A Seriously New Year

It’s that time of year when I feel the need to sit down, put my feet up, grab a snifter of whisky, and look with a whistful eye to the year gone by, and the year to come. In a biking sense obviously.

The highlight (with some tribulations of its own) of the unaccounted for year on the Serious Racing blog was the Almeria trip. It was mixed in a lot of ways – partly because two of the three of us had gear nicked and are currently trying to work with the insurance people to get compensated for it, partly because the weather was so poor, for Almeria, which meant not so much dry track time, and partly because I felt like although I improved relative to my pace last year on the Daytona, I didn’t feel like I improved as much as I was hoping I was. The reason for this was mostly because I’m comparing myself to Tea Monster who was officially “on it” in Almeria, and posted better sector times (more on that later) in the first two sectors than me. Made me come away feeling like I didn’t really get the most out of the RSV4.

But it was still a cracking trip. Good laugh as always, the rain wasn’t entirely dampening in respect of our spirits (we did quite a good job polishing off a litre of whisky to dampen with spirits ourselves), and four days on track can really never be bad, however bad it is.

Here are a few videos to amuse you…

Just left me with some things to focus on for next year, which brings me to… my resolutions for 2013
– Focus on corner entry speed. I feel like I’m very slow coming into corners, from a combination of the bike being so fast that I’m getting freaked out and slowing too much, and that I’m also aware that I can just fire it down the straights and catch up, and this seems to sit like a bug in my head, slowing me down.
– Don’t focus on knee down. I can get my knee down pretty much any time I want if the conditions are right. But I find I slow down slightly to do so, oddly. Slow down and increase the lean. Don’t do either – carry more corner speed, don’t focus on knee down, and wait for it to come again as a result of going faster rather than “because I want to”.
– Learn how to take off the wheels and change brake pads. I’m tired of paying for someone else to do these basic things that I could (and should) do myself. It stops here.

3 thoughts on “A Seriously New Year”

  1. “It stops here”. Now that is a powerful and dramatic statement to finish that great blog with. I like the sentiment and the focus, and really will have to echo that myself in 2013. I agree

  2. with the idea of doing more myself on the bike. I really need to get my head around the concept of giving it a go and if the worst happens and I mess up there is always the garage to sort it out….. Ok 2013 is the year of DIY mechanics.

    Nice write up on Almeria and agree Tea Monster was on another level this time, it was awesome to watch for the few corners that I had him in my sights. A lesson in controlled aggression. ;).

    Fingers crossed for a good season in 2014. More track time is required.

  3. Good write up. It was a shame we couldn’t get 100% out of Almeria but it was stll a fun trip with a full Serious attendence, and we all improved.

    It’s going to be harder to get a more powerful bike going quickly round the twisty bits even with TC – less powerful bikes are supposed to be more nimble!
    That Aprillia needs some setup time I think – I hope you’ve read Ben Younger’s race reports. BTW that sector time was done either with you snapping at my heels or with me trying to catch you up – so you should take a lot of the credit 😉

    I was watching the video again this week with you infront – your corner entry speed is fast it seems but then you slow down a bit more for the apex, which is fine if you are doing the most turning there, but if you are on a constant radius loop (or can take a path that is a constant radius) then it can all be taken at the same speed. I think that was was I was trying to achieve – I’ll have to double check the vids, but I think Almeria’s infield lends itself to this kind of riding.

    Agreed about doing more stuff our-selves – I’ve found with the DIY – it’s easy when you know how (and don’t mind making a few mistakes..)!

    I’m looking forward to more on-track with you guys next year – there is still a long way (and the fast group) to go :) I think there is a lot we can do in terms of coaching each other as well.

    Here’s to a fast and safe 2014.

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