Where speeds may exceed 60 kmph
Clarence St Cup -Saturday 28th November 2009 - Dunc Grey Velodrome
It was great to be back on the track following a good break after a long RAW track season. So with a couple of training sessions with the kids at Tempe and a few crits under the belt a slightly under done Fats hit the boards on Saturday night at the Clarence St Cup which was a great day and night of racing, well run and had a good spectator turn out.
Scratch qualification 8 laps: Not reading the programme correctly saw me head out on a lowly 83 inch gearing (48 x 14) for a scratch race which I thought was a wheel race, thus the low gear as Iâ€™m a dreadful starter. A couple of country masters rolled the first laps painfully slow so when Mike got a turn he pushed it up to a more respectable pace plus some. I and another guy went with him and swapped a few turns which gave us a break but I couldnâ€™t hold that sort of pace and so thankfully it backed off a bit but it brought the bunch back to us. Two to go and the fun started but I couldnâ€™t compete from lack of gear and rolled through in about 5th which I was pretty happy with as I stuck with the bunch which were all graded higher that my lowly RAW Div 4 grading.
Wheel race repecharge 7 laps: With a good mark of 230m I only had to do 6 laps. With a good start I passed the guy 10m in front of me pretty quickly and set my sights on the out marker who for the size of the bloke does a great job. I had to work hard to get him and once I did he started to fade so I went around him and still had 3 laps to go. So five laps in the wind saw the inevitable and was swamped with a lap to go. Gave it my best but knew I wouldnâ€™t be one of the six to go through to the feature race.
Masters Div 2 scratch 8 laps: A fairly long wait between my races gave me ample time to put my 13 tooth cog on my wheel (90inch) and have a good warm up which wasnâ€™t hard due to the heat. Headed out up the front and had a turn, Mike stretched the bunch out so I got to drop back in to the pace line about 5th wheel, guys doing half lap turns saw me back on the front, did my turn, pulled up and concentrated on staying up the front ready for the attacks that would come. And boy did they come. This team Road Runner dude just smashed it to pieces, twice, and made it look like he wasnâ€™t trying. I went with the first one but couldnâ€™t hang on to the second and got dropped and then Mike attacked him, it was great to watch and broke him. So I rolled across the line in 6th behind this guy who made a real race out of it but paid for it I think.
So with another fairly long wait for a combined race that I would find myself up against much quicker riders I pulled the pin. It was great to catch up with the Dulwich Hill guys who I race against on Friday nightâ€™s all, great guyâ€™s who are happy to chat and enjoy their racing. I was pleased with my three races, with limited training mixed it with guyâ€™s graded higher than me which will give me the confidence to go up to Div 3 at next years RAW.
2/12/09 - Bankstown/Parramatta CC's Open Invitation Wednesday night racing Dunk Grey
After being recommended to me by Peter Harvey as a great nights racing I decided to take the kids out and get them and myself a bit of racing practice. My youngest, Jason, had tried DG before and it scared the crap out of him so was quite happy to just ride at Tempe. All the way out it was "I'm not racing dad". He's entered in some U11 racing there in a couple of weeks so I was aware that he needed to get the hang of it before then. We rolled around in warmup together and talked him up on to the bank and he was away gaining confidence with each lap which I was very relived about. His first race he placed second out of 5 or 6 kids, did a crap 1 lap TT which gave him a good handicap for his wheel race which he won and his scratch came first by default as the girl leading heard the bell and thought the race was over and sat up. A fantastic first up effort which had him chatting non stop till we had Maccas to shut him up. And he loved the drink bottle they gave him.
My other son Adam got his butt kicked last Saturday at the Clarrence st cup junior event so he was a bit apprahensive but saw some kids he knew he can compete against and told me he thought he'll do pretty well. Good to see he hadn't lost any confidence. The warm up scratch saw him do his turns and then made a tactical mistake of not watching the lap board and went to the back with 2 laps to go so when it picked up everyone was the same speed and ended up last. His miss and out he did a great job and got third and his last two races placed 4th in each after doing plenty of attacking. I actually like to see him attack, he doesn't have a hope against the faster ones and he knows it so tries to rattle the cage just for a bit of fun. Did well and probably should have been racing out here earlyer.
