RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
Three days of racing on Alcarras with Racecracks. Oh, how we looked forward to it. The 23rd of March was the day it all started. The busses were packed for the trip we’ve been waiting for. For a long time, we doubted whether we should go.
Because; do you go on a motorcycle holiday during Covid-19 or not? After careful deliberation, we made the decision. We’re going. “If we do this responsibly, then this is possible”, we thought. And let’s be honest.. after a year like 2020 when we all stayed at home, we could use a little getaway. We’ll tell you all about our trip and we’ll prepare you for what to expect when you go racing abroad.
First of all; chapeau for the organization ‘Racecracks’. In advance of the weekend they kept us updated several times per email. We received lots of information. Not just about the circuit but also about what to do and what not to do due to Covid-19 and all the additional measures. With a negative test result and a good mood, we loaded the busses with motorcycles, lots of stuff and fuel. Let’s go to Circuito d’Alcarràs!
After a 17 hours drive through the Netherlands, Belgium and France we arrived in Spain in the evening on the 24th of March. The first day we would ride on track was Friday the 26th. So we had one day to rest and recover from the long drive and get all the stuff sorted. We recommend to plan such an extra day for resting if you go by car. Do you travel by plane? Then you might need less time to recover from your trip. We chose to go by car because;
The circuit of Alcarras is pretty basic. We camped on the parking facility of the track. It closed at night, so you can camp safely there. There is plenty of room for a car, bus, camper or caravan and setting up tents. There are public facilities like toilets and showers which are kept quite clean for public toilet standards.
Gentlemen; take a cold shower into account. The showers are connected to separate boilers. And as there are predominantly men walking around, as a gent you have to shower on time if you want the luxury of hot water. As a lady you don’t have to worry about a thing. We hope more and more women will start to ride on track, but for now a hot shower is guaranteed.
If you decide to bring your motorcycle to the organization for transport (by truck) in advance, you’ll have more than enough time to unbox your bike in Spain. You can rent a pit box to set up your bike. The pit boxes on track a quite spacious. You can easily store 6 or 8 motorcycles. The bathroom contains a toilet and a shower. They are very basic. But hey, that’s not the reason why you rent a pit box. So that’s okay.
Frankly, the box provides you with everything you need so it’s quite luxurious. No need for a pit box? Then there is more than enough space in the parking lot to pitch a tent and set up your bike. From the parking lot, you ride straight into the pit lane. So no worries there.
The layout of the Circuito d’Alcarràs has a nice flow to it. The track is quite technical and contains a height difference that’s manageable for beginners and challenging for advanced racers. The track is ridden counterclockwise. With 10 left turns and 4 right turns, fans of left handers can indulge themselves.
Do you jump for joy when you see a nice, long right turn, like we do? Then you will also find that thrill on Alcarras circuit. Especially at turn 8, which is a long right turn. Do you seek that high speed adrenaline kick? Then you will enjoy the combination of turn 6 and 7. Two gorgeous left turns in gear 4 with a challenging drop in height.
Despite the technical layout and the height difference we still think Alcarras is also suited for beginners who just started to ride on track. The first lap is always a bit challenging and it might take a whole session to get comfortable. But it won’t feel scary. The track is pretty wide and thanks to the great flow your nerves will settle quite quickly. The chicane after turn 8 requires some smooth steering, but it isn’t overly tight. Even there, the track is still fairly wide.
When in doubt, start riding behind an instructor. With their guidance, you will get around safely. Do your friends try to persuade you to come along? But are you in doubt because you have little to no track experience? Don’t worry. This circuit is very doable and the level of instruction is high at this organization. They give you well constructed tips without patronizing. That’s how we like it.
So, racing doesn’t go without a struggle. We all make mistakes from time to time. A little (or big) crash can happen quickly. And even if you do stay on the bike, still something can go wrong. Technical issues are no stranger to racers. And because REDRIDINGBOOTS loves solidarity, we played our part in it.
Of our team of four (three men and one lady), two dealed with technical problems and one crashed, unfortunately. These things are big bummers. But just then, you see a different side of the tough guys and babes on track. The concern of other riders after the crash of one of our own was heart-warming. Help came from everywhere. Whether it was a loving cup of coffee to catch a breath or parts for the damaged motorcycle to get it ready for action again. That part. That shared passion and compassion. That’s a magical part of the charm of riding on track.
We can summarize those three days of racing on Alcarras with Racecracks briefly, in only six words: we will go again next year. The Spanish sun puts a smile on your face as soon as your arrive. The circuit is challenging, manageable and a lot of fun. All at the same time. And the organization does a great job.
You might not be such a nit-picker as we are. But we love it when things go as planned and schedules are kept. All sessions started on time. Crashes here and there were solved quickly and the following sessions started just as smoothly. Questions were answered quickly and the willingness to listen and give proper instruction is high. For a novice track rider, the atmosphere might be a bit overwhelming at first. The organization is clearly popular among experienced racers. There are racers and proper race bikes everywhere.
But don’t let that put you off. They welcomed our inexperienced track rider with open arms. She might even be the one who yelled the loudest: “When can we go again?!” Do you also want to race at Alcarras with the organization ‘Racecracks’? Or on a different track? Check out Racecracks for more information.