Going racing

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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:09 pm

Well, that's it. Something I'll never be able to do again: last weekend I did my first race. Was it worth the time, money and effort? Was it fun? Everything I hoped it'd be? We'll come to that.

Seven months ago, in September 2014, somebody planted the idea in my head. Stop playing games. Endless trackdays. Do it properly. Go racing. November saw my ACU test done and licence arrive, December saw an extra bike in the garage and after many, many evenings, weekends and grazed knuckles in the garage, by March I had something roughly like a race bike. And then, the weekend before I was due to race for the first time, I crashed it while testing at a trackday. Cue a couple of frantic weeks of repair work and shopping for parts, ending with yet another bike in the garage being cannibalised for parts over Easter. Entry in, van booked, repairs done, and ready for another go.

Friday started early, picking up and then loading the van, and by lunchtime I was on the road. Cadwell Park is a long slog from south west London, six hours' drive in traffic, and after a lively dash down some single-track roads to avoid jams I parked up in the paddock at next to Mark's tent. Mark is the cousin of a friend of mine, and the three of us are all racing for the first time this season, all in the pre-injection 700 championship class with North Glos racing. Not superbikes and not MZs, it's a keen but relatively cheap class to play in, and not a bad place to start.

I had just enough time to unload the van, sort a few things out and take the bike down for scrutineering. I'd spent the week leading up to the event waiting for the nerves to kick in. They didn't appear until Thursday evening, and it was nothing to do with the race itself. I'd converted the road bike myself, with some professional help with the engine, and the ACU Road Race rulebook is long and detailed. My main worry wasn't that I'd get hurt or look like an idiot on track, it was that scrutes wouldn't let me race the bike at all.

My fears proved unfounded, with just a minor grumble about hollow tips on the foot pedals and plastic dustcaps on the tyre valves instead of metal ones. I promised to sort them out and that was it, my technical control card was signed. A few minutes later my kit had been approved and I was in the race office signing on for the first time. All simple formalities, for the most part, and I've done a lot of trackdays and gone to a lot of races as a (mostly quite drunk) spectator, but as a first-timer at a serious event it was all a bit daunting. Still, job done and I'd pretty much finished setting up in the paddock when my support crew for the weekend started to arrive. Paul (aka Eddie) was going to be around until Saturday afternoon, seeing me through practice and the first race, and Andy and Adie were around most of the weekend. Along with Mark and a few other people I already knew in the paddock, I was far from alone. After a quick dinner in town I got an early and unusually sober night, catching what sleep I could while the wind and rain howled round the shelter.

Saturday started before 7am as I packed up the tent, unloaded the bike from the van and got my head ready for first practice. Each race day starts with short practice sessions to meet ACU rules, and nobody gets to race without doing at least two timed laps. By the time Eddie crawled out of his tent I'd had the bike through noise testing, got the tyre warmers on and was about to get kitted up. And then the rain came back with a vengeance. Practice was going to be wet and windy.

We quickly swapped wheels - everyone has a spare set with rain tyres fitted and I was no exception. And then, minutes before my session was due to start, I noticed two metal tubes on the ground next to the back wheel. Early R6s have an odd arrangement with a roller bearing in the rear wheel, and the inner collar and spacer can easily fall out. That meant there was no inner race on the wheel bearing, so the wheel had to come back out. With perfect timing the wind picked up, and while Eddie and a neighbour fought to stop the shelter flying away, I quickly got to work, helmet on and fully kitted up. As I took the sprocket carrier off I realised I was an idiot - the spacer and collar were from the wheel I'd taken off, not the one I'd put on. I had moments left to fit the wheel, get my gloves on and head down to the assembly area, leaving Eddie to fight against the wind.

Practice felt much like the fast group at a cold, wet trackday, with one big difference - rather than an orderly exit from the assembly area onto the circuit, when the gate opened it was like bulls being let out of a pen. This wasn't playtime anymore. This was serious. And conditions were horrible. The rain had stopped but the circuit was like ice and even rain tyres struggle when stone cold. Coming out of Barn onto the pit straight, as I wound the throttle on, the motor bogged down briefly then came alive, spinning up the rear wheel and lurching it sideways. Taking it steady, I felt for grip and eased myself into the session. Entering the Mountain for the first time the yellow flags were out, and the track was full of marshals picking up a bike laying on its side halfway up the slope. My head wasn't quite in the right place after the last-minute panic in the paddock and the weather wasn't helping, but I needed the practice - my last visit had ended in the crash that ruled me out of racing at Brands the month before - so I stayed out for the session and tried to get comfortable. At the time I felt tense and slow, and my times were nothing to shout about, but looking at the results now they were actually relatively OK - 18th of 30, ahead of some who would demolish me in the dry later on.

