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Monday, August 28, 2006

Off to the Races!! -- Log

This past weekend was the 2006 BC Track Provincial Championships, over in Burnaby, BC! Fun track, indoors, 200m, wood.. Lotsa great racing, nice to see and chat with all the Vancouver racers, and i was pretty happy with my performances! =)

Full results can be found here, and i've posted some pics of me here. Details below!

Friday Night

National sprinter Matt Barlee and myself (thanks again for the ride dude!) arrived around 5pm, giving me lots of time to spin around trying out my aerobars on this very different track. Luckily, it's not too difficult, and i got into the swing of things right away! Found a neat technique too, which involves tipping your head slightly as you enter the corners...definitely helps in keeping a straight line. Overall, i was feeling pretty speedy, sustaining relatively high kph's without really feeling it....

(Side note: i was sick and off the bike for 5 days a few weeks prior, and then took around 10 days to being able to ride with any intensity again....really screwed with my training plans, but still somehow ended up with fairly speedy legs for the race..)

The first evening held the Flying 200m sprint qualifiers, which i passed on, and an open Chariot race, which i jumped in, just for fun. Didn't qualify for the top seat of course, and finished second in my heat with 6t overall. Don't mean to complain, but didn't really like the way they held the Chariot there..in Victoria, it's one lap (333m), so it's all about start and GO! And is over quick.. They had 3 laps there (600m) and so is really no different than a bunch match sprint... I think the point is to mix it up with different races! Some guys rode it out like a matched sprint, cruising the first lap or two..heh..good thinking!

Anyway, got a nice warm-up for......


Arrived nice and early, logged a few more km in the aerobars. Relatively easy day for me, just had the Pursuit and Points race. =)

Pursuit Qualifiers

It's a different ride from Victoria's track... 20 laps instead of 12. Also, being indoors, means no wind!! With so many laps, it also feels 'easier' to ride, as you're so focused on the upcoming corner (somewhat tricky to navigate) that you notice the pain a little less!

There were only four people participating: one of Canada's top guys, Scott Laliberte, speedster Murray Solem and my regular foe (hehe) here in Victoria, Mike Chandler.

My main strategy was to not go out too hard, then just pound it. And pound it some more. And so on. 5 minutes and 22 seconds later, i had a new PB! 5:22!! Woohoo!! I was totally stoked!! So stoked, i'm even somewhat doubtful... How could i have dropped 15 seconds from my previous PB just a few weeks ago? I'm half guessing that they missed a lap, and half guessing that i had a *fantastic* ride...so i'm gonna 'keep' it. =)

Workin' it! My time meant i averaged 44.7kph. Scott cleaned up 10 seconds ahead of Murray with the winning time of 5:05, sustaining 46.6kph..yowzah! Mike rode it in a bad gear, and knowing that the positions for finals were set (ie, me vs him), didn't give it 100%.

Points Race

My only other event on Saturday, 80 Laps / 16km of twisty, sprinty excitement. I snuck in on the first sprint, getting one point (vegan power!! haha) and then it went downhill as the three Campione guys (John Perkins, Scott and Murray) proceeded to teach us how team tactics can control a race. The two Fast Twitch riders, Glen and Matt, were quick to exit, leaving Jeff Ain and myself to soak up the punishment on our own. I ended up getting lapped twice, and Jeff once... Brutal affair..but i finished intact. Thanks to Scott zipping by not once, but twice, and pulling me back to the pack to avoid even more lappage..hahaha

Anyway, that race killed my legs. Went to the place i was staying, and took it easy.


Felt pretty good, despite the punishment i gave myself the day before. First up, the Kilo!


Not much to say, i had a pursuit after, so didn't plan to go out 100%. Basically used it as a warm-up for my Pursuit, and rolled in a 1:20.5, maintaining my goal of keeping it over 1:20. Pretty cool, since my PB from last year was 1:19, and i *killed* myself like i never have in order to get that....but alas, Kilo is not my event, but it is nice to know that i'm stronger!


This was against Mike, and for the Bronze...woot! I went out fairly hard, and legs were hurtin'..yesterday was still in them. Still, managed to keep Mike at bay, finishing at a respectable (for me) 5:36 (which also beats my PB of 5:37), three seconds behind Mike... It seems like such a small amount of time, but i couldn't have given it much more..i might have been able to ease off on the start a bit, but it's hard to say. Anyway, i was very happy with my performance! Looking forward to Pursuits in 2007! Will be a big part of my focus in training through the winter.

Team Pursuit

I managed to mix together a rag-tag bunch of riders to compete in the 4km Team Pursuit (same as the individual pursuit, but with three other teammates!) Jeff Ain and myself had been talking about doing this, so we were already paired up. Chandler was sticking around, so we reeled him in, and Jeff got Matt Potma, a very strong Junior rider, to join us. We warmed up, and rode well together, despite all of us lacking any experience riding like this. (It's really weird riding a paceline in aerobars unless you've done it before!)

