponsors are: Nexx North America Helmets, Absolute Cycle Experience and Porsche Taylor (owner operator of Black Girls Ride Magazine) These businesses p
    rovide FREE product and services to me at all times.
    http://blackgirlsride.com/
    Those providing racer support are: Vortex Racing, Moto-D Racing, and Armour Bodies Race Plastics. These companies provide discounts for their product, which means I still pay for their products just not full price. Financially, THREADER24 RACING is primarily funded by myself, and by my pit help if I can't cover something like my race entry fees. WINNING or reaching the podium pays them back 10 fold they said.  

    6 -  ARE YOU REALLY THE FIRST LICENSED BLACK WOMAN IN U.S. HISTORY TO ROAD RACE in an AMA SANCTIONED EVENT?  YES! I Joi "SJ" Harris received my race license in May of 2013. I began racing in 2014 with the American Sportbike Racing Association/Championship Cup Series a.k.a. ASRA/CCS who is Sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Association (AMA). Feel free to Google that fact also. I researched this fact in 2012, I would be the 1st of my kind in the U.S.A. (I've always posed, if anyone would like to dispute that I am not the first African American Woman in U.S. history to achieve licensing as a motorcycle road-racer to please present proof, I will gladly relinquish the crown and honor her as she so well deserves). 

    7 - DID YOU HAVE TO GO TO A RACE SCHOOL? Yes. Every racer has to attend a race school to receive a race license for their respective race circuit. These schools are usually offered the Friday of the ASRA/CCS race weekends. Absolute Cycle Experience offers Race Schools throughout the schedule of their track day events. Race Schools are not based on speed and technique, they are based on making sure that every First Time Racer is capable of executing a race track safely and knows the signals and flags that come along with racing. JUST REMEMBER: DON'T CRASH IN THE MOCK RACE. you won't get your license. (That's what I did) I went straight when I should have turned (whoops).

    8 - AREN'T YOU SCARED TO CRASH? Not quite scared, but it crosses my mind at times, but a racer can't let it stop us. Weren't we all scared of crossing the street before we understood what made us scared? It wasn't us actually walking across the street, we were more afraid of the possibility of getting hit by a moving vehicle. Once we became confident in our ability to look both ways before crossing a road the fear diminished. THAT'S IT...you have to analyze WHY YOU ARE AFRAID, then the fear is lessened.
    Track riding and racing, teaches us to analyze why we crash so that we do NOT make the same mistake again, and basically learn from it.
    We become confident in in our riding  abilities and grow. When trained properly, which I wasn't, many racers learn on dirt bikes or mini bikes because they are much more forgiving during a crash than a sport bike, and not to mention much less expensive to repair. In short when it comes to crashing, I've learned to accept that I am not the greatest rider that exists and that there is always something to learn when on track and pushing limits. Sometimes I'm going to eat it if I'm impatient. Everything takes time. Face your fears you never know what you can missing out on.

    9 - HOW DO YOU GET BACK OUT THERE AFTER A CRASH? - Me? I get back out there and go just as hard as before like nothing ever happened.
    In the last question, I mentioned how important it is for a track rider/racer to analyze why they crashed. Since I began racing I've learned the importance of this more an more. If I don't know why I crashed than I am bound to do it again and be hesitant and tentative every time I go back out. For example, if I low-side crash, the first thing I'm thinking about is what type of low-side was it. was it a front tuck or rear slide out? In which I've done plenty of one and recently experienced the other for the first time. Once I figured that out, Then I'm analyzing what I did to cause this crash. After, I get up from the crash and learn that my body is ok, more things become clear. I can say "oh, I chopped the gas", or "I grabbed the brake instead of applied it smoother", or "did I check all of my tire pressures before I went out?" "Could it have been cold tires or did I lose focus" etc. It can be anything at any given time because conditions are always changing while riding and racing on the track. In my opinion, the faster we're able to understand what we did to cause the crash, the quicker we are able to overcome it and seek to do better next time. No one ever gets out there to go sliding on the ground deliberately. JUST GO BACK OUT THERE AND GO FOR IT AGAIN THE RIGHT WAY. Don't dwell on things because crap happens. (Read my other blog post gives a bit of insight into my brain after crashing "Big Glove, little glove")




    Thursday, June 1, 2017

    Summit Point Cycle Fest: May 27 - 29

    An amazing roller coaster ride of a RACE WEEKEND from the rainy-sunny down pours, to the 🚩red-flags and WINS πŸ† RACE DAY#1 - 4 races scheduled for me. I hit the grid... AWESOME START I completed 4 laps in like 4/5th place and the red flag comes out. The race stops...We wait on hot pit for our restart and the drizzle πŸŒ§ arrives πŸ˜¨ Race#2 CANCELLED...we're sent back to the paddock πŸ™ "I was doing so well".

