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Feeling a bit too tired to ride today?
Back sore, wrists hurt from being hunched over your clip-ons?
and watch this.
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Doing a spring clean and I came across a speech I did for toastmasters a few years ago. Join me as I take you on a ride of my Café Racer for a hot lap of Barbagallo Raceway.
It’s 6am and the alarm finally goes off. I was ready for it as I had been awake since 5am in anticipation. I’m out of bed and into my leathers within minutes. It’s 6:15am as I thumb the starter. Dogs bark, cats scatter and babies wake. I really should put the baffles back in the exhaust I think to myself as I ride through the suburbs setting off car alarms.
It’s 6:30am and I’m on the freeway heading north. A fellow motorcyclist pulls up alongside with a smile from ear to ear, looks at the bike , gives me the thumbs up and takes off. I give chase, darting from lane to lane, trying to get an advantage but he’s too good for me and I’m happy to save my racing for the track.
It’s 7am and the butterflies in my somach feel like hummingbirds as I arrive at the track and head towards the scrutineering. It’s as if every person in the paddock stops and turns to look at the bike as it burbles, barks and backfires its way past. Maybe it’s because the bike looks like it belongs on display and not on the racetrack but I don’t care as I built this bike to ride.
It’s 9am and the call comes over the PA that our group is on the track in 5 minutes. I drink a bottle of water to drown the hummingbirds which works for a second or two. The jacket is zipped, gloves are on and helmet tightened as I line up in the pits. We are delayed 5 minutes as someone has come off around the back of the track on cold tyres. The hummingbirds make a reappearance.
The whistle blows and we’re waved onto the track. Everyone is being cautious and taking it easy, waiting for someone else to make a move and break the nervous procession. “I’ve had enough of this” I say to myself so I twist the throttle and unleash hell. People in the pits stop in their tracks and look to see where the noise is coming from. They see a 50hp cafe racer closing in on a Honda Fireblade with three times the power as they exit a right hand corner coming onto the straight.
I come around the outside of the Fireblade, the rider looks left and sees me and double takes as he can’t believe I’m next to him. He twists the throttle and is gone with me in hot pursuit towards turn one. He brakes early, I brake late blipping the throttle in the down changes but the rear tyre still chirps and skips as I start to lean the bike into the corner.
My front tyre is centremeters away from his rear tyre. The corner opens up and I’m on the gas around the outside into the left right flip flop and dabbing the brakes for the only left hand corner on the track. The fireblade is long gone and I’m looking for my next target.
Rounding up sportsbikes around the back of the circuit never gets boring. I pick off a few more sportsbikes going into “the basin” only to be blown away down the straight. There is only so much a 50hp Cafe Racer can do.
As the track-day comes to an end, I’m ready to collapse. Eight twenty minute sessions on the track takes it out of you. Petrol has been borrowed, pegs have been scraped and laughs have been had with new friends. I call my wife and tell her I’ll be home in an hour and that I’m going straight to bed. I say my goodbyes and somehow get my complaining bum, back and bones back onto the bike for the long trip home.
I’m dodging in and out of traffic on the motorway with ease, wanting to get home and into the shower as quick as possible. I turn into the driveway and the roller door opens. I park the bike and peel myself out of my sweaty leathers and make my way upstairs.
I jump out of the shower and head to the bedroom where I’m greeted by my wife who is as naked as I am. Not exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted to go straight to bed but I’m not complaining. Two minutes later as I’m lying there with a satisfied look on my face, my mind wanders back over the days events and all I can think is “Motorcycling, it’s better than sex”
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