We knew we didn't have much of a chance, praying for mechanical failures for both the dreaded Campoine boys (Scott, Murray, John and their strong junior, Nathan Macdonald), as well as Team Symmetrics, BC/Canada's premier bike racing team, with TT powerhouse Svein Tuft. They did it in a rather unique way as well: Marsh Cooper lead out for the first three or four laps, then pulled off completely, leaving Svein, Christian Meier and Cam Evans...and for the final three or four laps, Svein held the front, and finished at 4:46, sustaining over 50kph. The Campoine's finished with a respectable 4:54, and i completed my fastest 4km Pursuit with the rest of 'Team Dog's Breakfast' (not my name suggestion!) in 5:16, keeping our speed around 45.6kph.

I gotta say, i really enjoyed doing the Team Pursuit....need to arrange more of these in Victoria. Could even have a special event of just these with other local teams and riders..hmmm...

Funny note about the Symmetrics team - Svein recently rode 4km in 4:36. Insane that he's 10 seconds faster *by himself*!! Rock it, Svein!! Maybe some day my little vegan legs will be able to spin that hard!


Ahh..my specialty. Once again, my special Keirin mojo kicked in and i made it to the finals...this time there weren't enough rider to bother with qualifiers, so we just went straight to the final. Taadaa! (Note: for some reason i keep making it to Keirin qualifiers in every event, despite not being the fastest or strongest rider..it just 'happens'!)

Jeff the durney motors by, Matt Chater (likely winner) gets his wheel, so i jump on his, and establish myself in the 2nd position. Woot!! Murray pulls up beside me and rides *close*. I'm rather nervous, just thinking to myself "i only want to make it through this, so i can compete in the upcoming scratch race!!" Eventually, prolly around 40kph, i have to submit, and slide back, allowing Murry to take Matt's wheel.

I'm back in the same position, as Glenn is now riding beside me, but i hold tight, with the hope that he's too nice of a guy to take me out..heh..

To keep a short story short, the sprint starts, Matt and Murray rocket off, and Glenn and John battle for 3rd/4th, as i watch from a safe distance behind. Yay me for surviving, and finishing 5th in this BC Championship race. =)

And in all this i still managed to somehow get myself up to 60kph!

Scratch Race

I lined up with five other riders...and they announced the 75 Lap Scratch race.

WHAT?? 75?? For some reason i had assumed it was a shorter race.... I wasn't prepared for another long race! Eeep!

Once again, the Campoine mafia ruled the race, and with 20 laps to go, Glenn and i were lapped and eliminated.. Which really sucks, i *hate* to DNF. And considering that this was a BC Champoinship race, and four riders left riding, there was really no reason to pull us from the track..it wasn't like we were caugh 5 laps in, and it was going to be repeated over and over. I think this was a really crummy call by the commissaries, and totally against the spirit and the sport of cycling. Props for Jeff for hanging in with the Blue Men and finishing. (Well, getting lapped by two riders, and being considered to have 'finished' Funny how rules can change...) And, of course to Scott, Murray and John, who rode like pros. Watch out if i ever get a posse of mean, green vegans. ;)

So that was my weekend! Also rode the TT last week, got an expected terrible time (27mins), but at least got some nice pics.

Check back in a few days, i believe there will be more pics from the Provs, and i'll post some more stories. =)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Allo! -- Log

Oh, hi! I didn't realize you were looking!

Looks like it's been a month or so since i updated, yikes!

So, last word, i was experiencing 'crap week', and then i had my best week yet!

First in the string was a fantastic Thursday Points race, i played it really well and smart, and tried a slightly different strategy -- attacking well before the bell... Seems that noone like to chase, and so i get a good 20-40m, and by then they hear the bell, and have to work extra-hard to catch me...i scored some great points this way and finished well. I'd say that was my 'smartest' race of the year.

Oh yes, i also bought the front tri-spoke as well..so i at least look fast. =)

Second was TrackFest #2 the following Saturday. Didn't do so hot in the Scratch, tried out a 48x14, but i raced *terribly*, kept getting on the 'wrong' wheel and got shoved back as others attacked....and then i was riding solo, and that gear was just too much to push alone. (I pursue in a 47x16...must spin...) I managed to hold off getting caught until the final lap as Chater made a big attack.

Chariot was also gross with that big gear, just couldn't get it rolling... No more 48x14 for me until i can spin it! (Idea was to be able to respond to attacks better...which i'm sure it can with someone else..heh..i'll just keep spinnin' for now -- gotta play my strengths.)

