21 Nov 2011


On Sunday Andrew and I went bucket racing. Bucket racing is essentially the poor man's motorcycle racing - not that people refrain from spending an awful lot of money. A Bucket, in essence, is a mix of motorcycles put together to create a racing machine. There are restrictions, of course; two strokes can't be over a certain capacity, many fuel-injected motorcycles are not allowed. Home built parts are fine.

Andrew's bucket is a CB125T. He bought it not working, but he had it up and running as soon as he had the time. Sunday was his first opportunity to test it out. Since it was his first go on the track, the organisers made Andrew wear a fluro vest. The only others wearing hi-vis were a couple of thirteen year olds, needing to be more visible for safety reasons.
"I'm a bit big to be mistaken for a 13 year old, don't you think?" Andrew laughed, but put the vest on anyway. It turns out that cold tyres are slippery, as he found out on the first corner. The front wheel slipped out from under him and spun away from the track, as did Andrew. After dusting himself off, he proceeded at a gentler pace.

I brought my DSLR along to practice getting some shots. Believe me, it's a lot harder than it looks, and being limited to 2GB of memory doesn't help!

A van comes in handy when transporting bikes. Unlike a trailer, you don't have to tie up the tie-downs, and it doesn't matter too much if the bike falls over.

The start of a bucket race is perhaps the most frightening place to be. The riders line up on one side of the track, while a friend holds the bike ready. At the whistle, the racers take off, leap onto the bikes, and their "pusher" heaves the motorcycle forward for a push start. Most of the time this is successful, but many bikes simply don't feel like going and putter to a stop. The more enthusiastic take a racing line across the grass, which I became all too accustomed with after a large orange beast encompassed my viewport. The trick is to stay still, and the bikes will go around you.

Here are a few shots that came out alright. I had to fiddle with the settings a bit, and it turns out there's an autofocus mode called AI-SERVO. As long as you have the shutter button half down, the camera will continue to refocus.

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