British roads are terrible, ok correction, the British road surface are terrible. It would be wrong to call the actual roads themselves bad because we are privileged to have some absolute gems stashed around the UK. For me, the issues lie with the state of the tarmac and it seems to be getting worse every year. Potholes, gravel, mud nuggets from agriculture or diesel, all to avoid, as if we haven’t got enough things to focus on while riding.
Add to that the constantly falling standards of other road users, again not helped by lockdown rustiness, or just a general impatience or lack of deterrent with falling police numbers or even just no reason to actually be a good driver. All this adds up to making the roads even more dangerous.
Road deaths dropped for 2020 and 2021
While KSI’s (Killed or seriously injured, to us who don’t like to use acronyms) fell for 2020, and 2021, to the high praise of many, realistically we know that road traffic was so much lower due to the lockdowns and work from home advice. Realistically we know that had those not happened, the numbers would have been considerably higher.
After a recent conversation with a mate who now solely rides on the track, due to the above issues, plus too many dashcam heros, speed cameras, speed limits decreasing etc. He said there’s just no more fun to be had on the roads anymore, so doing a track day a month during the summer, cures his itch of wanting to ride.
He has got a point. Quite often after a road ride, there is a two week waiting period for letters to drop on the doormat. I do often think to myself could I give up riding on the road and just periodically ride on the track?
I probably could, but costs do get in the way. Also, I do find this takes away from the biking nature. For me, though I enjoy the ability to just climb on my bike and ride anywhere, at any time. This is scuppered abit by riding on a track, as all you see is the same stuff for the whole day, purely just chasing lap times, which I’ll be honest I have no interest in. Factor in inclement weather, which can often spoil the fun of a trackday unless you have a full set of spare wet tyres and wheels. If that was the case I really do think I’d miss the whole bits of biking you get away from the track, chanting to randoms at cafes over a cup of tea and bacon bap, chatting to police officers at the roadside over a loud exhaust and tinted visor, you know the drill, everybody loves a chat.
Are trackdays better than the roads?
I just like to ride, whenever I want. Trips to the shops, out visiting, or just for sheer pleasure, come rain or shine, cold or warm. Picking a few days throughout the year to ride the bike just doesn’t appeal. Surely there is nothing better than finding a gem of a road, blasting up and down a few times, having a good brew stop and chat then doing it again?
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