Next up was the Points, which was a lot of fun. I attacked early in a couple of sprints again, and that landed me some solid point early on. Eventually the pack was wittled down to Don Gillmore, Bob Cameron, Glenn Barr and myself. With about 2/3rds to go, Don attacked hard and blew us off (he's damn fast!) A few laps later Bob attacked and managed to catch Don. Apparently that pretty much killed Bob, and Don was doing full lap pulls to keep him on. Glenn and i pursued, and eventually were working to simply keep him from lapping us, which we managed. I couldn't compete with Glenn for the extra points, but my 3rd place had been solidified for me early on. =)

Final race was the Keirin, and sadly most riders had taken off, leaving Don, Matt Barlee, Glenn and myself. I ended up on the back of the train, and Glenn was on the durney. When it pulled off, he punched it, and we picked up speed pretty quick! Don and Matt battled it out, and i snuck by the drained Glenn by the line. Turns out Don was DQ'd, which left me in the unlikely position of 2nd for the Keirin behind Matt..ha - gotta like that!

More pics in my new Google Gallery here!

After all that excitement, i still had some kick in me! The following Monday was Pursuit night, and after gunning it in the first lap, i managed to finally get a new 4km Pursuit PB of 5:37 - taking 3 seconds off my previous PB - yay!!! I felt like i could have taken a bit more off that as well...so 5:30 may be do-able this year...yip!

Main thing i did different was bolt off the start...usually i start off with relative ease, but i decided to try and catapult myself up to my top speed much more quickly...here's my lap splits, for those of you who enjoy #'s as much as me:

29'53, 27'04, 26'88, 27'12, 27'47, 28'22, 28'59, 28'41, 29'00, 28'83, 28'44 and 27'71.

Looks like i should be aiming for about 27'75 laps or so....my third lap was much too hard...apparently i was still accelerating!! (Or maybe the timer was off..heh..)

It was then Tuesday, TT night....i had no idea if my luck would change, but i decided to head out anyway... Once again, i gunned it off the start.....and this time i really dug deep, keeping the pace quite intense throughout the event...didn't ease off at all...and once again got another PB getting a 25'57 - yes!! Finally cracked the 26 minute mark, and dropped 6 seconds off my previous PB. Woot!!

This has been my lesson of the month, thanks to Kevin! I need to know that i can always 'dig deeper'. I need to learn to 'push harder'....sometimes it's easy to forget this, and tho i'm racing hard, i'm not giving it my all....so this is my second 'big' lesson. A reminder:

#1 - believe in yourself, and believe you can accomplish your goals (thanks Scott Lala!)
#2 - dig deeper, and then dig some more - it's all about learning to dig even more.
I wonder what #3 might be...

Unfortunately, a few days later i got hit with a really nasty bug, and spent 5 days off the bike! (More time off than any other stretch in the last 2yrs i believe..!!) This coincided with me moving as well (now living alone, got a nice bach. suite in the lower level of a house, it kicks ass!)

A couple weeks later, i'm starting to feel human again!! Last Wed went out to the track with the goal of doing flying Kilo's....felt rather gross so after a few did standing starts instead.

Thurday went and raced, with the goal of just hanging off the back. First scratch was really fast, and a lot of attacks, but i held in alright, and cut at the end. Just rode a few laps in the miss'n'out as well....felt like i had good power, but when getting close to the 'red line' i felt really gross.

Saturday (yesterday) rode with the Oak Bay group again, and joined the 'fast group'. Antoine, 'All' Clare and myself busted away from the pack on the climb, and managed to feed everyone else our dust all the way to the meet-up point. I still felt like there was a bunch of gunk in my lungs, but otherwise i was feeling pretty strong. I don't think i've lost too much fitness, thankfully! Maybe even the time off was good for the legs..!

I've come across some neat stuff the last few weeks, here are some bits and pieces:

From the Onion:

There's a neat story on my vegan racing email buddy Chrisine Vardaros, and her adventures racing for a pro team in Belgium. Hopefully will meet her (along with a bunch of other Organic Athletes!) in San Francisco at the end of September for their massive Vegetarian Festival!

Too bad i didn't find this Flash Keirin Game when i was sick, good way to kill some time..haha..

Final item isn't really 'new', but i've never seen this demonstrated: tubeless tires. There are a few films on there - the most interesting is where he demonstrates how they work, as he repeatedly inserts a spike into a tire..holy crap! Can't wait to see this become popular with road tires!!

That's all the excitement for now, hopefully Track Provincials are still happening at the end of the month, still not certain they're happening or not....

Keep on rolling, and eat your veggies. =)

About Me

Dave Shishkoff
aka Dave Noisy
Victoria, BC

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Contact me and let me know if you're a vegan cyclist with a blog!

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