OK, it wasn’t THAT windy today — but it will be tomorrow! So you could say that when I rode at the velodrome today I was just practicing for tomorrow.
Actually, it was far from calm today and I had a special reason for saving up my energy. I signed up for a 2-hour “Race Certification” class at Boulder Indoor Cycling (a.k.a. BIC or the velodrome). This class is required for anyone participating in the BIC’s amateur race night. Guess what I want to try? If I can keep all my muscles from straining and my wits about me, I plan to race the second Friday in January. I’m not going to let the fact that it is Friday the 13th scare me off. I’ve always found this to be my lucky day!
The race class was all about covering things to keep you safe and confident in competitive situations. Most of us ride for fitness and fun — not for fame and fortune. As such, when we ride, other riders are generally going the same place we are at about the same pace. There is no real desire to get there faster or first. So, you could say it is very polite and cordial. On race day, I understand that changes. In a race, you still use all the track commands and communicate with other riders with ‘Stick’ and ‘Stay’ but you are definitely trying to beat them to the line.
Tonight we practiced pace-lining, sprinting in the sprinter’s lane (where else, really?) passing safely from the sprinter’s lane and taking 1/2 and 1/4 lap pulls. Then before we wrapped up, we tried standing starts from the rail and a few psuedo-race laps where three of us road and on command the second and third riders sprinted around the lead rider and were off to the finish. What a blast! I posted a new personal best top-end speed during one of those sprints. My previous best was 32.6 mph (back in March 2010) and required a lead-out by another stronger rider. Today I was just a tad faster at 32.7 mph — but there was no lead-out. I did it all myself.
No telling how I’ll do against the competition in a couple of weeks — one things for sure, it will be a good time!!
Here’s a picture I took a couple of days before Christmas. If you look closely — there is a rider at the blue line in the corner. His name is Bill, he works at Google with my friend Russ. Small world, eh? Bill and his family recently moved here from California where he raced on a larger track. I asked him what his top speeds are when racing and he said that he tops out at about 40 mph! OMG!