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OK, I'm going to try and keep this short and for those of you that know what I'm capable of this is no mean feat, believe me.

I pulled in early and got the bike through tech. No big deal, she's an old track bitch so the wiring has all been done to spec before. As I push it back to the pit a few engines start to warm which just adds the sounds of life that were missing from a track pit up to that moment. It's like a monster waking from a long sleep. Soon the sounds of revving engines can be heard all around like the first one broke the pact not to disturb the peace.

Riders meeting. We all gathered and listened to the usual spiel. This was followed by a track tour for those new to the scene and, of course, us students. Man there's a lot of concrete around that track. I try not to give in and run screaming in fear. This is one of the crappiest tracks I've ever seen. Even the go kart track at Victoria that I ran on years ago had more runoff area than Mission has. But I figure I'll just go for the first get acquainted sessions and then if the pace gets too hot and crazy I'll just pull out of the afternoon sessions.

A group of licensed racers go out for the fist session and the sounds of the engines and their show of speed calms and energizes me as I don my armor for our session. This is a slower parade session but I get separated from my group by an even slower rider. I finally pass him and start to catch up to my group. But the INSTRUCTOR runs out of gas halfway through and the rest of my group picks up the pace and I end up almost racing to never catch them. Oh well at least I got to see the track at my own pace and have a good idea of the lines.

The next session is a little faster and we play leapfrog with the instructor so he can see our performance. He's not too thrilled with my pace and gives me a few pointers but he must have seen something of worth because he's giving me pointers on attitude and confidence rather than lines and braking. And it helps. The last morning session is much faster for me and he gives me a smile and more talking too...........

LUNCH. Burgers and laughs. Farhad asks me if I know where second gear is becuase I'm so slow............ :laughing I'm kidding but he did say I looked a little stiff out there...... I knew that.....

Lunch gave me time to think about my riding and the next session out I was entering some of my slower corners much faster and the instructor spent some time playing leapfrog with me so I was able to follow him at his pace (less than racing speed because he was on his only street bike and didn't want to pitch it) That was a real confidence builder because I was better able to judge just how fast I could push my tires. He thought so too as he said I was much improved and then told me I was still too slow and where I had troubles..............sigh

The next session it really started to come together. I touched the footpegs twice on this one despite being hung off. Started hanging off a little farther after that. And the bike felt better doing it too, bonus. The bike was really starting to perform now and I was passing people in my group more than I was being passed...... that's always a good sign. The problem corners were getting smoother and faster and a couple of spots where I had been braking hard earlier now I was just feathering the brakes to settle the chasis before dropping in and then doing the serious braking before the second part of the horseshoe. That cut off a LOT of time when I started doing that. After this session I came in and my arms felt like wet noodles. And the tires were finally melted a little on the sidewalls.............. cool....

And then there was the mock race. The first warm up lap was spooky. A real start....... there's those nerves again but what the hell. I was gridded at the middle row inside edge. As the starter slowly raised the flag I revved to about 6 or 7 K and tried to suction myself to the gas tank. The flag dropped and I pulled away in fine style without a wheelie or engine bog. I saw an opening and blasted past about 6 people that hadn't had the same good start. Me and about 5 others dropped into the first turn and got around in style. At that point I passed another rider on the short 1 to 2 connector and in turn got passed by an, apparently, insturctor on the outside as I dropped into the apex. I picked off another on the second short straight leading up the end turn. After that no one passed me and I slowly caught up to the guy that would hold me up for the second half of the race. He had good exits but lesser braking and corner speeds. We were closely enough matched that even my couple of attempts to stuff a wheel up the inside just came too late and good sense made me back off. And so I was doomed to play follow the leader for the last half of the race of 5 or 6 laps.

So I ended the day with new talents that at the beginning of the day I would have never thought I could have. But more importantly I now realize that I still have further to go. Up until this course I would never have believed that I could brake that hard and turn in while still braking to drop down so far that I could drag a knee if my leathers weren't so tight.

In the past I've always prided myself on keeping 15 to 20% in reserve when on the street. The street being what it is I have no intention of normally riding harder than I do now but my safety margin has now been upped to more like 40 or 50%. A margin I may dip into a little further when the conditions are all right in those special cases.

The track is a VERY special place. Even now it seems so awesome and displaced from real life that yesterday seems like a dream that happened to someone else. I just hope I can remember everything and keep that ember allive until the end of May when they have another Test & Tune day because I intend for me and Scraps to be there....

So much for short......... :D Hope you enjoyed the read.
 
J

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Good write up, did you stop worrying about the lack of run off near the end then?

Also can you PM me a URL where can I find out more about being a corner marshal?
 

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Uh oh...Someone's got the itch!!

Sounds like you're addicted Bruce.:D

2 sayings come to mind. Don't know who originally said this. "To finish first, you first must finish."

I don't know if this was an original or my high school auto mechanics teacher stole it. "The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know."

We did some racing in the RZ Cup in the 80's and the first saying was very true. The speed will come. Hope you have fun and I better stay away or I'll get the "bug".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jay P said:
Good write up, did you stop worrying about the lack of run off near the end then?

Also can you PM me a URL where can I find out more about being a corner marshal?
Thanks guys. Yes it is addicting. I still feel like it was so intense that when I go out on the track again hopefully in a month that it'll all be gone......... well, maybe for a lap or two.

JayP, once things got down to serious it really wasn't too much of a problem. The corners for the most part are quite slow being mostly second gear. The only really serious part would be the hairpin at the end of the straight if the brakes were to fail.... But if the truth be told on the more "serious" corners I was deliberatley taking a slightly later apex so I'd have a little "panic" room. And if all went well then I would just roll on earlier and harder.

And you're just the person to ask what with having an F2 with a working speedo. How fast in kph is 9000 in fourth? I peeked once and that's what speed I was doing just before braking for that hairpin. Later laps were probably a bit faster, maybe 10K in fourth.

The club's site is www.wmrc.ca. You may or may not find much about becoming a corner worker but the event schedule is there and if you just come out to any event and say you want to be a worker they'll roll out the red carpet and give you a 10 minute lesson. Or you could come to the next club meeting and have a brew with us and meet a couple of the workers there. Or you could just email them at the [email protected] link.
 
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Basilla said:
Thanks for the links Bruce. I have emailed them to see if they will have me...
ditto, Bruce's write-ups are the best advertising they could have...
 
J

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Does 150 sound about right for the speed?

A little birdy told me mine is at about 200 KPH within about 500 of the redline in fourth, but the birdy wasn't concentrating on the speedo at that speed. What year is yours though? Mines is a 91 so if yours is a 92-94 or geared differently it might be a little bit faster.

A little birdie told me the URL is actually http://www.wmrc.bc.ca/ as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jay P said:
Does 150 sound about right for the speed?

A little birdy told me mine is at about 200 KPH within about 500 of the redline in fourth, but the birdy wasn't concentrating on the speedo at that speed. What year is yours though? Mines is a 91 so if yours is a 92-94 or geared differently it might be a little bit faster.

A little birdie told me the URL is actually http://www.wmrc.bc.ca/ as well.
That liittle birdie sounds like it flies awfully fast....... :D

Mine's a 92 according to the last owner but he wasn't too sure either as it was a track bike already and the frame tag was missing. And 150 to 160 sounds about right. At least that's what my pucker factor was telling me. Next time out I'll see if I can spare a microsecond to look at the tach just at braking time and then count the gearing and calculate the speed.

Oh, and surprise, surprise. Both the URL's work. Maybe they have multiple addresses or something. I'm not totally up on my dynamic name service protocals.
 
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