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june_26_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing

Scratch: 20 laps.  This one got a bit hairy with 3 left to race (I think).  Mario unclipped out of his pedal, accidentally, causing a bit of chaos on the wind up to the finish.  I flicked the front of the bike into the apron, quickly looking back to see if anyone else was caught up in the field.  With 1 guy off the front, and a handful of us chasing, now the race was getting interesting.  I saw the rest of the field upright, Mario rode his bike off the track, safely.  3 of us were chasing down the guy off the front.  I ended up placing 5th, or 6th at the end, which was pretty good considering how crazy it became near the end.  Kept it rubber side down, as did everyone else, that’s a good day.

Snowball: 10 laps.  I think there was a select group off the front.  I didn’t really place.

Points: 25 laps, points every 5.  Pretty much watched this one from the mid-field.  Things started splintering off early on, but the pace was kept pretty low, so all the dropped riders were able to catch back up.  Made a final push near the end, but wasn’t really positioned too well for the sprint, so I ended up near the front, but not far enough ahead to score points.

Fun night of racing, either way.  Good seeing everyone!

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june_5_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing

Scratch: 10 laps plus prime.

Mini-Points: 12 laps, points every 3.

Miss and Out.

Points: 15 laps, points every 5.

DNP on all races.  Call it a night.

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may_29_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing

Tonight’s racing sponsored by Team Chica Sexy.  Nice job, guys.  Fun night of racing, for sure.

I was on the road by 4pm today, and made it down to the track at 5:40pm.  Not too bad.  Light traffic in the usual spots, but nothing crazy.  Eating in the car is crucial to stay awake.  3 categories tonight: p/1/2/3, 3/4, and then the 4/5’s.

Scratch: 20 laps.  I don’t really remember what happen here.  I think I was dropped and tried to catch back on, and might’ve made contact with the main group.  The field was pretty small tonight.  Didn’t really place, I’m pretty sure the lap counter read zero when Mario and I still had 1 to go.  We just dipped out.

Tempo: 10 laps.  I went off the front as the whistle blew, but got nicked at the line.  Not a surprise there, I guess.  I trailed behind the main group for a bit, and then the race ended.

Points: 30 laps, sprints every 5.  So as the sprints started ticking down, the front group started surging ahead.  I didn’t really have legs to hang, so I just kept the pace steady, slowly catching back up the group as the laps went down.  It took me a while to catch back onto their wheels, but it eventually happened.  Then the sprints came, and I lost contact once more.  At least I wasn’t completely dropped.

Not sure if I left with any points or not, but I was happy to get out of the office, and stoked to see familiar faces.  Awesome velodrome night.

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may_22_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing

Took nearly 2 hours to get down to the track this afternoon.  First, there was a police block down Jones.  Then, I was snagged in random traffic the entire way down, when usually there’s not too much traffic at all.  Still made it onto the concrete pad in the middle of the velodrome at 6:30pm though, which is still enough time to get warmed up.  Not like riding around helped too much anyway.  I’ve been easing back into the running, and have opted for stairs until my leg is fully healed.  Definitely out of shape, but this week was even worse for some reason.  Tonight, there were combined categories: 5, 3/4, and p/1/2.  I threw on the shallow front wheel as to avoid getting tagged by the wind like last week.

Scratch: 10 laps.  I forget the details, but I was dropped pretty early on, and just watched the sprint go down.

Tempo: 10 laps.  Dropped again, not surprisingly.  Not quite sure what happened for the rest of the race.  I remember vaguely someone unclipping from their pedals.

Miss and Out: So this one was a bit better.  I rode near the back and sprinted up the track between turn 3 and 4 to pass people from the top.  It worked out pretty well, and soon, there was just Steve, 2 guys, and me, sitting in last.  On that lap, I gave the sprint along the turn 1 last go, but was too far gone to even nudge ahead of the other riders.  I think Steve won…?

Points: 35 laps, points every 5.  A group of 4 guys split off early on, and it was just me, Alex, Steve, and some random junior kid chasing.  Let me rephrase.  Every time the kid was up for a pull, he went through about 5 meters before pulling off, up the ramp.  It was pretty sad, to say the least.  While all these half ass exchanges were happening, the main group was gaining distance around the track on us, and I was sure they’d lap us soon.  Alex was chugging along, but too slowly for me and Steve, so I put in another pull, and they were dropped.  Shortly thereafter, we were swooped up by the 4 guys at the head of the pack.  Kind of held it together for a bit, until the final sprint came around.  We were lapped anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.

