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Rockwell Cycles Track Day at NYST

My goal is 10 track days this season... a weekend per month.
Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati Racing Motorcycles at New York Safety Track
Credit: Anthony Collins Photography
So when my buddy Jon asked if I wanted to do Rockwell Cycles' first Private Track Day this year, I was game, 
especially considering I was rained out of day 2 racing at NYST a couple weeks back with EvolveGT, and despite having very short legs (I have a 28" inseam), today was the day I finally got both knees down. 
Rockwell Cycles is at New York Safety Track every weekend, but they arrange private days where they rent out the entire track to a smaller audience, typically on a Monday. 
The community is smaller, the bikes are usually Ducatis or MV Agustas, and the coaches are a bit more hands on than an open track day. 
Tigh Loughhead riding NYDUCATI's 848 1098 1198 Ducati Track Bike in New York
Credit: Rockwell
Instead of four, fifteen minute sessions of various rider classes,
Credit: Rockwell
Rockwell usually does three, twenty minutes session, with two riding groups (beginner/intermediate and expert), and another session for cars.
Credit: Rockwell
This gives you considerably more time on the track, but forces you to cope with the chatter from rubber left behind by that GT3 that has discarded half its tire going around the same corner.
Credit: Rockwell
Jon and I got up EARLY.. I was at his apt by 4:30am, and we got up to the track before tech inspection at 8.
 We were happily greeted by some friends and fellow Ducati aficionados Glenn, Michael, Melissa and Joe from the NorthEast Ducati Track Riders.
Credit: Joe Roselli
 Micheal and Glenn both sport WSBK replica Panigales, Glenn with 1299 with a Chaz Davies livery (above), and Michael with a 959 after Marco Melandri.

Melissa had also invited a friend and professional photographer Anthony Collins,
who took some amazing photography of all of us.
I'm feeling pretty out of shape, but even though I didn't get much sleep, the second day was much easier than the first day.
I did not like being lumped in with the novice class though at all, as I nearly crashed twice due to getting stuffed into a corner by someone grabbing a handful of brake,
and another noob going way off their line.
I loved the 20 minute session, but the beginner group gets backed up behind brand new or unconfident riders nearly every time out.
I guess I'm not really as patient as I should be, but we are at the race track.
But I'm really starting to love my bike...
and "Hey!" -definitely no more chicken strips.  
Jon and I did skip the last session though, as we were pretty exhausted; and fittingly stopped (at an Italian) pizza place for a bite before driving home the next day. 

© 2018 Tigh Loughhead


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