While my Canada day did involve drinking, I started it off with a little intensity at the Yaletown Grand Prix Criterium. I saw a number of fixed gear riders and couriers out trying their hand at criterium racing. For those that don't know Yaletown is a rather nasty and technical course. It is a six corner course, with some off camber turns and rough pavement in the fasters corners. The back straight away is along Homer, you then fly down Nelson, hang a hard right through a very bumpy corner onto mainland.
I was heading home last night when the sun started to peak out from the clouds and I knew what I had to do. I had to make way to the start of the 2007 Tuesday Night World Championships (TNWC) at UBC. For those not in the know the TNWC is a local Vancouver training race. It has been going on for over 2 decades now and its a great way to pick up some intensity during the week.
Burnaby Velodrome will be holding a SIX Day race from Jan 2- Jan 7. This race is open to all riders. The Elite Madison division will be one of the best fields of riders assembled the North America in recent years.
For any of you riders planning on doing the Burnaby 6 Day races you will need to have a 2007 Race licence. Those from BC can do this on-line now at Karelo.com and there is a discount if done before Dec 16. US or other international racers will need to have UCI Licence for 2007. Only Canadian racers will be eligible for one event membership under new rules from our governing body so as stated above you will need to have a 2007 Licence.
So LTR #4 (Learn to Race) was last night... and it was a blast! After the first 3 clinics gave instruction on track technique and etiquette this one the let us loose to have some fun and try a few races out.
Today, was also killer as I got to take my new track bike out for a spin. She is a compilation of wheels from Christine, my ghetto fixie, seat and post from my defunct Opus Road, Tru-vativ track cranks, surly cog and a sparkling new Opus Libretto track frame, which I picked up from Ed at Mighty Riders. Its bling-bling. Since she is all shiny white and I got her put together during a snow storm, I have nick-named her the "Snow Queen". Pictures will be posted soon.
Anyway... onto the clinic.
So Learn To Ride (LTR) #3 was fun. We all worked on some more basic skils... like standing starts. This was then the perfect venu for Adam and Skylar to race it out. The race was a pursuit. Each racer started on opposite sides of the track (the track is 200m in total, giving 100m inbetween). The race goes for either 15 laps or until one rider catches the other, which ever happens first. I attached a little video camera to Skylar(aka master o dustruction) bike prior to the start, from which I did a quick edit job last night to put together this little video. Click the "Play" link to watch it. Make sure to listen carefully, because there are some funny conversations.
So, the LTR #2 was mucho fun again. No photos this time... hrrmm. I had brought my little video camera to take some footage, but I never got around to actually doing it. Some days I am totally lazy. But in all honesty I don't know how interesting it would have been because we were doing pace lines so it would have been mucho ass filling the screen.
Anyway, again the city fixed crew were smoking up the scene. Everyone quickly got the hang of riding close in pace lines (wait till you are bumping elbows in a sprint... hold your line!) with a couple minor crashes. I think the most interesting was meikati who had a decently thunderous crash but jumped up and without missing a beat said:
So I'm sitting here over a month after this race thinking 'Is this even worth it?' but you know I have to have something to show my kids when I get old so if peole are even still using the internet then I'll point them to this post and say... 'Here... I did that, or at least I put that race on!'
I have had the chance to participate in a few alleycats here and found myself eagerly looking forward to the next one as summer began. I feverishly read stoires of races in other towns, laughed at ridiculous themes, gasped at amazing feats of cycling strength and skill... but where was my chance to test my hard-earned street knowledge?
Although, I have ridden a fixed gear for years I have only ridden at the velodrome a few times, and I have never raced at it. Despite doing ever other type of bike racing imaginable.
Well that is all about to change. I have officially signed up for the First of the 4 learn to ride/race clinics that you need to take inorder to compete. And I have added the events to the November calendar and added a link to sign up to the individual events.
So Lyle was accusing me of being masochism during my last race. Well he would be right. I didn't put it in the original writeup but its just too much fun not to share. You see when I ride in the summer on the road I usually ditch the gloves. I don't like the extra heat plus I really enjoy feeling the air rush over my hands.
The downside however is you can get some pretty serious rubbage if you don't watch. For example the picture to your left was taken a WEEK after the race. It has healed quite a bit since then. I didn't even know I was causing this damage until after the Westside classic was over.
Was this caused by a crash? Nope.
So when I am not riding my fixie it seems I am out racing. Last Sunday I went and competed in the Provincial Championships, this year it was the Westside Classic. I could safely say I had no expectations going in since I was going to be racing against the local pros and top elite riders, but I ended surprising myself by how well I actually did.
First off let me tell you a bit about the course. Its frickin evil... with a capital E... Eeeeviiil... Like the fruuiit of the Deeviiil, eeevvvill (to quote Mike Myers from So I Married an Axe Murder). The course is divided into two sections, 8 long laps followed by 5 short laps for a total of 120 km (see below). Now the long laps are no joke. You gain somewhere around 500 ft each lap (the map is in meters) and there is this evil climb that basically sends you up a wall as you ride from Spanish Banks up to University Blvd.