Saturday, July 28, 2007

Take me out to the vel-o-drome

Take me out with the crowds....

The rickster and I rolled for the beginner session at Hellyer this morning. There were 58 novices out there. Holey cow! They had to break us into a bunch of groups, and we had to be wary when moving laterally on the track to watch out for other groups.

I was a total noob with the fixie thing. The first time I tried to mount the bike, I stomped down on the pedal like I do with my road bike. The only problem was it was coming back over the top before my butt even started to lift. I bailed out of that mount and tried again. I spun around the track a few times and then tried the scary dismount. The mount was definitely worse. I started to get more confidence in the warm up. We did 30 laps in a 'paceline'. I was one of 3 ultra-noobs in a row, so we were definitely gappy. The elastic effect was great coming out of the corners and going into the corners. The first few laps I was doing lots of speeding and slowing. Rick was definitely more confident right off the bat. I did get a lot smoother once I figured out where the accelerations and decelerations were. I could account for them and keep my momentum.

We saw alicat, merkely, flandria and hunny. Alicat had a couple of the mintie mafia there with her. We also saw David P from LGBRC - one of my former coworkers. There were lots of roadies catching on the the newly-discovered coolness of being a trackie and also a good showing of the tattooed messenger set with cutoff jeans and itty bitty gears. They definitely had the stops, starts and handling down despite their lack of raw power.

It was a lot of fun, and I think it will be good conditioning for crits. I plan to go a couple more times in the fall to complete my beginner training. Then, who knows? Maybe I'll try the occasional Wednesday race. I think it will actually take some mind share to learn how all the exotic track races work. It might be fun!

12 comments:

CyclistRick said...

How do your legs feel?

It was fun, but I know that I need a bigger gear. I was spinning out in most of the sprints .....

Just give the fixie a chance; you were getting much more comfortable at the end. Now if I could stay clipped in ....

Chris said...

We don't have a velodrome in Austin :( I would love to give it a try though. There is one in Dallas and in Houston.

chatterbox said...

My legs feel fine. I agree about needing a bigger gear. On the leadout sprints, I was already spun out in the corner where we were supposed to start the real sprint with no gear left for standing.

Yeah, and cyclistrick kept popping out of his pedal, which is not a good thing at high speeds on a fixie!

chatterbox said...

chris - you should definitely try it sometime when you are in Dallas or Houston. It's fun! Good speed training.

Beth said...

cool- glad you had fun at the track!! the races are a bunch of fun- and the best part is you have 3-4 races in one day...so if you don't do great in one, you don't have to wait a whole week. people are so nice and helpful on the infield of the track- i think you'll really like wednesday night races.

about sprinting on track - i might be wrong cause i am new too - but be weary of standing while sprinting. i think it is a big no no at the end of a race, coming around the second turn, for safety reasons. but at the beginning of the flying 200, it is okay-- when you are getting on top of your pedal stroke. Make sure to ask someone about this.

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

sounds fun! Wish there was a velodrome here! I wnet out an hammered on the hills today, and got stung by a bee on the hand...made the trip down the mountain less fun. Plus, life is hard right now, so hammering is what ive got! Hard race next weekend....yeah!
You're just doing everything on a bike now! Are you doing 'cross too?

chatterbox said...

beth - I'm looking forward to coming either to Wed races or Thurs training on the track this fall. I'll check into sprinting rules. They didn't really specify, but they did have us standing as we dropped down from the 200 meter mark, which is where I was already spun out (maybe I'll learn to spin even more than 120-130 rpm???).

drkim - no cross for me! I need a good time of reduced intensity. I might go out and try one just for fun, though. We shall see....good luck with your race coming up!

CyclistRick said...

Ahh jeez Doc Kim, here you go putting thoughts in Ms. Chatterbox's head of riding cross. Her cross bike is her winter commute bike, and something tells me her mechanic (moi) will be asked to practice quick conversions from commuter to cross racer configurations ;-)

Kim Ladd said...

Look at you gettin' out there to try new stuff! Very impressive!

chatterbox said...

thanks, kim! I am having fun, which is my primary goal right now.

Jackie said...

My goal is to get my butt to the velodrome to WATCH...is it far from the Caltrain station?

CyclistRick said...

Jackie - The Velodrome is probably 4-5 miles from the SJ Tamien station, a couple miles more from SJ Diridon. Would be a bit closer to Capitol or Blossom Hill, but those are only serviced by 3 northbound and 3 southbound trains a day on weekdays, none on weekends. SJ Diridon is the end of the line on weekends, unfortunately. You could transfer to VTA light rail and get a bit closer. The 'standard' light rail transfer is in Mt View, but then you would need to transfer light rail to get to south SJ on 1st street. If taking light rail, I would take CalTrain to Diridon, then ride over to the light rail in downtown SJ for the transfer.