Cadwell Trackday, April 2012
So the second Classic Bike Trackday, Cadwell full circuit again, and once more open to all pre-1995 bikes and adopted by Practical Sportsbikes magazine. The brilliant video of the first event helped spread the word and this one was almost fully-booked in advance.
27th April was a lot earlier in the year this time but should still be good weather right ? Well, in the preceeding 3 weeks, the only time it wasn't raining was when it was either hailstoning or snowing instead. But miserable weather at the track always beats a sunny day at work, so most people just stuck a brolly in the van and turned up with a grin anyway.
Tom was first, pitching his tent at the top of the paddock about 5pm on Thursday night. Sara and Tim couldn't decide whether to brave their tent or just kip in the back of the rented van, so did both at the same time. Naturally Darin and Chell were slumming it at the nearby 5-star luxury hotel and Bombay-Mixmaster Rob B rolled up in his XLWB Mobile Rave Machine which doubles up as bike transport and bedroom.
It was a bit chilly (you could see Tom shivering from the other end of the paddock) so some cups of tea appeared and we warmed ourselves around the bacon rolls slowly cooking away on top of a wheelie bin. MotoGP looks glamorous on TV but Rossi and Co do exactly the same thing by the way. Rob spent ages constructing a large gazebo between two vans and ensuring it was airtight, then lit up a smoky barbeque inside and gave everyone carbon-monoxide poisoning. Bedtime then.
Tim was woken up at 6am by the loud persistent drumming of rain on a Transit van roof. Having dozed off again, he was re-awoken at 7:15 by the same sound, accompanied by someone carefully warming up a tuned RD250 on race pipes only 4 feet away.  Poking his head out of the van revealed a paddock full of people fettling an eclectic assortment of machinery amongst the puddles. Time for sign-on, noise-testing and the rider briefing, and the accumulation of the all-important wristbands and stickers. We knew that several members of our forum were attending and by matching bikes to owners and usernames to faces we had a good chat with Maccas (lovely-sounding KR-1S), Wolfman (VFR750) and Emzedder (have a guess) amongst others.
Tom was on his ever-faithful TDR of course, and as usual the TDR Boys turned up en-masse to dominate the 2-stroke sessions. Tim had decided to take his TZR250 this time, and had spent time and money carefully fettling it and treating it to a pair of new tyres. The bike rewarded his efforts by blowing itself into a million pieces mere days before the event. Sara kindly loaned him her SDR but after a week where everything he touched broke, he decided not to push his luck any further and it stayed in the van all day. Chris and Victoria had their VFR400 there again but without the hairy tyre-warmers this time. DS regular Rob E was absent this time, still recovering from an operation on his wan... er, throttle arm.
Despite a damp start, the weather improved throughout the day and the later sessions were dry. There were a few tumbles (no injuries or serious damage), a few mechanical failures and a few heart-in-mouth moments (eh Tom ?). But everyone had a great time and had nothing but positive comments about the organisation, the laid-back atmosphere and the standard of riding.
Naturally we caught up with Jim, Chris and Gary from Practical Sportsbikes and cadged some of their stickers. They were prowling the paddock looking for future feature bikes, in between taking to the track on the TopGun-replica GPZ750R.
Thanks to Darin and Rob for setting this up and letting us join in again, and to everyone else who turned up, hung out, said hello and helped make it a nice chilled day. There are two more Classic Bike Trackdays this year, at Mallory Park on 29th June and Donington on 3rd August. We'll be there, and places are filling up fast...
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