Racing the Velodrome

Monday was my second night racing in the Velodrome.  I am completely loving this new cycling sport! There is so much strategy and excitement involved.  And there is definitely a different level of fitness required (which I still don’t fully have).  Most of all, I meet really cool people, all of whom are friendly.  In addition, the track is beautiful and well run.  It’s in Marymoor Park and has views of Mt. Rainier.

I brought our camera this time and Rob and I took videos of each other racing.

The video that Rob got of me shows me loosing a 3 x 3 race, with points 3-deep.  That means that there are 9 laps and every third lap is an opportunity for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd people to complete that lap to earn points.

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Video: Group Health Velodrome 2007 | July 30

You can observe in this race that I am pulling too much and not drafting and conserving energy.  This really prevented me from keeping up on the "sprint laps" (the laps where you earn points).  Part of the strategy of the velodrome that I’m learning is how not to get caught on the inside (hence my outside lane position).  However, I have not quite learned how to stay in the outside lane and not lead too much.  There is a technique that I have watched (that I will try next time) where people ride up the banked turns and let everyone pass underneath them and then fall in the back.  This would have allowed me to get out of the front and creep in an opening in the outside lane to sit in someone’s draft and conserve energy. 

I had done two other races that night where I did much better.  I even earned a point in one of the races.  It is also worth making the caveat that, while I’m improving my recreational road riding, most of the women racing on the track with me are Category 3, 4, 5 road racers with more experience and fitness on the bike.  They are very fun to race with and very encouraging of me.  However, I have to set realistic expectations and be happy that I can even hang as close as I did in this race.

My plan on my road rides are to practice sprinting intervals to improve my fitness.  Perhaps this will also keep my average above 18!

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1 Comment »

  1. Chris said

     Cool stuff.

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