As for me, I put my self in B grade looking to give myself a bit of a challenge. After the numbers grew I was a bit concerned that I may be should have gone in C and could struggle in B. Warm-up scratch was very fast and finished back of pack, Miss and Out had 17 riders! I haven't done a Miss and Out with so many so knew I wouldn't be competing and didn't mind going out first. We then had a points race with 3 sprints. Again, I just hung around the back, making sure I kept out of the regulars way and concentrated on just staying on which I did no worries. And last was a scratch race, same strategy, passed a few at the end and finished with the bunch. So I ended up being out classed but not by a huge margine and I got the hard racing I desired and so will look at staying in B grade next week.
All and all I was very happy we went out. The kids did fantastic and they loved it (albeit a very late night by time we got home), they handed out free second hand riding gear and drink bottles to the kids, the programmme was excellent and well run and every one was very friendly. Thanks Peter!
Thanks rustychisel. Appreciate the feed back!
I hadn't had a chance to drop in last weekends racing so since you've inspired me....
5/12/09 - Southern Highlands Open - Dunc Gray Velodrome
6 lap Lightning Scratch Qualifying: Ummm. Maybe I shouldn't have done the Friday night crit at Sutho. I payed the price of not allowing 45yo legs time to recover enough and suffered horribly. The only good thing out of the race is that I got to do an attack with Mikesbytes, through no prearranged tactic, we found ourselfs clear at the start so we just decided to keep it going and see what eventuated. We did 1/2 lap turns for 4 1/2 of the laps and as we both tired the futillity of our ways became evident with the pack sweeping by. Probably not the right tactic but was fun anyway.
7 lap Bowral Cup Qualifying wheelrace: Thankfully only six laps for me with my 225m handicap. Got a good start un awares to the carnage behind me as the handler who tossed the guy next to me on 225m stepped straight into the rider 5m behind us! Poor bloke, although I was in so much of my own personal pain I didn't even notice him lying on the infield as I want past. Hung out front till around 2 laps to go and the usual catch happened. I had hopes of being one of the first seven to go through to the final but found my tired legs disagreeing unfortunately.
So I pulled the pin early again as I was really struggling and promissed myself I'll be a little smarter next weekend. It actually was a long day as I was there for the junior carnival with Adam who gave it his usual big effort for not much result but plenty of pride and I got to watch some great State Points championship racing where Megan Dunn and Richard Lang were worthly and amazing winners. Looking forward to the Presidents Cup.
Yeh, our tatic didn't work. The following week I went back to my old tactic of attacking off the front with a couple of laps to go, but Mark L decided to beat me to the mark and attacked with 3 laps to go, I got stuck at the back but eventually got myself out and rolled the field to take second and qualify.
Tuesday 29th December 2009
Christmas Carnival, round 1 - DGV
Tough night racing last night. Didnâ€™t help being in Div 4 and the commentator saying when announcing us that I was a favorite to win the Div 4 series. Geeâ€™s talk about pressure. I actually half agreed with him (before I feel like I do now!) and so already had some expectations.
12 lap warm-up scratch (wheel race qualifier, top 5 through): Badly positioned throughout, just admiring some awfully stupid things some guyâ€™s did, but got close enough to the front to catch the attack and settle for second.
Wheelrace Final Div 4 and women: Now this was different. Never raced the girls before but knew that it wouldnâ€™t be easy. Rather than being off 230m and being the hare I was off 30m and chasing. Only a few behind me, a guy right in front and since we were on the corner I couldnâ€™t get enough speed to go around him so had to wait for the straight. While waiting a couple of scratch girls past us as they started on the straight and could get enough speed up. Behind me also being held up were Emma and an older guy, and when they came around I got on them and we just hooked around passing heaps of people till the older guy started to fade, Emma and I are yelling at him to go which worked once but after that he was holding us up. By now we werenâ€™t too far off the leaders and just behind the scratch girls but by time Emma decided to get around this bloke with one lap to go I couldnâ€™t hold her kick and she gapped me. Emma caught the lead bunch and placed and I was 5th missing a point by 40m, so it was close but not close enough. First guy home but a lot of effort for no reward. If Emma had gone around earlier I would have gone with her possibly placed but it was her sprint that got me.
