Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Congested Carnival (or 93s and 80 degrees)

Despite the fact that I was coming down (or came down) with a nasty little cold and despite the fact that rest is the common sickness remedy, I decided to try track racing as an alternative means of recovery. What can I say, everyone else was going and yeah, like I'm going to miss a chance to rebuild my ego after I was pummeled blue through most of January...

So into the car and out to Fielding we went to race on the flattest track I have ever seen. This track is what would happen if Marymoor lost its foundation and the rail sunk 20 feet. I'd wager the bank is somewhere around the 6 degree mark. Awesome.

In typical Rubicon fashion I decided "warmups are for loosers" and messed around with my gears for a good hour instead of rolling around like everyone else. After all, it's a miss'n'out, we'll have a neutral lap right? So tinker I did and warmup I didn't, untill the whistle blew and we were called to the line with just enough time to put my shoes on. Captain Indecision was our promoter, and the instructions went something like this:

"Okay guys, this is an elimination race, so we'll be pulling riders I think every lap or so, but first we'll have a neutral lap and I'll probably fire the gun and you'll be racing. Then we'll pull riders untill there are six or so left, and we might have 2 laps left untill the sprint. Either way, I'll ring the bell. Okay any questions?"

"Uh, yeah how many are you going to pull to?"

"Six or so"

Every race.

The miss'n'out actually went surprisingly well, despite the geniuses that tried to lap the field, didn't make it and ended up winning. I was third behind the geniuses after about a half an hour of sweet manuevers from the back to pick of dork after dork. Chauncey would be proud.
Because of the slightly dissapointing finish in the elimination I decided through sniffles and sneezes that for the 1500 Wheelrace Final, it was time to throw down. And throw down I did. I drew a sweet mark for the handicap, blasted off the line, found a good group and settled in for a few laps. Powered by Catherine Sells, the previously mentioned NZ world cup rider, our group swallowed up front-mark riders like a shop vac and when the time was right I blew the field a kiss goodbye and laid waste to all in my path.
That made me feel better.
NEXT UP... Scratch race. 16 laps on this track is like 40 on Alpenrose, so this would be a decent effort for the combined A and B group riders. The B group dudes started a good 30 meters behind us, so we had to lap them before the fun could really begin. So BANG the gun goes and so do we. Six laps later, as we catch them the wee little dude in front of me drops the hammer and attacks the field on the apron so off the front I go with a group of four. We roll pretty well, stay off the front and things are looking up with a lap to go so I pull the old "I'm not sprinting yet" sprint with about 300 to go, but the wee dude is too smart and waits until the very moment that I completely die to squirt around me and steal the win. Later I find that this guy probably learned that tricky maneuver at Manchester or any of the other world cups that he's ridden, so I don't feel too bad about getting beat, I just sneeze a good one at him to seal the deal.

Not a bad day of racing and shockingly enough I'm feeling better today. Damn good thing too because I'll be spending all day in a car headed back to Auckland with three guys who probably don't want to hear "SNIFF.... pause.... SNIFF.... pause.... SNIFF... pause... SNEEZE.... pause..." DT

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