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YO TONY! – A visit to Tony’s Track Days at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

August 14, 2012

 

I took a short ride up to Loudon, New Hampshire yesterday and got a preview of what it’s like to attend a motorcycle track day.  More on that in a second. 

WARNING RANT ALERT!

I write this BLOG with Microsoft’s Live Writer.  It’s not the easiest product to use, but I’ve been using it for years and thankfully, it does not change the formatting of my documents (like just about every other blogging program I’ve tested).  HOWEVER, for whatever reason the rocket scientists at Microsoft felt the need to update the program again.  Long story short – it’s virtually unusable. 

Example – in this PHOTO which was taken on an I-Phone with a broken screen and water damage) I had to perform no fewer than six separate photo enhancements.  I don’t usually mind that, however, the new menu system – which is now relocated from the top of the page to the right side, I had to perform approximately 30 pull down’s and clicks to obtain those six photo enhancements!  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG! 

Somebody send me a MAC – I’m ready to jump ship!

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OK, enough about that.  Back to a beautiful afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. 

I believe that most people who have considered a “take my bike to a racetrack” day have two ideas of what might happen:

IMAGINARY TRACK DAY SCENARIO NUMERO UNO:

A horrific, Isle of Man, Guy Martin inspired crash where your precious motorcycle will be destroyed and your remains will be shipped home in an empty Red Bull can……………

IMAGINARY TRACK DAY SCENARIO NUMERO DOS:

Where you WILL be kept in a classroom all day learning the finer points of apexing, not passing, what the flags mean, the three hour safety inspection and the differences between CE ratings, tire warmer brands, knee slider technology and where the bathrooms are. 

From what I saw yesterday, Tony’s Track Days is a friendly, fun group of folks who share their passion for motorcycling and enjoy each others’ company.  There is learning but most of your day will be spent riding.   When the racing’s over and it’s time for pizza, drinks and bench racing. 

I joined a group of participants for an end-of the day walking of the track.  This is a great opportunity to review the day’s riding and chat with peers and instructors about the perfect line, where a rider struggled, and a variety of issues. 

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Standing at the bottom of “The Bowl”.

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Average turn entry speed into this corner is something like 65 MPH and closer to 100 MPH on the exit.  Can you say FUN?

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Another Aprilia!  Yahoo!  This is an early Aprilia Futura.  The owner took it out for his first time on the track and loved it.  The condition of this bike was immaculate.  Not a single scratch on the bags – something, you won’t find on a regularly used Futura. 

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Want to learn more?  There is an excellent video from an unlikely source – Live Lobster Group TV.  Click the photo below to launch the video.  The track section starts at about .50 seconds into the segment.

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It’s amazing to be able to stand in the paddock and check out the bikes and meet a huge variety of riders.  Like I said, it’s friendly and approachable.

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So, if you want to learn more about Tony’s Track Days check out their website for details.  Of particular interest and an excellent motivational tool.  I highly recommend the “EXCUSES” section of the website. 

Lastly, I stopped by Seacoast Ducati / Aprilia / Moto Guzzi.  Unfortunately, they were closed on Mondays.  Bummer!

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Not a bad day.  About 430 miles in total.   I took my time riding up and kept the throttle twisted coming back.  Nice day.

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