Thursday, November 24, 2005

damn, back at work today. it was meant to be a day off (to sleep) but things didn't work out that way. ended up grabbing about 3 hours sleep all up, so it'll be early to bed tonight. i'm still buzzing from the last few days.

i did a few kooky things too :-)

as i've said previously, we were divided up into 4 groups. slow, medium slow, medium and fast. well we've got 3 riders, i'm in medium slow, another is medium, and another is fast, and the sessions run the same way too. after our fast rider gets in, we fill up, check chain, chain oil, and whatever we've been fiddling with, before sending me out again.

as phillip island is such a fast flowing circuit, we're really lasting well on tyres, one set of slicks has lasted the three of us all day tuesday, and 2 sessions wednesday. then we change to a new rear slick and a nearly new front one. and i'm first out on them. and i totally forgot about pumping up the brakes and nearly ran into the bike in front of me as we lined up to go out on the circuit. the front brakes had a poofteenth of brake, and the rear had none, so i held what front i had and madly pumped the rear, narrowly missing the bike in front and the armco to one side. breathe in, breathe out. pump pump pump.

a minute later they're waving us out and it's all history. it's like surfing, you are only thinking of the moment, your future is the next corner, and the one after that. especially as i start to relax and stop doing kooky mid corner screwups. smoother and faster.

on the telly, as they blast down the straight, you see them dip down towards the sea. i thought that must be magic seeing that in real life. it looked good from the pits, as the bikes dipped out of sight and you could just see bass straight, but on the bike, i didn't see the sea until the second day, and that was on a slow bit looking right. when i was going down the straight i saw nothing but track, wall, bikes, the tacho (occasionally) and braking markers.

*reality check*
my mates convinced me to go in the second slowest group instead of the slowest, as there are too many kooky riders in the slowest groups usually, and they didn't want me to get taken out. so i went in the medium slowest group. i was probably the second slowest rider in that group until the end of the first day, when they put a few of the superbike school riders up from the slow group into it.

on the second day, i started a little faster, and while still warming up my tyres (and my confidence) i let a few faster riders through and then chased them, i saw where they overtook the slower riders, followed them, and gained a few confidence points.

but in reality, by the end of the second day, when i'm confidently doing between 2 min 1 sec, and 2 min 3 sec, i'm still not the quickest in my group, and there are two groups quicker than me. my red group rider is the quickest in his group, and while he'd qualify for the australian superbikes, which is our aim for him, he still needs to find a few more seconds before justifying the expense of a bike that will take him there in a couple of years.

i know what i have to do to go faster. brake later, especially turn one, go faster through the turns, especially siberia through to lukey heights, i just like doing what i'm doing. i'm not particularly fast, but i'm loving it
*/reality check*

sorry, i'm going on and on about it (ok, i'm not sorry at all :-) ) it's been nearly 10 years since i've had a chance to cut sick on a decent bike (in the dry) and 2 dedicated days on a beautiful circuit like this have left me with a really warm fuzzy feeling. speed, i love it.

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