The last race of the season

It was looking like I might not race a track bike again this year, but I got one more shot.  It was the last competitive event of the year at the velodrome so it’s not like there were more chances!  I haven’t done a blow by blow race report in a long time but I feel oddly compelled.

There weren’t enough people to warrant the A, B, C system, so they had and A-B and a B-C group.  Having missed a month of riding and not really training much this month, I opted for the B-C group for the first 2 events.

The first race (as always) was a 5 lap scratch.  I botched it a bit, but finished 6th.  There were about a dozen people in the field, so I was like “Alright”.  I didn’t care… They all wanted to ride 4 laps and sprint 1, I made them go fast… we went fast… it was good!

The second race was stupid – but you have to race what you are given.  A 10 lap “Win-and-Out”.  You go 10 laps, then the next lap, the first person across the line wins…. everybody else as to keep going…. next lap… the person across the line gets second…. next lap…. the first person gets third…. then I think you go one more lap for 4-whateverith.  I missed a small move for 1st… so I regrouped and decided to go for second.  My plan was perfect – except the chucklehead that went for second had the same plan.  Two other riders were up there, so I felt good about catching them, but alas… I was leading out the sprint for 3rd.  I did one hell of a lead out… and ended up in 4th overall.  Oops.  It was fast.

The final event of the evening was the points race.  I could have ridden one other event, but wasnt told that until later.  The points race was huge… lots of people and honestly, it was stupid for all the people to be out there.  Guys, if you are reading this… if you are down 2 laps and don’t know how to re-join the field, move on… get your street clothes on.  Do not ride around at the top of the track chatting.  It’s dangerous and confusing.  ANYWAY… back to my race – I was in a second group.  It ended up about 6 riders in the main field and 4 or so in my group.  We were occassionally making progress, but never enough.  It was alright, at the end – I finished a 35 lap race on even laps.  I was proud of that (and quite sore).

It’s been a rough season (towards the end) but I think it was good overall.  I look forward to winter training sessions at the track, enjoying hanging out and doing some other stuff.

My bike – it’s off the CHAIN

Well, yes and no.  It was off the chain, but not in the the good way.  Argh…

Saturday, I took off on a nice bike ride.  It was to be 2 hours.  I was excited to have that much time, no back pain, just feeling good about myself… feeling carefree!  I was rolling along on the Comet feeling like I was Lance or Eddy.  I was FLYING!  Then I look down and see a leaf or two pass me … ruh-ro… gonna be a hard trip back.  Oh well, wind makes a man strong like bull…  It must have made me instantly strong or something.

I pull away from one of the numerous road crossings, stand up and all of the sudden I know there is a bad thing in progress.  There is no more resistance on my pedals… I am slowing … crap, I just broke my chain!  Mother of pearl!

Fortunately, my mother-in-law was at home and was able to come get me as I was 10 miles from home and no way to rig this back together.  You see I had used a Connex link (master link) that I was told “it will work fine…” by a rocket scientist at Free Flite Bike Shop (my former employer).  Free Flite needs to get their mechanics trained on these things as they bascially screwed me.  In research after the fact, Shimano chains are 6.1 mm wide.  Campagnolo chains are 6.3 mm wide.  You *CAN* use a shimano master link on a campy chain, but if you do you will be left calling for a ride.  The bike had issues with that link from the get go.  I meant to get a new one, but it was working … working it’s way to destruction.  The .2 mm difference cased enough friction on the side plates to cause failure.  Oh well… no crash, no injury, no big deal in the big picture, just a minor annoyance.  The bike is all back together with another chain.

In other news… the in-laws were in town for the weekend.  Lots of good stuff going on.  Bed fixin, bbq eating, round the house working, blade sharpenning, football watching, kid playing, running on the trail, salsa dipping, festival of speed announcing… good stuff!  Makes it a tough to get up and head to work. Such is life.

That’s all I have to say about that…