I want to do it again. As part of the Langley Speedway Challenge on Sunday, I rode in a multiple-race track omnium in the morning. I had a blast even though my results were just okay. Thanks Fat Frogs Racing, which organized the race.
I set up the Langster with 54×16 gearing and hoped for the best. (Photo from Trevor Weiland’s gallery.) The event kicked off with a 200-meter flying start time trial. A slight rain fell and I approached the start line conservatively, worried that the race track might be a little slick. My rear wheel skipped out twice and I posted one of the slower times in our group of nine. That was followed by a 10-lap scratch race. I made the first selection into a group of five, but only finished 4th.
Next up was the keirin – which involves being paced behind a scooter that drops off with a lap to go, followed by an all-out sprint the line. They lined us up in reverse order of our race numbers, so I was stuck toward the back. I creeped up on the outside and got a good jump when the scooter dropped and pushed all the way to eke out third. The mystery race, which could be anything from two to 10 laps, came next – just wait for the bell and go. I think I got another 4th there.
Then came miss-and-out, where the last guy across the line each lap gets pulled until there’s three left to race. This is perhaps the most tactical race and, oops, I messed up big time and was the second pulled. I had all kinds of sprint left in the legs and just miscounted the guys around me. Embarassing too, because some of my Tripower people had started to show.
I made up for it some in the keirin final, where I started third by virtue of my earlier finish. I had to bust a gut to get around the UVA racer who started in front of me and score second. At least it paid out $20! The Hilton racer who took most of the events went home with $120. Dang.
By the end of the morning I’d run at least 15 long, hard intervals through my legs, but I still had another race to go – the Cat 4 just four hours away. Fortunately the sun wasn’t too bad and the other races were fun to watch. Michele brought the girls over even though she was sick. Kevin shot us:
Ellie even raced the junior race, her first this season. She didn’t seem to into it until about halfway through the race when she perked up and really started pushing. In what was the largest junior girls field I’ve seen, she finished 8th and I’m proud of her.
Ellie enjoyed herself even more because she got to hang out with Sara, the daughter of one of my Tripower teammates, while I raced.
My race wasn’t pretty. It started superfast. We went almost 30mph for 10 laps but finally settled down. About midway through the officials rang the bell for a $100 prime and I shot out of the group immediately, hoping I could get a gap and discourage chasers. Two came after me and I’m told it took them half a lap to catch me, then they sat on until the line where one came around me and took it by about a wheel. Bummer. I was really gassed after that. Thankfully my teammate John nursed me back into the pack and I rested on his wheel for a while. Even though I was tired, I was hoping for a good result. The final laps got real sketchy. Still I was well positioned going into the bell lap but got pushed outside on the first turn and a bunch of people came inside me. I jumped back inside just as the winning move shot around the outside and I was done, I had little left and don’t really believe in sprinting for 15th place. I think I finished in 19th.
The crit was fun, but the track racing was a blast. I’d like to do it again soon. I wish we could get a monthly series going. I’d do it. Unfortunately, I can’t make tomorrow’s GFTL race, where there will be some track racing. Ellie’s and Millie’s first swim meet is in the morning and I don’t want to miss it.