Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Glass half empty or half full?

Is it possible to die from asphyxiation due to racing with your head up your butt?

Last night was sprint night down at the old velodrome. Yours truly was third fastest qualifier in the 200m sprint. Not bad for the first one in more than a year. I was pretty excited and thought I had an outside shot at regaining a little sprint form. Oh how silly of me to believe.

1st round sprint was a 3 up and since I had been the fastest qualifier of the 3 of us, I figured I had a shot. I might have if I hadn't let the other two riders roll away and get a 20 meter gap right off the rail. Since it was only a 2 lap sprint, I ended up chasing right from the gun and they were smart enough to keep their gap and make me work that much harder. At the line we were grouped fairly tight, but I was still at their hips and settled for 3rd.

Off to the loser's bracket! So I'm not letting that happen again. No way. I've learned my lesson. I controlled the pace from the front and kept the other two in check until rider two moved to the front to take control as we came through turn four. While I was watching him and we were rolling slowly and deliberately, rider three jumped from the highest point of the banking in turn one and opened a huge gap. Since I was stuck behind the guy in front of me, I had to slow down and back out before jumping down track myself. Too late and too big of a gear, so I sat up coming out of turn four and saluted the smarter winner. Gracious in defeat at least.

Now it's time to tango. 5 mile Scratch race... that means 25 laps. This proved to be the most fun of the night. The pace was good and I was able to stay in and do a little attacking and kept the pace strong. When the bell was rung for the last lap, I was simply spent and missed the move that found its way to the finish line first. Still, it was a lot of fun and I managed to be a part of the action.

So I guess the glass was half full. Until I realized I lost my car keys and had to climb over the velodrome fence in my skinsuit to find my keys in the infield.

Over all, quite a fun night. Even a few folks from the office came down to watch me get a trouncing. As usual, the locals helped to make it so much fun. Adams Avenue Bicycles donated all the beer and water bottle primes. I (Masi) donated socks for prizes. A local store offered up gift certificates. Even the race announcer pulled a $20 bill out of his wallet for the women's race. Sweet!

Who said track racing was dead in the US?


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