I'm doing my first track day, and stuff.

edited May 2010 in Chit chat
Next Weds. I am doing a track day, I am riding my motorcycle around Cadwell Park race track. It's a training day for road legal bikes only, no slick tyres etc allowed. High speed rider training.

I'm a bit nervous about it, but. Ideally I won't crash, hope I don't, insurance won't pay out for a track accident.

The following week I am riding to France, and I've never ridden a bike abroad before, riding to Trois, wherever that is I have no idea, I'm going with a couple of mates on their bikes.

Oh, and I've also applied for a new job.... part-time Data Entry Clerk, which would be at least a step away from unskilled manual labour, and something to put on my c.v in addition to my volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau.

I wrote a one page CV out the other day, specifically targeting the date entry job, who knows...

The CAB voluntary job is going okay, six months training before I did it, and I passed an on the job assessment the other day. I hope it carries some weight, cos my track record from when I left school until fairly recently is a bit rubbish.
Post edited by thx1138 on

Comments

  • edited May 2010
    Sounds really cool, have fun dude that's the most important thing :)
    You can't expect me to have lunch with a man who's favourite part of the chicken is the right wing!
  • edited May 2010
    My abiding memory of Cadwell Park is when I was at a race meeting with my Dad (who races F2 sidecars, although at the time I think he was racing Forgotten Era sidecars, i.e. early 1970s vintage machines). We were all staying in the "Paddock Hilton" (a really ratty caravan with the back cut out so you could stuff the sidecar inside), and it was about 3am, and I was absolutely dying for a slash.

    So I got up and carefully crept over the half a dozen or so sleeping bodies on the floor of this caravan, and headed over towards the toilet block...

    ...forgetting the paddock was sort of "terraced" with two or three levels for the parked trailers/caravans/lorries etc. In the utter darkness, I unexpectedly stepped into thin air.

    It's difficult not to piss yourself when you're dying for the loo and suddenly find yourself stepping on ground that isn't there and falling, however briefly, but somehow I managed :-)
  • edited May 2010
    Well, I survived Cadwell Park. Dunno if these photos will show up, I've ordered some high res ones from the chap anyway if they don't.

    http://trackdaydigitalimages.com/120510cbs/index.html

    l43.jpg
    l105.jpg
    l51.jpg
    l81.jpg

    It's an insane track, it's narrow and twisty. Car drivers might not get what I'm trying to say, but you have to look where you want a bike to go not where it's going, and it's hard to do well at speed, you go round the chichane heading towards "the mountain" and all you can see is tarmac and sky, and you can't see what is over the brow of the hill! Then your wheels leaves the ground and you are into hall bends and then a hair pin, and I hate cornering downhill!

    I pitted early in my afternoon sessions and went home, I'd had enough and I was knackered, the g-force going up park straight is insane. The morning sessions were great, more restrained heavy emphasis on training, the afternoon free for alls I didn't like as much, but all in all it was a great day.

    Only 2 or 3 people crashed and there were no injuries which was good.

    the photos might show up, or it might just be a load of red x's LOL I'll post some high res ones in a week or so.
  • edited May 2010
    thx1138 wrote: »
    Car drivers might not get what I'm trying to say, but you have to look where you want a bike to go not where it's going, and it's hard to do well at speed,

    As a car driver that has done a fair bit of track racing (mostly touring cars) and loads of trackdays with both my own car and loan cars including single seater's I do know exactly what you mean because its the same.
    You don't care where you are, you worry about where you want to be. Single seater's are worse than bikes because your lower down and its much harder to spot the apex.

    First few laps I always go quite slowly just to try and find the right line for my style of driving and the car i'm in at the time. After that, coming to your blind hill I know where I need the car to be and take it on faith that I will be in the right place on the track for the next corner, as your trust builds then so will your speed.

    It's also worth finding out how good your brakes are (and I imagine especially important to get the balance right for front/back braking on a bike) by picking your braking spot and as you gain confidence move that point 5 yards closer to the corner on each lap, you will soon find your ideal spot to leave the braking as late as you can but still retain enough control to be able to put the power back on as you go through the corner. The other mistake is being in the wrong gear coming out of the corner so you get sluggish power take up until the revs get up.

