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Thread: Midvaal 2017-05-14

  1. #1
    Hardcore Biker Warrenpridgeon's Avatar
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    Default Midvaal 2017-05-14

    So... Addiction is a terrible thing. My mother has to wait until I've finished riding for the day to celebrate mothers day. lol.

    I'll be heading out to Midvaal this coming Sunday after being too sick to go last month.
    Learn from other peoples mistakes....You can't live long enough to make them all yourself...

  2. #2
    Hardcore Biker Warrenpridgeon's Avatar
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    Wink

    Had a beady eye on the weather because it rained most of yesterday here in the vaal.
    The chance of rain around midvaal increased steadily through yesterday.
    I started twitching violently around midday because I haven't been to the track in over 2 months.
    An addict needs a fix ya know!

    I woke up this morning to a barmy English summers morning. Overcast and drizzly :-P
    I rallied every ounce of optimism I had and hooked up the trailer, checked the tiedowns.
    Grabbed my track kit, helmet, gloves, boots, tools, stands, tyre warmes... damn I need a second trailer... jerry can, blankets and fold up chair for my wife.
    I'm very lucky to have an AMAZING wife who'll come and sit with me at the track while I go and ride in what she calls "squirkles".

    Drove out to the track, stopping to fill said jerry can and bike on the way.
    Eyeing the heavens suspiciously whilst chanting "I haven't washed the bike and car in a while so there has been no rain dance performed dammit!".

    I was the first to arrive at midvaal... At 8:30. Normally by 8:30 you have to look for a pit. Today I had my choice of pits.
    It was still as overcast as the intro to a good horror and looked like it could rain any minute.
    I stayed well clear of any drains lest some evil clown offered me a balloon.
    They were only going to open the track at 9:30 or 10:00 due to how cold it was.
    While chatting to the two instructors who were there for the day two other guys arrived.

    I've started twitching more violently... From the cold or is it that damn addiction playing up?
    I figured dammit I need track time. Put the bike on the stands. Hooked up the warmers. 10min later my session was up.
    I knew there wouldn't be enough heat in the tyres by then but the devil and angel on my shoulder both agreed that I needed a fix.
    I could not come up with a proper excuse besides the cold.

    So...I went out on the track, the engine was ice cold... not even showing 1 bar of temp on the gauge...
    I kept the revs down for like 4 laps until the engine warmed up as I plan on riding this bike until it stops riding and I don't want that be through abuse!
    I found myself battling to hold a line through the corner. The bike felt "unhappy".
    As I got going a bit faster the grip came in a little and I was able to start holding the lines again.
    Confidence was waning and I was starting to hang onto the bars too much causing my hands to start getting sore.

    Got back at the end of that session and the tyres were lukewarm... Rims were still cold. I checked the pressures and they were too high.
    The cold tyres and too high pressures probably contributed to my battling and lack of comfort out on track.
    Threw the warmers back on and hoped the next session would be better with some warmth in the tyres, whilst making a mental note to check the pressures once they were warm.
    Noticed the "check engine light" had come on... blegh... damn triumph and their exhaust valve that is known for getting stuck and throwing out the warning light (at least I hope so).
    Bike wasn't miss firing or anything like that.

    Second session... Temps were much better in the tyres... Checked pressures... adjusted... go.
    Two laps in and the knee is touching the ground again... confidence building up again.
    Notice my hands are getting sore/tired (dammit Warren... use your legs and core to hold onto the bike).
    Start telling myself to ease up the bars. Going around the track becomes more comfortable again.
    I start focusing on brake, entry, apex, roll on throttle while looking for exit. Start having fun.
    Oh dear... are those raindrops on my visor? And it's starting to drizzle at the fast, off camber, corner after the back straight.
    That thing is hairy, the track literally FLIES up to meet your knee when you tip into it at a decent pace :-P

    Do two more laps... a few drops becomes more drops. I come into the pits. It's starting to get colder.
    The instructors do a couple of laps in "A" group... SLOWLY. Eventually they come in also.
    Rain starts in earnest. Stand and talk nonsense for a while with the instructors, all the while hoping that the weather will clear...
    It sets in harder. Pack the bike on the trailer. Pack up all the stuff I've accumulated over the last year and a bit of riding at the track.
    Pick my ice block of a frozen wife up and load her in the car... Turn the heater up all the way.

    I've got chromadek sheeting lying in the garage...I can't push the trailer in by hand as the jockey wheel will have to roll over the sheeting.
    I'm not prepared to waste the money I've spent on the sheeting. I'm going to damn reverse this trailer into the single (but double length garage).
    To do that I first need to reverse it into the driveway from in the road. I haven't tried this feet before, but hey today is a good a day as any to try right?! right?!
    Get home.

    Ok...Let's try this.

    I get the bike and trailer point up the driveway... straighten the car out... hey this is working.
    Have to pull forward once or twice to get things lined up....
    But I get the trailer reversed up the driveway and into the garage without jack knifing it or bumping the car etc.
    Victory!

    I would definitely have liked more laps around the track. I was happy to be back on the bike again.
    I worked on my lines as I have a tendency to come in a bit hot,
    brake too much and then not apex and try "fix" the corner by getting on the gas hard after the spot I should have apexed.
    I tend to wander through the middle of the corner instead of apexing properly.
    I'll never go pro if I can't sort *THAT* out. hahaha.

    Bike came home in one piece (albeit with a check engine light showing), wife has since defrosted and I managed to reverse the trailer into the garage successfully.
    Learn from other peoples mistakes....You can't live long enough to make them all yourself...

  3. #3
    Dirty Bella
    Hobbes's Avatar
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    Default

    and Boss lady let you live too, good day it was.

    riding in the rain is one of those things, having a lot of people telling me they will never ride in the rain and they automatically go on to my "I'm never riding with you list".
    you learn to ride in the rain or one day there will be an emergency that forces you too have to ride in the rain and because you are not experienced things can go seriously wrong!

    I say this as an inexperienced rider. this was at the track!
    your riding on semi slick road tires, Heck i wouldn't have even gotten out of bed! or risked life by dragging boss lady to track

    dedication Sir WPigeon!
    Lifes like riding the open road. its got its up hills, down hills, its thunderstorms and sunshine, doesnt matter where your going as long as you enjoy the ride

  4. #4
    Evil Biker Scum
    hei ew's Avatar
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    Default

    Well done Birthday Boy ..
    i'll er might come look next month lol

  5. #5
    I called AMZ a guuurl and survived! kamza's Avatar
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    Default

    yeah Warrenpridgeon such inspiring write up, shows that one can go out in a cold wet day and still learn how to handle their bikes with only few issues.
    Yeah have ridden in the rain many times and the first few times you do find your hands are sore and you have to keep telling yourself to use your core and legs once you get over that hurdle you start enjoying getting a good pace and realise that your bike is way more capable than you and that certainly some things have a risk factor that some people can't stomach, maybe they shuold get the balloons from storm drains get snatched and a few people will be left who can tell good stories of how riding in the rain is not a death trap but an experience that can help you be a better rider.

    You truly inspire me
    2 Timothy 1: 7For God has not given us the spirit of fear..

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