Hellyer Friday Night Lights 2010 #6?

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Track

I skedaddled out of work a bit early so I could pack my race bag, load up the car with the circus that is known as the Vidnovics and get down to Hellyer in plenty of time to warm up before the races started. We were only a few minutes behind my preferred schedule when we left the house, but what we didn’t expect was the hellacious traffic that we encountered just as soon as we saw the San Jose City Limit sign. If that wasn’t bad enough, Sierra had to make a potty run, the only problem was that we forgot her travel potty, wipes, and spare clothes. So we ducked off the freeway and found a Volero station. No TP in the BR so next stop was KFC. Whew she made it. Insane Traffic the rest of the way to Hellyer, the typically 45 min (1 hr in moderate traffic) drive to the Velodrome took a scant 1 hour 30 minutes. Who needs a stinking warm up anyway?

Since my last encounter with Friday Night Track Racing went so poorly, I was intent upon staying in the pack for all of the races. First up was the power mile. 5 laps, balls to the wall. Since I had no warm up, I figured that a one mile sprint would be just the ticket. I managed to stay in the pack, but the shadows on the track were playing hell with my spider sense. The second race was a 4k scratch race, not my preferred distance. 40k would have been better. The average speed was ~28 mph, I stayed in the pack, and the shadows were still bugging me. Maybe next year I won’t go 4 months between night races. Anyway, with 1 lap to go, my glasses fell off going into turn 1. I figured that they were toast and I made sure to drop the whole way down to the apron on the cool down lap so I would be sure to run them over. Merde! Fortunately, I only broke the lenses and I have a spare set. I didn’t contest the new race called the Hellyer crawl, but it is a keeper. Start from the rail between turn 4 and the start line, do not cross the start line for the first 2 minutes (can’t hold the rail, cant’ leave the track, can’t touch the ground, can’t touch anyone else) then once the 2 minutes is up, the first racer to do 1 lap wins the race. Increadibly entertaining. By the points race, the shadows were no longer bugging me and I felt completely comfortable for the first time of the night. Unfortunately, the race itself was more of the same, suck wheel and stay in the pack. With 3 to go, I got dropped when the field accelerated. Can’t really explain why, but the pack just accelerated and I couldn’t kick it over. My goal in the miss ‘n out was to find my spot ASAP, which I did, unfortunately I was repeatedly swarmed and the pace was a bit too high to fall out of the back and to try to come around. I was the 3rd rider pulled. All in all it wasn’t the best night for racing for me, but I was just so happy to be turning the pedals and more importantly going around in circles in anger. I felt like I got some of my mojo back. As far as evaluating the racing, I had a much better gear selected than the last time I raced on Friday Night, I stayed in the pack (mostly), and I wasn’t the first one eliminated in the miss ‘n out.

Lessons Learned: 1. Race more often at night, if you want to race at night. 2. I felt that if I got out of the saddle and sprinted then I would be shot straight out of the back of the pack, so I never sprinted. Need to work on fatigue resistance. 3. After looking at my data, my average cadence was in the 100-115 range for the most part. I think I may have benefited from a slightly smaller gear. That may have helped me handle the accelerations better and maybe got my lead ass out of the saddle on occasion. 4. Need to work on my track stand if I want to do the Crawl.


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