    Do enough laps and you start to get into a rhythm and it will get smoother all the time.
  • edited May 2010
    i hope you did plenty of wheelies.
  • edited May 2010
    Nice pictures, glad you had a good time and had no injuries.
  • edited May 2010
    mile wrote: »
    i hope you did plenty of wheelies.

    that would have gotten me black flagged :( (I can't do them anyway) except power wheelies which I did a couple of on the back straight
  • edited May 2010
    thx1138 wrote: »
    Well, I survived Cadwell Park. Dunno if these photos will show up, I've ordered some high res ones from the chap anyway if they don't.
    Nice pics. I've never been to Cadwell (not even to spectate), watched plenty of BSB races there on the telly though. You should have a go at Brands next - they do frequent track days on the Indy circuit which is nice and short so you get lots of laps. Paddock Hill bend is a fairly terrifying prospect on a bike though :-o
    ADJB wrote: »
    It's also worth finding out how good your brakes are (and I imagine especially important to get the balance right for front/back braking on a bike)
    The optimum brake balance on a bike is always 100% front - just to the point where the back wheel is lifting and skipping over the tarmac. The physics involved is very different to cars (non-motorcyclists often don't get the fact that you have to push the handlebars left to go around a right hand bend, f'rinstance). Which makes it all the more annoying when you get people like Rossi jumping in an F1 car and immediately setting reasonably competitive laptimes, or Schumacher winning KTM races. The have absolutely no business being good at both I tell you!
  • edited May 2010
    Always wanted to have a go at a track day but I never got off my arse and did it.

    <
    slacker
  • edited May 2010
    Well worth doing (I'm sure thx is probably still grinning from ear to ear as a result of his). I don't ride much at all these days (just enough to keep the bike's battery from running flat really) as the older I get, the less immortal I feel.

    I still remember all the technical stuff though, even if I never was particularly good at actually implementing it...
  • edited May 2010
    A few higher res images, without the watermark

    http://www.trackdaydigitalimages.com/
    120510_2526.jpg

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  • edited May 2010
    Good quality pics.

    Amazingly clean bike too. Really really clean.

    Oh, and on a rather lame note, I took my tenere 'offroading' this weekend..... I got about 200 yards up this rocky track then bottled it and turned back. I suck.
  • edited May 2010
    Slacker wrote: »
    I took my tenere 'offroading' this weekend..... I got about 200 yards up this rocky track then bottled it and turned back.
    Was that an organised thing or did you just go and find a green lane somewhere? I've always fancied a go at a bit of offroading (even though I would definitely, definitely fall off).

    I don't really have a suitable bike for that any more though. I've half thought about doing one of those BMW off-road courses in Wales, like wot Ewan and Charlie did with that Paris-Dakar bloke, but they (understandably) cost a bloody fortune -- probably cheaper to buy an old shitter and find my own mountain to crash on...
  • edited May 2010
    http://trailworld.co.uk/

    I'd like to do that ^^ but I can't afford it this year (and I'd planned to do some speedway/flat track training this year too, but that's been shelved for this year now)

    defo can't afford this either
    http://www.trailblazers-spain.com/


    I am riding my bike to France at the weekend though.
  • edited May 2010
    thx1138 wrote: »
    http://trailworld.co.uk/

    I'd like to do that ^^
    Thanks for that... that actually looks pretty reasonable (obviously not cheap, but it's more than a couple of hundred quid less than the BMW-Motorrad thing, which is a step in the right direction). Mind you I'd also have to factor in buying a cheap motocross helmet too as the shared ones at those sorts things are always rancid!!
    I am riding my bike to France at the weekend though.
    Hope you've remembered to have it converted to LHD :D
  • edited May 2010
    54?13'7.96"N 2? 5'18.46"W
    Google earth coordinates of the trail - starts from there and heads north towards Semer water and there's another trail from near the lake that heads back down.

    It wasn't an organised thing. I'd just passed the trail loads of times on my other bikes and wanted to try it.

