another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Saturday, 29 March 2014

a strangely isolated place






fifteen and three-quarter's of an hour after setting off for the british historic racing practice day at cadwell park, i'm sitting in my shed with dangerous quaffing a couple of bottles of staropramen, it's been a strange day, early start, our traditional breakfast at the golden arches, egg mcmuffins and coffee, heavy, overnight rain and a pretty average weather forecast of low temperature, low cloud and persistent showers doesn't bode well, down for scrutineering, bike through ok bar us getting a bollocking for not running an oil catchment tank, basically the 'gravy tray' that we bolt underneath the bike to catch any fuel/oil/lubricant spills, i'd got it out i promise, it's just that we can't get the bike up the plank and into the van with it fitted and i'd left it on the bench, noise testing goes ok, ninety-seven decibels at four thousand rpm, sticker on and i'm happy, not so when i get my leathers, helmet, gloves and boots checked, my left boot is worn through under the instep and it takes some eating of humble pie and promises to replace them next time to get a signature on the tech card, briefing done, wristband's issued and i miss the first session, bollocks, luckily, the day is under subscribed, i reckon the weather forecast has put a lot of people off. it actually brightens up throughout the day and the track eventually dries, especially the mountain / hall bends / hairpin / barn complex where it's initially very damp under the trees. the early sessions see 45 bikes out on track, solo's one, solo's two then sidecars, i just do a twenty minute session, get flagged, off the track and straight back into the holding area for the next session, basically forty minutes track time each time, repeated throughout the day, brilliant value at sixty quid for the day, dangerous reckons it cost me 15 pence a lap the amount of time i got. initial thoughts on the new engine? brilliant, rev's easily through and beyond the red line, loads more power than before, got to modify the gear linkage, it's just too flimsy at six mil, need to step it up to ten mil so the gearchange is more positive, the bike just feels great to ride. a cold, damp, cadwell park in early spring, a strangely isolated place indeed, i get the reality check i need in the second to last session of the day, i tip into the uphill, left-hand bend at the end of the start / finish straight, drop a gear for the double apex charlies, blind entry and lose concentration, i'm off the track and onto the wet grass before i know it, how i keep it upright i don't know, i'm dabbing the back brake to try and scrub off some speed and the arse end is fish-tailing all over the bloody place, brakes just don't work on wet grass, at least i had the sense not to grab a handful of front stopper, lesson learned, i'm cold, i'm tired, i've had a great day, need to reign it in and call it a day instead of pushing it, i'm mad at myself for running off the track, but, you know what? there's no where else i'd rather be today..............