What a weekend

WOW, I finally got my bike to a circuit and gave it a good seeing to. OMG that new bike of mine just goes and goes and goes. I went to Silverstone and hurled myself and my bike around the track at what seemed like far too many miles per hour to be in the realms of reality. I got there at 07:30 on Sunday morning. It was a very, Very, VERY cold ride. Did I say it was cold? Only 0°-1°c on the way up there. Someone who took a car up told me about it whilst I was thawing out with a cup of tea and a bacon roll.

The Silverstone circuit, if you've never had the chance to ride/drive round it, is one of the longest (in GP format) and widest circuits in the UK. In other words it's very forgiving if you are offline. There is enough circuit to cope with that and you can still have a nice safety margin left. The pit facilities are also very good and well laid out. But you'd expect all of this from the cicuit that hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix each year.

The 3 warm up laps for my group got cut short as someone felt the need to find out if the tarmac would scratch their bodywork. How they managed this at 40-50 mph is still confusing me a day later. So we only had 2 "sighting laps", but that was enough for me as I've been here before, back in 2004.

The first 20 minute session was a blast and for the first 3 laps were used to get my crappy Dunlop 218s up to something like a reasonable temprature. I had dropped the pressure by 2-3psi front and rear for the day to help the tyre squash a bit more and warm up quicker. It also means the tyre will wear it bit quicker too. After the first flying lap, albeit a slow flying lap, I was laughing so hard inside my crash helmet that I could hardly see the track. I was so blown away by the amount of power I have in my bike. This is the first time I have really "pulled the pin" and let the motor run up as far as I dared. There is something very sureal about letting lumps of metal wizz around at 13000-14000 rpm between your legs. It's best not to think about it two much or you'd never drive a car or ride a motorbike every again.

I was pulling 150mph down the Hangar Straight at the back of the circuit. That was a real blast, but I found that my visor kept misting up at the next corner as I was breathing so hard. Probably something to do with the amount of force the bike was exerting into my arms. In other words, it was trying to fly off down the road on it's own and I was still trying to hang on. It's just the most extreme feeling I have ever had.

The handling is really, really good. It seems to hold the line extremely well and gives huge amounts of confidence in the corners. I just can't belive how good this bike feels and handles.

One of the highlights of the day was blasting past my chum Richard on his race prepared R1. I will admit here and now that they had a problem with the bike above 6,000 rpm as the clutch started to slip above this. Whilst there were a few poor soles who dropped their bikes, I was not one of them. But I did get the feeling that I'm a little too fast for the beginners group now. Maybe it's time to try the intermediate group.

I'm in love again with my bike. I was beginning to wonder if I was over this bike stuff and I needed a faster car to play with instead. But it's official now, I'll never get the same buzz as tipping in at 110mph and then gassing it out of the turn upto 150mph before hauling out the anchor and almost crashing into the screen as the bike stops dead, turn in again and repeat until huge grin appears on face that does not go away until you are asleep. Even then I'm sure I was still smiling, dreaming about the next time.

ZX-10R at Silverstone