Drogo Michie First Season
Drogo has started racing Flattrack in 2012 here is the story and some start up tips from his first season.
I started the 2012 season with almost no experience of being off road on anything with wheels since BMX’ing 30 years ago, but I had got hooked by Flat Tracking via Sideburn & Steve Hillary during couple of races the season before.
To me, every race day seems to have its own unbreakable rhythm. I arrive, unload, fettle, tinker, sign on, shoot the breeze and feel like I have a ton of time to spare, then suddenly it’s a scramble to ready for practice followed by a ceaseless caracole of racing, coming back into the pits and going back out again, until I’m completely spent, crumpled & grinning; and its over just as abruptly as it started.
Over the season I’ve low sided, high sided (far less fun), staggered through / over / around mud, almost drowned in my own sweat on parched tracks, won stuff, lost stuff, smashed up stuff and had more fun than anything I’ve ever done before. I’m never going to do more than hang onto the coat tails of mediocrity, but 43 years down the line I’m better at this than anything else I’ve had a go at. If I had to pin the tail on the donkey of that ‘when it all (briefly) came together moment’ it would be racing Thunder Bikes at Scunthorpe. That day I had the bike low into the turn, peg grinding into the shale, left hand beneath the knee and the back end playing kiss chase with the front. I made the middle row of the final and came 5th; as good as it gets for me… I have terrible habits like a pathological block about using the brake, so I’ve learnt to scrub my speed off when entering the turn by pushing the bike into a skid rather than bringing the back end round on the rear brake. Gary Inman properly with some justification thinks its one of the more perverse and bonkers way of going around things.
When you’re on the grid, weight forward, pushing down & the marshal raises his hands, 12 riders crank their throttles and the world fills with pounding noise & nothing else exists. Then the moment explodes and you fish tail into the ruck, finding a line, changing into 3rd, setting the bike for the first turn and for 8 laps you only do one thing & you only think one thing, & that is very special and very rare.
My kit began as no more than some tools Sideburn Ben cruelly described as slightly worse than an incomplete 1962 Raleigh ladies bike set, which was a bit unfair as I’m sure I had a bonus spoon in there. I quickly learnt if you know nothing, copy what wiser men do… So now I have an Ok tool box and a cobbled together big box which is a composite of everyone else’s bright ideas, plus a couple of less clever ones of my own. In it is….
A Front mud guard for when it rains (it will).
A tone of different tapes to patch myself or my bike back together with.
Foot pump with gauge.
Roll of blue paper towel.
Plant spray with soapy water (for cleaning my visor, I’m still idiotically riding without tear off’s)
Marker Pens for scrawling heat positions onto gaffer tank stuck onto the petrol tank (genius idea by Stuart Lovell)
Funnel with filter.
Baby wipes (unless you like driving home in a sweat baked coating of track grime)
A selection of different diameter rubber hose, for as yet unknown reasons but they make me feel like I’m prepared for something or other)
I’ve also added a spare of everything I’ve broken / lost whilst racing which means sooner than later I’m going to need to dump the box for a trailer or a Tardis.
Spare foot peg and rubber.
Spare brake cable
None of it would be as much fun without the people who make it happen and make it what it is. Scooter Farm Dave & Co Built’s Anthony Brown, took me in and advised, explained, prodded & poked me out of some of my more disastrous tendencies & taught me any slight skill I might have. The whole set up is like that though; everyone seems to look out for each other & that don’t seem to happen much anywhere else…
Posted by Anthony Brown