Hellyer Friday Night Lights #1

Posted: May 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

So I’ve basically been training for the Friday Night Lights races for the last 8 months or so. I was coming off a confidence building week in which I finished 6th in the Modesto Road Race and I finished 6th with the A group on a Tuesday lunch ride, the first time I didn’t get dropped on a Tuesday since I started riding. Well as my dad is fond of saying, sometimes you get the bull and sometimes you get the horn. I got the horn.

For once I got my full warm up in, even though I had to make a few adjustments to the bike to improve the fit. One thing I was noticing right away was the folks who were showing up to race in my group weren’t the usual folks I race with. I also noticed the Metromint guys who have been kicking my butt all year. Three races were on tap for me. 20 lap scratch, 30 lap points (sprints every 5), and a miss ‘n out. My plan was to hang on to the group as long as I could, hopefully to the end, and not be the first person eliminated from the miss ‘n out.

The scratch race was typical, at the whistle, we accelerated and kept accelerating. I wasn’t feeling too bad and was near the front in the pole lane. Maybe too near the front. Someone went over the top and when my lane reacted it was full gas. I couldn’t hold the acceleration and started to pack slide. I popped off the back w/12 to go. That’s right boys and girls, I lasted all of 8 laps. Spurred on by my family, who had recruited some additional kids to cheer for me, I time trialed it until I saw that I was about to interfere with the boys at the front who were about to lap me, then I pulled the pin.

The points race was much the same, except someone attacked at the gun and the whole field exploded in the first couple of laps. I was in the second group. We were all working to pull back the first group, by taking half lap pulls. I cycled through and took my pull and when I pulled off and started to drift back, totally gassed, I noticed a gap had opened up. I hesitated and the rider who opened the gap hesitated to and asked me to fill in. I obliged and was subsequently used so he and the others who were gapped could rest then sprint around me to catch back on. This is how enemies are made. I popped with 19 to go, but to punish myself for being a lap dog and to see if I could catch back on to the main group after I was lapped, I stayed out. Unfortunately, the group caught me on a sprint lap and just blew by me. Again, I stayed out until 5 to go then drifted into the warmup circle.

At this point, demoralized and pissed at myself, I decided that I would get as close to the front as possible in the pole lane for the miss ‘n out and just stay there until I was eliminated. I lasted ~10 laps, and considering I didn’t even contest my elimination, I felt pretty not too bad about it.

All in all, I got the horn pretty good, which seems to be my MO on the track this year, but I ain’t quittin’. See you all on June 4th for another beatin’.

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