22 April 2011

The motorcycle post you've all (not) been waiting for

Vrooom! (Yes that's really me on the bike.)
I know The Readership is not, as a whole, enamored with the motorcycle-related blog posts. So I try and keep them to a relative minimum, reporting back only when there's something that might have a wider, more general appeal. Sometimes I even succeed. This is probably not one of those times.

Took the new-to-me bike (2007 CBR600RR) to the track this week, rode it around as fast as I could. The drive up to Buttonwillow Raceway was a bit of a hike, especially with a trailer (speed limit: 55, actual speed for most of trip: ~64), but I had good company in the truck and we didn't hit much traffic. When we got there we checked into the palatial Motel 6, which was well equipped with security cameras and less well equipped with pillows and similar. A not-very-good night's sleep later we were up early for registration and tech inspection.

Tech consisted of the guy admiring the zip ties I used to attach my front plastics (race ready, bitches!) and checking that my throttle wouldn't stick open. Once that was done it was time to hit the pits and warm up the tires.

For the first session all the n00bs had to follow an instructor. We would trail him around the track and get a feel for the layout, and maybe the racing line (or not, since my instructor was useless). It was clear from the start that my instructor didn't know what the hell he was doing. We did one lap at a tedious pace with no regard for the proper line. That's no help at all. For the second lap our instructor decided to take off at a pace so fast we caught the group in front of us. Umm, why is this dipshit even out here? Once we caught that group they pulled in, and the instructor caught the NEXT GROUP too. What the rush was I do not know. I do know that it was complete rubbish as a first session and I was annoyed when I got back to the pits. 

Session two we went out on our own and things were better. I got a feel for the track, found some rhythm, and picked up the pace. After session 2 I got tips from my riding buddy and actually started turning some decent laps. I only got passed 3 or 4 times the whole rest of the day. 

At one point I passed a guy on a fancy Ducati on the outside in a sweeping turn; got a big kick out of that. I could have passed him under braking but it's more fun when you're actually in the corner.

Next time I hope to go faster.

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