Session over, I parked up in the paddock, added enough fuel to see me through the next race, and got busy cooking bacon rolls for breakfast. Racing, it turns out, is a bit like being a gerbil - hours of doing nothing punctuated by short bursts of frenzied activity. With practice over by 10am, and my first race not til around 2pm, I had time to kill, and it was mostly spent walking round the paddock looking at other people thinking the same thing: what the hell was the weather going to do, and what tyres would we need? Fortunately the rain held off, and the rest of the day was cold and windy, but dry. After what seemed like an eternity, the call came over the paddock tannoy - race 9 to the assembly area. It was time to pop my racing cherry.

I've ridden into the assembly area at Cadwell 80 or 90 times over the years for trackday sessions, but it never really meant anything, just a bit of fun. This felt different. At the gate I was told my grid position, which I already knew from the entry list in the programme. The first ten places go in championship order, and the rest are sorted by the postman - the last person to get their entry in goes at the back of the grid, and that was me in 15th place. Or, at least, I thought it was. The gate opened and we rode onto the circuit and down to the grid, where I took up my place at the back. There were no numbers by the markings so I stopped at the back and looked at the gaps ahead, wondering which idiot was in the wrong place. I hadn't realised four more had entered too late to get in the programme, and I was one row back from where I should have been. Still, I didn't mind - it was my first race, starting from the back would just mean nobody carving past me on the way to the first corner. And so the green flag was waved and we were off for the warmup lap. Warmup is meant to be taken at near race pace, and I quickly realised I'd missed a rare chance for a practice start as we took a lap at a pace that would terrify a novice at a trackday but felt quite comfortable on a circuit I knew well, and which was now completely dry.

I barely had time to react as the lights came on, almost wondering where everyone else was off to when they moved. But that was it. Lights out. Go. Go! GO! I watched as most of the pack screamed off ahead of me, took the first couple of corners carefully to avoid trouble, and then got my head down. I passed Mark towards the end of the back straight and spent the rest of the race trying to stay ahead of the bike I could hear behind me through every corner. I counted the laps down, pushing as hard as I could despite feeling tense and nervous, knowing this was the same circuit, bike, tyres and weather that had seen me on my arse just weeks before. Five laps, four, three, two, one, over the Mountain for the last time, through the last corner and I was across the line. That was it. My first finish. I was officially a racer. And I was completely exhausted. Sitting around all morning, the wind howling, too tense to eat or drink, I was dehydrated and tired, rookie mistakes. But I'd finished a race. I wasn't last. I hadn't been lapped. One off the bucket list. Job done.

Well, not quite done, there were two races to go before teatime. Four hours later, after ten more races and a few delays, the call came again. This time I was 16th on the grid - results in the first race deciding the grid for the second - and having started 18th in the first by mistake, I was two places up. I found the right spot, was ready for the lights and got away. Not a good start, but could have been worse, made up one place, and got to work. Another difference from a trackday - the pace is relentless, every corner counts, every straight matters, no time to relax, no chance to check your head after an iffy corner. I felt better than the earlier race, quicker, less tense, but everyone else seemed quicker still, and after I glanced back to see a bike behind me. I thought I was about to be lapped, and foolishly backed off a little, waiting, and then saw the bike I'd kept at bay in the previous race shoot past and start to pull a gap. I couldn't quite keep up, but a target to chase helped me focus and I tried to keep the bike in sight for the rest of the race. Last lap. Two corners to go and yellow flags warned me that Mark was on the grass at the old Hairpin. Last corner. Pit straight. On the gas. Chequered flag and in. I wasn't last again, I'd been passed by a slower bike, but I'd beaten an R1 and it wasn't a novice either. And this was a race that counted - the first had been a qualifier but this was a race with championship points. More importantly, it was worth a signature for my record card - I had the first of the ten I needed to lose my novice jacket and move up a grade to Clubman.

The schedule meant I'd have two races to rest, take a drink, refuel and be ready for the last race of the day. But the weather and delays over the day meant we'd run out of time, and the remaining races would have to wait til the morning. It was time to pack up, open a beer and relax after a long day. Suddenly I felt hungry - all day I'd been trying to force down morsels of food, a biscuit here, a mini sausage roll there, my hollow stomach crying out for me to eat but the constant background adrenaline meaning I had no appetite. But with the racing over I was only too happy to head up the paddock to Andy and Adie's pikey palace for a meat feast on the barbecue.

