Thursday, April 11, 2013

March was a busy month

First there was the RideSmart track day on May 9 at MSR Houston. It was actually a 2-day event on the 9th and 10th but I was lucky that I only did the 9th because it rained quite a bit on the 10th.  I talked about that one last time.

Seven days later it was time to go back to MSRH, this time with Fastline MCS.  And to throw a twist into the day, we ran the track backwards from the normal direction.  So looking at the track and the outside section, we ran that counter-clockwise.  For the most part, running the opposite direction isn't a LOT different from the regular direction.  If  you were familiar with the track, then you already knew the layout.  You just had to prepare for a lot of corners being slow-in, fast-out instead of the other way around.  My lap times running that direction have typically been withing 1-3 seconds of the times going the regular direction.  After the super-structured weekend with Ridesmart, it was great to just go out and have some fun.

The next weekend I wasn't riding, but the CMRA was up at Texas World Speedway in College Station so I went up with my oldest son on the 24th  to watch some racing and hang out with friends.  It was chilly and super windy, but we still had a great time watching all the fast riders and helping friends get ready for their races.

Finally, for the last weekend of the month  I decided to go up to a Track Tactics event at Eagles Canyon Raceway (ECR).  We had quite a bit planned already as it was Easter weekend, but Friday night and most of Saturday was free so off I went and 2 buddies met me up there.

This was my first time going to ECR.  It's quite an eye-opener compared to the almost completely flat tracks around Houston.  ECR has about 70 feet of elevation changes.  I was ready to step up to the Advanced level class at MSRH, but since I'd never seen ECR before, I stayed in Intermediate for this one.  That was a good idea for several reasons.  First of course was the new track, and secondly, it rained for several hours Friday night, dropping over an inch of rain in parts of the area.  So all day we had to deal with a far from ideal track surface and changing conditions.  At least the rain itself had moved on during the night, leaving us with breezy, partly cloudy conditions. The track in perfect conditions would be a challenge, so throw in spots of the track weeping water, water running across the track at one point and just overall low traction and we were slipping and sliding all over the place.  We still had a good time, even after I had a low-side in turn 6 with about 10 minutes left to go in the day.  It was a spot that a lot of people had trouble with and I trail braked just a tiny bit too much and lost the front end.  Come to think of it, trail braking at all that day was probably a bad idea!  Anyway, it was all fun and damage was mainly limited to some bent rearset parts and a few scuffs on the plastics.

Here's a couple of laps around the middle of the day

And this is the low-side at the end of the day.  .

I rode the bike back to the pits and had it ready to go for the next track day just 7 days away on April 7.  I'll continue that in the next post. 

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