Burnaby Velodrome Challenge - Part Deux!! -- Log
Woohoo! Back on the track for more racing!! The event was held on Jan 7th & 8th at the Burnaby (part of Vancouver, BC) Velodrome, complete event results and brief write-up here. This is my second time to this track, my first time/race last November logged here!
Travelling with Matt Barlee and Vinko Poldrugovac (thanks again for the ride!), it was a very nice day in Victoria (figures!), and we arrived in Vancouver Friday night. I crashed at the house of friends Brandy and Richard (Thanks!!) Also, a big thank-you to Gord Ross for the lift to-and-from the 'drome!
This is also my first race representing Organic Athlete! I noticed my jersey colors go really nicely with my track bike. =)
A few days before leaving i got an email from my blog, asking if i could recommend any vegan eateries, which i found really exciting - there's a vegan couple coming to race! Amelia and Per Bjesse (sounds like 'pair' of vegans, Swedish i believe?) are both outstanding people and racers from Portland, nice to have met you guys. =)
I felt a lot more comfortable on the track this time around, and by the time i left on Sunday, i was feeling completely confident, or at least as good as i feel riding on Victoria's track. ;)
I'm not entirely sure how to describe the outcome of my 'peak'...i didn't feel like Superman or anything...i felt strong tho, and i felt confident in my legs. I had some really good 'surges', that served me quite well at appropriate times while racing...but i can't tell if that's from peaking, or if it was a cumulation of the training i've been doing... Either way, i felt good. My sprinting isn't so much a 'sprint' now, as it is a 'surge'...as in it's more of a gradual build (rather than an immediate 'bang!'), but i felt really good holding it. This makes me feel good for the pursuits i'll be burying myself into next year...
Alright, enough preamble! Onto the racing!!
=DAY 1= (Sat, Jan 7th)
Sprints=Day 2= (Sun, Jan 8th)
I signed up for the 200m, i'm not sure if i'll bother with this any more....plus my sprints were riddled with bad luck..
I was well warmed-up, and feeling confident..i walked up to the holder (Miranda Duff from Portland, amazing racer and very nice person), straddled the bike and tried to clip in...took me a few seconds...the bike felt a little weird... I was queued to go, and i started to roll out, and i noticed i had a flat. Crap. (It's especially annoying since they're tubulars...it's busted at the valve, so i'd have to replace the whole tube...which involves a lot of sewing...not to mention the re-glueing.. Anyone in Victoria patch tubulars??)
Clipping in for the Keirin, held by Dean
Matt loaned me his training wheel (thanks again!) and i switched over, and was added to the end of the (long! - ~14 riders) list. I clipped in, rolled out, and i knew it would be a terrible run...my legs had cooled-down *completely*. Every stroke felt crunchy and gross...sorta like stirring uncooked rice in water.
I wheeled in with a 13.74 time. Which isn't too bad for me, they say Burnaby is about 4/10ths of a second slower than Victoria, and my fastest time here is a 13.2, so this is moderately consistent. Would have liked to have seen what my time in the gym and much more high-intensity training would have produced..ahh well! Lots of time to muck about with this in the summer.
Next up were the matched sprints...and the initial round was done with 3 or 4-up groups.. I was matched with Per and i believe two other people. On the second lap he rounded past me on the right, then cut-down right in front of me, eliminating me from the track, and disposing me on the concrete!! Ouch! I did a wicked slide for about 5 feet...50k+ph to zero...not good. No serious injuries, thankfully, but some rather painful bruising. Per later explained to me that they've been practing a lot on a grass track, and one of the drills they do is cutting into other riders like that, but of course on the grass you can just move inwards a bit more... I might have been able to stay uprights, but it occured right in the corner, and the apron on this track is unrideable in the corners at high-speed.. We redid the race, and i was, of course, eliminated. Same in the repechage. Per went on to get 5th tho, good stuff!
40 Lap Scratch (8km)
Oops - better to race with glasses on face, not helmet! This is the group for my Keirin semi-final.
