Howdy sports fans! =)
Sorry for the delay in updating about the first race in the Burnaby Velodrome Challenge - i was holding off in hopes of having some pics to post as well, but alas, no visualizations today..
Before i get into that, i want to say a big THANKS!
to Wayne and Pam's Performance Bicycles
for their support for my 2006 racing season, helping me out with great deals on bike parts and accessories: thanks you guys, you're awesome
At the races, troubles started nearly immediately... Canadian National Team sprinter Matt Barlee (thanks again for the ride!
) picked me up Friday afternoon, and we zipped out to the ferry..arriving around 3:50pm we were *hoping* to catch the 5pm ferry, there'd been some stormy weather and there had been cancellations in the morning...but by some freak chance we actually made the 4pm ferry!
Matt had brought along a treat, and i asked 'what, you bring meat?
' He laughed. I looked at him hesitantly..heh.. Turns out he had a copy of Overcoming
which was cool to watch on his laptop on the ferry ride.
We made it to the track at a decent time, and i geared up to do a few warm-up laps, and after a lap with a weird chunking noise from my chain, it snapped and i was free-wheelin' it - wooooot! After a couple laps like that, Keith Bruneau caught me (my hero!
) and slowed me down..haha..
So that was it for the night.. I asked around if anyone had another Masterlink (i'd installed mine incorrectly..first time! Be sure to read the instructions boys and girls..
) which no one did, nor a spare chain..gaaah..
Saturday morning, i get to the track, and several people come up to me with Masterlinks - yay! Now i have three..haha.. I stuck it on my chain, then i found i had a similar problem..more clunking noises from the chain...crap! It must have been munched when it snapped and wrapped around the hub..
SOO...i get a lift to the bike shop 5mins away, and get a new chain. Bring it back, and (luckily, before installing it!
) discover it's the wrong size..it was a 3/32" when i needed a 1/8th". Crap crap crap.
I get another lift to the bike shop, and it turns out they don't even have the size i need..waah!!
Get back, and sulk around for a while.. Then Murray Solem arrived, and he said he was going to pick up a new chain the night before, tho i asked only for a Masterlink (which he had for me - ha!
) I asked about his old chain, and he told me i could try it, but it had a sticky joint..
Which it did. By this time i was thoroughly under the influence of Murphy's Law. I got the chain, and borrowed Matt's chaintool...and the chain was too wide. I borrowed Keith's, and it fit...but as i pushed the pin out, the chain ends bent outwards, as there was no 'support' from the tool...wtf??
So i wander back to Murray and ask what his chain tool is like, luckily it's the right kind. Of course, no matter what i try, the link is still completely solid. GAH!
Then Murray hands me a box..it's a brand new chain! Yay!! I install it on my bike, and i'm golden - woohoo!!
Quite the process, eh? Faaaawkk..
Anyway, so racing. The reason i came out..haha First up was a Miss'n'Out
, and it featured two of the Symmetrics
guys, Christian Meier and Svein Tuft, two of Canada's fastest guys.
The neutral lap (first lap we do as a group, sticking together
) was nearly 50kph. Crap. I wandered around the back for the first couple eliminations, then i saw an opening down low right on Matt's wheel, and i thought 'oh, that'll be a good spot!' and then as i got down there, the WHOLE PACK shifted and suddenly i was the very last guy....and got eliminated. I think that left me about 15th..haha..
Next was the Scratch
race, 75 laps / 15km. What a brutal affair.. Again, the neutral lap was over 45kph (in Victoria, a 15kph neutral lap is kinda fast!
), and the S-Men put the hurt on, lapping us all several times...and i was lapped by the pack something like three times.. I got dropped a number of times, but still managed to sustain ~45kph on my own..yet when Svein or Christian went by, i felt like i was barely riding....impressive. I think i finished around 9th..an improvement!
My theory that the month of Muscle Tension hill repeats right before not being particularly beneficial right before an event proved true..haha.. Still tho, i was riding relatively strong, which was cool. I was expecting much worse!
That was it for Saturday, i got a lift back to my friends Brandy and Richard's (thanks Steve!
) and we went out to a nice vegan cafe for dinner (can't remember the name, it's also a yoga studio...the quinoa burger and yam fries were tasty!
) and then loaded up on Soy Delicious (they have four more flavors than we have in Victoria!
) and watched 'Road to Guantanamo' which was thoroughly disturbing..i hate the US Gov't even more-so now.
Sunday morning got back on the track..i was feeling pretty good, and the S-Men were nowhere to be seen..mercy on us!
First up was the Snowball
, i didn't contest for any points, and finished with the pack, prolly around 10th. Matt Chater put on a remarkable performance, lapping the field and collecting twice as many points as the rest of the field - kick ass man!Keirin's
were up next, and for the first time my Keirin Karma failed me, and i didn't make it to the finals (up until this point, i'd somehow made it into the keirin finals for every race i'd been in..heh..
) It's often called a race of luck anyway, so i guess it can't *always* work out! Still, i managed to get myself up to 62kph in the sprint in my 47x14, which is pretty fast for me. I think the fastest i've seen is perhaps 63kph.
My legs were feeling pretty heavy, and i was the first guy out of the Elimination to Scratch
, picking a bad wheel, leaving me at 12th. Yuck. Matt, much to my surprise, hung in for the race, and absolutely rocketed away on the final lap, leaving everyone in the dust - nice job! I think he needs to do more long races. =)
Final event was the Points Race
(80 laps, 16km), and i dropped down to a 46x14 (88"). I knew my legs didn't feel great, and i wasn't spinning the 90", so i had to change something.. Good choice!
In the first sprint, i was near the front of the pack, and so tagged along to collect a point, in 4th. Woot! From there, things picked up, and i was usually in the chase group. The gear felt a lot better, and tho i didn't respond to sprints well, i managed to hold a steady pace, and catch back on. And it was nice not to get lapped!! In the end, Murray and myself worked together to avoid being caught by the break group, and managed catch and pass the main group in the end. Tho i didn't collect any more points, i finished in 6th place with what i had. Yay me! That was a nice way to end the event.
So, from this i can add to my Big Lessons list:
DAVE'S BIG LESSONS FOR RACING:
#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.
#3 - play your strengths and trust yourself!
I stayed in the 47x14 because heck, it was fast racing! Still, i know my strength is in my cardio, not my legs...as i was racing, my legs were bogging down, but i wasn't maxing out my lungs..and when i did finally switch, bwammo - back to the proper ratio (for me), and getting my spin up allowed me to race faster and better. Yay me! (I'm most comfortable spinning 110-115rpm.
Final event was the Team Sprint, and i started in between junior rider Rachel Canning and veteran and BVC Pres Andrew George, and got just under 50 seconds! Yay! 5th for three non-sprinters..haha..
It was a very fun weekend, and thanks to the Burnaby folks for organizing this, it was a blast! There's a Six Day at the beginning of Jan, but i doubt i'll go to race there...i'll likely wait until the BVC#2 at the end of Jan. =)
Alright, got more neat little updates, but will post them another time, as this is already a novel. =)
Keep on riding, and stay dry!!