Mommy, But I Don’t Need The Clutch Anymore

I’ve been practicing high-performance upshifts for quite a few weeks now, ever since I read about it in ‘Total Control’. I was always too chicken to actually not reach for the clutch, so I practiced my timing (staying under 8000 RPM, cause I’m still in the greater break-in period on my baby) and preloading the shifter peg and closing the throttle then clutching, and snicking the shifter into the next gear. I was getting pretty good, where I couldn’t even feel the shift and looked down at my instrument cluster just to confirm that I actually was in a higher gear. I used the clutch lever less and less and by the time I had it down (most of the time) I was down to twitching my index and middle fingers on the lever, but not moving it by much. Today, I decided that it was time to actually NOT TOUCH the darn thing during an upshift sequence. I was scared. I visualized myself missing the shift and jerking it and falling off the bike or something. In other words I was totally paranoid. I took a deep breath and willed my fingers to stay curled around the grip and not reach for the clutch. Preloaded the shifter, got the RPMs up, closed the throttle half way, put upwards pressure on the peg at the same time and snick, it was in, and rolled the throttle back open to its previous postion. BAM! That was awesome. Couldn’t even feel it, it was so smooth. So I tried it once more. BAM! Sweet! Ok, one more… yeah! Oh FREAKIN’ YEAH! I made it all the way to 6th before I realized where I was and how fast I was going, that I slowed my silly butt back down. No cagers around now. I slow way down, shift to 2nd and start the entire sequence again (minus the drag race start from the red light). Smooth as silk. I was absolutely elated! Wow. Then I got into town and there was traffic again. I rolled along minding my own biz and still gloating in my own personal victory when I see a copper up ahead pointing a radar gun straight at me. What a ‘hole! I freaked and looked at my speedo 43 in a 35. Then the GPSr 38.7 in a 35. I ignored him and kept going. He actually, turned and followed my line of travel. Guess my butt just looks fast and he didn’t get a lock the first time. Geez. I know better than to speed in FRONT of the cop shop, no less. After crossing the raised railroad tracks (which are a blast going over at around 40 while standing on the pegs hehehe… it’s like a mini ramp) I tried the clutchless upshifts again, and jerked it. Ick! And here I thought I had it. Consistency has always been a problem for me…. nothing happened tho… she jerked and business went on as usual. I didn’t highside, I didn’t fall off, none of that stuff I thought might happen actually happened. So she jerked, big deal. I’m such a paranoid chick at times. Guess that helps keep me out of serious trouble. That dumb fear’s probably the difference between me pushing the envelope slowly and punching right through it. I will carefully keep pushing my boundaries. I like to evolve. Evolving is fun. =D

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