Saturday, 7 June 2014

04/06/2014 MSV Track day at Cadwell Park.

My Second Track day

I've done another track day.  This time at Cadwell park on 4/6/2014.  Here are my thoughts on the day.

First the negatives, just to get them out of the way.  A few of them are petty ;-)
  • No Garages for the bikes or you.  It was a rainy day and it would not have been nice without being taken in by friends
  • No funky sticker.  Donington Park had a groovy Thermal sticker for your bike which you could peel off as a keepsake, no such luck at this event.
  • Having to roll your glove back and show a wrist band to prove you were in the group was a pain but probably understandable.
Now a few good points:
  • What a stunningly epic track.  I loved it.  Much narrower than Donington Park but still top quality tarmac and a well crafted track.  Took me 3 sessions to become comfortable with the weather, track layout and my tyres and then it was full on entertainment.
  • The Marshalling seemed good, plenty of guys on and around the track and the one 'off' we had in the group was dealt with quickly and effectively.
The track day was arranged with MSV via an excellent bike school in Nottingham called Bike Torque.  The guys there are not only supremo instructors but one is an ex racer and they are all deeply passionate about motorbikes.  Needless to say the banter kept me amused, the support was terrific and there really was a lot of warmth and good laughs to be had.

My bike, a Fazer 600 (an astounding 93Db of awesome standard can), is not exactly a supersports, but then I'm nowhere near needing anything like that.  It's reliable, plenty fast and the handling is superb.  I've recently put some Road Pilot 3's on and the amount of grip I got in the wet was just staggering.

It's always interesting for a people watcher at these events.  You have the bikers who go out in all weathers, the ones who only go out in the dry.  There are the people with track bikes, super sport bikes and others, like me who have their day to day bikes.  On this occasion I even saw a 2 stroke which left me behind in short order.  I did find that a lot of riders were put off by the rain and their riding altered.  In the later stages as the day and track dried out the number of bikes in a session rose from about 10 in the wet to about 20 in the dry.

In retrospect, reviewing my video footage, I was seriously slow.  I look at the video and think why aren't you nailing it there etc but for a first time on the track I was satisfied with my improvement on sessions 4-7.

It was quite mentally tiring but not physically tiring.  The substantial amount of food that Bike Torque fed me kept me concerned for any doctor who may have had reason to operate on me.  However my day started at 6am and finished when I got home at 8pm.  Excluding the track day I also rode from Bingham to Cadwell and then from Cadwell to Market Harborough so many miles were covered.

Other Notes

I was glad that I had my Aldi rain suit to go over my leathers.  I would have been soaked to the bone otherwise and a cold may well have followed

I took:
  • drivers license (both parts)
  • indemnity form (provided on arrival)
  • credit card, cash card (for emergencies and fuel...£1.60 a litre !)
  • mobile phone (for mytracks, emergency calls, Facebook, Email and photos)
  • SatNav (I'd rather have too much satnav than not enough)
  • Drift HD mounted on my right hand side fairing and powered from the bike battery.

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Enhanced Rider Scheme

I've just completed an 'Enhanced Rider Scheme' course and I have to admit it was quite enjoyable.  6 hours of observation and tutoring for £60 with a £70 contribution from the local authority.

I did mine with a guy called Alan Wright who was an ex motorcycle copper of 25 years and seemed a knowledgeable chap.  It was done in an informal manner and he had friendly advice and positive as well as negative feedback.  I hate it when you only get negative feedback.

Apparently it could give me a discount on my bike insurance of 10-15% but I'll believe it when I see it.

All in all a pleasant pootle even if it was at or below the speed limit.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Controversial views (britain First)

I'm always a little disappointed when I see people that I admire and respect liking posts like the ones below.  Maybe it's me, maybe I'm wrong but I don't understand the justification for 'liking' this.

Don't get me wrong, it's their choice and I respect that, my issues with it are as follows:

1.)  We don't have the facts.  We don't know what was said, why or how so how can we judge.  Irrespective of that I am exactly the sort of person who would argue with a member of the police if I thought they were wrong.  Do I deserve a knife pointed at me for that ?

2.) Innocent until proven guilty.  A knife is a lethal weapon.  What situation justifies that against an unarmed person ?

3.) The police are trained to deal with confrontation, they deal with it day in and day out.  They have self defence training, backup as well as possibly/likely chemical spray/baton/knife did he need hostile assistance against an unarmed civilian ?

4.) The issue was resolved without issue but now it's made the front page of many newspapers.  Was it newsworthy ?  It shouldn't have been.

5.) The guy allegedly argued for 5 minutes.  Given the quantity of police and guards in the area, surely this could have been handled in a more political manner much more swiftly than it was.

6.) When a group/sites such as 'infidel defence league' presents this it seems to take on a possibly unjustified racial aspect which may not have been there at all.

Maybe the guy was in the wrong.  I'm not arguing that, I'm arguing that the masses should not rush to judgement without being fully informed of the facts.  By showing your approval with a 'like' you are endorsing bayonets in peoples faces for arguing/shouting as the British way.  Given that Britain is massively multicultural and I have many friends of many ethnicities I'd like to think that race wasn't the provocation for this situation.

There are racial things that I do not approve of such as Shariah law, Niqab and Burka but they have nothing to do with race and more to do with sexual equality, social and political reasons.

Please feel free to comment, I'm happy to take constructive criticism.  Any offensive comments and/or vulgarity will not be published.

links as below: