Remember how Cinderella runs from the ball, leaves her slipper and then the Prince finds her, she puts on the slipper and the "happily ever after" music swells in the background? Well, let's just say my feet were swollen and the slipper didn't fit anymore and it crumbled in the Prince's hands. He's not sure if he likes me anymore, either.
Simple math equation for you; no license = no race. Since I haven't renewed my racing license yet this year, I didn't get to race in the National Qualifier last night. I did the regular schedule of events, since they are not an USCF sanctioned event. Since I have only been racing on our track and doing TT's so far this year, I haven't needed the license. I guess I have to suck it up and get one right away now, since next week's qualifier is in the Match Sprint and I'd like to at least have some fun in that.
The racing itself was great. No wins for me, no beer prime glory, but great racing. Since the main event was the Qualifier, we had a very strong field of riders who were very motivated. The "A" field was probably close to 40 riders strong. The two events I got to race in were the 9-lap Tempo and the 12-lap Snowball. Gladly, I can report I wasn't last in either race! Actually, I rode cautiously from the back for much of the races and rode more with my head, chasing the race winners when the timing was right. It didn't work, but I was there and was part of the mix, so I was content with that. I hadn't raced at the track for a month, so I wasn't "sharp". The legs felt reasonably good, so I am encouraged.
On a down note, there was a crash early in the motor-paced warm-up event. All of those who crashed were ok, but one of the fallen is a friend of mine (we go back to high school) and it looked like he snapped his collarbone. Sorry John- I hope you recover quickly and come back to the track this year.
Now, the bike review! (For the record, this is an honest review of the bike and not a sales pitch, I promise- no crossed fingers either.)
The frame rode as if it were custom made for me. Really, it was awesome! I don't know how else to put it (some of you other trackies will know what I mean here) but the bike felt as if I was steering it with my ass. No kidding (keep the comments to a minimum). With a wiggle of the hips and slight, very slight, input to the bars, the bike moved up or down track as if I were just walking down a sidewalk. Impulse became action. Since the parts on this bike were the same parts that were on my old bike, the only difference is in the frame and the ride between the two bikes is night and day. The other frame is a good riding frame, I can't complain and won't, but the overall handling of the new Masi was just unreal. It was telepathic in fact. My hat comes off to Mike Varley, our senior Product Manager, who was instrumental in the design of the frame. We talked at length about what I hoped to have and he made it into a reality. Thanks Mike!
The tube selections made for a ride that was perfect for me. The back end was way stiff- no hesitation from the bike when it was time to accelerate. The geometries are perfect and the handling was razor-sharp.
Again, these are my God-honest thoughts. I know that this frame will not be for everybody. If anything, it is more of a Sprint bike than a Pursuit bike. If you specialize in Points Races, it might not feel the way you want. However, I feel pretty confident that it will appeal to a broad enough swath of the track racing public, especially once people get a chance to ride one.
Ok, I have to go do some actual work now.