Snetterton yesterday was pretty damned good. We had no rain and pretty much the perfect temperature. It got a bit cold toward the end, but when you are racing you soon warm up. I have learned that I am pretty fast, especially considering my little racing experience, and that there are blokes much fcin* faster than me. The instructor said I was pretty much riding at the limit of the bike (I have a stock '08 R6) when he followed me around for a few laps - he said I was 90% there and was completely happy with my ride and my lines. He said I have no problem overtaking or trusting the front end.
How cool is that?
Anyway, I moved from the novice group to the intermediate group by lunch time.
There were loads of crashes on the day, and two bikes had a collision resulting in an R6 getting smashed up terribly. It was only an ’07 model though so it didn’t hurt me too much to look at her. The riders weren’t seriously injured either! Funnily enough, it was a collision between a student and teacher which is a good lesson that crashing is so easily done by even the most experienced of riders, although from what I hear the student panicked and there was not much that could be done by the instructor. There were also a bunch of high-sides and so forth. The majority of crashes happened after lunch so I reckon it was largely due to people feeling tired and not concentrating. Even though sessions only last 20 minutes, after three you do feel it! You do six sessions by the end of the day. I ended up doing seven because of when my instruction lesson was.
When I did my first session in the intermediate group I started at the front of the pack. Only two out of about twenty riders passed me throughout, and toward the end I saw the first bloke who had passed me sitting on the side of the track – he had crashed (not seriously as he was back on next round)! Ha, that’s what happens when you think you can exceed Sheraz “almost on the limit” Yousaf! In the last session I started in the middle of the pack and was passed by about 5 riders and just couldn’t catch them, bar one – a track bike’d GSXR 750 with a Northerner riding it. I had a good little battle with him and had taken him by the end!
All had gone well without incident, so of course something had to happen on the way back! I was on the M11 on my way home when all of a sudden the bike starts juddering violently at the rear wheel. I immediately came off the gas and moved over to the hard shoulder. It seems my shty rucksack had come undone on the motorway and a pair of shorts had fallen out, fell on to the back wheel and then got entangled underneath the rear sprocket and chain. The power of the wheel had completely lacerated the shorts and the heat had melted them into the inner hub between the sprocket and wheel. It was fcin* disturbing to see the shorts literally wedged between the sprocket teeth and the chain. There seemed to be no damage apart from the chain guard had snapped off – pretty minor considering. I think I’ll have to take the back wheel off to remove the rest of the material though. It took me about an hour to pick out the material as it was really wedged. My phone battery was dead so if I couldn’t get it out I would have been shafted!
Anyway, got back relatively safe and sound to live to tell another bike tale. So the motorway incident lesson is this: don’t skimp on motorbike equipment. I spent £7 on that rucksack from Tesco cos I like to travel light when I already have a specific Kreiga motorbike rucksack that I spent £100 on. Wish I had used that instead!
Anyway, next stop will be CSS 2 before another track day I reckon!
Sheraz “shorts on the back wheel” Yousaf