Sunday, July 08, 2007

beginner session & sprint tourny

This morning my friend Jason from the Oakland Yellowjackets and I went to the Saturday beginner session at Hellyer. I wanted to go cause Angela and Doug were going to be there for their first session! Yay! It was really crowded-- over 50 people! I was really impressed with how Terry kept things moving along safely, despite how many were there. We did some pursuits, scratch races, handicap races, etc. There were about 10 women there, which was awesome! Angela's teammate Katie was there -- she is real nice! Also, a woman Alexis who rides with Metromint; we had met last fall at Taitt Sato's racing clinic. She really liked the track, so I think she'll definitely be back! Can't wait! There were also a bunch of Montano velo fixie women from Oakland. They were really fun -- it'll be great to have a bunch of women racers. Hopefully we can have a sizable contingent for Larry's point series on Thursdays in August! My highlight of the day was when one of the montano velo fixie women commented on the size of my thighs and how she wanted to see me sprint. I was pumped! Only on the track are comments like that taken as a compliment!

Angela and me- at the track at last!

This is me and Alexis. Why I like track riding- lots of sitting around chillin'!

Jason was really cool to stick around for the afternoon sprint tournament! Katie and her boyfriend Dean were staying around to race too. It was so much fun! Angela and Doug stayed around for a little bit and shared some really yummy quinia, eggplant, and tofu with me. It was way better than the mushed PB&J I had packed for myself. In fact, I think that organic goodness was why I took a half second off my 200 time!

Anyway, I had never done match sprints before, so I couldn't wait to give it a try. We started by getting our timed flying 200. They then seeded us based on our times. When I did the timed events day last month, I remember I didn't start accelerating for my 200 soon enough, nor did I stay high enough on the banking. So this time I started earlier and tried to get up higher. I was better, but I can still improve more, because I was still accelerating on the backstretch after the line. But, those things take practice. Anyway, I was really happy cause my time improved by a half-second! This time I had a 14.08-- so I was pretty happy about that. (Not that I really know how good that is, but it felt pretty fast!)

The actual match sprints didn't go as well, but I didn't expect them too. I lost all four. There is lots of figure out in how to match sprint, and I am guessing it will take years. It is very tactical and all about surprise attacks. I think my big problem today was I only initiated one attack, mostly I responded to other peoples. I didn't really know what to expect, so I just kind of waited back, which isn't always a good idea.

Match Sprint #1
was against someone way faster than me. (It was a tournament, so fast times were against slow times) I should have probably jumped early, just cause I had no chance. Match Sprint #2 was my best one. This is the one where I made the jump. I almost held Dean off, but he passed me just before the line. But I was pretty happy with my jump here and that i almost held it. Match Sprint #3 and 4 stunk. Mentally I wasn't there. Match sprinting requires a lot of concentration; something I had more of in the earlier part of the day. Responding to other people's jumps is something I need to improve upon. It took me a few pedal strokes to realize that Caitlyn jumped, and by then she was way ahead. I think it is hard to stay on top of my game mentally near the end of the tournament.

After we finished these match sprints, Annabelle (a really fast and nice track woman!) showed me and Caitlyn how to do a flying 200 TT. She took us around at 80% and pointed out places to speed up. That really helped and confirmed that I was not picking up my speed fast enough, nor was I staying "high enough" on the wall.

I had a great time at the sprint tournament. Katie is really cool and I had fun hanging out with her and her boyfriend. Also, I met Caitlyn, a really nice woman who rides on Tibco's development team. She was really friendly and it will be great to see her more at the track. She is also fast and had an awesome jump and long sprint! (I raced her for my 3rd and 4th match sprint.) Jason was also a champ and stayed the whole time. All in all it was a bunch of fun, and I can't wait to do another sprint tournament!

The big question coming out of the sprint tournament revolves around my bike fit. I thought my saddle was just uncomfortable, but a couple of people (two guys who ride for Webcor/Alto Velo) told me my seat was way too high. As in, centimeters, not millimeters. They said I was hyper-extending and toe pedaling. Before my last sprint, they moved my seat down about two centimeters. It felt really different for that sprint. I don't know if this bike is set up wrong... if I have gotten used to a high seat and my road bike fit is messed up too, or what...but it has me thinking. Are track and road bike positioning different? Should I maybe look to get a fit on the track bike? I am going to see how the lower seat feels on Wednesday (considering I only really did two laps on the lower seat Saturday), re-take measurements on my road bike and track bike, and then think about what to do.

(Pictures courtesy of Angela!)


twinkiepatissier said...

track sounds oh so complicated...

Flandria said...

that's interesting about the fitting...i too wonder if it's different from road to track - let me know what you find out!

sounds like you had a bunch of fun!

can't wait for my next beginner class...he he

I plan to be there at the track on Weds to watch the race...