Doing a track day is great, balls out, or something else out if you are female…(is there a female equivalent of that phrase Biker Chick?) without a worry of traffic coming the other way is without doubt great fun. It is also something every biker should try to experience for well documented reasons such as letting you learn what your and the bikes exact limits are and teaching you that you can brake a lot harder than you believe. There are however some other, maybe unexpected benefits of doing a track day that can be used as a great excuse to your other half when you want to spend a little time thrashing your pride and joy round a ribbon of black asphalt.
The days before I go on a track day I tend to become a little paranoid about the condition of my bike. I know I should be paranoid and careful about it all the time and I have written about this before, but I am a case of do what I say, not what I do and so, sometimes, maintenance does slip behind a little. With a track day looming however I have the added incentive to pull my finger out and do those checks that I should do every few days and a few other more technical ones. This of course means that I make my bike safer, not only for the track but also for everyday riding.
Rolling up at a track day for the first few times can be quite daunting and if you are alone or just with an equally novice friend it can be even worse. What you have to remember there will usually be others there in exactly the same position as you, this is why they have a novice group. As the day progresses you will probably find yourself starting to chat to people in your group, it will start as a conversation about how he, she or you managed to out brake, control a slide or not die at a certain corner and gradually will move on to “what do you do for a living then?” Suddenly you won’t be novices on the race track, you will be a couple of new mates having a chin wag and a laugh. This means not only have you learnt more about riding your bike you have also started to expand your social horizons….or just found a new mate to drink beer with and talk crap!
This could be you after a track day!
Most people would say they are better road riders after being on a track day because they know their bikes better. This is of course true but for me, maybe the strangest effect of a track day that I have found, is that I tend to ride a lot slower on the road for about a month after. I can only think that this is because I know that there is no way I can ride as fast, safely, on the road as I do on the track. I have had my adrenaline fix in a safe environment, sort of, and so I can relax and just enjoy riding the bike, trying to do things perfectly, rather than searching for that buzz.....well it makes sense to me!
Whatever you ride, whatever you are searching for out of your bike, I would recommend a track day, for all the reasons everyone else gives and for those I have just given, it will open your eyes in many unexpected ways, I promise you.