Thursday 29th June

Having gone to bed at 7:30pm last night, I slept solidly until 2am, and felt a lot better for it. I’m trying to keep my day starting at 2, since that means I will actually be decently awake by our 5am track time. At 3:50 Dave and I headed out for a ride – 20 minutes out and back down the road. My legs felt pretty good and it is actually a nice time to ride – in the desert in June at least! We got back and I had a quick shower before meeting everybody in the lobby at 4:40. Good to see Matt again and to meet various others whom I’d only known through email. We loaded into two cars and drove off to Nissan. Today there was no riding, it was just a chance to look at the track and the light levels at that time of day. The track is huge – 9.2km round, with massively banked turns at either end of the oval. The surface on the straights is lovely, totally smooth. Unfortunately the turns are another matter – 20 year old tarmac that has a lot of cracks that have been crudely filled. So a little disappointing, but it is what it is, we’ll just have to see how the bike handles it. At least with such a big track it isn’t too many laps – to do ten in an hour would get the DM prize!

When we got back we sorted out the feed pipe for drinking in the bike, and ground a bit more from the toes of my shoes for clearance in the shell. With that done I think we are just about ready. Dave and Becky have done a good job with re-painting and polishing up the shell, so we took some pictures.

the riding position. . in my little box

the proud parents. . bike owner and rented monkey

Later on it was the riders meeting; suddenly there were a lot of people arrived out of the woodwork! And suddenly all the attention was on me, as I was the only one present and ready to ride tomorrow – Matt and Rob didn’t have their bikes ready, Damjan was concerned about the bumps on the track (he rides head first on his back, looking in a mirror, and has a very small front wheel), Freddy hadn’t arrived yet. So that left me. At least we wouldn’t have to worry about multiple riders on the track, and we could take as much time as we needed. I had been quite calm about the race until the meeting, when it all became very real about what I was trying to do. Afterwards we had to clear tech-inspection, I had to speak to one of the journalists, and then make final preparations before turning in.

Friday 30th June