Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you the shortest track weekend ever:
Ok, to kick this thing off, let's all remember how excited I was to win a free track day with NESBA thanks to our own Bucky Badger here on OR. That was a fun time. My bike had a couple more parts on it back then. But I digress....
Let me start out by saying that the whole process of getting this thing set up couldn't have been easier with the NESBA group I dealt with. Only being my second track day, Brian and Fred talked me through a lot of questions I had about how the day is organized, and what to expect, etc. My first track experience brought the luxury of having two very experienced riders with me, so I had little to worry about except to learn, but this time I would be by myself trying on the big boy pants for the first time. Brain must have spent 30 minutes (pretty much his whole lunch break) on the phone with me talking about everything from the track layout to the way the novice classes are run to making sure I knew that the benefits of membership include refunding parts of days lost to weather or crash. Soooo, good call on that one....Seriously, these guys were laid back, ready to help, and generally available to BS about bikes as long as I was. It was a really good experience for someone nervous about hauling up there himself for the first time.
So I actually convince two friends to go with me from home, and both are gearheads, and one of them actually does track days at Mid-O in his older BMW track car. It's been said that putting monkeys in a room with typrewriters for a long enough period of time, and they will eventually recreate all the works of Shakespeare. With this is mind, I figured three idiots in a van should be able to fix any simple problem that might arise in the pits if I needed help, given enough time. In the end I'm glad we didn't test that theory, or things could've been even worse. What these two fine gentlemen did
do for me was three things:
1.) As I went to sleep early on Friday night, they stayed up for a bit at the campground. I awake to them both falling into the tent at 3:30am like a set of beached whales after they had come back from a night of "mingling with the locals." I find out later that this translates roughly to playing cornhole with a 60 year old guy with no shirt or teeth and a zz-top beard, riding around in golf carts with rims playing don't spill the beer, taking slugs of Jager from a random guy with an open bottle in the woods, and helping find the guy driving around the campground doing crystal meth in the bathrooms. This is my pit crew.
2.) The one in charge of the camera decided that he would take a few pics of us getting ready, then get bored and go for McDonalds, then come back and take pics of Jess riding instead. Clearly she is far more interesting than me. Thanks buddy. Way to go Jess.
3.) Their interest was peaked finally when my bike came back without me on it. He finally whipped out the camcorder he'd apparently had the whole time (thanks, dick
) and took video of me in a sling next to my wrecked bike. He's a gem. Sorry ladies, he's married, hands off.
That being said, how I came to wreck is simple. It turns out I'm a 12 year-old girl. Who knew? I had met up with Jess in the morning, and after getting set up and all excited, I was out for my first couple sessions, and loving the track. Putnam is every bit as tits as everyone says. I can't wait to go back after my balls drop and I learn how to man-up. My thrid session was going really well, and I was trying to see how I would fare without directly following my control rider and seeing if I could get the lines right myself (you can clearly see where this is going
). I did two laps great and I was feeling really good, and then Dead Bear happened. Upon further inspection of my gear, what happened was I touched both knee and toe slider for the first time ever. Normally people get all excited about this and celebrate, but I took the little girl approach and it surprised the shit out of me, so I flinched a bit. We all know you cannot do this kind of thing, so I immediately lost the line and started going wayyyyy wide. I then made an awesome second mistake and instead of trying to save the turn, I decided to pick it up and go off and run it out into the grass. Things were fine for about 25-30 yards, then I start realizing that over the next hill, the track starts again. I didn't know how much room I had, so I tried to stop a little faster, and the back locked up and washed out on me....
Medics were there fast, which was crazy. I waved them off because I thought I was all good, but by the time I got back to the pit and started looking at what parts I needed, I tired to open the van door and suddenly realized I couldn't lift my left arm up. Then it finally started to hurt. Went back to medical, and got my arm in a sling, and it stayed that way since this morning as I type this fine report. Sucks it went down, but I learned a lot. I can say that I touched finally, just need to work on that reaction a bit, though. I will say that both Brian and Fred came around to myself and at least one other guy I saw that crashed to personally see if they were alright and if they could help get the parts together they needed. They even asked repeatedly if I wanted to go to the hospital even though it would've meant they would have to credit half the day I bought, which in hindsight was really cool to see. I was really distracted at the time, but looking back now, they didn't talk about anything else, or even leave my area until they knew I was alright. Hopefully you guys read this, because I really appreciate it because I was clearly a bit freaked out, and that kind of things really helps calm everything down. In the end, they even offered to give me a credit for the half day I missed on Saturday and let me come back to get my free day next season. These guys are top notch, and I'll damn sure be going back next season. My membership extends until September next year, and I intend to use it. I'll leave the shenanigans in Dayton. And hopefully I'll bring some balls for when I drag knee again....
Thanks again to the NESBA crew for having me out and letting me test the EMS squad. Thanks to Jess for putting up with my friends telling her how she needs to apex later in turn one
. Thanks to my friends for getting drunk all night and not vomiting in the tent.
It was a hell of an interesting 4-hour weekend, but I'll be back next season to go at it again