TrackFest #1 -- Log
Hello sports fans - i raced TrackFest yesterday, but before that, let me recap Thursday nite's excitement:
Awesomist race! Nice long 60 lap Points race, 10 spints, and some tough competition with Vinko, Sarah, Chris A, and Dr. Walker, plus Derek McMaster - a top racer in BC for the ItalPasta team (sounds yummy! No team website to be found tho..?) My buddy Kevin is also racing...
I sit out the first sprint (as i normally do...let the others burn off some testosterone), nab a couple points in the following two sprints - Vinko and Derek are going at it, attacking each other....i'm resisting, sitting in the pack and keeping a steady pace... Several more sprints go by, i pick up a 3rd place sprint, and then sit out another sprint, which was particularly aggressive.......which is where Kevin attacks - woot!!
Knowing and appreciating his race style, i jump on his wheel and the two of us easily break from the pack, and gain nearly half a lap before we know it.
We maintain our fast, steady pace, and clear through the following sprint, with me getting 1st place points - yip!
Another sprint approaches, and i believe we were still ahead, and i picked up more 1st place points. Derek has then bridges himself and Chris A, and continues to fly by...i'm a bit beat at this point, so remain in our little pack, only one sprint left. Derek continues through and catches the rest of the 'pack', giving him an extra 20pts and securing his win. Meanwhile, we've got a lap and a half left, and are rolling along at the top of the track, watching each other... It's do-or-die, so i attack hard and gun it for the last lap! Managed to get over 50kph, which is pretty good for me at this point in a race.
The line is fast approaching, i keep the speed up...and win my third sprint in a row, woohoo!! Record for me! I look back, and Chris is riding just ahead of Kevin, who is not contesting him for the points.
Although 3rd place is not a huge-sounding thing, it was for me, since it's pretty new being that high up in the A races... Big thanks to Kevin for initiating that attack, the man knows the sport.
And now for:
TRACKFEST '06, #1
Lucked out with a gorgeous day despite some sprinkles in the morning. Cruised out to the track, and spotted some familiar faces from Vancouver - several of the 'big guns' from the track there - yikes!!
Unfortunately i didn't take any pics, hopefully i'll track some down..
Spent a few hours chatting with folks and warming up, and before i knew it, it was time to line up for a race... First thing was the Scratch race. It was around 40 Laps, which is a good distance. (I get killed in the shorter ones..oddly i fair better hammering for a longer period of time. ;)
We roll out, and i say to Derek (mentioned above in the Thursday race) "Oh man, i am seriously outclassed." He just laughs..haha.. Besides the usual local suspects (Vinko, Chris A, Chuck, Mike) we've got Keith, Glenn and Andy, as well as the super-human sprinter-come-endurance rider Matt "Lego" Chater (who predictably dominated in the Omnium.)
Mike gets us up to speed, as usual...and then the attacks being. This became an absolutely brutal race, with attack after relentless attack...i learned quickly that responding to the attacks with a lot of energy was *not* wise, and so rode very conservatively. My goal was to hang in and actually finish the race (rather than getting dropped and eliminated, as occured in the Scratch at the provincials last year.)
Luckily, i maintained the pace quite well, and was jetisoned from the front with less than three laps left, and so finished just behind the pack in 6th - phew! Congrats to Vinko for winning this one!!
Next up were the Keirin heats...my usual Keirin mojo kicked in, and Matt had a techincal, allowing me to get through by simply finishing (four of five went through, luckily he could jump into the second heat...and for those new to my blog, i somehow seem to regularly make it to the Keirin finals, despite not being anything close to being a sprinter..haha)
Next was my favorite race - a 54 lap (18km) Points race. Although humbled from the scratch race, i still felt like i had something to offer, after my race on Thurs nite.
We roll out, and the attacks begin again, tho luckily with a little less fury. Now familiar with the attack and then rest pattern, i no longer chase down their attacks at all, and there are a few of us who work together to catch up at a reasonable pace..
Other than this, much of the race is pretty uneventful..i manage to sneak in on a few sprints for points...riding rather conservatively. My #1 goal is to finish with the pack, and then scoring points where smart.
At one point over half-way through the race, i'm finding i'm feeling pretty good, and the leaders have once again pulled-up for a rest...so i roll on by, and slowly pick-up speed. (This is my 'move'. I'm rather unassuming and unthreatening to begin with, so watching me roll ahead of the pack is unlikely to strike fear in anyone's heart) - but as i get further away, i continue to build up speed....tres sneaky, n'est pas?
I'm coming out of corner #4, picking up speed, and then the bell is rung - holy crap! I didn't actually plan this, but i suddenly found myself nearly a half lap ahead of the pack on a bell lap - total roxxors!!!
I keep up my speed, watching the pack, and crossed the line unmolested!! Woohoo - i won a sprint, and also won a preem!! (Won a tub of Vega powder and a box of bars - glad i got these donated!! ;)
I continue to carry my speed through, but see the pack closing fast, so pull up to recover, and make sure i don't get dropped if they speed by..
At this point in the race, there are only four other riders left in the pack to make me hurt - Matt, Derek, Andy, and Glenn. I'd noticed that Glenn was not competing for the sprints, which was a lucky break for me (he was the acting bitch for Matt, to provide the most accurate description of the nite..haha) I don't recall how the final few sprints worked out, but i hung in and continued to collect points through to the final sprint, where i got thorougly dropped, but hey - i had half a lap left in the race -- woohoo!!
Later in the evening, i was amazed to discover that i had finished 4th in the Points Race - holy crap!!!! An even awesomister race than the last points race, yay me!!
The rest of the night was practically a write-off - there was the chariot, which i always get a good start in, leading out the pack about 1/2 way through, then everyone passes me by the line. (Chariot is a one lap mass-start sprint.)
There were also the Keirin finals, which i think was immediately after the Points race, and i had forgotten that i'd qualified for. When they called me over, i thought it was to hold one of the riders..hahaha.. I was a pretty green caboose for the event, getting thoroughly clobbered in the final lap, and didn't even bother trying to sprint...my 47x14 was definately inadequate for this calibre of racers (and i had no time to change between races.)
That was it! I won $15 back of my $20 entry from the Omnium, plus the Vega powder and bars (which retail for about $110), so not a bad catch at all!
It was a total blast riding with these strong and talented guys, and left me feeling awesome, knowing that i can hang in with 'em, as well as being comforted with the knowledge that i'm developing some race smarts, as well as being able to guage my own abilities with some accuracy. Sadly, the Burnaby event at the beginning of June has been cancelled, so the next big track event is the second Trackfest at the end of July.
Next up is the Bastion Square crit next Sunday....eeeep!
Extra note of interest: the Nature's Path 'Double Fudge' brownie mix is a 9/10. I'm uber-picky about brownies...most that i've had are much too much like 'cake'. To me, a brownie should be thick. Dense. And chocolatey. The top should be crispy/crunchy, and the inside should be moist. And thick with dense chocolateyness.
The hallmark of an excellent brownie is this: while you're eating it, you do not even notice that it does not need icing....and the batch i produced the other night accomplished this. I used coconut butter as the oil, and i sprinkled some chocolate chips on the top before putting it in the oven...otherwise i just followed the recipe. Next alteration will be to replace the water with orange juice, and add some orange rindes, for some delicious chocolate-orange brownies. Yum!
Alright, it's late...Noisy out!! =)
PS - for those of you that might be looking for a progressive blog/community, check out Zaadz! Lotsa neat people on there, and many are progressive thinking... My page is here, and you can follow my rather random thoughts if you're intrigued: http://davenoisy.zaadz.com/