Friday, August 10, 2007

More Like Ben Huh?


I made my track debut this past Wednesday. And if I was in Ben Hur, I would have been one of those extras that you hardly notice that gets killed in the first scene by getting run over by the horses or something equally undignified.

I did not grunt or growl, I whimpered and hyperventilated.

Totally hyperventilated because I am a wussy. The wussy gladiator. I wish I could be all brave and crazy-eyed like Grace Jones in Conan. Except without the flat top...and maybe with a different sports bra.



The Chariot races turned out to be full on little drag races. Its a holding start and then a quick lap and a quarter. Basically its a sprint from an almost standing start. The holders push you at the whistle so you get a little bit of momentum.

The first round there was 5 or 6 of us and I was pretty scared. Hutch was my holder and I told him to not really push me because I was scared just being held there. Without a big push and with my monster gear, I was pretty doomed.



The secound round was for all the losers of the first rounds. There were nine of us this time. Nine mostly beginner racers lined up side by side on the track about to be pushed into a full sprint at the same time. EEEK! This time Michael (mine, not Hutch) would be my holder. And he was pretty intent on giving me a wallop of a push. I think the holders were all having their own competition to see who could do the biggest push.

And I got an awesome push that got me right out in front, but as soon as I saw the bars of other racers near me, I whimpered and waited for things to settle up front. Of course, by then, the coliseum was practically empty.

Next up was some other short sprinty race and there was a swarm for position and swerving on both sides of me. Someone swerved right about two lanes without looking (Almost took out Beth, but Beth wasn't fazed, is that normal in track racing?) and the whole mess freaked me out. I think I actually gasped out loud at one point. I settled to the rear of the group and of course got gapped off from the front four who pulled away and sprinted and stuff.



The last race was a miss and out, a sort of bicycle musical chairs. I always hated musical chairs because you had to be rude to win. And you have to be sort of rude in the miss and out too. Beth told me to try and be the devil, except she was also the devil, and so was some other guy and there is only room for so many devils I guess. I was first out.

But I still had a blast. I survived intact and learned stuff about track and me. Track racing is so focused and distilled that it will highlight in bright yellow neon, any of your roadie weaknesses.

I came back for the Thursday session last night. Thursdays are more endurance focused. The C's were to do a 60 lap points race. We had about 15 people, and since people freak me out, and swarming freaks me out and I am a big wussy, I attacked on the first lap.

The attack didn't do anything but string things out a bit, but that was good for me. I don't remember much more about this race except going hard a lot and wondering how Jen C could keep attacking. Every ten laps there was a sprint for points with the top four scoring and I think I was 5th or 6th every single time. Not that I sprinted, I pretty much just kept going hard. I felt like a crazy hamster in a wheel. At one point I was freaked to see that we had 28 laps to go, and then I had to remember that we were on a track oval and not a crit course.

Somehow our group dwindled down to 6 riders. One guy got away with 9 laps to go and won and I swear I never even knew. I had no fricken clue what was going on in front of or behind me. Just run hamster run. Run round and round.

And then suddenly it was bell lap and then it was over. I didn't score a single point, but somehow I won a preme for a pound of Peets! And I got the most amazing compact little workout that is just perfect from cyclocross training. And maybe I can get my quads to the 60cm bethbarrier.

Grrrrr!

21 Comments:

At 3:50 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Lilly Bella said...

so the chariot part was the holding and pushing??? that should be called catapult or something else.

I thought you'd be sent off to race in pairs or something where one rider pulls another for a set distance.

hmmmmf...I make up better games with my first graders.

 
At 3:52 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

peets is good and the thing about the track that I don't like is if you don't get points they never put you in the results...not you I mean "one"...

 
At 3:52 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

you could totally make up good track games

 
At 4:10 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

sabeeny's first lap attack.


fun race to watch.

 
At 4:31 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Brian Peterson said...

Hamster wheel, that is a good one, and I have that feeling a lot.

I find another benefit of the track is the more I ride track, the more slowly things happen in a crit or road race. That is, you learn to react more quickly, and things will seem to go at a snails pace, even in a crit.

 
At 4:37 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Flandria said...

you are a hamster devil...ha ha!

 
At 5:59 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger lauren said...

that all sounds so confusing.

except for the hamster wheel part.

 
At 6:29 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Gail said...

O ya

You make me wanna try it!

Way to go!

-Gail

 
At 6:36 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger X Bunny said...

you won pete's coffee?!

i'd call that a good night

 
At 9:47 PM, August 10, 2007, Blogger Sacwheelgirl said...

Good Job! Wish I coulda been there! I missed seeing everyone. Still waiting for my knee to get better... I'm glad you had fun. Hamster wheel yes... I still like my being flushed down the toilet metaphor... or maybe rollerderby?

Katie

 
At 12:10 AM, August 11, 2007, Blogger Grey said...

I'm glad you raced the track; I would have liked to have been there.

Once you get the hang of doing all these little races, it's actually pretty cool. One race you do something stupid, the next one you feel like a genius cuz something works out. There's potential for immediate redemption at the track.

Hopefully I'll see y'all at a Thursday before too long. Hellyahamsterace!

 
At 8:01 AM, August 11, 2007, Blogger marscat said...

now, that does sound fun...maybe we'll have to stop racing too and join you...

 
At 2:18 PM, August 11, 2007, Blogger Lilly Bella said...

Sue wants to go next Sat. you gals game?

 
At 3:02 PM, August 11, 2007, Blogger chatterbox said...

Sweet! You'll be to 60cm in no time!

 
At 3:54 PM, August 11, 2007, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

we have a ride on sat with the abbiorca people...but we were thinking of wednesday...

 
At 3:05 PM, August 12, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

Yay! Glad you had a fun week of track racing. You were awesome on Wednesday- the races take awhile to figure out...but the cool thing about track is you can fuck up in one race, and you have another one in 15 minutes. Your quadies will be up to 60cm in no time--just keep pounding those chocolate cake. that is what the australians do. http://www.ridethetrack.com/pdf/train_paulrogers.pdf

 
At 10:09 AM, August 13, 2007, Blogger WarrenG said...

You only need two things (one or both) to have fun at track racing. A great attitude, which you already have, and a flower in your helmet.

 
At 10:30 AM, August 13, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

So this Saturday, bellas at the track?

and this Wednesday, kitties at the track? Its Keirin night! Bring your purple skinsuit and your shoulder pads.

 
At 4:30 PM, August 13, 2007, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

this kitty doesn't like keirins except to drink them but those are kirins...I had to do a keirin with suzy marshall years ago...I got stuck on the front and then everyone came around me...but what else is on tap?

 
At 6:04 PM, August 14, 2007, Blogger BELLA BEAR said...

You still look adorable in your kit!

 
At 7:47 AM, August 15, 2007, Blogger Bike Maddness said...

What track are you at? Fun report. At Blaine all that fun goes with 43 degree banking.

 

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