Safe night of racing, safe drive back into the city.  Not much else I could ask for.

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may_8_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-2

may_8_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-1

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.

may_8_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-3

New rims on the bike.  Not ideally how I want to debut them, so expect better photos shortly.

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may_1_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-1

Smaller fields at the track tonight.  The 4/5 field was only 11 deep, I think.  I left work 15 minutes earlier since all my projects were in a good spot and was on the road by 4pm.  Took me an hour 45 to drive all the way down to track in 89*F weather in a black on black car with no a/c.  Needless to say, it felt awesome to step out of the car by the end of the drive.  There were 3 events tonight.  Our favorite keirin nemesis was also out and about.  The overarching goal between a couple of us was to ensure his failure.  Let’s race.

Scratch: 10 laps (or 12, I forgot).  Josh spent a lot of time on the front putting down the pace for the rest of us.  I was a couple wheels back watching and waiting for keirin king to come over the top and put the pain down on us.  He seemed dissatisfied with the pace a couple laps in, and went off the front with 8 left to go.  Do it, man.  After 2 laps, he rolled up the side of the velodrome, basically giving up his effort.  So after a couple more laps, we started ramping up for the sprint.  I was a couple wheels back, and I think the wheels in front of me started peeling off.  On the bell, the young kid came over the top – Al was close behind but was unable to make up the gap before the line popped.

Snowball: 10 laps.  I kind of forgot what happen in the beginning of this race.  I vaguely remember that Josh was on the front pacing us.  A small break of 3 guys went off the front after a couple laps.  I was at the front of the second group and began reeling them in from 2 turns down.  Eventually we caught back up to them and I maintained pace for a lap more.  I pulled off and saw Al putting down the hammer with Mr. Keirin in tow.  Al took all the remaining points in the race.  On the second to last lap, I think nemesis had given up fully – he was slowly floating back to us.

Points: 25 laps (!), points ever 5.  Damn.  I don’t think I’ve ever put that much time in a single race.  That was a lot of laps.  My recollection of the race is a bit hazy, but I remember the beginning of the race starting off kind of chill.  With the first sprint coming, a small group started attacking off the front, I was watching it all from the second group.  A small gap formed, and I started getting a bit worried that we’d never bridge back up to them.  A couple laps later with some shared pulls from the boys, we caught back up to the front.  I think it was 13 laps left to go when I put an effort in.  Nemesis was in the group behind, and I was hoping everyone would just let him sit out in the wind while I stayed off the front.  I kept looking back thinking he was going to be coming over the top to steal my measly 5 points, but he never did.  I pulled off after lap 10 to see a small group of guys coming through.  I loosely raced around for the remaining laps, and didn’t see a whole lot of the finish.  I don’t think nemesis was up there with them.  Haha, excellent.

We did good, boys.  We did good.

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april_24_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-1

april_24_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-2

Al took a spill at the Red Kite crit this past weekend and wasn’t racing.  He brought donuts, though.

The drive down took a bit longer than last week, but I still showed up at around 6:20pm, so I guess it wasn’t horrible.  A tad on the windy side, but it died down a bit as the night went on.

Scratch: 10 laps, first across the line wins.  Everyone seemed a bit squirrelly out there for the first race.  The group split a bit in the middle of the race and I attempted to catch back up to the main group up ahead.  I finished near the back of the pack.

Win and Out: 5 laps, then the first to cross the line on the 6th takes 1st place then they’re out, first to cross on the 7th gets 2nd place then they’re out, and on the 8th, it’s racing for places 3, 4, 5 (I think).  This race was actually pretty neat.  I was riding in an okay spot, but as riders started surging towards the front, other riders were holding a slower pace, blocking a bunch of us in the back.  I kept on racing on, thinking maybe I could still land a spot.  On the 8th and final lap, I was edged out for 4th, and ended up taking 5th place.  Not bad.

Miss and Out: last rider gets pulled every lap, then neutral lap + sprint when there are 3 riders left.  I was pulled after 3 laps.  Nothing else worth mentioning from that one.  Still horrible at racing that.

