That fun that I experience when we go out for a scenic ride on our Triumph Thruxton’s with the warm sun shining through the coolness generated by the breeze of our acceleration. The fun of the day spent rubbing elbows and stuffing passes with my husband on the SuperMoto bikes on the Stockton Lil 99 track. The fun of spinning laps at a track day with your friends, waving and laughing, followed by a cold beer in the pits at the end of the day. That fun of riding for pleasure, without an agenda, or a plan, or goals… just riding for the love of being on a motorcycle.
On Friday, we showed up to get in some laps during the PTT track day. I was working on this and that, following my structured program but not making any progress with my lap times, and after every session I was exhausted. Jason asked me if I thought I might be “over-riding” the bike, a term used by racers to describe a tendency to try to force the bike to go faster through use of your muscles, holding on too tight, physically pushing the bike around. He said, “Why don’t you just go out there and have some fun? Try to do some wheelies or something and relax.” Good advice that has proven to be really hard to follow. As I was turning laps on track with my only plan being - to ride for fun – I realized that I have gotten into this really bad habit of coaching myself while I’m riding. This only makes you go slower when you hyper analyze every move you make on track, which leads to frustration and more over-analyzation.
I decided to skip Saturday practice and instead sign up for all the races I am eligible for (except FP) and use the race time as practice. That meant running F40 and AFemme back to back on Saturday, then running Open GP, Open Superbike and Open Production on Sunday. My goal in the races… you guessed it – Have Fun!
In AFemme, I got a killer launch on the start, my first time on the 1000 getting a good start, that was a highlight to my weekend and it was fun, only problem was, I caught myself off guard, I didn’t get my foot up to the peg fast enough for the shift and gave the holeshot to Joy. She quickly disappeared from my sight, though with that new even-more-reflective-than-before paint, she should have been impossible to lose. Once she was gone I had little motivation left, and with the exhaustion of the previous race and the 101 degree temperature I decided to just enjoy the track time and try to stay out of the way of the class behind me.
I had a fun time racing this weekend, it really is the first time I have had fun on the track this year. I’m still not close to my best lap times and it probably will take me some time to get back there, but the more fun I had this weekend the faster I went, so… new plan for 2016. Enjoy the Ride!