DISC, motorbike ...
I've been working on going faster (oh, really?) - not just on the pushbike, which my untalented body will resist as much as it can, but also on the motorbike. At DISC, to motorpace the really fast guys, I have to be able to ride the bank at around 80km/h. That's bloody quick. It takes a lot of 'turn off your fear' to do it. Anyway ... Under Hilton's tutilage I'm slowly becoming a reasonable motorpace rider - far from perfect (Hilts is THE master of this art ...) but I have a few thousand kilometers logged riding around that track now and am getting to be ok at it. I can even ride the bank at 70km/h looking backwards now. That's taken some time to get comfortable doing. I don't like doing it in the lane or close to the rail yet, but above the lane I'm fine with it now.
But .. to go really fast ..
The motorbike is speed limited by basic physics. Gravity, friction and centripetal force. Centripetal force increases to the square of velocity - ie: increases in speed means much more friction to stop the bike slipping up the bank, the faster you go, the more it tries to fly up and over the fence. The banks at DISC are 42 degrees steep, slower than around 30km/h and the motorbike slips down, faster than around 90 (I guess) it will slip up (I haven't tested this yet). Unless the tyres hit the painted lines, in which case there's a lot less friction and it slips, which is quite un-nerving but so far, hasn't resulted in a crash. You get used to it when crossing the lines at speed. It's just a little wobble ... And after the first few times and realising it doesn't mean a crash, it's ok!
So .. to go really fast ..
The speedo reads fast, 80km/h indicated is really about 75km/h. Riding the motorbike down in the sprinters lane at indicated 80 is a bit spooky, it's a reasonably tight radius and feels "iffy", but is doable, even in winter, once I've warmed up the tyres. I used to be a bit scared at 60km/h .. heh .. 60? That's creeping! It's a lot easier to go that fast just below the blue line, so that's what I was trying yesterday between efforts with the NTID/VIS guys. I saw close to 90km/h on the speedo (estimated that's around 85km/h actual) when I felt the left hand footpeg touch the boards. Ok, that's as quick as we're going! To go any quicker than than I'll have to hang off the side of the bike. Erm ...
So .. I went pretty quick ..
And that's today's blog entry. Sometimes I reckon I have the best job in the world, riding a motorbike in circles at an indoor velodrome at stupidly quick speeds is ace fun.