Excited to the max that I finally got thin enough for a reasonably priced second hand leather onesie I booked a track day at Mallory Park in October.
I was nervous and excited as I had never ridden on a track but knew that my mission to be a road racer would start here. There were loads of blokes, in fact I was one of 3 ladies on the circuit that day. No problem and everyone was so helpful… we were all desperate to get one more ride of the season in! I met a fantastic lady called Audrey who is part of ‘motorbike ladies’ group on Facebook. It’s fab that all over the country more of us finally put faces to the profile pics.
The day was foggy as hell and after lunch it finally lifted and it seemed a few people had gone, great! More room on the track. I was most grateful for Audrey’s friend for sorting out my tyres.
Lesson 22. Reduce tyre pressures A LOT!
I had reduced the pressure from road riding and 1st lap was ok. 2nd lap round and I was feeling pretty confident after hooning in the country lanes (on my way there and generally about) so I knew what I and the bike could do, then after the chicane I opened her up on a straight and lost the back end and was drastically thrown left, somehow corrected it throwing myself right and back again! Fuck!!!! I wasn’t even sure how I stayed on. Oddly enough as I approached the hair pin I saw a rider all in black leather going past and giving me a thumbs up. When I watched the go pro footage back when I got home there was noone there… weird!
When I got back to the pits the guys checked my pressure and it was in the 40’s!! Was like trying to ride a helicopter, so after reducing the pressure even more I was back out and on it.
I was very grateful for the heated grips and there were some benefits to be riding a road bike such as being practically inaudible on the decibel reader. The twin factory exhaust was the quietest on the track and whilst other fella’s were being turned away, baffled and their can’s well and truly filled with all manner of material to be let on I was happily ready in the pit to ride. There weren’t many of us that hadn’t come with the bikes on a trailer or in a van, I would consider that for the next one. You can’t really push it when you are hundreds of miles from home and not even I am sadistic enough to smash up my ride!
I met a lovely man called Terry who had only starting riding in his late 50’s and had bought himself a blade (CBR1000) as his first bike. We drank tea in the warm and he told me about his first track day at Brands Hatch (I had been there the weekend or two before to watch the BSB final so was quite aquatinted with the track layout) he had come off just after the first corner and smashed his new pride and joy up! NO! he fixed it and was taking it rather more patiently round the track this time!
The cafe at the track was run by a group of lovely old dears who were so helpful and rather tearful as this was their last track day too and they only had the Boxing Day special ride before they retired. They clearly loved the bikers, racers and general atmosphere and had done a grand job keeping everyone in strong tea and mountains of chips with gravy!
I went out for a super session with one of the No Limits instructors which was a great idea, I never got my knee down which was basically the advice, either slow down or get my arse off the seat as my foot pegs were scrapping and my toes dangerously close to being wrenched from my the rest of my body. I don’t want to slow down so I think I will have to squat my way through the rest of the winter ready for hanging off! Eeeek!!! I suppose then I will get some nice photos though 😉
Now I’m no Rossi but I was good in the corners but even redlining the dear Fz6 she was not fast enough to outrun the gsxr and R1s. It made me really sad watching the gopro footage. I mean so sad that I sulked for days. The track wasn’t the top buzz I had been waiting so long for, I was just disappointed in old faithful. I had finally out ridden the bike, it was an awful moment. Without wanting to cause any more distress there was only one solution.
A track bike…. Merry Christmas to me… introducing black beauty 🙂
The VTR 1000 should do the job, a nifty little twin instead of the 4 cylinder will add torque especially on the shorter, windier tracks. See you out there next summer folks. Ride on 🙂