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Thread: Cadwell July 2014

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  1. Cadwell July 2014 
    #1
    For those wot are interested  just a quick (OK, I admit, not so quick) resume of our trip to Cadwell this week, I must admit, with the slight intention of maybe encouraging you to get back on track with us.

    We (me, Moo, Lucinda, Shammy & James) did the Sunday and Monday with No Limits Trackdays, the ladies in the Novices and we in the Inters on Sunday & Fast (oh-err) on the Monday. We travelled up on the Saturday and after looking at every eating establishment in Louth (3) decided on the usual Curry House, after which we then did the obligatory track walk in the dark accompanied by rabbits, owls and Moo and Shammy’s animal and bird impersonations! Curried up and hoping for a couple of dry days we hit the tents / vans and (for me at least) had a restless night of spicy burps and weird pre-trackday dreams.

    Sunday was sunny when I emerged blinking and bleary eyed out of the van to the usual dawn chorus of generators and loud excited voices, and it was the usual rush to sign on and get noise tested before the briefing at 8.30. Inters were on first so after the usual excellent “to the point” No Limits briefing, it was kit on and off for the three sighting laps and fun 
    The first session after sighting always goes very fast as it takes me another ten minutes to get settled in and confident that the bikes OK. A couple of quick laps following Moo and it was back in to calm down and prepare for the first proper session in 40 minutes time.
    During this time the sky had clouded over and by the time the girls were out it was looking very iffy ! We watched (from the café) as the rain came in and the Novices carefully completed the session in the rain. From what I remember none of us went out again in the morning apart from brave racer Moo who did a session on a wet but drying track before lunch (I must admit, I looked on feeling a little chicken) – no Lucinda, before you reply, I wasn’t actually “feeling a baby chicken” as that would be wrong! I meant I was feeling a little cowardly ;-)

    As the morning went on, it slowly brightened and by first session after lunch it was bright and almost a dry track. I won’t bore you with daring doos on track, but I was happy to follow Moo’s lines and Chappers was happy to mug us both with his monster powered missile of a bike ;-) To my surprise we were all about the quickest in the Inters and we all had fun carving through most of the riders in the group. The promised Super Duke CrashFest (it was their annual track day meet there) was smaller and less crashy than advertised and despite their big power they weren’t able to put it down around the track and didn’t get to much in the way.
    Before the last session following advice from Moo about getting around the guy in front as soon as possible in the session and not letting them “get into the groove” I used the extra umph of my Gixer to mug him coming out of Barn on the first lap – thanks Moo, good advice ;-) and then frightened myself a couple of times trying to keep in front of him 

    The girls in the meantime were having fun of their own and following the advice of their instructors to “get off the bike more” were making steady progress and overtaking more people every session. From memory, there was only one (maybe two) other ladies in the group and they both overtook her with ease.
    We decided to eat early at the track that night (anything you could wish for as long as it was a combination of chips, sausage, burger or cheese) and had another (very entertaining) track walk before beers and nattering around the camp fire and bed. We didn’t actually have a camp fire, but that didn’t stop us having the beer and lots of laughs. I’m sure Shammy will explain why she felt she ought to dress up funny and accost random strangers for photographs ;-)
     
     

  2.  
    #2
    Monday we woke up to sun and the start of a hot, sunny day. After the usual formalities we (us lads) headed out in the fast group for the sighting laps. This was split up into two with Moo going off first and James (Chappers) and me in the second group. Ten minutes later saw both me and James back in the pits after a red flag in shock, I had to ride faster in the sighting laps than anytime the day before, it was looney !
    When Moo came in he cheered us both up by saying that his group was really slow (and had been overtaken by the second group which caused big confusion) but at least he confirmed us three weren’t the slowest in the group.
    After the first proper session it transpired that it was indeed a very fast group (to me anyway) with only 2 / 3 other riders that I could overtake. I was prepared for some close overtakes and wasn’t disappointed, but only really stood up badly once in the hairpin by a quick guy who wanted my bit of racetrack. Moo can tell you the name of the one very quick guy (racer) who was there, but his speed was just something else. I seriously doubt that he even noticed us on track. There was a fair few “offs” and 4 / 5 red flags in the day but nothing that held people up to badly. It’s a bit surreal watching a guy rolling about on the grass, arms and legs flailing, as you try concentrate on the next corner.
    Moo and I had a couple of great tussles, at one point with us both going up Coppice side by side close enough that I could have reached out and tickled his ribs (which I should have done as I chickened out first on that occasion). James was enjoying his new slicks and at one point I was sure he was going to need elbow sliders !
    The last session for us came just before the rain (good timing) and I was chuffed to monkeys to spend the whole session six feet behind James and to mug him under braking at Park. I’m sure he’ll explain the reasons I was able to do this (racing excuse 34b if I remember right James) ;-p

    Moo had decided by then he shouldn’t be playing silly farts and “racing us” and was concentrating on developing his lines and techniques on track, something I really wish I was able to do but am to juvenile to stick to. I must try harder at Oulton.

    Meanwhile, Lucinda and Shammy had been joined by Shelia who was bike sharing with Shammy for the day and all three were getting faster. It was brilliant watching Lucinda’s smile getting bigger with every session. I can only imagine how much fun it must be being a “girly” and overtaking the macho men out there  I think their progress will be quickened up, like mine would be, by just being braver in the corners, but all of you know how hard that is when your “safe sensible” brain is saying “brake” and your “trackday” brain is saying don’t !

    The Gixer behaved perfectly (well apart from my gear lever falling off) and did me proud, and mechanically all our bikes were fine.
    The step up into the fast group was good and I’ll stick there from now on and hope to learn from the others in the group, I’m still to cautious on overtaking slower people (it’s the Gentleman in me) and I still run out of bollocks on the corners, but it’s getting better.

    I must admit I really think I’m lucky being able to go on trackdays with our lovely ladies. It makes the whole thing so much less macho and much more fun. I know we all want to do our best but after all it isn’t “racing” and isn’t life or death, so having fun is important.
    Finally, thank you Lucinda, who puts up with my pre and post trackday verbal diarrhoea for many miles of motorways and is always there to remind me how often I put my foot in my mouth ;-) x You have just got to love a Yorkshire Gal !

    I would be great to see more of the old crowd on track this summer, Charley, Nick, Mikkie, Flick, we miss you !
    I’d like to do another in August or early Sept if possible so will be bombarding you all with possible dates soon. Double headers, although more expensive are better as the best tracks are quite far away and it also gives you a better chance of some time on a dry track in our unpredictable British climate. Saying that, we have a few closer ones (Mallory) that we could do in a day OK.

    Yours
    Longwindedly

    Gerry
     
     

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