Brands Hatch motorbike track day - April 2012

Not sure why this outing with the motorbike club didn't work for me but a few sessions on the club circuit at Brands didn't catch my interest at all. Disappointed but glad I've done a track day at last and glad it was well-organised and safe enough but I'm not thinking of booking on any more track sessions any time soon.

I'm told the addictive buzz comes from being competitive but it didn't hook me at all. The adrenaline rush of riding at full speed didn't get me either: much less impression of speed out there on the track. It wasn't a surprise there are riders hugely more experienced at the track style of riding than I am, that happens in any sport. What did surprise me was that I didn't find where the fun came in amongst the rules on how to ride safely and advice on how to ride fast in the specialist closed environment of a track.

The experience reminded me of how I felt about school and college running: I used to love running competitively but only cross-country running: running nearly four times round an athletics track (1500m) just bored me senseless.

What I do get out of biking is the freedom and adventure. The sales motto of the first bike shop I was involved with was "We sell freedom", meaning the freedom of the open road. That bike shop serviced the Kawasaki KH250 that I learnt and passed my test with and then sold me a Z750 twin, that would have been the bike that I last took to Brands Hatch, as a spectator.

Great to watch the superbike and motoGP stars battling it out on the race tracks, though there must be a high degree of obsession to get to be that perfect.

My biking Everests remain the mountain passes like the col de la Bonette. Challenging and thrilling.

But I enjoyed taking my camera for a walk around Druids and Brands Hatch pit lane. The last camera I took there was a Pentax MX (35mm film camera) with a 500mm catadioptric lens with which I netted shots of Barry Sheene etc. Brands Hatch has changed track layout since then and built plenty of new facilities.