Archive for the ‘Savage Sprints’ Category

12/11/10 Savage Sprints

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Savage Sprints

Fellow Hellyerites, Dean Alleger and Katie Stonebraker held the first Savage Sprint tournament in Sacramento last Saturday night at Rex Cycles in Sacramento (A super awesome shop!) in conjunction with Sac’s 2nd Saturday festivities. What are Savage Sprints you ask? They are 250m head to head battle royales replete with a festive atmosphere and heckling that would make Rand Miller blush. Sort of like NHRA drag racing, but with lycra. They are also an effort for Dean to raise money for the Sacramento Velodrome Association which intends to build a 250m velodrome in Sac as soon as possible. The setup, as seen below, includes matching sets of Kreitler 4.5” rollers with fork stands, bolted to plywood bases.  Matching track bikes running 54×13 gearing (112.2 inches) completes the mechanical setup. The electronic end of the setup includes sensors attached to the rollers with pickups that send signals to a laptop which handles the data acquisition. There are 3 video outputs, one for the promoter (Dean) one for the spectators, and one for the racers.

Savage Sprint Qualifying Heat #1

Savage Sprint Qualifying Heat #1

OK, now on to the racing. Before the tournament began, there were 2 qualifying rounds. In the first round, I completed the 250m distance in a time of 9.95 sec, which placed me 3rd, a couple tenths off the best time. The coolest qualifying heat was turned in by Bobby Gee whom cranked out a 9.87 all while out of the saddle, very impressive that ranked 2nd! First was taken by Steve (didn’t catch his last name) with a fine 9.71. In the second qualifying round, I intended on practicing my start, and then taking it easy as my initial qualifying position was good. When the countdown reached zero, I got a good jump and was feeling good. Just as I should have turned off the gas, the competitive juices got flowing and I kept cranking. I turned in a 9.81, moving me past Bobby Gee into 2nd position.  Just as the 2nd qualifying heats were finishing up, Whit turns up and cranks out a 9.52 in his Crocs. That’s right boys and girls, Crocs! Whoa, that was 2 tenths faster than anyone had run all night, and dropped me back down into 3rd position.

Meanwhile, the pizza from Hot Italian showed up. Let me tell you something. I’m not too proud to say: I know pizza. I’ve eaten pizza literally all over the world. From Italy, to France, to New York, to Chicago, … I’ve seen it all, tried it all, and I would drive the 1.5 hours to Sac just for a slice of that pie. It was delicious! Good char, perfect amounts of sauce, cheese, and toppings, soft crust. Naples would be proud! Get some! Not only was the pizza awesome, but the gal who delivered it jumped up and cranked out a sub 12s run!

OK, back to the racin’. The first (quarterfinal) round of the tournament, I wanted to make sure that I jumped out to a big lead and then coast in since my times were much better than my opponent. At the whistle, I cranked it up, but never felt comfortable enough with my lead to ease up. I ended up running a 9.55, only 3 100ths off of Whit’s Croc assisted “track” record. The semifinals pitted me against Bobby Gee and his out of the saddle style. At the whistle, I ripped it, but Bobby’s foot came out, so we had to restart. The second sprint, I took off again, but Bobby’s rig dropped data and I cruised home with a 9.91. Dean declared me the victor and I moved on to the finals where I faced Steve who had upset Whit in the semis.

On the women’s side, Carol Irving from Touchstone Climbing and Katie Stonebraker from Velo Bella were the class of the field all night marching toward their inevitable clash in the final, which was taken by Carol in fine style.

When I approached the stage for the final, I was thinking about my start. Steve had put together strong runs all night and I didn’t want to be playing catch-up. I tried to time the “whistle” perfectly and took the start of the final out of the saddle just a bit, concentrating on my upstroke. As I got up to speed, I noticed that I had a bit of a lead. From 100-150m my lead doubled, then from 150-200m, it doubled again, which allowed me to raise my arms in triumph and give a “Hellyer, Hell Yeah!” to the crowd. After I finished, Dean announced a new track record! 9.327. That works out to an average cadence of ~180 rpm. I guess all of that speed work is paying off. The podium shot is below.

Savage Sprints Podium

L-to-R: Katie Stonebraker, Carol Irving, Teddy V, Steve

All in all it was a great night. I met a bunch of new and interesting people, including Streve Rex, a super awesome frame builder/shop owner, raced for a bit less than 1 minute, ate some incredible pizza, helped a friend try to build a velodrome, and upheld Hellyer’s honor. Can’t wait to do it again.