Going Racing

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Good on yer Ralph. Indeed, listening for the paddock calls, and knowing where and when to go exactly does take a bit of learning.

Park next to someone who races in your class and buddy up with them is my advice, it’ll take away at least one item of stress!

I still remember the nerves, I couldn’t believe it, thought I’d be sick at times sat there waiting for the flag to drop. Then it drops, and it’s as close as I can imagine to what it must have been like in a WW11 dog fight. Then it’s over. Then you have to fix the bike ready for the next dog fight!

At least the fixing kept the nerves at bay!

Got used to it after a while though. Even managed to build bikes that didn’t need fixing!

It’s an awful lot of work just to get an adrenaline high tho innit? Drugs would be a lot cheaper...

There is something wrong with me. As soon as my motor starts, I am never going to crash again. - That is not reality. I don't ever start my bike at home, because if it fires up I feel the urge to give it a squirt up the street. And there is a cop living across the road and another around the corner.
The first time I raced, I locked the front brake at the end of the straight, and slid up the road on my back at about 90 MPH in front of my two sons. So I never had to watch them racing motorcycles.
 
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Road racing is like a lot of things - the more you do it, the easier it gets. These days - for me, it is easier than driving my car on public roads.
 
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I would LOVE seven races in one weekend! We were only allowed one race on Saturday, and one on Sunday.

And all that after 3-4,000 mile round trips!
What are you talking about? Usually there’s a bump class (with AHRMA) and if you stick around for Saturday and Sunday that’s four races with one bike. Got another bike and another class and now you have potentially eight races for a weekend - good luck with that!
 

grandpaul

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Yeah, but Production bikes don't stand a chance anywhere else with a nominally qualified rider.
 

storm42

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Big miles for your fun, I guess lcrken had the same problem if wanting to go to more than one track.

For me, Mallory was a 60 mile drive, the next race is at Darley Moor and that will be a 30 mile drive. I was considering not going to Lydden because it is 230 miles away
 

baz

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230 miles away would mean I didn't even need to get a hotel.
A 230 mile drive in the UK can try the patience of a saint
And to get to lydden you need to park for a while on a massive car park known as the M25 then dice with all the ferry traffic heading for Dover ,it's not a lot of fun
 

Chris

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Trouble is as Stuart has found out! (Congratulations) once you start?
If Knockhill came up again I would do it in a heartbeat. Eleven hours straight drive fuel only. Loved the place & the nicest staff ever.
Chris
 

Chris

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Lyddens my local coast run 2 1/2 hours. Middle country seems a good place to be based.
 

Fast Eddie

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Dances, I ran 2 bikes in 2 classes one season. It was tremendous fun, but as owner, builder, rider, mechanic, pit crew and cook, it was like a full time job - or two - and damned near wore me out!

Also led to me chasing issues the whole season. If I’d kept to one bike I cudda nailed them, but I didn’t and I didn’t !
 
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Even if you are experienced, first time back racing after being away for a while - means you have to fix all the things which fall off your bike. After two meetings, the bike is usually OK. But the travel is a bugger. If you get to a meeting and your bike gives-up, you lose your travel expenses and your entry fees. The best way to go, is to do a couple of practice days prior to racing and ride the bike as fast as you can for a large number of laps and keep fixing it. But nothing is cheap.
 
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When I race, what is important to me is that I must do better than the guys who are riding similar bikes to my own. The fellas on the killer-diller super expensive bikes or two-strokes, are irrelevant If I can get one very competitive ride at a meeting and get in front, I am happy. I will never get the situation where there will be air-cooled Ducatis in my races when I am riding the Seeley 850 - for me, that would be the ultimate. If I knew that was there, I would be racing next month.
 
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Say Fast Eddie, in Paul’s case he really didn’t have a viable bump class. Never had the time to campaign two bikes and my hat is tipped to anyone who has done so, successfully or otherwise.
 

Fast Eddie

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Say Fast Eddie, in Paul’s case he really didn’t have a viable bump class. Never had the time to campaign two bikes and my hat is tipped to anyone who has done so, successfully or otherwise.
When I campaigned two bikes I didn’t have the time either!
 

lcrken

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D
Big miles for your fun, I guess lcrken had the same problem if wanting to go to more than one track.

For me, Mallory was a 60 mile drive, the next race is at Darley Moor and that will be a 30 mile drive. I was considering not going to Lydden because it is 230 miles away
When I was actively racing, the closest track I raced at was 100 miles away (Willow Springs Raceway) and usually took 1 hr. 45 min. from door to track. The furthest was Daytona at 2500 miles, and, I used to do it every year. Best time was 56 hours for my first time there, driving with a friend (who was also racing a Commando) almost non-stop, sleeping in the seat when not driving, showering at truck stops. Quite the adventure. Later trips, driving solo, took 3 to 4 days each way. I had the pleasure of racing at a lot of other tracks at distances in between those two extremes. I considered myself lucky in the early days because I had three great tracks at 97 - 107 miles from my house, Willow Springs, Riverside, and Ontario. I think I was lucky to get to race in what now look like the glory days (at least in the US) for Vintage, Twins, and Singles racing.

Don't mean to hijack your thread, Storm, just brings back a lot of great memories. The same kind you're making now.

Ken
 

grandpaul

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Say Fast Eddie, in Paul’s case he really didn’t have a viable bump class. Never had the time to campaign two bikes and my hat is tipped to anyone who has done so, successfully or otherwise.
Actually, in 2008, I was fortunate to race the 2nd half of the season with a very competitive borrowed F500 Kawasaki triple. Third place my first time out, on a new (to me) track, and managed to finish 3rd in the championship on it. Also finished 5th in Production on my scratch-built Bonneville. Topped it off with a 2nd place finish to Dave Aldana in VMX Sportsman 250 at the Sandia Classic, and set my class record at the inaugural BUB meet at Bonneville. Last 4 races on the Kwaker were with a swap meet engine with a hole in the middle piston.

"The time of my life"
(also with thread hijack apologies)
 
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