A training day in the sun
First thing to do was collect our trusty steeds. My weapon for the week is Smoggy’s younger cousin; a white F700GS. Not long out the wrapper, with 2000 clicks on the clock.
Everyone did their BETOPS checks, which was a good thing. A couple of bikes didn’t have brake lights working. Also a perfect chance to do an essential scratch check. Each bike had a top box which is essential for carrying water.
To familiarise ourselves with the bikes our guides took us to a wee mad race track – Jumilla. The longest straight part was all of 300 yards. The rest was solid twisties.
Before we were let loose on the track, Lute and Rene gave us a theory session on the art of riding hairpin bends. It’s all about hips, positive steering and looking where you want to go. Lute brought along a prop, a wheel with two handles to demonstrate the physics behind steering a bike and what physical forces are needed. Liked it.
All of us agreed that it was a fabulous way to start the day. A bite of lunch and then onto the track. Our guides certainly know their stuff. Lute is the Senior Advisor to the Spanish government. He instructs the police. Quality.
So, they had us going round this bonkers little track. Working out our hips and honing our positive steering. Then just for chuckles asked us to ride the circuit with one hand on the throttle. Left hand off the bars. I was filled with trepidation. I shouldn’t have worried, I had a ball. What was very interesting, as soon as I put both hands back on the bars again, it was with a very light touch. All of a sudden, my hip movement became very important. As I write this, I feel that I have someone else’s hips. They certainly feel like they have had a work out.
Cones. Yep, Yvonne, we had cones. None of that slow speed nonsense though, weaving quickly through them, using positive steering and hips, yes, also with only one hand on the bars.
We did braking too. Our two instructors acted as ‘dogs’, appearing out of nowhere. Pointing to the spot for us to stop. Key in this was focusing on where we want to stop, not where the hazard was. By gum, it was a cracking training session.
All we had to do was join all the dots and make it work on the twisty bends.
Dinner was a noisy affair at the local restaurant. Good food and much wine was consumed. A satisfying, educational and grin inspiring day. I slept like a log.