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My day at Broadford

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Simon Lockington, May 18, 2009.

  1. Gidday guys,
    Today I went and did the Chequered Flag riding course at Broadford racecourse.

    I've just gotten back into bikes after a ten year break and decided I wanted to do some kind of course straight away to avoid learning bad habits again.

    The Ridetec MTA course was the first one I saw so I signed up for that.

    Riding from Springvale to Broadford (about 1.5 hours) in 3 degrees cold and a tonne of fog was testing in itself.

    I nominated myself in the slow group and I must admit during the breifings there was a lot of talk of 'high speed' everywhere. I was concerned that unless I could do 200km/h down the back straight, I wasn't going to fit in.

    I confirmed with the instructors I could go at speeds I was comfortable at and there would be no problem which was great.

    The instructors took us for a walk around the track telling us which lines to take and giving us the lowdown of the place which was very interesting, then it was time for the riding to begin.

    The big boys were up first and they got into it in a big way, I was worried that the 'slow' group might not be so slow.

    Each group had a 20 minute session on the track and at the end of the first session I was glad that it was just 20 minutes to be honest! Hanging on to the bike while riding close to my limit was exhausting!

    In the slow group it was prohibited for riders to 'undertake' other bikes in a turn which made it a lot less stressful for us, you didn't have to worry about blokes coming up on the inside.

    The instructors circulated through the field on their bikes and picked up on riders to follow them and learn the lines and positions. It was funny, while the rest of us were 'going hard', these guys were cruising around with one hand on the bars, the other on their hip looking behind themselves and we still couldn't keep up with them!

    After the second session on the track I was starting to really get the hang of the S bends that I had struggled with on the previous two sessions, but the first turn still troubled me to get the combination of braking and entry speed right.

    After two sessions it was lunchtime which included a static instruction session, then back out onto the track for three more sessions. By then everyone was exhausted and started packing up.

    The ride home was boring by comparison and 110km/h on the motorway felt like I could get off and jog faster, but I know that I'm certainly a better skilled rider now than I was this morning when I left the house.

    I reckon I'll enrol in the next course to try and continue working on some of the concepts I was trying today (countersteering, blipping the throttle, leaning correctly etc).

    One thing worth nothing, as a bloke 'new' to the sport again, I was made to feel more than welcome by everyone, from similar 'slowbees' as me through to the Valentino Rossi's in the fast group. One bloke on hearing that I was thinking of giving the fifth session a miss on account of running low on gas insisted on giving me the remainder of gas in his jerry can and wouldn't accept money for it.

    Hope this post is helpful for any new/returning riders, get yourself signed up for a course like this, it's not half as intimidating as you think and you meet a tonne of great people.

    Look forward to meeting more of you in the years to come!

  2. Glad you had a great day Si.
    Are you still flying helos?

    What bike do you have now?
    Cheers mate.
  3. Great little write up, just sorry it took so long to get around to reading it.

    Been toying with the idea myself after a long stint away from them myself, especially after cruising with a few people recently and found my handling of corners etc compared to some other's was well....... weak :p

    Really peaked my interest now, so I guess I'll have to go get some leathers and sign myself up, sounds like alot of fun to.
  4. Glad you hit the track and enjoyed it. :wink:

    ... apart from the obvious speed difference, the world does actually slow down because you are focused well out ahead of the bike after the track practice...It's one of the keys to being able to ride faster but with more control.
    Well done! :grin: A day at the track is a brilliant learning experience.

  5. Gidday Kardia,
    Yeah mate I'm still flying helis, just not as much as I used to. I pounded one into a tree a few weeks back and it's hard to sum up the enthusiasm to fix it :). Especially now the bike is here!

    I'm riding a GSX650F, it's a great bike for what I want, just trying to get back into the groove of riding again.

    The Broadford day was great, really recommend it. In my group there were a couple of litre bikes and it was somewhat satisfying that the only time they were pulling away from me was when we got to the straights, as soon as we hit the corners I caught right back up.