    As for falling off - I try never to spend more than a grand on a bike these days. This way I have the moral high ground of riding a zzr1100 all through winter on black ice and not worrying about binning it.
  • edited May 2010
    Slacker wrote: »
    54?13'7.96"N 2? 5'18.46"W
    Google earth coordinates of the trail - starts from there and heads north towards Semer water and there's another trail from near the lake that heads back down.
    Heh. I looked at that on Google Earth and thought "that doesn't look so bad"... then I tilted the view down and realised how steep it was. Looks like a lot of fun, but a bit of a trek from here and if I ever did it, it'd have to be on a bike that I was happy to break (and preferably with nobody watching).
    As for falling off - I try never to spend more than a grand on a bike these days. This way I have the moral high ground of riding a zzr1100 all through winter on black ice and not worrying about binning it.
    I've been known to drop bikes at low speed just because a pot hole 3ft away looked at me a bit funny... I really wouldn't fancy my chances on black ice. I tried the rufty-tufty ride-all-year-round thing but it definitely didn't agree with me. No moral high ground here!
  • edited May 2010
    Today I rode my motorcycle from Troyes in France, to here..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laon
    Picardie_Laon1_tango7174.jpg

    where there was a vintage vehicle rally, and a load of old British cars, then onwards to Calais, stopped at a war cemetry, then onwards to Calais and back to blighty. Barreling up the motorway, my visor covered in flies sun right in my eyeline, somehow missed the turning for the Dartford Tunnel, I'm not that faimilar with it as I don't usually travel on the M20 and wasn't sure where it was, realised I'd missed it and thought feck it, I'll ride right through the city of London instead of doing a u-turn, how hard can it be, even though I've never done it before :D

    It was a bit mental, but I do filter a fair bit anyway, and eventually found my way over Vauxhall Bridge, and onto the M1.

    413miles from Troyes in France, to my house in Bedford via central London, and I think that might be the furthest single trip I've ever made, I'm not sure. About 830miles in all this weekend,

    Riding the roads that we rode when we did in France was easy, most of the French just pull over and let you past. I came over the brow of a hill at speed, and oh crap... Police driving in front of me... a hand came out the window and waved us past :D

    just before a speed camera, there is a really huge sign warning you about the speed camera which is nice.

    Spent the weekend riding about in France, it's great (though we didn't go near any big cities) and easier than I thought, but I did make a couple of "leftie" mistakes but the road captain and tail end charlie put me right again. :D roundabouts are easy peasy, dunno what I was worried about. But doing a u-turn in some tiny village, and it's too easy to be on the wrong side of the road again.

    tbh I think I prefer riding in France than I do England, from what I've seen of it.
  • edited May 2010
    Sounds nice. I've never ridden outside of the UK myself. Kept meaning to... but never have.

    830 miles in a weekend ain't bad going either! I've probably barely done that in total this year, what with all the crap weather (yeah, I know: "fair weather rider" - that's me, that is).

    I used to commute into central London by bike fairly regularly, and the first couple of times I did it I was cacking myself. 99% of drivers are fine though, although I did have to have a friendly word with the driver of a range rover once to ask her if she'd be so kind as to move her vehicle backwards slightly as she'd stopped it on my left boot (I might have put it in slightly stronger terms than that at the time).

    You do also get a tiny minority of heart-attack-victims-in-waiting who take massive exception to you filtering past them in heavy traffic (esp. during the rush hour) and will do everything in their power to either stop you, kill you or just give it the full son et lumiere with accompanying hand gestures to make themselves feel better about being stuck. Giving them a cheery wave as they disappear in the mirrors is my preferred retaliation :) The other side of the coin is the Moses effect you often get with car drivers going out of their way to let you through in a big jam. :)

    Wow. This thread is really making me want to get properly back into biking... almost forgot how much I enjoyed it...
  • fogfog
    edited May 2010
    thx1138 wrote: »
    tbh I think I prefer riding in France than I do England, from what I've seen of it.

    the roads are better for a start AND when you join a dual carriage way etc.. they give way to the traffic coming in..

    only thing is they stop right at the last minute at round abouts the ****s ;)


    so how was the M1... a road I know very well, up to junction 8-10..hehe..I went to leicester on it I think.. errm and newport pagnell?

    you prolly go ace cafe also? thats down the road from me.
  • edited May 2010
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  • edited May 2010
    fog wrote: »
    t

    so how was the M1... a road I know very well, up to junction 8-10..hehe..I went to leicester on it I think.. errm and newport pagnell?

    there are speed and lane restrictions, but I went in the single lane for motorway traffic not turning off and chilled out, made sure I never caught up the cars ahead and no one behind me very relaxing actually LOL :) played silly buggers lying down on the tank, then leaning right back, standing on the pegs, sitting on the pillion seat doing every trick in the book to have a chance to stretch and ease the aches and pains without stopping
  • edited May 2010
    Nice pics

    Did I see a purple Morris Minor in that one with all the ye olde cars?
    You can't expect me to have lunch with a man who's favourite part of the chicken is the right wing!
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