4 up One Lap screamer: Disappointed. Missed the start so badly, stupid mistake just not expecting the whistle so quick. 1 lap screamers are definitely not my forte but Iâ€™m improving and expected to do better. Iâ€™ll know better for tonight. Still learning. A disappointing 4th whilst pulling a muscle in my thigh. Oh, and Alchemist kicked my butt and won well.
Winner race 20 laps: 10 laps and then a sprint every 2 laps, 4 winners sprint off for places. Luckily I won the first sprint with a lunge after leaving the door open underneath me. I say luckily as I have previously in a winner race just lost the first sprint, kept going for the second and lost it by a nose and blown up, game over. (Not the first and wonâ€™t be the last!) The sprint hurt so I just concentrated on staying as close to the front as I could with out killing myself. After there were four of us left I was at the back but had recovered enough to put in an attack rounding up two, chased hard to get first but couldnâ€™t quite close it down and came second by 20m. Very hard 20 laps but happy to have got some good points.
Handicap Miss and out: I didnâ€™t bother as I was totally stuffed by then and having a sore leg and no points up for grabs I decided to save it for tomorrow. Well done Alchemist for a great win.
All up pretty happy with the nights work, but a lot harder than I was expecting. I think the expectation to place makes you push yourself that much harder, and youâ€™re in the wind a lot more attacking, where as if I was in Div 3 I would have just been circulating with the pack and sprinting at the end not expecting any results. This morning Iâ€™m pretty tired and the legs a but sore but not enough to not have a go tonight at Hurstville. Not sure Iâ€™ll back up too well as I donâ€™t recover that quick but Iâ€™ll be giving it my best and just hope everyone else are tired too. Not too sure if itâ€™s worth going for points in the wheel race though, took a lot out of me for no reward.
BNA Div 4 Challenge:
Alchemist: 8 points and equal second
Fats: 7 points and equal third
Mate you and alchemist were on fire.
In the wheel race I pushed alchemist off and he got the wheel of the rider in front straight away, but those wheel races are a lottery, just depends on what groups build and how well they work together
Thanks Fats, 200m with a standing start I reckon I've got you every time and luckily young Aaron from LACC left the door wide open for me to go through on that sprint.
The Miss'n'Out was a bit of a surprise. Off scratch we caught and passed most the 70m group fairly quickly, so was able to rest up for a while. Caught the two limit riders and went to the front and just kept my head down. With what turned out to be 2 to go (I thought there was still 4) I went to pull up and there was only young Aaron behind me, third was a little further back and fourth still not far behind, Aaron shook his head, I figured I owed him from the sprint so went back to the front. Very surprised and relieved to get the bell. Aaron had a go to get around me, but I think he went a little early and I held him out.
30th December 2009
Christmas Carnival day 2- Hurstville Oval
Well, what an event Hurstville turned out to be. A real carnival atmosphere, nice weather, heaps of entrants, even the â€œlocalsâ€ were coming out to watch. A fairly typical flat suburban 400m track around a cricket field with no real straights to talk about and reeks of history.
Had a good warm-up dernying for my two sons, the 4 laps with the 8yo wasnâ€™t too bad but the 7 laps into the wind with the 12yo definitely warmed the legs up.
D grade warm up scratch 6 laps: Cruised around not too fast, nobody wanting to do turns because of the breeze, stayed close to the front and sat behind Alchemist for second.
D and womenâ€™s Wheel race: Everyone was cold due to a half hour crash delay but it didnâ€™t stop a fast start and I was chasing hard from my 60m to stay with the bunch that formed in front of me. I got on a team mates wheel and we gained places and made it to the lead bunch, but then he ended up just getting in my way as when I want to go around him heâ€™d move over and try to get through. Heâ€™d make up for it big time later though. Settled for 6th.
