Trackday at Streets of Willow (Part II)


Finally, another trackday at Streets. Last time I had this minor issue with cold tires. No way that was happening again. Stephane is busy healing so Joel and I requisitioned all his gear - car, trailer, generator, tire warmers - you name it we requisitioned it.

I got one of these newfangled camera mounts for my video camera. Too bad the Suzuki gas cap is built like a graham cracker and broke while I was putting on the damn thing.

We managed not to break Joel's throttle control while putting the bikes on the trailer this time, so he made it to all sessions but one. It was just too hot. Motivation suffered.

Once the sun got slightly above the horizon it just kept getting hotter. Some kind souls next door let us hang out under their ez-up tent. I wish I had a picture of Stephane's wrecked tent. It lasted all of two trackdays before all structural members buckled under the weight of a few square meters of canvas.

The track was much more bumpy than I remember. I had the rear up in the air a couple times after taking poor lines over bumps. I also felt some front end push after the chicane, but that might just be my death grip approach to steering.

With eight additional trackdays under my belt the Streets course had very different challenges this time. My original problem areas were the first two turns and the chicane. Turn 1 is a high speed bend and followed by a decreasing radius corner. I had almost no problems with them this time. Apparenly I was taking the sweeper at over 100mph. I never look at the speedo on the track, so it was a surprise to see later how insanely fast I was going with my knee on the ground. My first trackday I was doing laptimes of around 1:55, this time I think my best time was around 1:35, so I've improved a bit. However, I really feel like I could improve on that time enormously with another trackday focused on laptime. After watching some of the tankcam footage I can see some glaring areas for improvement.

Turn 2 is all about a late turn in point. Because the corner tightens up near the end it's really important not to turn in too soon. Going through the chicane quicker was all about trusting the cones (it's a blind turn) and knowing that you can take make the last right way faster than you think at first. You have to flick it!

So on the way back we had to stop in BFE and refuel the car with the leftovers in the gas bottles. We just happened to park next to a yard full of cujos. There wasn't one or two, but about ten of them in the yard. They were not happy to see us. I admit they don't look like much in the picture, but tell you me, they were trained to kill.

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