Or, back ~on~ the track!
Last weekend was the first women's track camp at the velodrome. We had 20 women come who had never ridden on the track and they spent two days of drills and riding and on the second day, even some racing. It was very cool to see them all there and at one point on Sunday, we were all on the track together...the most women to ever be on the track at one time. Just fantastic!
Friday night was the first Friday night track racing of the season and there were special races for the women who attended the camp last weekend. I raced with the women 1-3s and rode the second beginner women's race as a mentor and used it as a warm-up. There were 15 new women, all doing their first race. Very exciting!
My first race was a 25 lap scratch race with a field of 12. Last year in these races, I would hold on for a few laps, then get popped off the back and have to take a lap or two and then try to catch back on. Goal this year was to hang longer. We rolled off and the pace was pretty good. It later ramped up a bit and I was able to go with them. My legs were hurting, but I was hanging in! There were a few surges and trying to close the gaps was hard, but I was able to do so. We got down to the last couple of laps and I was still there and sprinting for the finish, I ended up 10th out of 12. Extremely happy with that race!
I got off the bike and immediately had to run up and hold Mouse kid Ryan. He and his brother were doing the kiddie kilo and he'd done it last year and I was his holder and advisor and he won. Giving a push in cleats is a little tricky, but I gave him a push and he was off and beat his brother. It was a Junior Mice sweep with young Parkhill taking 3rd.
My second race was a 30 lap points race, sprint every 5 laps. This race started out fast and only got faster. The first sprint I was able to go with the group and then on the second sprint, a gap formed and I was off the back. But then so was Donna. And then so was Julie. Donna and I worked together to get up to Julie and then a lap before the next sprint I was on the front of our three person paceline and was able to bridge us up to the group and launch Julie on an attack against the group. And the chase was on, but I had burned a big match getting us back, so I was finished. Donna and I rode together the rest of the way, trading pulls and keeping the pace high. Coming out of the last turn on the last lap, we sprinted against each other and it was close.
A very fun night and I was really happy with how I rode. Definite improvement over last year and a number of people commented on that. I'm looking forward to the next Friday night in two weeks.
On Tuesday, I went down to the track with Nole and Loren and it was Loren's first time to race on the track. In the C group, we had about 15 people.
Two 30-lap points races, sprints every 5 laps (1 mile).
Got there fairly early, but by the time we got Loren her rental bike and registered and changed, nuts...better get warming up! Overcast, but not cold, muggy and windy. I had on knickers and was a bit warm. Did the first race without arm warmers. Yea!
Warmed up for 10 minutes in the 50x16 (84.4"), then switched it to the 50x15 (90.0") and got about 8-10 more minutes in. Felt OK. The coach wants me to ride a bigger gear right now and a 90 for a 30-lap race is very big. I usually race the 200 meters in a 90, not 6 miles.
Race 1: Rolled out and was able to hang with the group for 10 laps, but then my legs were not ready to go and I sat up and rode around for 10 laps at about 18 mph. Used the rest of the race to get a better warm up in. With about 10 to go, I jumped in with Jonathan and we picked up the pace and finished it out.
Thought about switching to a lower gear for the second race but then didn't.
Race 2: What a difference a warm up makes! I rolled off the rail and went to the front of the pack and didn't jump, but continued to slowly ramp up the speed and just see what happened. Two laps of that and I swung off and that had strung things out a little. Got in towards that back of the group and pretty much stayed there the rest of the race, even on the sprints! After one sprint, I was up high on the back straight and came around Ted and stood up and attacked the field. That was fun! Didn't stay away, but woke them up. Stayed with the group the entire 30 laps and that is the first time EVER that that has happened!!
Super happy about the second race. Loren took 3rd or 4th in the second race and is totally hooked.