D Grade 1 lap screamer: Arrived in the midfield late as I made a late decision to flip my rear wheel to an easier gear. Crafty saw me and said â€œyouâ€ pointing at the start which had 3 guyâ€™s already waiting to go and I didnâ€™t have my gloves or helmet on. Getting set he added some commentary to fill the time: â€œWell these three guyâ€™s combined weight wouldnâ€™t add up to Fatsâ€™s gut, and heâ€™s probably the slowest starter here tonight but being a long track heâ€™ll be chasing the guyâ€™s down hard so they had better look out.â€ Had the crowd chuckling, me included, but I was concentrating and got a great start thanks to my lower gear and starting on the whistle. Two teenagers got ahead but I was right behind them and building up, rounded the first of them around the back, got to the first guy by the last corner, spun my gutâ€™s out and got in front only to feel like my back wheel slipped in the frame or something so backed it off a bit just in case I had a problem then thought stuff it heâ€™s coming back so five more pedals and got it by a nose. First ever 1 lap win. Had to give it everything though to get it, those kids are fast! Found nothing wrong with the bike.
The Big Hurt - 16 laps, 4 sprints, winners race: No plans were made with my team mate but you could have thought we did. Both of us sat on the back for the six laps, pace was pretty hot (for D grade!) and I was worrying that I was spinning quite a bit as I kept my easy gear on thinking it would pay of when the legs tired. Good move. Let the others fight out the first sprint (Well done Alchemist) then they slowed down and a younger kid put on a move, so I chased him down, he slowed on the second bell lap and I rounded him for an easy win. Then my team mate went for his win. 2 hard laps and I thought if I can stay close once he wins we can work together and stay away. The effort paid off as once he won the third sprint we closed up and took lap turns to keep a quarter lap advantage. The lower gear was coming into itâ€™s own by now and we improved our lead working together and I had just enough left to get him at the end to take the win. At least thatâ€™s how I saw it!
Couldnâ€™t hang around for the last race unfortunately but left quite happy with 2 wins, valuable points and a lead in D grade. Alchemist had a great night too, racing strong and taking good points. Itâ€™s definitely going to be a hard fought series with 3 rounds to go.
BNA Div 4 Challenge:
Fats: 20 points
Alchemist: 18 points
Watching your 1 lap screemer, it went exactly as I thought it would, with the fly weight's getting away from you at the beginning and then you reel them in and steam roller them.
The winners race was perfect, once you and the other SCCC rider got off the front, it was looking pretty good and you guys did a great job of staying away, well done.
Ahhh...yeah. This is probably where i get called soft, woosy etc.etc. But in my defence I have to get up for work at 4.30am and I need my sleep to operate. Plus the kids have been there since 4pm and by now have had enough, exhaustion, need of food, no points on offer all add up to skipping the last race.
1st January 2010
Christmas Carnival Day 3 â€“ Lidcombe Oval
Thanks to the Christmas Carnival this is probably the first New Years Day in 30 years I that I didnâ€™t have a hangover and although I missed the revelry with the mates I think after last night it was worth it. Having never been to Lidcombe, or their oval for that matter, my initial thoughts on seeing the track werenâ€™t complementary with itâ€™s narrow, flat, 400m+ circuit having two distinct corners which to me screamed crash. But like the ugly school girl every one loved to tease theyâ€™re not so bad once you get to know them. Infact I quite liked the turns in the end as it seemed to me if you were on the inside coming on to the finish straight you could make half a bike length taking the short route.
Junior Durney races: Again it was a good way to get to know the circuit and wake the legs up and feel how strong the wind was by dragging the kids around. Jason didnâ€™t get to finish he was so slow. I kept dropping him as if I rode that slow Iâ€™d fall over. Adam did a lot better and showed again how heâ€™s an endurance rider where heâ€™s only getting his legs by the last race. After 8 consistent hard laps he battled on the last for a well earnt 3rd.
D Grade 6 lap warm-up Scratch: The tactic of the day was obviously donâ€™t be on the front at all cost except the last lap. I sat in enjoyed the tow, kept my eye on the lap board and ensured I was in the top 5 to make the wheel race.
