The past weekend, July 15th 2017, a group of friends and I attended a motorcycle track day at Buttonwillow, CA at Buttonwillow Raceway. The organization that was holding the event was Pacific Track Day. Now, this event was my first time at Buttonwillow as well as with Pacific Track Time. I’ve ridden with a few others, but not yet with them. My first encounter with them was to inquire about a group discount which I am very happy they gave me. The price tag went from $160 to $140. Although before we even signed up, I had heard a few things from other riders about this organization, a forewarning actually. We were told that PTT was like the wild west and out of control. I kept that in mind, but I wanted to see it for myself rather than judge an entire organization based off one person.
Pacific Track Time was definitely… The most interesting organization I’ve ridden with. The first thing that bothered me was that riders don’t have to tape of their lights. It was optional, so long as you disconnect all the lights. I found that VERY peculiar as I was always taught it was much safer in the event that one does crash then the shards from the lights comes off together rather than in pieces that might get stuck in other riders’ tires/bikes. It’s for safety reasons. Which leads me to their tech inspection, it was very lacking in my opinion. The guys barely even looked at my bike, just flicked my front brake lever before giving me the okay. A more thorough check of the bike would’ve been better to ensure the safety of the riders. Now, as I mentioned before, lights are supposed to be disconnected if it’s not, tech inspection should catch those who hasn’t before the rider is released onto track. Did that happen? Nope. I saw 2-3 people with their brake lights still on at track, do you know how distracting that is? (Also, cruisers are allowed on track in this organization 😂)
Then there was their riders meeting. DAMN did they BLOW through that part. It went by so fast I actually wanted them to repeat their rules (non-existent) and the track turns/what to watch out for. They justified it by saying that it was because most of the people in the group were regulars and has been on this track so the meeting shouldn’t need to take too long. Um. I don’t care if there are regulars, there are some people that are new and beginner track riders. What about their safety? The staff was FAR TOO carefree. They make good people to chill and ride with, but not exactly to trust the safety of your life in their hands. It was also via their riders meeting that I found out there’s essentially no rules for all three groups A (advanced), B (intermediate), and C (beginner). You can pass whenever and wherever you want, just pass within 6 feet distance. Can I just say that this org IS NOT BEGINNER FRIENDLY. I will admit that… I played a little dirty out there because there were no rules (I’m SO used to level C group being really limited on passing and hard on rules), but DON’T BE LIKE ME, LOL. It felt more like race practice as another friend described it. Lmao. The group levels are essentially the fucking same exception to speed difference.
For the actual track ride, it was plenty fun and I had a great time but what the fuck is up with the staff that supposed to be watching out for those that need help in group C? Instead they be racing themselves rather than keeping an eye out for issues with riders. LOLOL. 6 feet passing rule (more like a guideline)? Out the door when you actually ride, same goes for the staff. I saw plenty of illegal shit going on on track and nobody got meatballed (wtf is the meatball flag for then if you’re not going to use it? LOL). I was just lucky that I’ve ridden track before and held my own, but it definitely was worrisome for those that has never been before. When you do crash, you’re not allowed to get your bike rather it’s left out on track on kickstands (no kickstand? it lays there on the ground). It basically gets cooked out in the sun all day. I found that HILARIOUS, it was a graveyard of bikes by noon time when we went.
If I had to come up with an analogy for this organization, they’re like the rebel sister of Fastrackriders. PTT got all the fancy org shirts and tents, but hella chill and rebellious with their rules while Fastrackriders is the goody two shoe sister with all the rules and the fact that riders actually have to abide by them. The staff at PTT was very easy to talk to and friendly, one of them even came garage to garage to check up on us to see how we were going and if we were keeping hydrated. I actually liked that part about them.
Ultimately, would I ride with them again? Maybbbbee… Only because they don’t have any rules. 😂 Would I recommend them? Ehhhh. I won’t say anything, just read what I wrote and decide if you want to take the risk. For the record, this experience wasn’t just me but with several other of my friends as well so there’s a few of us that will back this experience up if you think it was just me.