Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Fireblade's first track day

A bit of an exciting 'in a nervous kind of way' day today; I took the new bike, aka 'The Mistress' (as named by Helen and for probably obvious reasons) on the track for the first time; not bad really as it is only two weeks old and barely run-in! Not that modern Japanese bikes really need much of a running-in; more of a case of stay under 120mph and don't practice too many racing starts... The nerves were there anyway, what with it being a new bike that I'd hardly had chance to get to know. (unlike 'Donkey' who had over 25,000 miles on him before he was subjected to track abuse) And then compounded by the track owner who gave us a drive/walk round first thing explaining as he went just how technical and complicated to learn the track actually was. And then there was the bad surface, the dips and bumps, the gouges dug by previous unfortunates and the desert wind blowing sand and dust across the place. Being a sensibly mature(?) kinda guy I set off at a comfortably slow pace choosing, along with another 'new' guy - Bill, to follow one of the locals to learn the lines and was more than a little surprised to see Bill hammer it down the first straight, brake waaay too late and run straight off the track into the desert; the last I saw out of my peripheral vision was him and his beloved bike cartwheeling into the distance. Almost comical considering the conversation we'd just moments before about taking it easy for the first few sessions! Thankfully that was the only mishap of the day and the rest of us had a good safe day exploiting the sheer excess of power, speed and ability way beyond any of us mere mortals that is a modern sportsbike. So now my head is buried in magazines looking for any up-coming track days whilst Helen has resigned herself to second place... No chance honey!!!

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