D Grade/Womens Wheel Race: I perused the programme for my mark and to my shock and horror the Womens scratchie had a mark of 90m! So after pointing this obvious error out to the organisers I was happy with my 45m advantage. A good start and I was away in the middle of the field. Fortunately the markers ahead of me could motor and I sat in hiding from that hideous wind. It got down to two ahead of me and we were leading and I was sure the fast girls were sitting on behind us. Poor Alchemist, my Div 4 compatriot, ended up doing about 2 laps on the front as no matter how hard he tried to get the next girl to come through there was now way she was going to do that. I felt a little sorry for him so I tried to move up from third to take over for him but he shut the door and I got to sit in again. Then Amy went, Brie came around me and I was hot on their heelâ€™s thinking â€œGee, I could place in one of the God forsaken waste of energy racesâ€. With the final corner arriving and no Maddison (scratchie) in sight my ambitions very suddenly changed from placing to winning, and drove it around the outside as hard as I could and rolled the girls that had made me look slow the 2 previous wheel races. You little beauty! For once the cards fell my way and it worked out for me the perfect race.
D Grade 1 Lap Screamers: From today the top four points leaders would be bunched so rightly there would be no gift points on offer. Your going to really have to earn them. Alchemist got a great start, no matter how hard I pushed, my foot just seemed to hover in the same spot, like it refused to move, but finally I got my â€œcarcass movingâ€ (thanks Paul!) and wasnâ€™t too far behind. I accidently moved down on young Ethan and crowded him a bit but he held his nerve and line and stayed ahead of me. I had to work really hard to get up to the speed of the guyâ€™s ahead and thankfully due to either favourable gearing or Ethan fading slightly I just pipped him on the line for second, re-enforcing the old â€œit â€˜aint over till itâ€™s overâ€ adage. Well done Alchemist for first. My Everest now is to beat you in one of these.
Hell and back Winners race - 16 laps, 4 sprints, 4 winners see who has anything left: Forgive me if I get any details wrong here as this race was a bit of a blur due to tiredness taking itâ€™s toll, not only on me but others too it seems. The races come around quick and thereâ€™s not much time to recover from the last sprint so we set off at a pedestrian speed for about 4 laps until Glen decided heâ€™d see who wanted to play. This got things going to the first sprint and to be honest I was just struggling to stay with the bunch rather than thinking about competing for the sprint which Mark took and stayed out front. It slowed after that a bit and I decided I should move towards the front to give myself a bit of a chance for the next one. I looked behind knowing Alchemist would be there and sure enough he was, did half a lap on the front and thought Iâ€™d give him a turn which heâ€™s always good for but the whistle went again already so I decided I better not get blocked in so sat beside Rob keeping an eye on him thinking it would be between him and me, but then a flash of green and yellow went past us like we were standing still and Chris picked up a brilliant second sprint.
Only two to go and I was getting concerned as energy stores were depleting quickly. I vaguely remember Glen having another attack which I went with and I think I got him on the line with an all out last effort for the night to take the third. I kept the tempo going and caught Mark and sat on his wheel for a bit of a rest. Glen won the fourth thankfully keeping Alchemist out of the points and he and Chris dropped off leaving Mark and I to battle for the win. I have to Give Mark credit here as he did the last 2 or 3 laps on the front without a hint of care about me sitting on him saving myself for the last effort. He must have known something because once he went I had nothing and could only watch him draw away in the final fifty. I donâ€™t know if I was trying to hide next to the fence having being so well beaten but I fortunately swung wide after giving up as much to my horror all I saw was Mark sliding along the ground after the finish line. It looked nasty and took the gloss of a good race and his great win but thankfully he was sitting up at one stage and apparently wanted to go dancing, no doubt to celebrate his win, and so with the first class care from First Aid, the ambo was called to ensure his safety. Best wishes Mark.
The genius of this carnival is that it forces you to race at venues you, or for me probably wouldnâ€™t consider racing at. Both Hurstville and Lidcombe have been a revelation showing me thereâ€™s more to track racing than the sanitised environ of Dunc Gray and will definitely give their club racing consideration. Walking away with a Wheel race win was a real highlight for me but also winning some close sprints gave me great satisfaction and made it a night to remember .
