Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Luddenham Raceway

A brand spanking new racetrack opened up in Sydney just recently, much to my surprise actually. In this day and age we live in such a crowded city as Sydney is, with ever increasing housing estates on ever decreasing land sizes and noise and congestion at all time highs another race track was the last thing I expected.

I had a sunday arvo free and whilst the girls attended church I thought I would attend my ahem...church of sorts and take my camera along for some practice.

Photo from https://luddenhamraceway.com/about-us/

The track is a little off the beaten path but arriving I noticed they had a go-kart circuit and paint ball facility to go along with the new 1.4km undulating circuit. The track itself is situated on the side of a hill and has 22m of elevation change.

The track is fenced off from the public with a gate with electronic swipe card access. Damn it, I'll have to attend reception to see if I can enter. So off I go with camera in hand and I have to sign in for a pass/swipe card, fluro vest and $5 lighter in the hip pocket for spectating. Once inside the circuit it was time to scout out some photo locations. There is a rather small spectator area with seating but it sit's right behind a huge mesh fence, not very conducive of photography.

I had to laugh as Maria the receptionist radioed through to one of the track marshall's to show the 'photographer' through. If only they knew.....

Today's event was a Bernie Hatton Top Rider school. Bernie pictured below.

Shawn Giles - Aussie Superbike champion

Whilst standing at the end of the straight taking these last few photos I got a stinging pain in the back of my leg. Looking down I'd been shot with a paintball pellet which was now laying next to my camera bag. Whilst this was quite annoying, what really annoyed me more was that I could see paint balls laying on the track on turn 1, the fastest turn in point of the track. This is incredibly dangerous and they really need to look at this before something bad happens. What if a rider is hit in the visor at speed or goes down on a slippery paintball. I've sent Maria an email and am awaiting a response.

The circuit looks quite interesting and challenging with its various curves up and down over the hills although it does look a little short, but I bet its still a hoot to ride.

Here is a collage of photo's I put together of ex Aussie Superbike Champion Shawn Giles sliding the new GSXR thou out onto the main straight then into a wheelie, youtube has compressed it so it's not as sharp as the photos I took.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gone Wombat

An opportunity came up recently to go drinking with the boys....... wait, let me start that again. The guys wanted to get out for a weekend drinking session......damn it. One more time, Doug suggested that we get on our drinks bikes and get out for a spot of drinking riding and camping. Dang.....🤔

So it was, I was returning to the days of my youth and was set to head to Wombat, a small dot on the map in country New South Wales near Young to attend a motorcycle rally called the Wombat rally funny enough. I hadn't been to a rally since my mid twenties so I thought I'd better get myself a small tent as the R1 isn't exactly a touring bike you can load up full of gear.

Off I went to BCF to buy a tent, something small and something cheap. I spotted a Jak & Jill Dome tent for $29. Sounds like me, if its no good I'll just leave it where I pitched it was my train of thought and after 15 minutes of procrastinating(which is good for me) I purchased said tent. I grabbed a few ocky hooks so I could strap the tent on the rack and then load up the bike ready to go. Woo...

The Touring R1

So off I set on my drinking riding adventure where I met up with Doug and Bruce at Maccas McGraths Hill for breakfast before heading out over the Blue Mountains. The route took us across  the Bell's line of road where we switched across to Mt Victoria and on to Oberon for Fuel before making for Taralga for lunch where we were to meet up with Dave coming up from Nowra. It was a beautiful day up in the mid 20's but was starting to get a little windy.

Bruce on the Trumpy

We arrived at the Taralga hotel for lunch and within 5 minutes Dave had arrived. We ordered the Taralga Burger which was fantastic if not a little messy. That hit the spot.

Selfie Goodness

Dave arrives

After a hearty lunch we headed out but not before a guy with a busted bike in the back of his ute came running over telling us to take care, his mate got blown off the road by the wind. I thanked him for the warning and we proceeded onwards.

Brucie dropped off out of sight and Doug pulled us over to wait. He said he will be low on fuel so he slows down. Not sure why he didn't fill up when we did, but anyways.....I notice coolant pissing out of Doug's bike. That's not Good. Especially here in Rugby ie Bum fuck nowhere. Its about 30kms to the nearest anywhere which was Boorowa which is also not much there. We made our way to the nearest petrol station for fuel. Brucie had 400ml left.

Thumbs up until I saw coolant everywhere
So in Boorowa we decided to pull the tank off to look for the leak, we couldn't see it but looked to be coming from around the top of the radiator. The overflow bottle was empty but we filled it up and continued onto the rally as the temp had now dropped to the low teens which would help out.

It's always interesting setting up a brand new tent you've never used before whilst people stand around watching. Lucky this cheap little tent was a breeze to set up, 10 minutes and I was done, time for beers.........

The other were still setting up their tents so I headed to the bar to get us some beers. Once all the tents were up we headed over to the bonfire which they had just lit to see what was on show, we missed the gymkhana but there was some bands playing, the guy on stage was playing classical gas, I was really digging that.

A local Distiller from Young had some of his local moonshine out for trial. Doug said come and try some of this free alcohol. I was there faster than the millenium falcon did the kessel run in under 12 parsecs....

So we had purchased a bottle of Whiskey Liquor, which we were downing one shot every time we had a new shout of beer. This is going to get messy.....

Messy it got till the point I had to go to bed before I couldn't stand up any more and that was the end of the night for me. The boys hadn't had enough drinking and continued onwards and err upwards.....

I do remember they had a fantastic fireworks show before I went back to my tent.

Bonfire, started with Hogs
Next morning was not so good. I didn't feel like riding anywhere, the other guys looked the worst I've seen them, which I had a little chuckle. Bacon and egg roll dispatched and time to pack up and ride outta here, except with the -2°C temps my bike wouldn't start. Out of 500 Harleys and 5 Jap bikes, the non starting bike count went like this; Jap bikes = 2, Haleys = 0. Yep that was a little soul crushing. All the harleys rode out as I was looking for a jump start, damn R1's with there 2 double AA batteries. And a Hayabusa rider was also getting a jump. The tent worked well so I packed it up and took it with me. All in a good weekend away with the boys drinking.....good times.