Ash De Bakker Racing #76 News and Events Blog

17Aug

WORLDS MOST OVERDUE BLOG POST - ROUND 1 FX SUPERBIKE .... TO NOW

Well like they say... 'Better late than never!" This may be the worlds most over due blog. The reasons for my tardiness shall be revealed in due course! There are life lessons in all things.... including crashes. Who knew???? 

AUSTRALIAN FX SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 1

Firstly a few positives. The lap times were on the improve! Finally!!!! I also managed to get a wheelie pic…. Check! Look out wheelie Wednesdays... here I come! There are a few well deserved beers owed to Simon from Red Line Photography.  It has been reported that he broke the land speed record en-route to turn 12 and snapped an elusive wheelie! Thanks to Simon for the gorgeous pic featured here.... not the big wheelie he got. But there is still technically daylight under that front tyre in this picture.... so its a wheelie! 

To start the weekend, practice was good. Educational even. I rode on some tyres Id never ridden on before and decided they just weren’t for me. I then decided to make some changes to the bikes geometry just to make it a bit more stable and confidence building. Being able to identify what exactly I like and don’t like has been a bit of a learning curve for me. Ive tended to ride bikes as they have been handed to me.... its been a bit of a process to learn about what works for me and doesn't. Finally I’m at the point where I know what I like and don’t. Thankfully for me, Kelvin Reilly from BC Performance was on the job quick smart got my ZX10r right where it needed to be.

Race 1:

For me, that first race was all about getting amongst it again. Start was ok-ish, better than they have been. I got into a bit of a race with a few competitors which was fun. In fact in race 1, I set the best time I have in a year with traffic! I certainly walked away with a smile on my face and a plan in mind to work on a few corners that needed a good ol’ tidy up!

Stars of Tomorrow:

Uneventful race. I got held up a little in the opening laps. Again that will teach me to get off the line faster. After that I was on my own for much of the race.

Race 2:

There is a theme emerging here.... get off that start line faster woman!!!  I got held up at the start (again) and ended up in a group for a lap and a half.  Halfway through lap 2, I came into contact with another competitor and came off a very distant second best.

I must take the opportunity to thank the medical staff at Eastern Creek. I really wasn’t in the best shape but obviously in good hands as I made it to hospital. When I finally graced everyone with my ‘presence’ I was quite a menace and very upset about my Ricondi leathers being cut off! Sorry guys. Hahahaha.  

I’m normally not a fan of injury lists but I mention them here so you understand that it was more than just a case of dented pride and a damaged wallet. I ended up with a brain haemorrhage/traumatic brain injury, broken ribs x 6, collapsed lung and broken scapula. My ribs have now got some extensive hardware and spent 5 days in an induced coma and got my lung drained. Not a good result at all. Life lesson no. 1 - Apparently I don’t bounce!

When I started my social media and blogs, I did it with the express purpose of documenting my experiences. A real account of things, certainly not some sugar coated fantasy that I think people want to hear. 

I raise the scary injury list for a reason... normally I don't like them. I mention it so that if you are reading this, you see that it was not a minor incident and appreciate that there is a period of recovery involved. 

Over the years I have certainly had my share of fairly serious injuries arising from my sporting pursuits. Those who know me are aware that I am sporting my share of battle scars (apparently the furious beeping of airport security metal detectors is now way cool…. Hmmm probably not) Jokes aside, I can honestly say that latest episode has been one of the toughest to deal with. Not just the injuries but the other stresses that you inevitably end up having to sort out when least equipped.  It's not just the rider that goes through this process, it’s those closest to you.

I have had quite a few friends talk to me about their own post injury struggles in these few months. It’s a sobering conversation. I’m also aware of a few riders who have recently been injured and are dealing with their own injuries and recoveries. My heart goes out to them and I wish them a super speedy recovery.

I’m very, very lucky to have family who have always been supportive of my crazy sporting pursuits. I’m also lucky to have some wonderful friends. They rang relentlessly turned up on my doorstep when I was doing my best to ignore everyone. They dragged me out of the house and helped me repair my bike when my banged up body wouldn’t even allow me to roll a bike on a trailer. From the bottom of my heart thank you, you mean the world to me. Its times like these when you really, really discover who is in your corner. Life lesson No. 2 - Sometimes you have to rely on those around you. Sometimes you can't do it all by yourself. 

It’s taken me a while to write this blog…. quite a while. I confess there have been several versions. Its only now I can bring myself to share it with you. I couldn’t look at the bikes for a few months let alone finish this installment. I’m feeling like I’m finally getting back to normal and putting this disaster behind me. These things take time and it’s a lesson in patience. My family and friends will be having a quiet chuckle to themselves right now…. Yes patience, I said that scary word.... it stings somewhat!!!! So, I’m here confessing to you all that I have been a complete mess for a reason…… If you have a friend who has been injured, witnessed an incident or has helped pick up the pieces afterward…..PLEASE give them a ring or a visit. Check on them even if they don’t seem too receptive. Trust me on this. It’s important. Life lesson No. 3..... It takes time to heal physically and mentally from serious injury. Sometimes longer than we plan. 

I’m pleased to report that I have been back on the bike. I started off with a few local rides just up the road for a coffee with some friends. It was the first taste of ‘normal’ in some time and it really lifted my spirits.  

I have had a few days at the track at Sydney Motorsport Park. I imposed a non-negotiable ban on lap timers. I had a no pressure ride around and caught up with some friends and it put a smile on my face.  

So for now, I’m all about just riding, enjoying being on the bike again and working on some fundamental stuff. There is always something to be learned, its an ongoing process for me.... I love the learning.

Until next time. Ash x

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Comments

I hope you don't mind Ash, I felt the need to share this post on my Facebook feed. I was moved to tears when I read about the extent of your injuries - I had no idea! - But most touching was discovering your COURAGE to heal yourself and get back in the game. You are such an inspirational, amazing woman Ash. Thank you for sharing your story with us. xox
22/08/2018 1:18:08 PM | Reply
Good on you Ash ! Thanks for sharing. Your comments about the toll of serious injury hit the nail on the head. Sure there's a physical component... but as you point out, sometimes the effects reach far broader than you expect. I can relate ! Certainly in my case with serious injury, it came like a wrecking ball through my romantic and business lives, and threatened other aspects of my life that were very dear to me. The toll was so devastating that I admit to questioning the value of continuing life at all ! Sometimes people cant see that trauma within you, and your own self imposed isolation exacerbates that. Good on you for sharing the raw with us. Obviously competing in this sport to start with takes guts and ambition, but to be able to face the monster again after it has bitten hard is a truly valiant feat, and testimony to your character. See you on the track ! -Brett
22/08/2018 12:03:20 PM | Reply
Great to see and read your on the mend Ash, I was trackside that day, it was worrying to see the helicopter come in, but now your back on the bike, and doing what you enjoy, that’s great news.
21/08/2018 8:21:42 PM | Reply
Good to see you are back on it again Ash !!
21/08/2018 7:31:17 PM | Reply

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About Ash De Bakker

Ashlee De Bakker is competing in the Formula Extreme Australian Superbike Championships (AFX-SBK) and the Australasian Superbike Championships (ASC) on a  Kawasaki ZX10r, competing in the formula Oz class. 

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