Monday, 25 January 2010

I've been Wanged! Trackage

Two days of honest racing (well, let's not talk about the repercharge of the Wang Wheelrace), and a ride to Bright with some odd sights, fireworks, "natural" blueberry icecream, tight corners and good "team" work, and the Steven Bradbury effect.

O, and nearly losing two bikes on the car roof to a lowline concrete archway entrance. It' s easy to forget things, like bikes on the roof, when you are talking about, well I can't even remember what we were talking about when the crunching noise started. We'd stopped off at the motel, and were on our way to the track. The noise wasn't splinters of carbon fibre, as I had imagined, but the roof rack denting the car roof which then crushed the rear windscreen. The car is far far worse off than the bikes. The bikes survived to be ridden the next day: mine raced hard in a crit then ridden on a rough, trashy rail trail for 80km, Mr Flowerpants' finished the 250km ACE with a ride time of 9hrs 49min. That's all that matters! Cars can be repaired.

Wang Track Carnival:

Arriving at the track frazzled, without my usual warm-up set up ie road bike on the trainer, thanks to a broken saddle, I made the best of what I had, and put the teschner on the trainer, with training wheel in the rear, race wheel on the front.  After the first race, Mr Flowerpants had sourced a saddle from elsewhere, but I couldn't sit on it. My delicate butt reacted immediately to it (fizik tundra), so it was back to the teschner, with a less than ideal warm up. Eventually the broken saddle was repaired well enough to get me through the weekend and the end of the track meet.

With the potential for 6 races, if you placed or made it through the repercharges, this meet has to be one of the better ones for women, apart from the prizemoney. Racing for $5  sprint primes in a scratch race is a little sad. We only had 12 or so girls racing, so our scratch race was always going to be a case of  A graders first over the line, with the B graders half a lap down. I wasn't worried about being at the back end of the field, and used it to finish my warm up, bridging a few gaps, and spending way too much time out on my own, friendless, moving forward up the line.

The Scratch race was shortly followed by the first of the Wang Wheelrace heats, which are mixed gender, first four through to the final, rest through to the repercharges. I don't remember much apart from being out the front for 2 1/2 laps fo 4. Once caught, I was boxed in by a halfwheeling woman, so wasn't able to come off the front for recovery. So I backed it off to let her come forward, which she did, but not for long. When she came off, she sat beside me again, so once more, I had nowhere to go but stay where I was. Not impressed. She wasn't doing either of us any favours. When she repeated the effort in a later race, she was promptly told where to go. From this heat, three of the six women in the field made it through to the finals.

Not fully understanding the repercharge process, and thinking I was out of the whole shebang (wishful thinking?? ha!) as the second heat of the repercharge was called, Mr Wino was adamant I was repercharging. So I hopped on the bike with the view of rolling over to the officials to check it out. As I rolled around, they called my mark out. Fortunately my pusher was on the ball and I cruised around to meet him. All systems go, ready to race! It was a three-quarter hearted effort, and once I realised that I was not in the running, I rolled over the line, saving something for the final race.

We finished off with a 1000m (2 lap) handicap. I was off limit. I could sit up and wait for Jess who was 5m behind, or I could just go for it, like the old days. Up and running, winding up the gear and a little voice came from the teschner: let it rip baby! So I floored the accelerator. Lap one, still winning the race, halfway through lap 2, only 250m to go, I am still winning. I can't hear anything, and there is noone around me. 100m to go,  Emy rockets through and I am in second. 60m to go and I am just overtaken for third. 40m to go and I can see money. I am in third place! I keep driving myself, forcing my legs to keep going at their limit. 30m to go and I see a bike out of the corner of my eye: one, then another, then 20m to go and bunch comes through and I am rolled at the finish, with nothing left to go with the bunch. I am pretty happy with that, but need a little lie down after the effort.

With the racing done, Poida and I head off for our icecream arm wrestle. I am not sure who won, Poida I suspect, cos she wolfed down her icecream before me.  The rest of the racing was hard and fast and the evening finished up with some fireworks. Corny but impressive at the same time.

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