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for all my friends · weather

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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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Dailies.

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Dailies.

april_28_2013_san_francisco_dailies_1

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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:

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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_23_2013_fitbit_data

Another ordinary Tuesday.  The weather was a bit cooler than yesterday, and as the day went on, it grew significantly more windy.  I’m hoping it’s not too bad at the velodrome tomorrow night.  And I’m hoping that the traffic isn’t too crazy on the way down.  It was great getting out of the office for running, though.  I took a walk out to Pier 39 with some of my co-workers as well, expecting warm weather, and getting nothing but wind.  Oh well.

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april_22_2013_fitbit_data

We’re having summer weather in spring, which is pretty typical.  It’s always warmest in the spring and autumn months for some reason, but foggy every single day in the summer.  Either way, I slept in after a packed weekend of staying up way too late – figured I needed to get back into the rhythm of things with a run at lunch.  It was really nice out along the Embarcadero, tons of people walking everywhere.  Hope this weather keeps up!

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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_13_2013_san_francisco_marina_greens

Went for a spin around the city today.  I guess the CycleOps heart rate strap wasn’t really any better than the Garmin one, because it was reading above 105% max for a pretty long time before it normalized.  Hopefully that won’t happen again, but I’m pretty sure it will…

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MMRF 5k.

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april_7_2013_mmrf_race_for_research_5k

5k in 19:50 was a decent enough pace to take the win.

So before I get into the actual race itself, I’ll mention that this even was first introduced to everyone at work as a company-wide team building type event.  I figured it could be fun to see a bunch of people outside of the office, as well as run in a timed event.  People could sign up as walkers or runners – the only difference was that the runners were timed.  I’ve never run a timed event before, so I was slightly worried about intensity and pace.  Worst that could happen is that I’d hit my max and just fall off the aerobic cliff.

I showed up a bit early and wandered around for a second before seeing my CEO, his wife, and his sister.  We stood around for a while before 3 of my other co-workers showed up.  I asked if they wanted to run together or not, and after being in agreement that we’d run our own pace, a horn sounded.  It had begun.  I was in the back of at least 150 people, and started getting worried that I was way too far back to make an impact.  After fighting towards the front for about a minute, the pack was thinning out.  We made the turn towards the gravel path on Crissy Fields.  It wasn’t a closed course since the race was so short – we were paced by a cyclist…and as it turns out, I knew the guy too.  Hank from Team Mike’s Bikes on his Specialized Venge – it was pretty funny realizing it was him as I was running.

So after a couple minutes, I passed up the guy in 2nd place.  1 more guy in front of me, so I played it as if it were a crit.  Saved my energy, caught his draft, and followed his stride so that he couldn’t hear me (not sure if any of this helped at all, I just thought it’d help my morale).  Hank kept looking back at us to make sure we were still following.  I saw the turn around point in the distance, and knew that’d be the time for me to make the move to pass him.  Either that, or he’d finally notice I was behind him, and he’d throw on the burners, dropping me.  The turned around point came, I took a couple deep breathes and started increasing my cadence.  I came up beside him, passed, and pressed on.  The masses of runners/walkers started coming from the other direction.  I followed the path of Hank’s bike, and saw the faces of my co-workers, and heard the encouragement of passing people.

There was no one else behind me after a couple minutes.  I saw a speck of green slowly catching me.  We made the right turn, cutting through a path next to trees – this 11 year old kid was reeling me in from a distance.  The burn began settling in my lungs and my stomach began turning – the limit.  Time to hurl?  Maybe…

My stride started getting sloppy.  I saw the start/finish in the distance and peaked behind me to see where the kid was.  He was getting closer, but I had enough of a pillow to savor crossing the line.  19:50 on the dot.  Not amazing pace, but good enough for me.  My co-worker and I walked through the city to get back to the BART station, and I finally walked home.

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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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