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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

well it wasn't easy, but we got here.

after work on monday we drove to sunny-fucking-goulburn, left my car, and drove the rest of the way to phillip island with a friend from sydney.

in hindsight, had we known in advance how to get there, it would have been easier. oops...

the track is an absolute dream. there are 4 groups of riders on track days. fast, medium, medium slow, and slow. despite belonging in the slow group, my friends convince me to go in the medium slow group. they usually have more experience, and are less likely to crash into you.

i've done a few track days at eastern creek. i really enjoy them, but these guys are really really organised. usually after about 20 minutes, we are running 30 minutes behind. not here, it all runs like clockwork. and the track is a fucking dream to ride on.

eastern creek is fun, but this is different in a whole new kind of way. eastern creek is a lot of wrestling the bike, go hard, brake hard, turn hard, do it again, phillip island is fast, much faster than i'm used to, and long flowing corners. i've managed to wear to the edges of our slick tyres for the first time ever. and not once have i felt that i was lacking grip. it's a lot different from the telly, you really get no idea of the ups and downs, and lovely cambered corners.

to someone who is actually fast, my best laptime would be less than exciting, 2:17. on my last session, i got a 2:17 on my second lap, after it had been drizzling and i was a bit apprehensive, i then got stuck behind another rider. instead of watching the track, i watched the rider, i had a few chances to overtake, but the riders here are so polite and considerate, i was obliged to do the same, i waited until i could safely overtake with a large margin for error, but then i'd get overtaken by riders much quicker my myself (i was about the second slowest rider in my group). and they'd get in my way. 30 seconds later they'd be gone and i'd catch up again.

i finally get my shit together, get past, and get several seconds gap, after circulating at about 2:19 behind this rider, only to see the chequered flag indicating the end of the session. damn. would have been my quickest yet. should have either gone harder, or given the other rider a bit of a gap so i could put a few quicker laps together.

and flying down the straight, i think i'm glad i have no idea how quick we were going, because if you don't get your weight on the footpegs, and put too much weight on the seat instead, then the front wheel gets light and starts wobbling. really really. a very apprehensive experience at whatever speed that was...

and the beautiful corners, going on and on forever. blasting out through fast sweepers, then over lukey heights. what an experience. i'll never forget it

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