Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tragedy and training

This year with  our involvement in motocross, I  encouraged Dave to  do  training sessions with  experienced riders. These days are called Race Pace and are held by a variety  of manufacturers.

They are well run, safe, (as safe as you  can  be), with the instructors dividing the riders into groups based on engine capacity, ability  and age. They teach the fundamentals of  riding e.g. entry and exiting corners, how to  jump and land, seating and standing positions and, of course, the race start which  is a drag race to the first corner.

Learning to  jump uphill and not flip.

Sadly , this year we have witness some horrific accidents at a variety  of tracks.  The first was a rider who was trying to  do tricks- he leapt into the air, let go of the bike and could not gather the bike back. this resulted in him  spearing himself into the ground, breaking his legs and spine. He had to  be helicoptered to  hospital.

The second accident was an experienced rider doing a "whip" over a table top jump. This is where the bike is whipped sideways in the air and you  try  and land it straight. It  all looks very  showy.  Sadly, the track had just been  watered, (to  keep the dust down), and when the bike landed the front wheel was gripped by the mud resulting in  the rider and bike cartwheeling several times.

Getting the balance right for fast  entry and exit

Fortunately the rider did not hit any  objects and was ok. However his bike was completely  smashed-frame, forks, radiators and front wheel.

Perhaps the most tragic was last  weekend, when a young man missed a hard left hand turn. His bike ran over the top of the tyre barrier, smashed through a 5 feet high steel and wire fence before smashing into a tree. In witnessing this, I  fear the top horizontal rail which  was snapped in two by the force of the impact had hit the boy across the back of the neck.  Again he could not be moved until a helicopter arrived and is in a coma in hospital.

Listening to  instructions for the race start.

This accident left us stunned.
One thing I will say is- in doing the race pace training, Dave has learned to  ride to the conditions, and to  be smooth- no "stunts". Smooth  is quicker that  being showy. He has also learned to  do a track reconnaissance. That  is- a few laps slow to get a feel for the conditions. These can  change throughout the day. Reading the track is vital to keep safe.

 I  really  do  hope the  lad who crashed on Sunday will make a full recovery. I  fear he may  be broken, and my  thoughts re with  his family

If anyone is reading this who has a son or daughter wanting to  ride, I  really  urge you  to  consider the Race Pace programmes. Unlike a play station you  just  cannot pick yourself up and dust yourself down if you  hit a fence at 100kph. Of course the course does not guarantee you  will not be injured but it certainly  improves the skills.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New bike! (almost)

When I  was a kid one of my  favourite motor cycles was the Moto Guzzi Le Mans. They were black with a red stripe- A colour combination I  like.  Sadly,  I  could not afford one and bought a Honda Shadow which  was black with a red stripe.

I like the Honda CRF250R but its a little too red for me, So, what  to  do? Buy a new bike or change the bike we have?

Well, in this day and age you  can  buy whats called a plastics kit and sticker kit and "Hey Presto" you have a new bike!

The bike is now black, and has the sponsor Geico sticker kit- I am  told by those much  younger than  me, that this is very very cool.

The new look!