In the spirit of #30daysofbiking, let's take a look at the other side of the riding spectrum; the guys who go fast! Jason's our resident racer, and his dance card was full two weeks ago. Here's his recap of the USAC-Fast Forward Series at the Carson Velodrome on Friday, April 10th, and the Mission Crit in San Francisco on April 11th! Take it away, Jason:
Friday at the Carson Velodrome we had a full docket of races. There's nothing like the feeling of that Olympic wood under your wheels as you give it your all.
Motor Paced Race - Result: 1st
Taking first place in this race was easier than I thought. From the start, the motorcycle began accelerating to its high speed of 30mph. I was in 4th position at the time and every lap the rider behind the vehicle had to rotate to the the back of the line. Once the bell rang for the motorcycle to leave the track, I was right behind it forcing me to sprint the final three laps for the win. Luckily the rider behind me didn't know what he was doing, allowing me to create a gap and win the race.
Scratch Race - Result: 5th
This race I took 5th. I ended up locked in the pack by the final 10 laps and, with a field of people that were bumping for better positioning, I wasn't able to move ahead for a breakaway. I did manage to pull some attacks to ween the weak, but all those efforts got me too tired for the final sprint. End result, I had to settle for a top 5 finish.
Points Race - Result: Crash + Finish
This race was the worst. Right from the beginning, a rider crashed out taking me out too as I was caught up in the carnage. I broke my helmet and rode down the apron to talk to an official. They hurriedly told me that I could get back in the race and complete it. A little bloody, I quickly looked over my bike to see if it was ridable. It looked good, so I hopped back on and caught the field. With only a few points to be grabbed, I just held on to the field and managed to stay with the pack. No points where gained but I stayed in the race so that I wouldn't be disqualified from the day's events. (If you fail to finish any of the races, you're automatically disqualified from the day of racing, meaning any points or positions position that you earned, win or lose, mean nothing. Even if you crash out, you must finish the race.)
From there, it was time to head to SF and get ready for Saturday's Mission Crit!
Arriving in San Francisco was awesome, a cool sunny morning in the bay lifted my spirits after that crash the day before. I rode to some iconic areas from the get go, hitting the Golden Gate Bridge, PCH, and the beautiful Golden Gate Park. With my legs stretched, I made it to the battle field (17th / Harrison) and I continued warming up my legs on the rollers, waiting for the mens' race to start.
Ready, Set, Go!
Once the race started, I was in the front of the pack. I tried grabbing the first lap prime, but since I hadn't ridden the course, I was a little tentative going into the hairpin turn causing me to drop back with the chase pack. In the first ten minutes we where averaging speeds of over 25mph and as the laps wore on the difference in speeds between competitors kept increasing. One team, by the name of GLK, started breaking the field apart with whip-skids to help their teammates make a clean breakaway. Their strategy resulted in 55 of the 60 competitors getting lapped, turning this into a 5 man race in the end! Tactics won todays race!
It was an awesome experience and hope to be more prepared for the next time.