Sunday started early again, but the still weather overnight meant I'd got more sleep and had a clear head for my second day as a racer. The extra races meant a compressed schedule and fewer sessions for practice. I started the bike to warm the engine up, got changed into my leathers, and then noticed the oil light. The bike has a known fault on one cylinder and drinks oil, and I'd forgotten to check it the night before. The R6 has a dipstick rather than a sight glass, and lockwire means everything takes longer, so I had to work quickly to top up the oil, re-check it, and re-do the lockwire on the dipstick and filler cap before getting my lid and gloves on, warmers off, the bike off its stands and getting out for practice.

Dry practice was less grim than the previous day but I was low on fuel and only got three timed laps before pulling in, bottom of the timesheet. I didn't have long to get more fuel, hydrate myself and get ready for the Newcomer race, postponed from the day before. The Newcomer races are open to anyone already entered in another class with less than two years' experience, and is mostly novices. With two races merged there was a wide mix of machines and abilities, with everything from teenagers on 30 horsepower 125s at the back to cutting-edge 200+ horsepower superbikes at the front. I clearly wasn't going to be troubling the front runners at my pace on a bike from the last century, and the quick guys were faster than the winners in my main class, but the grid was full and I was in the middle. Lights out, full throttle, up from first to second, and then the gearbox jammed, I couldn't change up. I backed off, hooked third as a few bikes passed me, and joined the eight-abreast fray in the first corner. The bike in front, a GSXR750 I'd been stuck behind in practice, did something - moved, slowed, I can't remember what, and I backed off slightly to avoid it. The bike behind me came alongside, there was contact, a clunk, the bike shook, and I looked down to see my clutch lever pointing skywards. With bikes close either side I bashed the lever back down, held a line, and two corners later the pack stretched out along the back straight, faster bikes vanishing over the crest in the distance.

I spent the next few laps hunting down the slower bikes that had got ahead of me at the start. First a VFR400, then a trio of SV650 Minitwins, catching them slowly through the corners, faster along the straights, and finally diving past on the brakes. My first chance to put in proper overtakes, helped a bit by a power advantage, the first two races having given me time to get my head up to speed and the first day nerves having mostly dissipated. As I pulled up in the paddock and got the bike on its stand, I actually bounced up and down with joy. I hadn't troubled the front but, again, I hadn't been lapped, I'd put in some clean passes, beaten some bigger and quicker bikes, and, crucially, the postponement meant I'd got a finish under my belt before lunchtime and was eligible for a second signature towards my licence. That was it, mission accomplished - two days, two signatures and a fifth of the way towards Clubman.

A couple of hours later it was time for the second pre-injection qualifier. Again, due to the compressed schedule, races had been merged, our bikes being bumped down the grid by the Open 600 class at the front. Those boys are quick, some using the club races to keep busy between national championship rounds. I'd done the maths and with them lapping 25 seconds faster than me, I knew I was going to be caught after about five laps, and be caught hard. With that in mind, I made up a couple of places at the start, fighting the gearbox again, and settled down into the race. Five laps in I glanced back and saw what I'd been expecting, took a steady line through Barn and onto the straight and watched as the leader shot past me like I was standing still. The second and third came through soon after as I tipped in at Charlies, the first diving inside me at the apex as I held my line in case the other came round the outside. One more lap and in. Another finish, 7th in class.

As the day passed, the wind picked up again, and as race 18 was called the rain started again. As with the day before, the question would be whether it would pass quickly or settle in, and with us out as race 19 there wasn't much time to change tyres. Within a few minutes the wind was howling and the rain was horizontal. The thought of trying to hold a line in those conditions with the fast boys screaming past just didn't appeal. I had a signature for the day, so the only reason to go out would be to pick up a few points to challenge Mark, as he'd not yet missed a championship race. Discretion being the better part of valour, I called it a day, loaded the van with Eddie's help, and went to watch the horror from the warmth of the clubhouse. For the first half of the race I almost regretted not going out, as the rain had almost stopped and the conditions looked no worse than I've endured at trackdays, but then the wind picked back up and I knew I'd made the right call, confirmed when Mark graciously declined the chance to open up his points lead over me. His bike threw him off at the end of the back straight. Two crashes in two days, you couldn't say he wasn't trying.