    The rain arrived in down pour formation. I made some new best friends Sterling & Shane at the Dunlop Motorcycle Tires/Dunlop Tires canopy "RAIN TIRES PLEASE SIR's πŸ˜‼️I missed my 2nd Race #5-Moto3, couldn't get my rains on the bike fast enough btwn races. I did make races #7 & #11 which were both "WET" events and survived. I was super proud of myself considering that I've never raced in the rain before on rains tires nor DOT's and managed to finish overall TOP 5  in all class positions. GO MEπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

    RACE DAY #2 - 2 races scheduled for me. I entered the ASRA MOTO 3 race w/o qualifying to substitute for my missed race on Day 1. No qualifying, I gridded last.
    Race #9 ASRA MOTO 3 racers to the grid. I started at the very back of the pack, weaved my way through a few on the start and commenced to stalking my prey πŸ˜ˆ Awesome battles btwn. myself and fellow ACE-Mate Sonny for 1st place in class THE GIRL WON that one  πŸ˜. GREAT RACE ROY and SONNY‼️ Absolute Cycle Experience. Called home to Markbilt Racebikes to let'em know the good news and that there was only 1 more to get through.

    ⚠️1 MORE RACE - MY LAST RACE OF THE WEEKEND...
    Race #13 500 SuperSport racers to the grid... I grid up knowing Absolute Cycle Experience Race Team coordinator and Threader24 Sponsor 
    Roy Cadoo is behind me waiting to catch me for the weekend. 

    He catches me in turn 4/5 I and I stay behind him up all the way to TURN 10 staying close I COMPLETELY FIT BEHIND MY WINDSCREEN knees and all. πŸ˜³TOTALLY. At Turn 1 I enter first, Roy's coming, I shift out, "GO SJ" shift again "GO (still no Roy) This is gonna be so cool πŸ˜" I thought. TURN 3 arrives "I SEE YOU BABY I'M COMING IN HOTπŸ”₯" 5th gear no brakes no bogging I'm like "H😳LY πŸ’© I made it πŸ˜ƒ up the hill" and then SCRAPEπŸ’₯⁉ SPLATπŸ’₯‼️ ️FLING - I'm airborneπŸ’₯POW, SLAP, gravel, sky, gravel, sky, grass, sky...and πŸ’₯SPLATπŸ’₯All I could think of during this long crash was "damn how fast was I going I'm not done crashing yet?" 

    I just wanted to lay there and let the clouds stop shaking 
    πŸ€•. My Wrist was dangling, but MY LIFE SAVING Nexx NorthAmerica/NEXX Helmets was up a little and still attached under my chinπŸ‘πŸ’— #nexxhelmets.

    I was having trouble breathing because my HIT AIR Vest from Trackside Parts Club deployed while airborne and was squeezing me letting me know that I was A-OK πŸ‘ŒπŸΎ. Yes I suffered a broken clutch wrist, but who needs that oneMY THROTTLE HAND IS STILL GOOD✊🏽SEE YOU IN JULY MY FRIENDz πŸ’πŸ½ I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE πŸ˜ˆ.


    THIS IS MOTORCYCLE ROAD RACING "you either do it or you don't." HOLD YOUR LINE ✌🏾


    http://www.ccsracing.us/venues/summit.html

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    RIDDLE ME THIS:

    IF IT WERE EASY THEN EVERYONE WOULD BE DOING IT... 😏

    Well it certainly seems like everyone is doing IT now doesn't IT? 
    Your IT, isn't the same as my IT but we all have an IT that's being done. 
    I should love my IT that I'm doing. You should love your IT that you're doing 
    yet, everyone is not doing IT.

    WHAT IS IT?



    WHAT'S YOUR IT?

    Sunday, May 14, 2017

    THE 2017 RACE SEASON IS UNDERWAY!