Yeh, I think you have lost some weight, crafty will have to stop giving you lip soon
Come on fats, where is the last instalment???
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever" Lance Armstrong
2nd January 2010
Christmas Carnival Day 4 â€“ Tempe transferred to Dunc Gray Velodrome
The threatening weather came right on queue but fortunately it was on arrival and not at the first race, so we all climbed in the cars and headed of for the shelter of DGV. A bit of a shame as I was looking forward to racing at Tempe and Dulwich Hill CC missed their day in the sun.
D Grade 6 lap warm-up Scratch: The now usual fare of staying around the front but on a wheel if possible with Alchemist rolling me on the line as I closed it down knowing I was through to the wheel race.
D Grade/Womens Wheel Race: Off 35m and the first turn crowded with riders I suspected Iâ€™d get held up again at the start but it turned out a lot worse than that due to the rider in front of meâ€™s handler not giving him a push. It was so slow I had time to take one hand off the bars to indicate my frustration in not going anywhere, but it was worse behind me as the riders handlers couldnâ€™t even let go and so a false start was called and the poor rider was sent back to scratch to free up some room. All smooth second time around as I had somewhere to go and grabbed a fast wheel in Brie and Donna. Things were going well and we were catching the out markers. Then we were in front on the last lap but Brie was struggling, I waited too long for Donna to go around and just as I looked to take the initiative the three scratchies came around and I couldnâ€™t get out to take a place. I knew I could have done better and was kicking myself a bit afterwards.
D Grade 1 Lap Screamers: Swapped the wheel for a starting gear and told myself this is where I get Alchemist. A good start but Alchemist got a fast roll off the bank and nudged ahead and then gapped me. I was a wheel ahead of Nick who pushed me all the way but I was determined to get the second place points and held on. I apologised to Nick afterwards as I thought I may have baulked him where I got a bit untidy after the first corner but he said it was cool as it didnâ€™t impede him. Nice bloke.
A Day at the Mother-in-laws Winners race - 20 laps, 4 sprints, 4 winners fight it out: I was getting tired by now and not looking forward to this, like anyone was, but were feeling confident as I had been fairly consistent in the enduranceâ€™s so far. Rolled in the pack for the ten laps, let the sprinters take the first two sprints and found I was too far back for the third but not having a second chance isnâ€™t a good strategy for me so I had a big go and got number three by a nose. I kept it going and got a 50m gap and tried to keep the tempo up without red lining. I heard crafty call the last sprint to my team mate Brian and though oh no and so tried upping it which probably extracted a 1kph increase. A lap later and he was on my tail setting me up for a fall which I didnâ€™t really know about till he came around me for the final sprint. I got out of the saddle to extract every last bit of power I had which probably netted a 2kph decrease in speed but it looked good and we crossed the line well ahead of the other two. Great ride Brian but you were fresher than me. Alchemist failed to win a sprint so I got the points he got on me in the sprint back.
D Grade handicap miss and out: I hung around to do the last race I was feeling so fresh. Not. It went perfectly to plan. Miss the start, not get on the train, roll around for first elimination. Perfect. I wasnâ€™t the only tired one as the out markers fought out the win.
So a great afternoon spoiled only by the fact I didnâ€™t win a meat tray in the raffle. They must be good because those Dulwich hill guyâ€™s must eat raw meat they are that strong and I was needing some. And Amy. Sheâ€™s strong too.
To my surprise long tine BNA lurker R2160 is also in D grade and putting in a great show not far behind us, and boy he's got a good sprint on him. Great to meet you Glenn.
Fats 46 points
Alchemist 34 points
R2160 24 points
Final day too come...
Last edited by fats on Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Great to meet you guys as well. The carnival has been great, but I just wish I had your journalistic talent. These stories are a great read.
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever" Lance Armstrong
Ha ha! Really you've got to get out more. Thanks Glenn, glad you enjoy them.
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