I'm riding for 11 years but I never attended a track day as in my mind I always thought that I will crush on the track or I will fail to ride a bike on a track due to my mindset and as well I'm not that much into racing.
I want to improve my cornering so is time to invest in my knowledge and skills and what better way for me to do this then attending a special designed ladies event on a track, where isn't traffic, no obstacles, no debris.
Where you can do that? At a skill/ school day!
Why? Because everyone is there to learn! No one is judging you that you don't have the experience, that you ride too slow, that you can't put "the knee down".
With who? With instructors and professional team which will offer all the tools that you need to gain knowledge, skills, confidence and improve your motorcycle awareness in a safe environment.
The decision has been made: I need to try it and signed up to the ladies track day event with California Superbike School UK
I've followed the team from California Superbike School UK for a while on CSS UK FB , see a part of the team at a few motorcycle events, had a chat with them and decided to overcome my fears and to see if I like riding on the track.
30th of April was here! Couldn't take a day off from work so I needed to ride from Basildon, Essex on the day of the event, to Oulton Park. Just 209 miles. The event will start at 0800h and I've left home around 0300h thinking that I will be there around 0720h- never trust google maps relating to time! The ride was awful. On M1 I was riding for 30 miles with 16 mph behind a "Don't pass" Police car. On M6 was that foggy that you couldn't see 40 yards in front of you.
I've managed to arrive at Oulton Park at 0839h, yes, I know, a bit, more, late.
The team was nice and helpful , even though I was the only one late. Everything was on fast forward: security on track briefing, changing into leathers( have I've told you that I've found a rental leather service? Essex Bikers Centre , if you don't have a suit, like me, you can try and collect it or they can post the racing suit to you if you know the size) had my gear checked to meet the safety requirements for riding safe on track, had the exhaust noise checked and we are on!
OMG I was just scared! Had no idea what to expect. The words TRACK DAY were scaring me. I was thinking that there will be a lot of racing motorcycles, and I will be just a snail which will cause only issues. But all was very professionally organized.
There were 4 groups, based on the track experience. I was on level 1 green group.
Every single group had separate class and track sessions so that way we can concentrate and be just a few on track and in the class. We had been introduced to our instructors, again thanks Duncan McLeod, my instructor, for all your patience and tips.
On the track and at pit stop you have fun, you can concentrate on other details, not if someone will cut in front of you, or a car will turn into you or about other issues. You meet old friends ( HI to our friend Liz from Dainese London, Sherri from Moto Advisor ) and you make new friends.
The day had 5 class sessions and 5 track sessions where we needed to put in practice all the information and tips.
On the track, each female rider had their own instructor riding a brand new Ducati 959 Panigale in the rear, monitoring her and after a while, the instructor was overpassing and we needed to follow the signs done by them so we can correct our riding and put in practice the information provided in the class sessions.
After every track session, we had a debrief with the instructor where we discuss our pluses, what we need to improve and how we need to approach the track.
After every class and track session, you gain so much knowledge about how you are controlling the motorbike. Knowing all the information, practicing it on track and being monitored by an instructor and becoming more aware of our abilities we were gaining more confidence with every lap that we were doing. I never thought that a track day will be so useful.
Why I'm saying that? Because this isn't just a track day. Is a day, on track, with an assigned instructor that monitors you, with class sessions that teach you the basics of riding, or more, depends on the experience level, on the track but specially designed so you can use all the information on road, to keep you safe. Is about being one with your bike, becoming more aware of how to control the motorbike and how to react in certain situations. Is about how to correctly ride your motorbike, an a track, in one day and how to be safer on roads, by controlling your pride and joy much better, after you've pushed your limits.
After this amazing day, which finished around 1700h, is time to ride again home.
Another 211 miles. Is pointless to say that was a tiring ride back home but I'm lucky that my partner meet me half way and I had a few hours to stress him out, in the telecom, that I want to do all California Superbike School courses and maybe, in the future, even rent a Ducati 959 Panigale to ride it on track, while doing the courses.
For more information about the school, courses, bike hire access the links below
California Superbike School UK website
California Superbike School UK Instagram
California Superbike School UK FB page
Image credit to Impact Images Photography in partnership with Bennett's .