    FOR MY 2017 RACE DATES 
    CLICK THE LINK → SCHEDULE 


    - New Paint Scheme
    - New Sponsors
    - New Suit (not in this photo)
    - New Website (link above "SCHEDULE")

    AND SO MUCH MORE TO COME WITH STUFF IN BETWEEN 😏:

    • My MAY 27-29th CHAMPIONSHIP CUP SERIES - Summit Point Race Recap
    • A Girl's Race-Life 🏍vs Real-Life Thoughts.
    • I Went Naked...Kinda 😳
    • SJ's Motorcycle Gear Reviews (Various Blog Posts)
    • THE CONSTRUCTION OF MY THREADER24 SUPPORT STORE and more... 
    "I've received all of your email suggestions from my website and I thank you all for your encouraging words of wisdom and support. I've taken some of your suggestions and as you can see I'm on it. I HOPE YOU ENJOY MY TAKE ON LIFE SIDEWAYZon2s" - SJ

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    THOUGHTS ON THE ROAD TO DAYTONA 2017


    Finally I make this trek to Daytona International Speedway from NYC. I chose to make this trip on my own because I wasn't too sure at first that I was going but, "Later Stella (March 2017 Northeast Snowstorm) I'm blowing this joint"         Image result for daytona 200 2017
    I've been driving for about 8.5 hrs now, and made a pit stop somewhere in NC. I lean back in my car seat, sleepy but thumbing away at this BLOG of mine. Do I share what's really going on in my head, or just talk about the start of my race season? The crazy thing about it is that I can't truly give you one thought without the other AND... ARE YOU EVEN INTERESTED?  


    ARE YOU EVEN INTERESTED IN what's really going on in a racer's head? Well, just when you thought you weren't, I bet'cha you are now - THE THOUGHTS OF A RACER who happens to be a girl/woman.

    - I AM NOT here to prove anything to you. YOU don't make a difference in whether or not I come in 1st, 2nd, or 23rd Place. 

    - I AM A MOTORCYCLE ROAD RACER, A SUPERIOR ATHLETE much better than the rest when compared to the mainstream/regular athletes we see everyday. 

    - ME, REGULAR? NEVER. I have way too many unique characteristics for any sports anchor, to ever cover our races and call anyone of us, simply regular.

    MY MERE PRESENCE on the grid BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN OTHERS. As most stand by and watch us fly with a smile on their faces, very similar to the ones we wear in our helmets. WE MAKE YOU WISH YOU KNEW HOW TO DO IT LIKE US. 

    - I AM A MOTORCYCLE ROAD RACER, ONE WHO COMMITS turns, curves, obstacles, there is no turning back once we are in it. We are the truest in living out the phrase "GO HARD OR GO HOME" most of us go home when the races are over, some battered some bruised but guaranteed to be SMILING ALL THROUGH IT.

     I AM A MOTORCYCLE ROAD RACER COMPOSED OF EVERYTHING GREATER THAN ME, RISK, LIMITS, FORCES AND SHEAR WILL. 

    THE THOUGHT'S OF A MOTORCYCLE ROAD RACER on the ROAD TO DAYTONA 2017...
    "IT IS MY DESTINY TO BE GREAT" 
    and to have fun while doing it. I'll see you going SIDEWAYZ my friend. 
    xoxoxo - SJ #24

    Image may contain: one or more people and motorcycle
    DON'T FORGET TO HAVE FUN! 
    * SMILE REALLY BIG IN YOUR HELMET πŸ˜ WHEN RACING! 
    ...and always LπŸ‘€K for the people w/the camera.

    My FUN photo! πŸš΄πŸ’¨Captured by none other than the amazing photography team 

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    ABSOLUTE CYCLE BECOMES AN OFFICIAL SPONSOR


    SJ's long time Track Family Absolute Cycle Experience (A.C.E.)        offers a steady home with their track day organization,                    school and race  team.

    " I can certainly call ACE home, this is where my desire to race began" - SJ

    While SJ has had the honor of experiencing most of the track day organizations that frequent her (closest to) home track, ACE has been the organization that has offered the most available training days to SJ since earning her CCS Race License in 2013.

    "I would like to thank Roy Cadoo and the Absolute Cycle Experience Race Team for this amazing opportunity." - SJ Harris, Threader24 Racing

    THREADER 24 is looking forward to the 2017 race season. It is going to be an AMAZING EXPERIENCE - ABSOLUTELY!

    "CHECK OUT OUR UPCOMING 2017 TRAINING SESSION WITH A.C.E. 
    THIS MARCH 27th at NJMP's -THUNDERBOLT RACEWAY
    ABSOLUTE CYCLE EXPERIENCE TRACK DAY SCHEDULE