Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Track Night- 4/22/08

So, after returning from Texas last week, my legs have just been blown and I've been fighting to kick the remnants of this cold. Maybe I rode too hard on the ride- Lord knows it was the most 2 day mileage I've gotten in a long, long time. Whatever the cause, I've been pretty darned fatigued and have only ridden a few days in the past week and the riding I have done has been low intensity- as if I have a choice.

Anyway... that's my excuse for going to the track last night to spectate rather than race. I hopped on one my several trusty steeds and rode the few miles to the track to watch a little racing go down.

The stands were, for us, quite full. It was really cool to see so many folks in the stands- and almost as many outside the fence a few feet away. There was a cool mix of young hipsters and the regular racing crowd (friends, family, loved ones). The fence and the stands were lined with many bikes- largely fixed gear bikes and conversions. As a dedicated bike nerd, I was really digging the variety of bikes and all the creativity that was on display.

It's a pretty fun crowd that we get at our little race series. Lots of loud folks drinking beer, eating pizza, offering up beer primes to the racers (I gave socks and bar tape... because I had both) and generally having a good time screaming for the racers in all of the classes- A, B, C... it didn't matter.

One of the personal highlights of the evening for me was watching Iggy Silva racing. I've known this young man since he was a little, little guy. Watching him develop into one of the strongest young riders in the US has been an amazing treat. He's still racing as a junior as a high schooler, but he's also racing in Pro/1/2/ races and doing very, very well. Check out his blog and see the pictures of him riding strong in the break with riders from Toyota United. He's always been the most humble and gracious kid, in spite of his amazing talent and all the race wins. I can tell you that getting my ass handed to me by him is a mixed bag of being bummed out and being totally proud of him. His father is well-known in the area and the racing scene because it's hard to find a father anywhere in the world who is more proud or who has worked so hard to help his son chase a dream- it's nothing short of inspirational.

The other highlight for me was seeing this...

... it's a crappy picture, but it's an old BMX race bike converted to a track bike for one of the junior racers. I mean... a track bike so small it uses 20" wheels! This is one of the most beautiful sights in the world to me. I keep toying with the idea of developing a couple of bikes aimed at junior riders/ racers. Every time I see something like this, I get that much closer...

After the races were done, I rode with my friend Ernesto (guy with black knit cap in center of first picture) over to Lefty's Pizza for a slice and a beer with a bunch of folks from the track. (For what it's worth, I've never had a bad slice at Lefty's and it's a cool little spot, so check it out if you're in the area.) Afterwards, I rode with Ernesto and Erv for a few blocks as we headed home.

In the end, it was a pleasant night of bike love. Next week though... it's back to business!



Carlton said...

A junior-junior track bike would be GREAT! Last year my 10 year old boy couldn't get on the track with his club (250 mile round trip to the Manchester velodrome) because the kiddy track bikes were too big.

josh said...

Good to see Ernie-G is alive and well. Nice hat too!