Monday, September 26, 2011

CMRA - Race day 1

Does anybody like waking up early? I sure don't.

Yea, it's mine.
I was up at 5am.

Since I don't own a truck or trailer, I had to ride my motorcycle to the racetrack, in street legal form. This meant I had to do final race prep at the track, on the morning of.

So I was up at 5am, packing bags, and making sure I had all the necessary tools and supplies to perform required modifications at the track. I arrived around 7:30am. I found a really comfy spot next to the Redline boys. I was outside of their tent, but my bike isn't made of sugar, so it doesn't matter if it gets wet.

The pits at Race City are gravel, so every lays down a sheet of plywood to park their bikes on. I had nothing of the sort, but thankfully, there was a beat up oily chunk no one was using. Perfect!

Sat down to do the dirty work;
- Taped up the tail light (Huge thanks to PSAV for supplying the Gaff)
- Removed the headlight and replaced it with my OMGCUSTOM fibreglass number plate.
- Removed mirrors and signal lights.

Since you can't technically race with a kickstand, I removed that too, sorta. I don't have a race stand, so I kinda needed it. So I loosened it to the last few threads and left it on until it was time to go.

Everything was ready, and so was I. Got all suited up in my protective gear, and then waited until the first practice session of the day.

9am rolled around and the horn sounded for the first practice session. I jumped on my bike to ride up to pre-grid, shifted into first, and the bike died! Oh dangit. The kickstand safety switch! When I unplugged it, the dash light didn't light up, so I assumed everything was cool. Honda apparently thought this one out. So I quickly removed my seat, jammed a short length of safety wire into the connector, and tried again. Aww yea!
Quickly bolted the seat back on, and ripped out for the first practice session. It was mostly uneventful, other than totally blowing through the "bus stop" by accidentally downshifting too far while trying to execute a sketchy pass. Nobody died. No harm done.

Second session was equally uneventful. Then it was back to the pits to wait for my race to start...

At around 11am, the horn sounded for my class - Open Novice. Jump on the bike, and rip on out to pregrid. The warm-up lap was pretty slow. Since I'm poor and ghetto, I don't own tire warmers like the cool kids, so my cold tires were nice and slippery. One lap, and then it's lining up into the starting grid.

I guess things were confusing to some people. I knew my spot in the grid, and I knew there were four people in my row. There was one other guy. Again, my first rodeo, so this made me a little nervous. After what seemed like a decade of the other riders futzing around behind me trying to figure out their grid positions, the starter dropped the flag and the race started.

I had a brutal start. Let the clutch out too fast, so I wheelied, when made me chop the throttle, so the clutch grabbed and bogged, so I pulled in the clutch, got the RPMs up, wheelied again, whatever, I was off. First lap was a little sketchy with the just barely warm tires, but after that, all was good.

Then, crossing the start line for my last lap, my engine tone changes suddenly, and I feel a good sharp WHACK in the back of my right leg. MY STUPID MUFFLER CAME LOOSE. It fell off the header, and was still attached at the rear, so it got run over by my rear wheel and spun around the peg me a good one. Corner workers at corner 3 looked adamant that I pull off, so I did. I tucked the muffler away and rode my sorry self back to the pits. First race in the CMRA was a DNF (Did Not Finish).

This was a fix that would not be easy. The pipe got seriously messed up when the rear tire ran over it. After a quick chat with the Redline boys, I learned that there are no noise regulations. Guess I'll just run without a muffler? Okay, deal.


So Race #2. I started the warm-up lap with cold tires again, because, like I said, no warmers. I could definitely feel them sliding a bit, even at the easy warm-up pace, so I was doing unnecessary accelerations and braking to flex the tires more and build up some heat. Well, just as the lap was almost done, I was about to give one last good hard brake. I was also thinking about how loud my exhaust was, and how poorly my carburated bike was running without a muffler. I guess I was distracted. So I braked a little too hard, locked up the front, and I was down in an heartbeat. Yep, I crashed in the warm-up lap.


You have to have your bike inspected after crashing before you are allowed to race again, so there wasn't enough time for me to get back in it. Which a huge shame, immediately after crashing I was ready to get back in!
So, while the race I have planned on competing in was going on, I went on a quick trip to Home Depot to get some bolts to replace those ruined in the crash. $3 later, my back was tech'd and ready to go again for the next day.
At this point I just went home. Nothing left for me to accomplish.

2 comments:

  1. a true story about one of the most ghetto motorbike racers in canada. i can see this movie being on the cbc in no time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. At least you got your aston! Man respect for not letting pride or like irrelevent equipment get in the way of you just going out and having fun. PS you go girl

    ReplyDelete

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