Sunday, October 08, 2006

i've said it before, and i'll say it again. i just never get the hang of thursdays.

this thursday just gone was a classic example. i've just finished the whole "getting into debt for a house" process. thursday the 5th of oct was the date of my first repayment. this date has a few private sentimental issues for me as well. and i had an absolutely shithouse day at work.

i know i.t. is a moving, busy, hectic industry. but my boss is completely unable to say no. he has the backbone of a fucking jellyfish when it comes to telling people that "It Is Just Not Going To Be Fucking Ready Until We Have Tested The Options, So Fuck Off!" (i should empathise here that i actually like my boss and have a good working relationship, but when it comes to backbone, from above, he has none, only in response from below)

only days after i told one of the managers that he couldn't connect to our vpn, as it was overcrowded and we hadn't yet evaluated our options, the spineless prick said he could connect. plus reversed my decisions on a few other crucial security issues. i'm not making any decisions anymore. he can have the fucking lot. one of the things i didn't like about getting into debt was my reliance on a steady income. but i was a bee's dick from telling him to take his job and shove it up his arse on thursday arvo.

i'll just have to spend a few days letting everything else go, piss off a few other people, and work out this particular problem. should he choose the path he's pushing without letting me research properly, it can be his fucking problem. if it fucks up, you won't see me for the dust.

so at the end of thursday i was amped up and extremely fucking pissed off.

friday morning it was up at sparrow's fart to drive to goulburn for a track day at wakefield..

i'd never ridden at wakefield before. but i love watching the track. from the spectator mound near the pits, you can see the entire track as it winds up the hill, back down again, off to the right on the short, back straight, before the main straight which runs down in front of you, with a right hand kink, then a 90 degree right hand turn back up the hill.

my first session was terrible. i couldn't get into a rhythm and it felt very very bumpy, especially in places where i really wanted to open up or lean right over. i thought i had a pogo stick instead of front forks and after the dude that lets you out on the track moaned at me about the state of my front tyre (we always start on the leftovers from the last session) my confidence was shot to hell.

there was no way i could go fast, nor could i give myself a lovely high speed scare as i never felt comfortable.

when our second rider took off next, in the emptiest of fields, we noticed that when braking for the first turn the front tyre looked really flat. (turned out to be 20 psi, oops, we didn't check the pressures) so we put some air in for the next session, and our quickest rider went out and spent the entire session going past everyone. turned out that they'd put the slow and medium groups out together (the session i rode first) then our second rider went out in the quickest session.

so we worked out what had gone wrong, changed the front, got out in the correct groups, then changed the rear and a few front suspension settings.

and then my day changed.

i never really relaxed like i do at phillip island or eastern creek, but i started turning in a bit. it's quite a big braking effort for turn one (ok, turn two, turn one is a kink so you're leaning over as you brake hard). i reckon if i ever work that turn out i'll drop another part of a second a lap, as you can get through there quite quickly, which really sets you up for the fun uphill blast. i was never really unsettled for turn 3, but turn 4 gave me an unexpected problem. i was hitting turn 4 hard, then washing off speed for turn 5 before winding up back down the hill, when i felt something brush my right knee. i don't hang my knee out, i grip the fairing, so i figured i musta been leaning over the ripple strip, so i took it wider from then on, and kept my speed up. and i hit it even harder, on the tarmac. trying not to panic or head for the grass. so after that i was a bit wierd through that turn. the way i turn doesn't really give me a lot of room between my knee and the tarmac as my knee is a lot further forward than the others. maybe i just need thinner knee scrapers. the others sit further back and their knee has a lot more room. i chased one guy around a long left hander, he had his knee hovering over the deck while mine was tucked up.

maybe i need to learn to put my knee down, but i think i'll persevere with my natural kooky style.

anyway. apparently the superbike guys get around here in 1 minute flat, our lead rider got down to about 1 min 6 secs, and the next to 1 min 8. they were happy with that but 6-8 seconds is apparently a lot harder to find here that at eastern creek or phillip island. i was quite happy with my 1 min 12-13 second quickest times. as there was only 3 groups, slow, medium and fast, i was in the slow group. i think there was 30-40 riders in all, whilst at eastern creek you can have 30 riders in a group. when i'm in the next fastest group i don't mind blasting past in many places, but with the slowest group i don't like to upset anyone. so i spent a little while waiting for the ideal opportunity. i figure everyone is here for fun, at their own level, people who are just cruising around and enjoying the experience, don't need someone on an ex superbike stuffing them up into a corner. so i don't. there wasn't a lot separating the slow and medium groups, in our last session before going home the other two were stuffed so i went out in the medium group. some of the riders were about the same speed as the slow group, but one guy shadowed me around the whole track, without being able to get past. i reckon he was wondering why i wasn't overtaking everyone, as i was on the same bike and wearing the same leathers as our second fastest guy.

in the quickest group was a guy on a works bmw, an ex-superbike dude with considerable experience apparently. my brother told our quick guy that this dude was going quicker than he was. this turned out to be a good incentive for him to go faster. we call this "self tightening nuts". if you leave him alone, he'll tighten his own nuts, but if you drop a few select comments, he gives them an extra twist. in the past, when we were racing a bike which we shall forever call "the pig", this could win races or cause interest accidents, but now he seems to be a lot more cautious, and he can go faster without coming to grief.

the next day i realised how hard i'd been working. my arms and legs were stuffed. at eastern creek i am never this tired. even after putting on good tires and some suspension changes, it was still a little bumpy and i managed to lift my rear tyre or move it around under braking when i'd tried some stupid things.

good stress relief. tomorrow should be interesting though.

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