The ZXR 250 wasn't ready in time for the Quinte TT at Shannonville (yes, I'm still cleaning parts), but I was lucky enough to be invited to ride on my friend Laura's CBR 250 for the endurance race on Friday, as part of 'Team Iron Ovaries'.
Laura's CBR got a lot of work over the winter, trying to cure some oil leakage difficulties encountered last year. Watching Laura go over her bike before the practice session, I could see she's much more familiar with it this year. After we each took a few laps in the practice session I began to wonder if I could get used to it's high rev range in time for the race.
The Endurance Race went really well for Team Iron Ovaries - Laura started the race for the team, gridded on the front row she got a good start and charged towards the first corner. Larger displacement bikes in the endurance race also made good headway towards the first corner and it was pretty crowded from where I was standing, although all the bikes and riders got through.
I took the second shift on the CBR, and near the end of my planned 20 minute session, the race was red-flagged. Once back in the pits, we tried to work out who would take the re-start, and if we could change riders under a red-flag (does changing riders count as working on the bike?). After deciding I wouldn't take the re-start we suddenly found out I would, and I scrambled into my gear, forgetting my ear-plugs. I managed to get to the front-row grid spot Laura had occupied for the race start, but without her experience with the rev range of the CBR, I flubbed the race start, stalling (experiencing an overwhelming wave of gratitude for electric start) hitting the starter and going all before the third row passes me, although I think the fifth row passed me before I was really up to speed.
Mel took the third shift on the CBR. An experienced street rider, Mel has done trackdays and a racing school to prepare for her first race. After completing the VRRA's race school that morning on the same track, she felt well enough prepared to try a few laps in the endurance race on Laura's bike, although the CBR was new to Mel, she did very well.
Can you imagine three happier women, three bigger grins?
This is the team: Andrea, in the checkered flag hat on the left, Mel our newly made racer in the middle, and Iron Ovaries team captain Laura, standing on the right with her CBR250 # 211.
Taken just after the two hour race, this photo of Team Iron Ovaries captures just how thrilled and excited we are about racing.
Read more about the Shannonville racetrack and see the Nelson track map