The day over, and the van loaded, I hit the road for the 200 miles or so home. By 11pm I'd piled everything I could put indoors at the bottom of the stairs, everything I couldn't in the garage, and crawled into bed, physically exhausted.

So, the money, the time, the effort. Fun? The first day was just hard work. I barely had a chance to enjoy myself in the races because the last-minute changes in the paddock, the sensory overload of the grid, the relentless pace and the sense of seriousness compared to a trackday, wore me out. I knew I must be having an OK time, because at the end of each race I was looking forward to the next one, but I was nervous, tense and quickly tired.

But the Newcomer race on the Sunday, that was spot on. It turns out all I need to have fun is a load of people on bikes that are slower than mine. Targets I can catch. But it's early days, and it takes more to go fast than power in a straight line. And I have eight more signatures to get before I can ditch this silly orange jacket. Pass me that entry form. I think I need to do this again.
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Re: Going racing

Post by Muppet » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:03 pm

Good miracle. ;)

Fair play to you mate, that sounds like a shit load of hard work for a few minutes of "fun".

Great write up though, really enjoyed reading it, even knowing I'd never enjoy doing it - just not my bag at all. But big respect to you for having the balls to go out and do it, and I hope you get to take of the orange jacket soon.

Oh, and well done for not crashing. :mrgreen:
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:04 pm

Mark crashed enough for both of us.
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Fri May 08, 2015 1:17 pm

Testing at Oulton Park today, racing tomorrow. £14 on the gate, or I may have some spare tickets.
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Re: Going racing

Post by Muppet » Fri May 08, 2015 9:12 pm

ogden wrote:Testing at Oulton Park today, racing tomorrow. £14 on the gate, or I may have some spare tickets.
How did it go then?
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Fri May 08, 2015 9:18 pm

Pissed down after lunch but I don't mind the wet. Laptimes steadily came down all day. All scruted and signed on, nothing to do now til practice tomorrow.
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Re: Going racing

Post by Muppet » Sun May 10, 2015 1:01 am

And???
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Mon May 11, 2015 12:56 pm

Haven't had time to do a write-up yet. Only got the van unloaded last night.

Short version, two starts, two finishes, one signature, and I'm still crap.

Longer version to follow.
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:19 pm

Wrote up the last few races on the blog. Easier than cross-posting it here.

http://eldaifo.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/p ... -boys.html

Short version, I FUCKING LOVE RACING. :D
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Re: Going racing

Post by Marki » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:30 pm

Nice writeup.

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Re: Going racing

Post by Muppet » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:38 pm

Great write up mate, well done.
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:53 pm

Been a while since I posted anything here, mostly because life got in the way, but anyway.

Finished the season with 25 starts, 25 finishes and 7th in class (out of 35 entrants). I'll settle for that.

Oh, and I got rid of the novice jacket, which was nice.
clubman.jpg
Might write it up properly at some point. 2016 season starts at Brands Hatch in March. Bring it on!
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Re: Going racing

Post by Muppet » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:34 pm

Ah, the Boy done good! :mrgreen:
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:14 pm

The new season's just started with a weekend at Brands Hatch. I scribbled this for somewhere else, and thought it might be worth re-posting here, in case anyone's vaguely interested.

Summary: bit of a mixed bag, but more fun than expected given the weather.

The test day on Friday was near freezing, and I thought hard about skipping the first session, as most others did, but opted to make the most of the time available. That turned out to be a mistake, as it was greasy as hell and I binned it at Paddock on my out lap. Didn't even manage one corner! Spent the rest of the morning repairing the bike (bust brake pedal, smashed screen, knackered crash bung, damaged upper fairing and chamfered through the oil pump cover, which took a while to fix) and getting rid of gravel, which got absolutely everywhere.

Went out again for the first session in the afternoon, to ease myself back in gently, and had a good last couple of sessions getting myself up to a fairly pathetic pace before lining up for scrutineering.

Saturday morning I was out for P1, and told myself to take it easy and only do the bare minimum, as it was cold and greasy again. I was double-cautious and opted for wets, on the grounds that it was still damp and they were unlikely to get hot enough to tear up. That saw me 10th fastest in the session, as most others were on dry tyres and bailed out as soon as it started to spit with rain.

