My brain is wandering; I’m typing whatever comes to mind so this is a bit of everything.
I won my favorite race for the first time yesterday! I’ve been telling people my favorite race format is the points race for over a year, but all I had was a fist-full of seconds and thirds to show for results. I love the Points Race because it will always be a hard race and because there are so many different ways to win. I took the mixed-bag approach to victory last night winning the first sprint off the front solo, I won the 3rd sprint out of a field sprint, and took the 4th and final sprint out of a 3 man break. I also won the Miss and Out and was 2nd in the unknown distance, so the night of racing was very solid for me.
Enough of race reports, the most interesting thing that has recently happened in my riding and racing is muscle soreness. The past two weeks of racing have resulted in my left leg feeling more sore than my right leg. I have been riding a bike for 3½ years and my left leg has never been more sore than my right leg. My left leg, being the leg affected by Cerebral Palsy, has always lagged behind my right leg in power output, suppleness, workload, and soreness. I find this very encouraging in that my left leg may be closing the gap to my right leg. I should see my steady effort power increase if my left leg does get closer to my right leg in terms of strength, but the biggest benefit is likely to be in my sprint. That would really help me round out my abilities and arsenal on the bike.
I mentioned earlier that I like hard races. I like hard races because they get rid of moochers, I don’t like moochers in my races. To the moochers… If you aren’t strong enough to pull for half of a lap, that’s 167.67 meters and 12-13 seconds, stay out of the front of the race. If you find yourself unable to pull, but still able to contest intermediate sprints, you actually can pull. You probably shouldn’t be in a breakaway if you can’t pull through. However, if you find yourself in a break and unable to pull, play tail-gunner so the break can stay fast, fluid, and have a chance of surviving.
Keirins are on the schedule next week, I’ve never raced one before. It’s both exciting and scary, the idea of a motorcycle pulling us to 30mph and cutting us loose for 2 laps. I’m finding myself less intimidated by the sprint events, and I’d like to see how it feels to race this one. The trainers for the Australian sprint cycling team that is training here said I might be able to come to a training session for some pointers. I think it would be fun and a great opportunity to learn from some of the best.
Seeing as how the Keirin and Madison (for the Pro12) are on the schedule for next week I am going to defer applying for my upgrade to Cat2. I considered doing it this week, but the coach said to wait and “keep learning how to win”. Waiting to upgrade doesn’t sounds so bad when he says it like that.
Speaking of the Madison, and speaking candidly, it’s my unicorn. I’m all for overcoming challenges and empowering the disabled, but I am also realistic about what might be a bad idea. The act of taking a hand off the bar to throw or be thrown into a race is not something I have come around to trying or even seriously considering. My left hand does not work 100%, which puts a damper on my Madison aspirations. The Madison is so important because it is one of the most common and important formats of endurance track racing at the biggest events. One of my goals is to become fast enough to race at events like the Fixed Gear Classic in Minnesota, but I risk losing omnium points by being unable to race Madison, and how do I ask someone else to race with me if I can’t do a proper exchange? Maybe in the future I will be able to execute an exchange and maybe I won’t. My hope is that this does not limit my development or racing opportunities in the coming years.