Points: 15 laps, points ever 5 laps.  This week’s points race was actually really fun.  For a couple laps in the middle, with probably 7 left to go, I was caught off in the middle of 2 packs, trying to catch back onto the front group.  I finished somewhere in the top 8 probably, but didn’t get any points, so it was kind of whatever.

I went back to the car, and as I was pulling something out of my bag, I saw my phone fall out from my pocket and land on the ground, shattering the screen:

april_24_2013_broken_htc_droid_DNA_screen

I spent the majority of the drive back attempting to clear the glass shards off the screen.  I don’t think there’s a warranty for making a stupid mistake, I didn’t have insurance on it, and I don’t plan on buying a new one, so I’m just going to tough it out and hope for the best.  If it can last until January 27, 2015, I’m good.  Seriously bums me out though.  Big time.  Oh well, I gotta just move on.

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april_17_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-1

As previously mentioned, it’s been hilariously windy all over the Bay Area recently.  It seemed to die down a bit as the night went on, but for the most part, turn 2 was the windiest section of the velodrome.  Either way, today’s races were set up a bit differently than the 2 previous weeks – Larry Nolan wasn’t there as a race organizer, and things were delayed quite a bit even for the opening Cat5 race.  19 of us were on the warmup track for a long time.  Lots of familiar faces out today, but there seemed to be a bit less people in all the groups.  Either way, Tim, Fergus, Uri, and two other guys from Chica Sexy were out, as was Alex, Josh (not Jake), Percy (who has his 3rd kid on the way, ballin’), and a new guy I met today named Mario, were all in attendance.

Scratch: 10 laps.  Alex went off the front for the first 4 laps, but was eventually caught.  I was watching everything go down from the back.  Muscle Milk Cat2 road guy apparently took the win.

Miss and Out: I had better positioning this week, and was at the front for about 2 laps before people started coming over the top.  I think I lasted about 6 laps?  An improvement over last week’s 3 laps, and the first night’s 1 lap.  Maybe by the end of the season, I’ll give myself a real opportunity to actually race.

Points: 12 laps, points every 3.  On the first sprint, the whole group pretty much exploded.  I was caught off the back, which was stupid, and rode to catch up to the main group up ahead.  By time I caught back up, there was another sprint for points, and the group started riding away from me.  Not ideal, so I opted to just exit on the back straight.  Or I could’ve just continued to race, knowing I’d probably never catch up to them.  Fail.

Snowball: 1 point for the first rider across the line on the first lap, increasing in points per lap, 10 points for the first rider across the line on the last lap.  Somewhere in the middle of the race, the group began to split.  Two riders were off the front initially, but I guess they were brought back.  I was somewhere near the back riding horribly, as usual.  In the closing laps, the pace started getting all fast and such, and on the bell lap, I was basically off the back of the main group, watching everything go down.

I really need to ride more, haha.  Fun times, either way.  Definitely glad I made it out.  Also, in previous weeks, the commute has been 2 hours and 15 minutes, whether it be 101 or 280 straight down.  Today, I took 280, 85, 87, and then a series of streets to get to the velodrome, and it only took me 1:45.  Proud day.

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april_10_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-1

april_10_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-2

Firstly, I have no idea why isitup.org is telling me my blog is up when I can’t even log into the back end.  I’m typing this via e-mail, and will hopefully be uploading it in the near future.  Damn technology.

Anyway, the crowd was a bit smaller this time around at the track.  I drove 280 down to get to the velodrome, which was seemingly faster, until I was caught up in traffic down in San Jose.  Still took me an hour and 45 minutes to get down there, same as 101.  Upon arriving, I registered and pinned my number to my side.  It’s pretty convenient just having one number for the entire season, I have to say.  Lots of familiar faces out today including Fergus, Marc, Tim, Uri (Chica Sexy), Jake, Al, Zach, and Gabe (BRITEsport).

Scratch: The wind was pretty heavy on the beginning races today, but died down a bit as the night went on.  I was playing catch-up for most of the race, and landed somewhere near the back at the end of the 10 laps.  Not ideal, but at least I was hanging on…Could’ve definitely done better, oh well.