I was 3rd on the grid for the qualifier, thanks to getting my entry in early. In the assembly area I'd been wondering why I'd bothered turning up at a notoriously slippery track at the end of Winter, the memory of Friday morning's crash was still all too fresh in my mind, but as soon as I was lined up on the grid I remembered why I was there. As expected I was swallowed by a swarm of R1s at the start, my old banger of an R6 being no match. Someone cut my nose off going into Paddock, with a big old clunk as we made contact, and at Druids I found I had no clutch lever! Managed to bash the remains vaguely into place and finished 9th in class, one lap down. Not great, but I trimmed three seconds off my lap time over the course of the race, and if nothing else it blew the cobwebs away.

Saturday's final was hard work - I'm a lazy sod at the best of time, and spending six months on the sofa drinking beer meant 11 laps at race pace wore me out good and proper. 11th place, one lap down, and well outside the 90% cutoff for a signature. Still, I found another third of a second, and I was feeling more comfortable, if tired.

The Newcomer race was a waste of time - I was the thick end of a hundred horsepower down on half the bikes there, and probably had the only carbed bike on the grid. Finished last and worst of all I had to wear a daft orange bib again to take part. I might not bother with the Newcomers again this year.

Sunday morning I skipped practice completely, opting for twelve hours in bed at the hotel. The qualifier felt much better - I found another second a lap, wasn't lapped in the race, and was under the 90% cutoff, though being a qualifier and not the final I don't think it counts for a signature. I got under a minute for the first time on the R6. I've done 54s on my gixer thou, so I know I can do better, but not on that bike in those conditions. Annoyingly, I was so expecting to be lapped that when I noticed a bike behind me on the last lap I eased a bit to let it past on the straight, and discovered afterwards I'd given away a place. Reminder to self - the guys at the front don't need help to get past, and the guys behind don't deserve it!

Sunday's final was great fun, if knackering. I scored some new rubber over lunch, as I'd been running the same rear since Anglesey last year and the same front since Castle Combe, and both were getting a bit tired, feeling squirrelly through Druids in the morning race. I was quicker overall than on Saturday, but so was everyone else, so again I was just outside the 90% cutoff, mostly due to taking it slightly easy for the first couple of laps to let the unscrubbed tyres come in.

All in all, good fun, despite Friday's mishap, and got me back into the swing of things. Next round is at Cadwell Park on the 16th and 17th of April. After that it'll be Donington Park on the 7th and 8th of May, which I'm rather looking forward to.
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Re: Going racing

Post by Muppet » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:29 pm

Keep posting mate. Us armchair racers can only dream of doing what you're doing, and whilst I'd love to come along and cheer you on, work and a house in dire need of attention mean little spare time to watch you having fun at the weekends.
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Sat May 21, 2016 3:02 pm

Two more rounds done. Can't be arsed to do a full write-up, but a picture paints a thousand words, so...

I finally grew a pair of bollocks and kept the throttle open over the Mountain at Cadwell.
SSK_NGCad17_4254p.jpg
Finally got a chance to race at Donington, one of the best circuits in the world (according to Rossi, and he knows a thing or two). Had an amble round after Friday scrutineering to check the surface, which gave me a view spectators don't get from the top of Hollywood, down through Craner, Hairpin, Starkeys and Schwantz.
don.jpg
By the time we got to the final on the Saturday afternoon, conditions were just the way I like them (baby).
wet.jpg
That meant I got my best result of the season so far, and my first signature towards an upgrade to a National ACU licence.
results.jpg
Next meeting is Oulton Park in three weeks' time. Entry went in the post today, along with the one for Castle Combe a few weeks after. That's the Grand National meeting, which should be a good weekend out with the Lansdowne Classics and the national F2 sidecar championship, which features most of the boys from the sharp end of the sidecar TT races. Game on!
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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:15 pm

It's been a while since I posted any self-aggrandising bollocks on this topic.

Two seasons down, I've managed a pair of 7th place finishes in the pre-injection 700 championship, so this year I've gone for 7 as my number. Less an homage to Barry Sheene than an acknowledgement that 7th is clearly about as good as I'm going to get.

The first season saw me lose my novice jacket, and last weekend I collected what should have been the last signature I needed to upgrade to a National licence. I say should have been - I've sent off the paperwork, just need the ACU to give me the nod now. Not sure why I'm bothering with the upgrade - I'm not good enough to enter British Superbike, I've no intention of doing the Manx or the TT - but it does at least give me the option of going road racing (TT aside) if I want to. Which I might - it's been over a year since I last fell off, so I might be ready to go racing down crappy little roads lined with stone walls and lamp posts.

