July 13, 2007

track night

I made the trek to the track last night for the first time in a month or so. As I was sizing up the competition, I realized I really hadn't raced with a lot of the women who were there - there are a bunch of new women racing at the track this year, most of whom don't race on the road. It was a pretty strong women's field, including TargetTraining's Mandy Lozano. While it was a strong field, it also seemed pretty sketchy, but everyone managed to keep their skin and bikes intact.

I didn't have a good night of racing, which isn't that surprising. But it was a weird night for women's racing. For starters, every time the official told us to "roll out" for our neutral lap at the beginning of each of our three races, nobody "rolled". What's up with that? Twice I had to start the "rolling", and the 3rd time I think Amber did. I guess people were concerned about their positioning, but I thought it was kind of lame. And what's up with riding too slow on the neutral lap? I actually clipped my Speedplay pedal during one rollout...that's messed up. And then there was the crazy dad who stands in the infield and yells at his two daughters during the races, then proceeds to publicly bitch them out after each race. I felt so bad for them. And I was so happy when Sister #1 finally broke and yelled back after the last race - she ended with "I don't want you coming here anymore!". Amen sister. As one of my teammates commented, "they must still live at home because there is no other reason why anyone would put up with that shit". It was disturbing. Sometimes I wish only racers were allowed on the infield - it would help keep the crazies (like Angry Dad) from standing next to the track. Make him go yell from the stands amidst parents and children and see how that goes over.

Anyway, the first race was a 15-lap scratch race, and Mandy ramped up the pace right away. I think I attacked once, and then blew up (this was a common theme for me last night). The second race was a Bavarian Win & Out. My goal was to go for the first sprint which would have given me 4th place, and then my race would have been done. However, I didn't position myself well - but S. Brokaw did, so I watched her execute my plan perfectly, and I was stuck riding the rest of the race. Actually, I think I may have quit the race...I don't even remember. The last race was a 30-lap points race. I don't like women's point races - I think they're too predictable. We ride in a paceline, then sprint, then get back in a paceline, then sprint, and so forth. So I think I attacked on the first lap. Why not? No one really chased me down (probably because they knew I was not a threat). Eventually another women caught up, and the two of us got points on the first sprint, but then the pack came flying by me like I was standing still. I got back in, and eventually attacked again a lap or two before a sprint lap. In the end, I quit that race too - my legs hurt and "track lung" was in full force, so the infield seemed like a more safe place for me to be. I don't know, maybe I'm missing something....maybe I'd do better if I just sat in more, and sprinted when everyone else sprints. But it just seems boring. And as I've said before, patience is not my forte. So maybe I'll never be a good track racer or win any races or the omnium, but I'll really enjoy the racing a lot more if things are happening.



Anonymous said...

Fun to read about the track... And patience is over-rated.

Anonymous said...

Track's really good for learning bike handling skills. Track's really good for learning to sprint.

Oh wait.

You already know how to do all that.

Never mind.

Track's really good for: a- spectating, or b- getting splinters in your arse.


I like your perspective, though. Most people want women to try anything having to do with bike racing so much that they aren't willing to mention any of the down-sides, which are actually really helpful to know BEFORE you try something new. Still pondering track for next year and appreciate your insight.

(dis)pencer said...

i think you should race with the 4/5 dudes.


it would be exciting.
it would not be the same folks doing the same tactics.
it would keep you on your toes.

that's what i think.

plus, special k will shake things up!

karla said...

yes! get ready for it! in just three days....