RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
Before you get me wrong, let me be very clear. I, personally, have probably used every single one of these 8 excuses why riders don’t do track days before I booked my first one. Especially number 5 and 6.
But let me tell you why all 8 excuses why riders don’t do track days don’t make sense at all. And hopefully, it will give some peace of mind. And maybe, just maybe, even convince you to book your first track day.
We could think of some more, but we’ve kept it to these 8 excuses. There we go! First up: “I don’t ride a sport bike!”.
A quite hilarious excuse. As long as your bike has wheels, brakes properly and functions like it should (safely), then you can enter a track day. All types of bikes show up at track days. Not just sport bikes and naked bikes, but also all road bikes, sport tourers, vintage motorcycles and even an occasional cruiser.
Yes, naked and sport bikes might be more suited for picking up the speed. But especially in the novice group, it doesn’t mind what you ride.
Or “I don’t own a leather suit!”. Well, go get one. Okay, that might be a bit ‘short and quick’ as an answer. But investing in proper riding gear is always a great idea, whether you ride on track or on the roads.
Want to book your first track day? Then most track day organisations will allow street gear. So you should already have most of what you need. Unless you only have a motorcycle hoodie and some sneakers. But most riders do own some sort of suit, whether it is partly leather of a full textile suit. So you are good to go.
I am too. But that does not keep me from riding on track. You know why? Because the consequences of crashing on track are often way less severe. Especially in the novice group.
When someone crashes on track, it is often because that rider pushed too hard before he or she learned to manage the extra speed. Which results in a typical ‘low sider’, which means the bike slips away from underneath you. This causes some sliding damage to both your suit and your bike, but often isn’t too bad.
It only happens on rare occasions that two riders come together and cause a multi-bike incident. The risk of a collision is way higher on the street. For example with a car, tree, mailbox, animal or @%*^ Prius.
Well, darling.. it makes no sense at all to risk a huge speeding ticket, insurance points and serious injury on the road rather than pay to ride on track.
If you briefly ride 25 km/h over the speeding liƒmit in the Netherlands, you’d easily pay over 250 euros. An average track day costs you 150 to 300 euros, depending on organisation and track. For that amount of money, you don’t just get one short adrenaline rush like you’d get on the road. But you get one that lasts a whole day. And you will actually learn something.
Honey, what is wrong with that? Honestly, I hope you take it easy on your first track day. Reality shows, that riders who take it easy and slowly build up their pace end up being the quicker riders of the day. You will find your pace as the day goes on.
And although you ride on a racetrack, you are not there to race. That’s the beautiful thing about track days. It is not about competition. Competition is for race days and race training. Not for your average track day.
This is a classic one. One I used countless of times. Sometimes, I still relapse and then have to remind myself why this excuses is bullshit. Let me be clear; you are never in the way, as long as you are predictable. This means learning the right lines to ride and staying on them. This way, more experienced and faster riders will know where to pass you safely. Ask any experienced and fast racer and they will tell you the same thing. Being a slower rider is no issue at all, as long as you ride your lines consistently.
Just keep looking forward. It is the passing rider’s responsibility to pass. So don’t look backwards. Just keep doing your thing.
And a little reminder; motorsport is no team sport (not talking about racing here). You ride for you, and for no one else. You have just as much right to learn on your own pace as anyone else.
This is a lazy one. Chances are, you do your first track day with your street bike. You could just ride it to the circuit. If you really don’t want to ride it to the event, you could rent a trailer. Or get active on social media – organisations often have Facebook pages and/or groups – and ask for help. The track riding community is a close one. People are always willing to help.
Rest assured. You are not alone. I hardly slept before my first track day. I was so excited, but scared at the same time. We at REDRIDINGBOOTS really get it. But trust us when we say practically every novice track rider is nervous.
It comes in handy to have some street miles under your belt. But even if you find riding corners at quicker street speeds a bit scary, you could do a track day. You could always opt for one on one private training. A certified and experienced instructor will lead the way and show you what to do, where to ride and how to handle it all. You are in safe hands.
Good to know as well; most organisations allow spectators to come and check out what it is all about. So you could just attend a track day as a spectator and see if it might be right for you. Ask around, get some information from the crew and let it all sink in. Or book your first track day and bring your best friend with you for mental support.
We really do understand where these excuses come from. And why people use them. If you ask us, it is mostly because there is little information out there about what to expect on your first track day. That’s why we write about it, to try and prepare you for your first laps on the circuit. Because it really isn’t that scary at all. And you can ride on track too. Even if you secretly do use one (of more) of these excuses..
We don’t blame you. I personally used them too. Until I just did it. I booked my first track day and suddenly all these excuses disappeared. They just didn’t make sense anymore. And here we are. Still riding on track. And enjoying the heck out of it, while secretly wishing I started doing so earlier.