Anyway - last weekend I was at Oulton Park. Having posted my entry too late to get a spot on the grid, I went up to do the Friday test day anyway, and kept my fingers crossed that enough people would fall off or have mechanical problems that I'd make it from 4th reserve to the back of the grid. In the end, all it took was one person's cam chain to break, and I got bumped up the list, so Saturday morning I found myself on the grid with 39 assorted 700 and 1300 class bikes in front of me, and six laps to earn myself a better spot in the qualifier.

Six laps later, I'd gone from 40th to 26th overall, and 9th in class, passing about as many bikes along the way as I've ever done in a race before. Great fun. Four hours later I was back on the grid again, and made it from 26th to 21st overall, finished 7th in class, and cut another two seconds off my lap time. I think that's my best ever result in the dry, and the way I was going if it'd been a two-day meeting I'd have either put in an all-time best result, or fallen off.

Anyway - I had the GoPro mounted, so here's the footage from the two races. Donington next. Can't wait, even if does clash with Eurovision!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sld4QUPr98

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqAQRtsUlws
ogden
S1000XR | 990SMT | YZF-R6 #7

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Re: Going racing

Post by NiteKreeper » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:42 pm

ogden wrote:Not sure why I'm bothering with the upgrade...
Because one day when you're so old and decrepit that you can't even throw the leg over any more (so, after Christmas maybe ;) ), you can bounce the grandkids on your knee and regale them with tales of your glory as a fully-licensed murdercycle racer.
Or even better, when you're sitting in that same chair waiting for the nurse to come clean you up, you'll be satisfied in knowing that you pushed it as hard as you could, and you won't be wondering what "might have been"...
ogden wrote:I'm not good enough to enter British Superbike
Says who? You miss 100% of the shots you don't take...
ogden wrote:I've no intention of doing the Manx
YOU BITE YOUR TONGUE! You have a license to enter and you could basically push your bike to the island, you're close enough. I think you owe it to people on the other side of the world who'd love to ride it, to enter.
Don't you?
ogden wrote:the option of going road racing
In all seriousness, this is enough reason to do it. Lots of us will never have the option at all, because nanny-stateism has killed the road racing scene in our country.

Gonna go watch your vids now...

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Re: Going racing

Post by ogden » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:24 am

NiteKreeper wrote:
ogden wrote:I'm not good enough to enter British Superbike
Says who? You miss 100% of the shots you don't take...
Says me, and says my results, because there's no arguing with a transponder.

There are a lot of rungs on the road racing ladder. Novice, Clubman and National licence levels. And then the minimum experience required at national level doing something like Superstock, before you're allowed to enter BSS or BSB. I've raced against BSB and Superstock riders, albeit on a mixed grid, where they were in a different class. I'm about 10-15% slower than the quickest guy in our open 600 class, who I've seen running more like 28th in Superstock 600, and that's still one rung down from the top national 600 class, let alone Superbike. Nothing wrong with being realistic.

NiteKreeper wrote:
ogden wrote:I've no intention of doing the Manx
YOU BITE YOUR TONGUE! You have a license to enter and you could basically push your bike to the island, you're close enough.
I'm not. I'd need a Mountain Course licence to enter the Manx GP, for which I'd need to have held a National licence for 12 months and have completed 6 further races during that time. So I might apply for one next year, but only as something else to go in the scrapbook. The Manx and TT aren't so much a race as they are a memory test - I don't have the attention span to remember every corner for 37 miles. A mate of mine's done both the Manx and the TT, and now does the Classic TT. He's come close to killing himself twice doing it, and he's been doing laps one way or another for 30 years. Again, nothing wrong with being realistic. I rather enjoy crashing, and I like being able to slide til I stop when I do, rather than hitting walls.

NiteKreeper wrote:
ogden wrote:the option of going road racing
In all seriousness, this is enough reason to do it. Lots of us will never have the option at all, because nanny-stateism has killed the road racing scene in our country.
I might have a look at racing at Oliver's Mount, or maybe something like the Southern 100 on the IoM. A National licence would let me do that, but we're still talking about racing on country roads with stone walls and lamp posts. The bike I've got wouldn't be competitive, but I'm running out of realistic goals.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the vids. The qualifier was an absolute hoot, if only for the number of bikes I had to get past.
ogden
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https://storify.com/eldaifo/istanbul-and-back

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Re: Going racing

Post by NiteKreeper » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:23 pm

Yeah, not with that attitude anyway ;)
Vids are cool...

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