Oh it's Friday night again, it's time for track racing fever, chaos on a concrete oval. Tonight's schedule of events is a beautiful thing, with Kierins and a 3 lap handicap to keep us fast-twitch freaks happy. Tim Gudsell and Peter Latham (NZ team pursuit olympians) decided to come up to dirty-old Manukau for some quality racing before they bust off to the World Championships, so the pre-race whispers and chatter was all Tim and Pete madness.
What gears are they on? What training did they do today? Are they fresh or tired? Will they sneak around and win everything or just go out for a workout? What's the status? What's the plan?
Fortunately Walker and I didn't have to sit through any of that teeth-chattering and senseless blather because 20 minutes before the races started we were still sitting on the parking-lot/freeway. Like I said before, warmups are for sissies, and it's a good thing we're not sissies, because we arrived at the track as our Kierin heats were lining up. Awesome. No problem, I'll just warm up behind the motor during the first 4 laps.
And I did.
It was sweet.
After the motor pulled off I picked a killer spot on 3rd wheel, waited for people to get tired and jetted around on the blue line to secure my spot in the Big Man Final.
Then I almost puked.
It was sweet.
NEXT UP. Elimination. I can never get the same result twice when it comes to these puppies. I can win one on day A and get dead last on day B against the same people. Chalk it up to inexperience, bad luck or stupidity (most likely), either way this one wasn't pretty. We started with a rediculous amount of people and by the time I got punked there was still quite a few, so whatever. Damn the Man.
And then.. Handicap time. Handicaps are kinda lame but I seem to do pretty well at them, so yippee ki-yay for that. Once again I benifit from looking ass-tired and hairy-legged and I don't have to ride on scratch. Yessss... I was close enough to scratch (and my start was bad enough) that the back-markers caught within about a half a lap with 2 to go, so I hit the panic button, threw down some power, rolled up next to Wacky Walker (who was leading out the final dash like a dog with it's ass on fire), pulled a sweet stall manuever on Adam Coker (big-legged sprinter guy.... we're not the best of friends) and waltzed into the final with Starr Child.
The final included some guys with over-developed quads as well as the two wee little Orange lads, the previously mentioned T&P and a bunch of other rider guys. It was hard. It was chaotic. I don't remember much aside from the thought "pedal harder." Eventually I also had the thought "Holy crap I'm gonna win" as I went for the money from about 5 back in the last lap, but got stalled and downright out-powered by two big boys of the toestrap and 11 second 200m variety. Bummer deal but beating T&P was good for the ego.
Couple minutes of breathless heaving and shivering went by and we rode back to the line for the last Kierin of the night. This would be another Big Guys vs. little Orange Guys affair, with Walker the Stalker and I drawing 1 and 2. Walker took the initiative and led it out, and I made the excellent decision of getting put in an inescapable box by some sasquatch on a scarily creaky bike. Then more big bastards went streaming over the top of Sasquatch boy and the final sprint went off without me, leaving me with power to spare and a head full of adrenalized fustration.
DAMN THE MAN!!! I bellowed.
A decent night indeed, a few dollars in the pocket and another day of training in the books. All the way home I thrashed around in my seatbelted confines, yelling about kierins and sasquatches. I was ready to fight someone right there and then... Come on man, pull the car over, I'll do it, I will! That guy right there, he's mine, he'll never know what hit him! 120k an hour back into town to a blazing soundtrack of endorphins and 80s electro, I was ready for action. Ready for whatever was bound to happen, whatever mission was left in these last few days of summer abroad. Calming slightly, I cleared up to the fact that my mission was tommorow, tonight's goal just steak and sleep because tommorow my mission is to make sure that come Northern Hemisphere summer I don't get out-powered or out-done. . . DT
2 years ago