Wheelie Women – Training Session 1
(8 April 2017)
This is what I like about bikers: While the rest of the world is all about more, more, more… we cut down from four wheels to two wheels, and we're hardly on two wheels, when we're trying to reduce that to one wheel. We do what we have to in the name of economy.
* Allan Muir *
What is the question I get asked most often?
*except for the one about me drinking 42 shooters in a row back in the Wild West days of Secunda*
WILL YOU TEACH ME HOW TO WHEELIE?
Why not!?! I rounded up a group of chickens; from experienced GS trophy winners to battling-to-shake-my-baby-phat start-up riders. I belled my trainer – Nico from Stunt Stylez – and begged him to dust off his bike and come help me out.
Luckily we had a big bakkie back-up vehicle that could drag the cement blocks away, which was blocking our entry to BlackRock. If Milla Jovovich could do it – so can we!
The training session was very casual. With LOTS of questions and mostly short answers of ‘…DON’T!’
We explained the difference between power and clutch wheelies…
That your guardian angel during practise is called ‘Back-Brake’…
And that we would take good care of you if you moered off, but that fixing your bike is still entirely your own responsibility…
Wie laaste lag…
The first wheelie was done in 1890 by trick bicyclist Daniel J. Canary, shortly after modern bicycles became popular.
The ‘tell’ part was over. Now it was time for the ‘show’.
SkinNic started up their Yammies. We haven’t ridden together for months and it was thrilling to see if we could still pop them.
Up… up… and away!
Scaling down from two wheels to one wheel is considered mastering a powerful piece of steel. Scaling down to none is called magic – especially if you are wearing a cape.
Mathematically I calculated that manipulating a Yamaha YZF 600 R6 (dry weight of 166kg) with a human body (dry weight of 56kg) – I am outnumbered 3 to 1.
But our Yamaha horses were on their best behaviour.
The first thing I do in the mornings before wheelie practise – I wash my belly pan!
Some of the chickens were very nervous and I saw a foot trail develop through the veld to the big tree behind the bridge. But they all whipped on their big-girl panties that morning.
Animals travel on all fours. Mankind on two. Sometimes on one!
Within minutes the 400m tar strip was buzzing with bikes’ revving.
She be the Superwoman of adventure biking – the first SA lady to compete in the International GS Trophy! I’m sure if you replaced the tar with thick mud, she would have had no trouble riding the bike on UNO tyre.
ANNEMIEN VAN DER LINDE
I’ve been keeping an eye on this chicken. She has popped up on the biking scene in the last few months, and where she’s been spinning dust has amazed me. I thought she just kept her riding under cover, but she told me she’s only been riding for a few months. Life tends to throw us in on the deep end – Annemien jumps in voluntarily!
If you look at the photo ‘properly’ you will see a 4cm gap between the front rubber and mother earth. I call that a wheelie!
T-break and time to rest those wrists
We got spoiled with home-made vetkoek; a doughnut without the hole thingy.
The dop was for now, the skop was for later.
“So I stopped at the traffic light and next to me stopped a guy on a litre…”
“As he revved his boney, I gave him ‘the look’…”
“Adrenaline pumping, the light turned green – AND HE WAS IN NEUTRAL!!!”
Oh, my swak hart en my pap wiele…
Chikita picked up a puncture earlier that morning, but I offered her a ride on Brom (my reserve pony). I always feel a bit inept when I ride with this chicken as she underestimates her own abilities. On this rare occasion, she gave me my bike back in one piece.
ANTOINETTE JANSE VAN RENSBURG
She did not give up – so she got up! I haven’t often seen so much determination crammed into one woman-folk.
This chicken has balls. She keeps them on a keyring in her pocket as a reminder that women you do not have a weak spot. She has the pop, she has the height – next, we’ll teach her to keep the head light pointing up in the air at a 45 degree angle for a couple of seconds longer.
SkinNic testing out a few new Kawasutra positions.
Skinny, “Give me the controls – let’s see what this monster can do!”
“While pushing my trolley through the veggie isle…”
“I put my weight back, dropped the grip and popped one – NAILED IT!”
So as a foot note…
Let the geek in me try to explain the concept of a wheelie.
Wheelies are based on two common physical concepts: Angular Momentum and Torque.
Angular Momentum: How much oomph objects have when they are going in circles. This would be the spinning of your back wheel.
The spinning of the back wheel robs the planet of angular momentum, and thus slowing its spin by the tiniest bit, lengthening the day and giving us a little more time to ride. Just trust me on this one and wheelie!
Torque is the force that causes an object to rotate – thanx to the engine! The engine has to supply more torque to the rear wheel than the gravitational torque, and lo and behold! A wheelie!
The beauty of the law of physics – it works even if you try to break it.
Hierdie is moerse tappet, maar piss koel!
Two of the girls won a Shred Bettys top each: Annemien for lifting the heaviest bike of the day & Antoinette for having THE most determination. They are crowned the protectors of the wheelie and all things mono-cicular! Veritable patron saints of unicycles, wheelbarrows, stunting and lost tyres (thanx again Allan Muir).
Antoinette had already left, but I know people that knows phototjop.
We all dream of running a wheelie over miles without much effort, but what is the meaning of this dream? The short answer: You are repressing significant issues from potty training when you were two years old and fell off the big toilet into the water. This will require years of motorcycle therapy, building the confidence of power and balance… and mostly – the strength of knyping your sphincter.
Remember, however cool it may seem, performing a wheelie is actually very difficult – and quite dangerous too! Therefore, it’s best not to try it yourself without proper training and practice. And don’t ever go practice on your own. Rather hi-jack a car and keep the spectators hostage (…and probably entertained).
*Thanks to Louré van Schalkwyk & Jolandi Mentz for the photos, and Johan van Wyk for helping with the set-up*
I have 2 more double tickets to give away for the South Africa Bike Festival held at Kyalami on 26 & 28 May 2017. To stand a chance to win entry to this FLIPPEN LEKKER show, answer the question below by sending me a reply mail:
Name one brand (any brand) of motorcycle that will be on show at the South Africa Bike Festival?
The winners of last month’s Double tickets to the show is *drum roll*:
CHIKITA PRODUCTIONS PRESENT:
Skinny and Chikita rides Harley Davidsons to the Rally In The Valley. They get in all sorts of trouble doing burn-outs, surfing, wheelies and fish-tails.
Being so honest, you guys supplied the vetkoek & koeldrank. What would we do without you???
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Spinning the wheels to keep the day longer!