Immediately after work on Friday, I rushed home to get ready for the Track the next day. I was only able to get in about 4 hours of sleep before having to wake up at 4 am. After getting everything into the car, I was on my way for the 160 mile journey up north to Willows, CA.

Getting some gas for the beast:

I had to make a trip to a Walmart since places like Sports Authority weren’t open yet, and get some Under Armour type clothing. Surprisingly, there were a good amount of people at the Walmart even this early in the morning…

Watching the sunrise somewhere on I-80E.

Eventually I made it there. It was still early morning and I could feel the temperatures starting to creep up.

Since this was my first Trackday ever, I took the Novice School and was in Group C. I also didn’t have time to prep my own bike, and felt it would be better to start with a 250 at the track. I rented one of these for the day:

Fun little bike but absolutely no power. I would be flooring it at 11k on the straight and people would zoom past me like I wasn’t moving. Shifting on it wasn’t even in the same league as my Ducati. I also really disliked the upright riding position of this bike, felt like a scooter almost. It was, however, very light and very easy to throw around.

These Pirelli’s were had a ton of grip and were very sticky/tacky at the end of the day.

At the end of the day, I probably drank close to 2 gallons of water. The temperatures were in the 100’s, and I had to be in a full leather suit… The most detrimental factor of the day was the fact that I was running on virtually no sleep, and with such a fatiguing activity I felt like a zombie the entire day. I had a little spur of energy after lunch, but I wish I was better rested. On the drive home, I was literally nodding off and falling asleep. I had to pull over in the middle of no where in order to get a nap in. Furthermore, having only been riding motorcycles for about a month, period, I was definitely at a handicap. Not to mention, the 250 that I rented was foreign to me, and it was the first time I rode a motorcycle in well over a week. Had to adapt quick, that’s for sure.

All that aside, the whole experience was very humbling. I learned a lot and the practice was great. Most of the people there had experience, and there were a few sandbaggers in the C group. I remember getting passed by this girl that was leaned over dragging knee all the way down the righthander of the Hill.

Very fun but extremely tiring and hot day. I’m definitely aiming to go back, hopefully with a bike of my own and a lot more rest.

2 thoughts on “Thunderhill Bound

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