Monday, 15 February 2010

First Blood and Fun on the Track

On Saturday, I received my first dose of "Track Rash". Those nasty scrapes and burns one gets when sharing skin with the surface of a velodrome. The lucky velodrome in question was at Ararat where I was for the Lady Diamond Stakes.

The worst part of this was that I didn't race. Didn't even get on a bicycle.

So how did I manage to take lumps out of my knee, elbow and hip? I was pusher for the Track Princess. This involves holding the bike and rider upright until the gun, then running and pushing them into the race. Simple? Not when you have size 13 feet and the coordination of an epileptic praying mantis.

So boom, down I went, face first onto the concrete. In my defence, I kept pushing right to the deck, as evidenced by the fact that I didn't even get a hand down to break my fall.

As it turned out Endurogirl recovered from the somewhat distracted start to qualify for the final of the 1000m wheel race. :)

All up it was a really great afternoon of racing. Highlights of the afternoon were Apryl Eppinger's bolt from the scratch mark to swamp the frontmarkers in the Ladies Diamond Stakes with 10 metres to spare. She also proceded to win just about everything else as well. Then there was the amazing effort of Miles Olman who one the A grade scratch race by puting a lap on the field. There was also the fun of seeing friends like Wayne Gebert win C grade motor-pace and the C grade scratch race with a daring attack or Emy Huntsman pulling third in the Ladies Diamonds.

Go watch some track racing soon. It's so much fun.

Coming up are:

Sid Patterson Grand Prix and Melbourne Madison - Friday 26/2 @ DISC
Mebourne Cup on Wheels Afternoon Carnival - Saturday 27/2 @ DISC
Revolution 6 & Melbourne Cup on Wheels - Saturday 27/2 @ DISC
Bendigo International Madison - Saturday and Sunday 6-7/3 @ Bendigo

Go watch some really amazing bike racing. It's cheaper than cricket or football and way more exciting.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Confusing Your Chamois With Your Chainsaw?

I really don't get to see many other cyclists on my epic trans suburban commute. I cover 60km each way and the only other cyclist I see normally is the guy who bundles up the herbs at the local chinese fruit, veg and grocery shop on his 20 year old Kmart mountain bike. You know the one with an aging polystyrene foam box held to the rack with a bungee cord. He rides in thongs, in winter. I cover roads with a total of about 3.6km of useless, intermittent bike lanes.

So, with all this in mind, it's not surprising that the Great Cycling Boom in commuter bike use has gone largely unnoticed. Imagine my surprise on my way home last night, to see this large ad on the back of a bus, warning about the use of inferior chamois.

At about this point, I'd ridden in the same knicks at track training and then on to work in the morning and had clocked another 50km in muggy 34 degree heat, into a headwind on the way home. So this wasn't far from how my knicks were feeling. It's not entirely clear from the ad though, just which knicks use this special chamois. Assos - I'll bet.


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Car Free

This week looks like being a little challenging. I'm car free following the sardine can impersonation it did while refusing to let go of the bicycles and racks vouchsafed to it. It's off at the car hospital being made well, or at least being made back into a sedan.

This is much more than can be said for the bikes. Endurogirl's beloved Luna was pronounced beyond help by Dr Raoul on the weekend and the Yellow Peril Meh(k) is sporting terminal cracks in the top and seat tubes. So it's fun and games time with insurance companies who seem to have made a new sport in obstacle forms.

Add to this the fact that Meh(k) and Bianchi have both screwed up their new model intro's to the extent that it's almost impossible to get our hands on replacement frames and we're in for a bit of mucking around to get back on the road.

While the car is off at the hospital, I'm getting lots of k's under the wheels of Grace the fixed wheel workhorse.

This morning I did track training and then rode to work. A couple of sets of flying starts off the top of the bank in an 81 inch gear has left my legs in that over-cooked spaghetti state. I feel very tired now.......

It looks like I'll be knocking out my first week of more than 400km for quite a while. Unless you count the week before last.


Monday, 1 February 2010

Feeling Out Of Place In Puke Town

With Mountain Goat Season now firmly behind me it's time to get serious about getting some speeeeeeed! With this in mind I turned up to track training, keen to show I'm determined to become a proper racer. I put on my wonderful new NancyBoy Skinsuit and suitably adjusted my attitude to purposeful.

I realised pretty much right away that I was pushing it uphill. It's embarrassing to say the least when you sit next to Endurogirl and Miss Poidy. Their quads really are bigger than my waist.

Track Princesses after a grueling set of flying 500m reps.

The thing that really troubles me about becoming a real trackie is that it doesn't seem to matter how hard I smash myself against that track, I just can't drive myself puke. All these seasoned sprinters seem to be able to summon a technicolour yawn by talking about a set of three deadlifts. Even big tough Eddie seemed to easily push himself to the point of barfville. I drive myself to the max, sprint repeats, two laps, four laps, six laps, full tunnel vision, weak at the knees, spots before the eyes, the whole velodrome spins - no up-chucking. I feel like a failure.
Miss Poidy was able to reduce herself to horizontal after one set. I find myself frustratingly still standing. Even a dose of East German Institute of Sport developed hypnotherapy from coach DJ wasn't enough to coax a barf from me.

I'm obviously going to have to resort to Puke Enhancing Drugs if I'm ever going to compete at this elite level. Ipecac Syrup or maybe even a rubber vomit from Bernard's Magic Shop. I've got one here now, but I'm worried some of the carrot chunks don't conform to a UCI 1:3 ratio.

God this track racing gets complicated...