Ahh..more my kind of race! The first long race is always a challenging one, as you're feeling riders out.. Of course, i knew some from previous events, but there were also a lot of new faces.. Per and i ended up working a lot, bridging gaps, etc...and by the end of it, i was a bit shot..came in 7th, just off the scoresheet. ;)
80 Lap Points Race (16km)
Raced this one a bit more conservatively, but it turned into a sprinters race...with the group mainly sticking together between sprints, and then a jump, then slowness. This, unfortunately, works against me, as i'm more of a steady-but-intense kinda rider. I earned 3pts in one sprint, but in the final laps my lunch caught up to me (45min lunch break is too short!), and i got a stitch in my side..! I finished just behind the pack, and my sprint held me in 6th.
A random thank-you to Jeremy Storie for announcing and keeping the racing rolling, both at this and the November event. You do a great job, and help to make it much more enjoyable - big kudos man!
Keirin'sSo that was my BVC#2 racing experice, lotsa fun had! It was really great talking with a bunch of the Portland riders, including Stephen McLaughry, one of the top sprinters in the US, who brought my new vegan friends. He's a bit different from the other sprinters in that he doesn't have huge legs...! Defininately big, but looking at him you'd never know this guy could move his bike upwards of 70kph on a flat..! Dean, their mechanic was also a swell guy, and tuned-up my bike after my crash.
My oddball race.. I'm not an agressive rider at all, nor a sprinter, but being pulled up to 45-50kph seems to work to my favor... (To those new to the blog, a Keirin is a short race, 6-8 laps depending on the track. There's a moto-pacer that leads the group for the first 4-6 laps, pulling the riders up to 50kph, then the final laps are a straight-up sprint. This racing is really popular in Japan, and is a betting sport there.)
I got eliminated in the first round, as the first two riders over the line went through, and i came in third.
And the race is on! Ansilmo in front, Alberta-guy behind.
In the reps i managed to win my heat, back in the race! I ended up in the fourth position (out of five riders), and just played my cards carefully... The bike was off, and we held our positions for a lap, then the rider in front of me pulled up to the right and started to work his way past the front two, and i just stuck to his wheel. He pulled us past them, and then dropped to the spinters lane, where i surged! It was in the first corner, so i had to work hard (it's very hard to pass in the corners at Burnaby...very steep, so you're travelling considerably 'farther'.) I managed to keep up, then forged ahead in the straight-away, and cleared him by the end of the fourth corner... I dropped down to the sprinters lane and held my lead to the line - woohoo!!
Next up were the semi-finals. It was a smaller final bunch, so they ran two heats of four, and three would get through. This race (pictured) had MarkButschler
(former Victoria rider), an Alberta rider (sorry!), Anselmo Rossiello (cool guy from Van, talked with him a fair bit) and myself. Off the start, Mark took the pace-bike's wheel, and i slipped in behind him. Anselmo pulled up beside me, and quickly pinched me down, and i fell in behind on his wheel. Turd! =P
Ahh well, i knew he was fast, and if i stuck to his wheel and kept the guy behind me at bay, i'd do alright.
Easier said-than-done of course! Final lap rolls around, and Anselmo plows ahead (dropping me) with Mark in hot pursuit. I turn on the afterburners, gotta keep ahead of Alberta-dude!! I still was, coming out of the fourth corner.....but in the straight before the line i felt him coming up beside me. I'd already used my afterburners...crap. I just gave'er. He was coming up as fast as the line was!! I pumped out that final bit of whatever was left in the can......hit the line......and the announcer called my name - WOOHOO!!! I made it to the Keirin finals!!! Unfortunately, Matt and Vinko wanted to take off right after the Team Sprint, so we'd miss the finals. (Really unfortunate, since Vinko was in the Keirin finals too...leaving just four people in there instead of six.) Anselmo ended up wining in the end as well (so i read!) He really wanted this, so good for him. (No finish for me, tho i couldn't have done worse than 6th. ;)
The final corner! The finishline is further to the left..you can see Alberta-guy must have come in pretty fast! And Anselmo is nowhere to be seen...!
