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No Whammy No Whammy STOP!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was a day similar to this one. Love was in the air, the grass was moist from the early morning dew, and the smell of VP race fuel filled the air.

Okay, enough of that...

So I get up at 4:30 in the morning, throw the last of my gear in the car, hook up my trailor and Im off. Only an hour and a half drive until Im screaming at 130 mph, draggin my knees, and lighting up the tires out of the turns.

I arrive at the track at 7:15, get the car parked and walk up to registration to sign in. I made sure to bring all my recepts and confirmation letters with me because I had a feeling I would not be on their lists. Good thing I brought all that stuff because they had no clue that I was planning on riding there that day. I explained that I got the day free through Gixxer.com, and it all clicked. They take my info and Im off to unload the 636 thats still on the trailor.

Off comes the bike and on to tech to beat the rush. But wait, there was no rush today. This was one of the only two "limited numbers" days that NESBA was offering this year. As a test they took their normal 40 people/group limit down to 25 people/group. And this Saturday, there were only 20 people signed up in Beginner. SWEET!!!

So I get through tech like a hot knife through butter and I go back to set up camp. Since I decided to do the next day as well, I brought my tent with me to camp out that night. I set up the tent, get out my gear, roll over to the tire man and have my pressure checked. Then they announce the riders meeting.

Dont pass the blend line!!! Thats basically the biggest stress of teeh meeting. And very important one as well. The beginners get a riders meeting of their own to inform all the new people how to ride their motorcycles on the track, because it actually is different than you would on the street (to some degree). You can feel the excitement in the room as the Advanced group goes out and screams past at a buck-thirty.

So the meeting ends and we get ready for the first session. Let me now mention the conditions we were going to be riding in this fine day. At 9 am it was already 80 degrees. By noon it was a hair below 100.

So a few sessions go by, and one of the guys who camped next to me goes down in turn 6 on his RC51. He busted off a foot peg, and his break lever, but nothing else. Unfortunately, he could not ride the rest of the day because he did not have a replacement peg, and no one else had one that fit properly.

The next session, another guy who pit right next to me goes down in the Intermediate group on his Gixxer 1000. He crashed into turn one. Bike flipped about 14 times. He came out unscathed, but the bike is out of comission for a while. Nothing structural, all cosmetic.

Here some pics of the camp site and the crashed Gixxer 1000:





 

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No Whammy No Whammy STOP!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, another couple sessions go by and the only guy that is still parked next to me crashes on his F4i (the yellow one in the pic). He was fine, and the bike only got a couple scratches. No dents, or cracks. He got out really lucky. Must have just gone off the track and laid it down in the grass.

So then there is just me. Me and my little 636. I stay in for one more session but am dying from the heat. Im out there on the track with like 5 other riders and 6 control riders, so its awesome. I have a CR as a rabbit in front of me, and a CR to watch me from behind. Well, we decide to tear up the track. We are pulling 1:25's (which is good enough for mid pack Intermediate group) and just railing harder and faster through all the turns. I go flying into turn one, touch the knee, and start throttling out of the turn when the rear tire starts spinning up on me. I just maintanence throttle my way out of it when all of a sudden it grabs, and grabs hard. I get bucked from the seat and almost fly off the bike. I get tossed up on the tank a bit but recover nicely. Fortunately it happened on the last lap of the last session, so I took it easy for the rest of the lap.

I talked with the CR who was behind me after the session, and hes says "Nice save! Im glad you slowed it down after that." He said I was looking great out there. I explained it to him that it was my first time riding the bike and that Im still trying to get used to it.

He gave me a couple pointers on where I can improve and what I can do to make the ride a lot easier and less energy consuming.

So, after that session, I called it a day. A friend of mine who was going to be riding that Sunday showed up and was setting up camp, so I helped him with that and we hung out. Mind you it was still mid 90's at 6:00 and I had what felt like a hangover from dehydration.

I drank 6 litres of water, and many gatorades and still was way dehydrated. So take everyones advice and drink mega amounts of water the whole week before and even more when you are at the track.

So I sleep off my hangover with a catnap in the air conditioned control tower and wake up to the smell of the BBQ going on out side. Incase you didnt know, NESBA is like a big family. About 15 of us were hanging out, shooting the shit, grilling out and all sharing food. It was just a big party. It was a great way to wind down the day.

So another friend arrives who was riding that Sunday and we get him all unloaded and we park the bikes under a guys tent for the night.



Well, its so damn hot out there, I cant even think about sleeping, so I go for a track walk to ease my mind. I get about half way around and the storms start coming in. Damn, this is going to suck to sleep in. Then like an angle was calling mey, my buddy says, I got a hotel room, and theres one spot still available. So I grab that before anyone else heres him, and we head out to a nice air conditioned room with running water and a TV. He informs me that he inticed his ex-girlfriend (an aquaintence/friend) of mine to come down that night and go "racing" tomorrow. She obliges and she heads down at midnight, in the rain, on her bike, to meet us at the hotel.

So she spends the night, no hanky-panky business went on, and we get up at the buttcrack of dawn to shower up. We get outside to the thick, 80 degree air and head to the track. Today there were double the people that there were on Saturday, and Im all ready to hit the track hard and get a bump to Intermediate.

Riders meeting, and beginner meeting finish and I take the first session off to get food, gas, and lots of water. Thats more important to me than going on a 20 minute parade lap to warm up all the new people.

So I get back to find out they red flagged the first session because someone went down and was in an impact zone. So I didnt miss much. The next session comes around and I go out there. Lots of traffic, and big ol trains going into the turns because there was a new guy out there who was trying to get used to the whole track riding experience. Fine by me. The CR's did an excelent job of working with the slow people and waving on the faster groups.

