I thought I should write a little more tonight, seeing as I'm probably going to be away most (if not all) of the weekend. I've put my name down for 'marshalling' at a track a little north of my hometown, and just found out that if I want to I can stay at the venue overnight tomorrow night and carry on marshalling on Sunday too! It's looking like it's gonna be a pretty big event too, going on the information I have so far, so I'm really looking forward to being there all of a sudden! A couple of my mates are going to be there too, it'll be really cool to catch up with them again, due to the fact that they live about 2 hours north of me, we really only get to hang out at group rides or events like this weekend. I just hope I don't screw up the marshalling! I've never done it before, but one of my friends has assured me I'll be fine, he's done it heaps before. And it'll be my first real experience with bikes on a track - I'm gonna be buzzing out all weekend!
The idea of putting my bike on a track competitively kinda scares me, to be honest, I think I'd be way too nervous around a whole bunch of other bikes doing high speeds and cornering a lot faster than I think I'm capable of... Not to say I haven't had any track experience - I grew up in a family that loved motorsports, I've spent a fair bit of time on four wheels on circuits as well as down the drag strip, so I understand the logistical side of things okay... But when it comes to bikes, I guess I'm more unsure than anything. I would really like to attend a few on-track 'rider training' days, just to see how I go, but I would also love to have enough skill to be able to pilot a competitive bike purpose-built for racing as well. At the moment it's more of a financial issue than anything! But I see the guys on TV racing, and I think "how the hell do you do that!" It's like they have absolutely no fear, and when the unfortunate spills happen it's amazing how they can walk away nine times out of ten. That in itself amazes me. Of course, I know they have the absolute best quality gear, their bikes are built from the ground up with only one purpose in mind, and they've all been riding for a lot longer than I have.
I know I am fairly competent on my bike, on the road, and that I'm still learning pretty much every time I go out for a ride, but the skill level of some of the guys that race is so profound to me, I think they must have all been born on a bike! I know my limits currently, and I seem to extend them little by little fairly naturally, of course with the guidance of more experienced riders in our group rides. It wasn't that long ago I would stick to the posted speed advisory around corners, now I find I can add a certain percentage without getting out of my comfort zone. Not by a huge percentage, mind you, just enough to keep my ride 'flowing', instead of having to slow down then accelerate away every time I go through a corner. I've watched video's and read books on the physics and theory of cornering, and applied it to my riding style. I've seen other more experienced riders take 'lines' through bends, chicanes, sweepers, tightening and lessening corners, and I understand why they take the line through the corner that they choose, and applied that to my riding as well. I know I'm a cautious rider, thanks mainly to my one accident a year and a bit ago, and haven't put myself in a bad situation since then. But I do know there is still a whole lot to learn, and that I could keep riding and learning road skills for the rest of my life, which isn't a bad thing at all if you ask me.
So anyways, I'm gonna have a wicked time this weekend, maybe even see that track riding isn't as scary as I imagine, hopefully see some cool bikes and meet some cool people, and come back on Sunday night with a huge smile on my face! I can't think of a better way to spend the weekend!
Until next time... (which will be in a couple of days...)