Tempo (Snowball): This time around, it was 10 laps, but each lap, the amount of points for the first rider across the line went up as the laps kept going.  1 point for the first lap, all the way up to 10 points for the final lap.  The pace for the first couple laps wasn’t too bad, then started picking up in the middle, dropping riders off the back.  Again, I was stuck in no man’s land, fighting the wind to get back to the main group.  Failed to gain any real momentum or make any moves near the front.  As I rode around the warmup track before the miss and out, I saw Zach make a sick move on the 8th lap of tempo, scoring 9 points on the 9th lap, and almost holding the lead into the 10th lap.  Unfortunately, he was nipped at the line.  Sick power move though, I need to do more like that from the outside of the track.

Miss and Out: Last week I was the first rider to get pulled.  This week, I made it 3 laps in before getting pulled.  Progress, but barely.  Personal fail.

Points: 12 laps, points every 3rd lap.  The pace for the final race was much more intense than previous ones, and I found myself off the back a couple times.  Should’ve definitely been passing slower wheels on the outside, but somehow, got caught behind one every single lap.  Somewhere in the middle of the race, a guy just sat up for an unknown reason, which just caused a bunch of riders to swerve around him.  Then on the 2nd to last lap, someone’s front tire rubbed another rim, with both riders almost going down, but somehow keeping it together.  Definitely could’ve been a bad accident…

There was two accidents that occured when I was there.  One cat5 rider touched his front wheel to someone’s rear and went down in turn 1 – accident didn’t seem too serious.  Then on the p/1/2/3 miss and out, a rider went down on turn 3 – the ambulance came to see that the rider’s injuries were tended to, but I don’t know the final outcome of his injuries.  I just hope they weren’t too serious.

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april_3_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-1

april_3_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-2

april_3_2013_hellyer_wednesday_night_track_racing-3

The track is awesome.

It’s 11:02pm but I’m going to type this up quick before I forget all the funny details.  Huge turnout at the velodrome, a lot more than usual, I heard.  The Cat5 men’s group was 20+ riders deep, and there were 4 categories total: Cat5 men, juniors/women, Cat3/4 men, and then the P/1/2/3 men’s group.  $15 for 4 events: scratch, tempo, miss and out, and points.  I showed up a tad later than most because I was stuck in traffic for quite a long time.  Apparently 101 isn’t the best way to get down to San Jose on a Wednesday.  Definitely taking 280 next time…carpooling if possible.  Anyway, after showing up to the track, throwing on the shoes and helmet, I was off to warming up.  Spinning around near the edge of the track seeing a ton of familiar faces: Fergus, Tim, Steve (Chica Sexy), Gabe, Zack (BRITEsport), and more people I’m forgetting.

Scratch: 10 laps, first rider across the line gets points.  I was not in the best position for the scratch, which was my own fault.  And soon I realized that most of my effort through the short race would be dodging slow wheels and riding up the track to pass people.  It was a lot of fun though, first race of the day, definitely a good opener.  Lots of weird movement from some people, which made riding and passing a bit hairy at times, but no crashes, so just a solid experience either way.

Tempo: 10 laps, sprint points every lap with the first rider getting 2 points, second rider getting 1…?  Again, a race where fighting for position is key.  About halfway through the tempo race, I realized that I was (again) getting caught up with slow wheels, and (again) spending a lot of energy to catch faster wheels up farther in the bunch.  No crashes, no complaints.

Miss and out: 19 laps (I think) because our field was 22, with the last rider getting pulled every lap.  Once there are 3 riders left, it’s 1 lap to go until a sprint finish.  In this race, positioning is everything.  I know because I was the first rider to get pulled just 1 lap in – pretty damn sad and embarrassing, but yea.  I had the general idea of the race in my head but all of that kind of went out the window once I saw 3 riders in front of me like a wall, with no where to squeeze in.  I wasn’t nearly as fun watching this from the warmup track, but oh well.  Next time.

Points: 12 laps with points awarded to top 4 riders (5, 3, 2, and 1 point, I believe) every 3 laps?  Again, with pretty bad positioning, I ended up near the back and had to fight on the outer edge to pass up people.  At one point, I was slightly off the front, but got burnt out with 1 to go.

I might’ve gotten tempo and points descriptions’ mixed up.  Someone will probably correct me later.

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