I rolled out from the city with my boy J and made it down to San Jose in record time, 1:25. I forgot that because we were rolling 2 deep, I could cruise in the carpool lane on 85, which cut the time down like crazy. Anyway, after registering and getting situated, I chilled out in the middle of the velodrome, waiting for Larry Nolan to open up the track for warm up. They were doing Miss and Out drills, I think. I probably should’ve done them, just to get the legs going a bit since I hadn’t had any aerobic since last Thursday because of my leg.
After warming up for a bit, riding kind of slow, the first race of the night was starting. There were only 3 groups racing tonight, juniors were racing with the 5’s, and women rode with the men in their equivalent category. Our field was 12 deep. Let’s race.
Scratch: 10 laps, first across the line takes points. I vaguely remember riding in the back before the pace started ramping up. Not too much happened in this one, and I pretty much had bad positioning and a mediocre pace. Ugh.
Win and Out: 7 laps, 3 bell laps, placing for 1st place on the 1st bell, then 2nd place on the 2nd bell, and then 3, 4, and 5 on the final bell lap. The pace started ramping up pretty soon after the start. After the juniors were dropped, we started rolling around pretty quick. I was watching it all happen from the back, yet don’t really recall anything crazy happening.
Miss and Out: Last rider gets pulled every lap, when there’s 3 riders left, 1 more neutral lap before a sprint to the line. Josh motored us along for the majority of the laps, I sat second wheel just waiting to see riders coming over the top. There was about 7 of us left when guys started pressing the pace, moving forward. I was 3 riders back from the front, and kept sprinting on the outside to make sure I wasn’t the last one. After 3 or 4 laps of that, I was pretty burnt out, but one of the remaining riders in the trio, along with Josh and the chick. Josh peeled off and rode next to me on the bell lap, and I was right behind the chick. By this time, I was pretty zooted, and told Josh on turn 3 to just gun it for the win. I came over the top and passed her right before the line, taking 2nd place. Progress.
Points: 36 laps, points every 6. This was by far the most grueling endurance event. Last week it was 25 laps, points every 5. We kept a pretty mellow pace for the first couple laps, but once the bell lap hit, it was on. I was off the back but maintained a steady pace and caught back up for the first 2 sprints. Guys started falling off the back, and by time I looked up, there were only 4 of us at the front, exchanging pulls. And that’s pretty much how it went for the rest of the time, we were passing guys that had been dropped, and for a while, I was getting confused on who was off the front and who was getting lapped. I think I was 4th wheel back for the rest of the race, so hopefully I scored some points. Oh, and halfway through, the chick rolling with us in our group unclipped on turn 1 on accident and threw everyone into a panic for a quick second. I was last in the pack and somehow rode next to the rail to avoid her. Damn…scary.
On the drive back, we were driving on the highway, about to exit in San Francisco. This Mini Cooper half a car ahead of us on the left side started merging about a second after they tapped their blinkers, and started driving right into our car. I peaked to the right lane just before it started going down, and knew I was in the clear. When the car started moving over, I flicked the wheel to the right and kept going. The other car didn’t even get behind to exit, so what the hell was that? Situational awareness was on point tonight.
Thanks for rolling with, J.
New rims on the bike. Not ideally how I want to debut them, so expect better photos shortly.