20 Lap Snowball
This was a weird one..normally a Snowball race has points every lap, first person over gets them..and they are cumulative, so first lap is 1pt, second lap is 2pts, and so on until 20pts for the final lap/sprint. This one had a sprint every four laps, and the first one gave 1pt, second lap gave 2pts to the first person, and 1pt to the second. Third gave 3, 2, 1 (i believe), and the final sprint was worth 5, 3, 2 and 1.
Again, this turned into a sprinters race...with everyone slowing down at the sprint... The first sprint went through, no one challenged Vinko for the point. At the bell on the second sprint, i found myself at the front of the pack...oh, what luck! I slowly built-up my speed through the first two corners (no point in worrying anyone ;) and then started to kick it...i didn't feel anyone close, but i kept the pressure on! As i was approaching the line, i felt Per on my side, but i managed to hold it, and nabbed 2pts. Woot! I won a sprint!
Team Sprint, with Stephen and vegans Per and Amelia - looking forward to visiting Portland, and getting you guys up here too!
The rest of the race was relatively uneventful, Cody Campbell, an enduro rider like myself bolted ahead during another lull at one point yelling 'come on, this is a race!', and i was like 'yeah!' and jumped on his wheel, but of course after he and i pulled up, the same annoying thing happened, where everyone else slowed-up.
I didn't score any more points for the rest of the race, i had a weird little drop in 'power' about 3/4's of the way through for some reason..just ran outta steam for a lap..but managed to get back on to the pack. At the end, Miranda Duff made an amazing play - she'd been sitting in the whole race, and then attacked hard on the last lap, and dropped everyone for the final 5pts, which won her the race!! (The next three racers were tied with 4pts each!) I came in 6th, as Cody was tied for points, but finished ahead of me in the final sprint.
Later in the day, i found Cody and said 'next time we're at a race, come talk to me, let's work together'. He went on to win the Elimination-to-Scratch and also lapped the group *twice* in the final scratch!! Damn, i wish i was there for that...gaaah..
I ended up taking the bus back into town from near Vinko and Matt's (they live outside of Vic), and it wasn't that bad moving all my stuff and my track bike. At least i now know i can get myself around without too much trouble...next time i'll stay for all the races. =)
(Thanks to Amelia for taking the pics too! I gotta figure out the settings for shooting in there, the lighting is not digital-friendly at *all*!)
Of course, being a vegan blog, i gotta outline my eating! I kept it pretty simple this time around.. My dinner on Fri and Sat was pasta, with a couple Yves 'Spicey Italian' soysauges fried in for good measure.So, that was my two days in Burnaby! No more events until Feb or March, where there'll likely be some road races. Provincials are in June, and i might head south to Portland for the Alpenrose Challenge, which is also in June. (Ironically, the Portland track is sponsored by a large dairy company...and they organize this festival..bleh..) Portland, a vegan-friendly city, home of a couple vegan riders, and a vegan bike ship....weird, eh? ;)
I didn't eat too much during the days tho...i drank several servings of Vega with pineapple/orange juice, as well as a number of Vega bars (i'm *really* starting to enjoy these). I've also got a new favorite for racing - organic Romaine lettuce hearts! They come in a baggy with three in there, and they're heads of Romaine lettuce with the bigger outter leaves taken off. I just munched away at those, and they provided *amazing* hydration, and digested quickly. (As long as they weren't eaten 20mins before a race...oh..and on top of a Soy Delicious Mocha ice-cream sandwich..hehe)
I also mowed down a 'Maya Gold' flavored Green & Blacks organic chocolate bar..i found a place in Victoria selling them for $2 each!!!! (Normally well over twice that!) I'm tempted to spend my last $20 on these.....!! (If you're in Victoria, send me a note, and i'll tell you where to find these..) I ate a bunch of bananas and other fruit...i guess i ate mostly raw during the racing event..which is kind of interesting.. I also brought along some Barbara's fig bars, but didn't feel like eating them.
Gonna take it easy this week, let my bruises and scrapes heal, then back at 'er!
And there ya have it!