Tuesday Night Racing at the Sandy Eggo Velodrome!
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  1. #1
    Old, slow, and fat.
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    Tuesday Night Racing at the Sandy Eggo Velodrome!

    So there I was, back at the track after a 2-week absence wondering how the legs were gonna feel.

    Warmup went OK, the I picked (86") gear felt small (a good sign).

    First race is the motopaced 3-way Keirin of Death. Cs do 18 laps on the moto, then the last 2 solo, sprinting for the win. We played a good game of "screw yer buddy" as the Cs consistently pulled off the moto without pulling the next guy up to it. Leaves a ~5m gap that the next guy in line "HAS" to close ASAP. Uhhh, yeah.

    So, if yer motorpacing on the track, when yer lap's almost over, pull up BESIDE the moto before the start/finish (or wherever yer rotating) and make sure that you pull the guy behind you up to the back of the moto so that there's not that gap. If you find yerself needing to close the gap, do it slowly (less the race is about over, then its a different critter) so that there's no accordion effect further back.

    So, we got to the end and I'd been leaving the gaps open a little then closing them slowly so that the accordion wasn't as bad as it could have been. As we hit one to go, my legs went BANG!!! Nothing left. At all. (this was an omen...) I sat up and rolled thru the finish well behind everyone.

    Second race was a 10-lap Scratch race. Weeeellll, there's 4-5 Adam's Ave. Bikes guys riding Cs, 1 UCSD female who's pretty strong, but don't know track, and 3 of us other guys that all ride for different teams. The announcer called a beer prime and two of the Adam's Ave guys jumped for it. That left 2 more of them on the front not pulling too hard. The three "other" guys started working a paceline to try and catch them but managed to let the 2 Adam's Ave guys in the line. They got to the front and slowed down. One of the "other" guys jumped around them, then the other went and all I could do was watch as my legs loaded up with lactic acid. The female went around me and I rolled thru to finish alone OTB again. Oh well.

    Next race was a Miss-n-Out. I got the front and was controlling the speed for the first few laps. One of the "other" guys was on my hip and we were sittin' pretty. Right up until they surged over us and took the two positions. I was out. I gotta work on that one again... I think if the pack'd been bigger than 8 guys, it woulda been easier to control, but I'll never know.

    Last race of the night was the 30-lap B/C Points Race. HOLY COW! I've got legs!! WOOOT!! Felt like a real cyclist for the first 15 laps, even keeping up with the sprints. After the midway point, things started to break down. :cry I keep putting on an 88" gear for this race 'cause I know that the Bs ride faster than the Cs... I can't spin fast enough in the 86" to keep up.

    The first 10-ish laps, the 88" gear felt way small. I could move up in the pack almost at will. Its an amazing feeling when yer legs are firing on all cylinders, all the muscles feel good, and the speed's there. I knew I didn't have quite enough to contest the sprints, but otherwise it was a solid ride. I DID close a few gaps that'd opened in the line and felt good about those efforts, so things are coming back.

    Then there's the feeling towards the end when the gear you picked feels monsterous, your legs don't wanna work, the air's not thin enough to breathe, and you wanna puke. Yup, that was lap 25 (5 to go). I blew up with 5 to go, sat up, and just as quickly decided that I'm GONNA stay in for that last 5 laps. Ended up working into a group of 4 doing half-lap pulls till 1 to go when even those were too much. The "I'm gonna puke" feeling was gnawing at my gut, the legs loaded up with lactic acid again, and things just generally went south in a hurry. Ugh. I want my farging fitness back!! (helps if you actually TRAIN, but shhhhh don't wake me out of my stupor!)

    If you've never raced track, its like the first and last laps of a crit all rolled into one race. AND you generally get to do more than one race/nite so if tactic A don't work, try tactic B, then C, then... Track racing's also about the safest racing I've ever done. Everyone speeds up and slows down at appx. the same rate, no one turns, slams on the brakes, etc. Oh, and you develop some AWESOME power! But please don't tell anyone, I wouldn't want my super-secret crit training methods to leak out!

    Bis nexte woche!

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  2. #2
    garytingley
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    "Track racing's also about the safest racing I've ever done."

    Ask my mechanic John what he thinks of that! He went down at the SD velodrome in a race a couple weeks ago, ended up at the hospital with broken bones ... seriously though, I am going to get a track bike and get into it as soon as I get around to it, maybe this fall. Work it into TT racing and road.

    - Gary

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Tingley
    "Track racing's also about the safest racing I've ever done."

    Ask my mechanic John what he thinks of that! He went down at the SD velodrome in a race a couple weeks ago, ended up at the hospital with broken bones ... seriously though, I am going to get a track bike and get into it as soon as I get around to it, maybe this fall. Work it into TT racing and road.

    - Gary
    He wreck in that "C-going-straight-ahead-in-the-warmup" crash?

    Problem with track crashes is they seem to be more serious than road crashes for some reason... I do still stand by my assertion that its the safest racing I've ever done.

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    You definitely see more crashes in crits but crashes on the track seem to mean someone gets badly hurt. Saw a couple of bad ones in SD last year.

    Not wishing to make this a thread about crashing . . I'll change it back somehow . . .

    I agree with comment that track cycling is the best preparation/training for crits - no better way to simulate that intensity. In fact, track racing has always been much more intense than any crit I was ever in including ones that I've won. It gives you a accelerated course in pack skills and race positioning too. I raced one race in the C's last year, then spent much of the season in the B's, and promoted myself to the A's by the end. I'm now racing in the A's in San Jose after an enforced move north!

    I think the A's is of a slightly higher standard in SD than SJ, simply due to there being more big names that race down there. The B's and C's are similar from what others have told me.

    The atmosphere at the track is MUCH better in SD than SJ - the main reason for this is Gary the announcer - he's awesome! And the beer primes and music. The spectator crowds are subsequently bigger and generally get more involved. SJ is a bit sterile at times.

    I do like, though, the omnium points system that Rick has going in SJ - makes you think about how the races complement each other and motivates you to perform week in, week out. No motor-paced warm-up in SJ - just straight into the 4 races.

    The fact is that track racing is definitely the most fun, most intense, most exciting form of cycling - I encourage everyone to give it a go. (SD and SJ both do renter bikes for the tuesday/wednesday night racing in the C's.)

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