However, I don't think track days are any kind of answer for the carnage that occurs on mountain roads. It's all about riding within your limits. And riding up to Palomar is particularly tricky because of the steep switch-backs combined with straights long-enough to get way over your head in the approaching corner.
The skills part that sends riders off the road is still about riding within your limits. The real carnage is caused by trying to pass when you don't really know if the road is clear up ahead. I've seen a lot of dumb maneuvers over the last 30 years at Mt. Palomar, the Ortega highway, up to the Rock Store, the Sierras and Marin County. The problems are passing when the road is not clear and riding over your limits. Then, of course, there's just bad luck.
A useful track day would include having volunteer car drivers drive around the track in the opposite direction on the other side of the track.
Huh? The Discovery Channel? You sure you didn't miss the Statue of Liberty bike at tech inspection?
They showed up without the Teutels and Billy Lane in tow?
Actually, that would make some interesting TV: Custom Chopper track day.
The Rules: 100-inch wheelbases. 750lbs. minimum. Rear brake only. Beer.
(Bonus points: Suicide clutch, jockey shift, ***** riding in back.)
Could it be that Discovery Channel is even starting to whiff the foul stench of overexposure? Could this spell the beginning of the end of the custom builder plague? Will Mikey Teutel abandon ship and get his own daytime talk show? Will Billy Lane finally realize that he's starting to look like a bloated racoon carcass and put on a shirt, fer cris sake? Will Mitch Bergeron please go back to the godforsaken wasteland he came from (Canada)?
Professional instruction and track days have taught me respect for speed and how stupid it is to "race" in an uncontrolled environment. Public roads are not a personal road course. However, I wish there were more tracks for us all to play.
Improving track skills would allow you to go faster on the street for the same risk level. But, you still have to ride within your limits. Also, consider that one of the reasons you get better on the track is because you practice going around the same corner, so you know what to expect and how to approach it. You can do the same thing on the street. You just can't predict what traffic will do.
...yeah, he may think so... but it is also very unlikely that he would have met his present wife (however long that may last!)... and, I don't think that anyone forces him to do all the shows he's been doing... he's a sell-out... much like all of the ones mentioned!
...they may not be the general answer for the carnage, but for me they are a good individual answer... I like to "let it fly" on the track and not have to worry about oncoming traffic... I also believe that it increases the control one has over his/her bike...
Yet, you are right about the amount of "onknowns" on the road... you may be aware of your own limits, yet you never know the unpredictability of others...
Btw. I rode up the east grade today and went down the south grade... I counted a total of 12 bikes and one cop car in the process... the recent crack-down seems to have slowed the lunacy a little!