If you are a slightly older lady or gentlemen (politically correct enough?), it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to think that you wouldn’t be welcome on bike track day with the notion that ‘you’re too old for all this malarkey’, but you couldn’t be more wrong. You’d be surprised at that very wide array of ages that can be seen on track days nowadays. Here are a number of things to consider that I hope will show you that you have every reason to throw your leg over and get on the track.
Can you ride a motorcycle? Then you can do a track day – There are no rules that say you have to be Valentino Rossi to be able to ride your bike on the track. If you can competently ride a bike on the road (don’t mistake competently, for fast) then there is no reason why you wouldn’t be perfectly capable on the track. Not everyone is there to smash lap records, most people just want to turn up and enjoy their machine and stretch its legs a little, enjoying themselves in the process.
Novice only days – If you don’t want to take your chances with the normal three grouped days (novice, intermediates and advanced) then MSV run dedicated novice only days for newcomers that they only let either complete novices participate in, or those that have only done one or two days before. This is a great way of getting started with track days, as they also offer extra help for you throughout the day, such as riding tips and how to navigate yourself around the track. For more information, click here.
You’re probably not the oldest – You may well consider yourself old, but I’m sure there are older people doing bike track days. I know of people in their 60s and even 70s that still do track days, some of which participate in many throughout the year. I even saw a BBC report not too long ago that told of a man in his 80s winning a classic race in an event on the Isle of Man. If he’s not too old them I’m sure you’re not either.
There’s plenty of help on the day – Another thing worth remembering is that there are instructors there all day, on hand to give you any help you may need, from free on track tuition to general advice about your bike or your riding. If you’re at all concerned about not being able to navigate the track properly it is well worth grabbing one of the instructors so they can take you round the track at a reasonable pace and show you the correct lines and how to position yourself on track.
To summarise, there’s no reason why your age should prevent you from getting involved with track days. As they say, age is just a number and if you can throw a leg over a motorcycle and ride it, you’re welcome on track.
So in closing, thinking you’re too old is not a valid excuse not to try track days. If you think you’re too old, you’re not, so get your leathers on and get out on the track with us. I’ll guarantee you you’ll wish you made the decision years ago.
Photo by Insomnia Cured Here