Late 2014 and 2015 was quite a period of change and development.
The RR and I move in late 2014. To London, whilst I’m still from Norfolk, my life moved here for work. Fortunately, my girlfriend has moved here too and and were settling into the London life – but I seem to be miles from good roads.
Earlier in 2014 joined the s1000rrforum.co.uk forum 4 days after collecting the bike. Through the club I’ve attended some trackdays and met some good folks. 3x a year a chap named Bins, runs a BMW Road Bike Only Track day. Twice at my home track of Snetterton, once at Cadwell. These days are friendly and good natured. Numbers are kept in check and as they are road-bikes generally everyone’s egos are in check too.
It was on the trip to Cadwell in 2015 I met up with a chap called Andy. It can be a funny old world trying to find people that are reliable and good company when off the bikes. But that he has been. Most of the plans around biking trips and track days are run past each other. Just a shame we’re at opposite ends of the country!
Getting to grips with Cadwell’s “Mountain” was such a different experience to Snetterton’s airfield flatness but damn I love the 3D of the crests and dips. So with Cadwell done, twice, it was on to Brands Hatch GP and my first taste of this famous track, which Formula 1 used to tear up in the 80’s. It was good fun, but, very very busy. 4 sessions and I appeared to be in the group where everyone was desperate to go home in a van. So many stoppages. Fortunately I didn’t cause any! It’s a good fun, flowing track but I struggled to ‘get’ Surtees and Clark Curve.
The last track day of note was Donington, a road bike only day. Like with the Cadwell trips, met up with Andy the night before who had a couple of other bikers in tow. Beers and Curry, too much of both was probably a bad way to roll into the next day’s riding but that’s what we did. The morning was damp and drizzly, like the end of August should be in the UK…sigh. Going out for the sighting laps, I just kept it calm. With no overtaking on sighting laps you just start to scratch the surface of lines to take, potential speed at different points and finding braking markers. With the track damp this was a god send, as I was to find out on the next tentative session. Coming down the Craner Curves, I felt the rear slip and grip on the greasy surface. I wasn’t doing much to provoke it so I made a mental note and carried on, building tyre temp and finding a rhythm. It’s a great track and once the sun was out it was a great day. Can’t wait to go back and the road bike days are a firm favourite, less crazies throwing it up the road.
That was the last real action for the year. In October I made a small mistake trying to fit some LED side lights…that would spell the start of an off-road period that would last 5 months and lead to a host of changes.