The next session out I try to get to the front, but the thought of wearing my leather suit for 10 minutes siting in the sun is not appealing to me. So I end up in the back again. Well, I get in front of pretty much everyone and have some nice open road for me to get some nice times, but about a lap later I hit traffic again. Okay, thats fine. I just need to get to the front on the line next time so I dont run into people.

Well, all of a sudden a yellow flag comes out. Another rider went down. I go past turn one and I see my friend down on the ground flapping around like a fish out of water. I go past and we get red flagged in. I get the bike all parked and strip off my gear and head over to turn one. The paramedics were there, and I get informed that Flight-For-Life was called in. Everyone at the track was piled up in turn one wondering if my friend Linda was okay. The chopper comes in, and they take her away. My other buddy who convinced the girl to come out that day loads up his car and goes to the hospital to find out whats up.

The track was shut down for about an hour and a half and we had another riders meeting to explain what was going on. The theory is that she was coming into turn one and fainted due to heat/dehydration. When the paramedics arrived, they could not get any responce out of her, so they called in the helicopter just as a precaution. The directors shortened the sessions to 15 minutes because of the heat (another 100 degree day) and we were back out again.

Well, being more concerned for my friend, I give my buddy a call and find out her condition. He said she is fine. Just a little sore and a couple bruises. Nothing broken, but they did some cat scans just to make sure everything is alright. So I tell him that I can load up my bike on the trailor, have my mom drive it home, and I can ride her bike (which was still perfectly streetable) back to my place.

We agree on this and I call it a day. I had a full day on Saturday, and to be honest I was getting frustrated with the heat, and traffic, so it was best that I called it.
 

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No Whammy No Whammy STOP!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, after reading this novel, Im sure many of you are wondering just why the hell anyone would want to ride on the track when there are so many accidents. I can tell you this: That weekend was just a big fluke with accidents. Many people were out there on their street tires, and adding the heat just made for very slick conditions. The folks that crashed either did not know their limits, were pushing their limits, or just flat out had a mistake happen that they didnt know how to recover from. Now, nobody wants to crash, but lets talk about what was good about these crashes. Not a single person was in the hospital for more than one night, only one person broke a bone, and everybody lived to tell the tale of how they were riding faster and harder than they ever had before and had a great time doing it.

NESBA is a cool organization that is like a very big family. If anyone gets hurt, or needs help with anything, everyone there is ready to help out in any way they can. NESBA is not a "crash" organization, so dont let this weekend fool you into thinking that if you go to the track, you will crash. This was a fluke. The CR's out there are doing one hell of a job watching the riders and showing them how to be more in control of their machine, but ultimately it is up to the individual rider on how calm and relaxed they are to take it easy and not push so hard that they end up screwing up.

The time I was almost thrown off the bike, I slowed down. I knew I was pushing just that little bit too hard, and I needed to take it down a notch until I was ready to push a little farther. That is something the CR's can not "control".

So with that being said, I suggest everyone go out and try a track day. It is much safer than riding on the streets, and it is in an environment that allows for you to push your riding skills in a safe and "controlled" manner.

Anyways, on with the pics:

Such a calm Saturday at the track:



You mean, this is everyone?



Its nice to have so few people on the track



 

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No Whammy No Whammy STOP!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And now to the pics of me tearing it up:











And that should do it.

I have about 100 more pictures I could post up but its pretty image intense right now. I have some helicopter pics, about 50 more of me riding, and a bunch of the other riders out there. I made sure to fulfill my end of the "free track day" deal.

So if you have any questions, or want to see more pics, just ask away.
 

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V-twin anyone?
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Nice write up! It sounds like a lot of fun. Perhaps, one day, I'll have a dedicated track bike. Rock on!!!
 

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nice write up and some great pics.
 

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Official SBN Party Pooper
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Didn't get a chance to read it, don't really want to. I'm so envious of you to have a REAL track out there. Ours is so crappy and has potholes in it :eek:

Nice shots though!
 

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All I have to say is..... :2devil
 

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Rascus said:
Didn't get a chance to read it, don't really want to. I'm so envious of you to have a REAL track out there. Ours is so crappy and has potholes in it :eek:

Nice shots though!

Hay doan be bad mouthin our track sunny its a perfect trainer for up n coming moto xers! :beer :phatyo :pisson
 

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No Whammy No Whammy STOP!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
telejojo said:
where is the track?
The track is Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, IL.

I have my next weekend booked for the 30th and 31st.
 

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That was awsome dude and glad you enjoyed yourself.

Hopefully one day I'll get to a track.It's just so far to drive.
 

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My bike won't turn?!!??
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Great write up. Enjoyed it immensely. Always wanted to get a track bike or at least prepare my current bike for a track day.
 

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you guys are making me miss racing.... Used to race gokarts and they are soooo much fun. Now, I have to go and buy that one peice suit and head to a track for a track day... thanks...
 

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Damn nice write-up! You've got me wanting to do a trackday really bad now! I'd have to pick up either a spare bike or a car(since my bike is my only transportation) plus some leathers. Realistically it'll probably be a year or two before I can get out there to a track, but I wil get out there. Looks like a ton of fun! Although I think I'll try to pick a day with a little less heat.
 

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Man, I loved the write-up. I can't wait to do a track day. Luckily I Have a good one only a couple of hrs. away. Just want more experience on the bike, and some extra cash to prep it right, if not a dedicated track bike. I know these little Hawks make great track bikes, just can't see myself messing her up on the track and not able to ride every day. I guess, bottom line, just gotta do it.

Good to hear everyone that went down was pretty much ok. It's is always scary to see someone going away in the chopper.
 
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