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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the alarm went off at 4AM on Sunday, my first trickle of concern started over the track race I was facing. My first one ever, combined with my first fixie ride ever. Driving down, I hit rain outside of Richmond- great my first fixie ride ever— in the rain.

I did get to the race a bit early as I wanted to warm up on the race track itself with the track bike. Got in 10 laps without getting ejected from the bike. Starting and stopping were the hardest things with no backpedaling and no brakes. Despite the light rain at 8AM, the Men’s Omnium B field still had 9 riders. Some pretty nice track bikes too. The first omnium event was a 200 meter TT.

For that I ended up 5th, which is low for me. The “city” gearing on my borrowed rear track wheel gave me a good “jump” but it killed my top end. But I did spend 2 hours spinning at 120+ RPM, which is great cadence work. Still a 14 second TT is a little goofy.

The next omnium event was scratch race. 10 laps, which basically makes it a mini-criterium, only on fixed gear bikes with no brakes. I have to admit, I was actually more then a little nervous at the start. The funny thing is that station keeping in the group is a bit easier without people hitting the brakes. A lot of the same crit tactics in this one, came down to a field sprint. I was topped out at 130 RPM, but just was undergeared for high speed sprint.

After that was the Keirin race, which is the King of high speed sprints, as the group paced by a motor scooter to 25 mph for 2 laps, then dropped off for the last lap. Crazy fun, and I was spinning like crazy at the end but no real results for me. With my gearing, I was going to have to Stijn Devolder them.

The next race was the “unknown” race, where you don’t know how many laps you have until they ring the bell for the last lap. Cool, and it makes the race a guessing game of when to attack. After 5 laps, everyone was looking at each other. So I attacked as hard as I could and got a half lap lead. As I went through the start they didn’t ring the bell. Damn. As I went around they started to eat into my lead with their bigger gear ratios. The next lap they finally rang it, and I hung on for dear life over the chasers, getting 4th.

After that was the best, and by far the cruelest event, the Miss and Out. One neutral lap, then one lap per racer entered. Each lap, the last rider across the start/finish is pulled. So a minimum of 8 hard sprints. Each lap, I used my lower gearing as an advantage, sitting toward the back and then accelerating through the line. By the 7th lap, only three of us were left. One rider put in this crazy attack just through the start/finish and we had to chase him the whole lap. As we caught him we got the bell (like they carefully explained). He then sat up and we rocketed by him. I thought he blew up, but later he said he thought the bell meant he was done. So, he was gone. But the shift to high speed chase mode left me at a disadvantage. My speed was capped by my low gear. So I acted like I gave up the chase and sat up. The leader looked back and saw I wasn’t chasing and relaxed. His gear had got him a nice gap, and he thought the race was done. As soon as he turned his head back, I attacked. I closed it to two bike lengths before the yelling of his team mates clued him in to speed back up. So 2nd place in the hardest event for me. However, after 8 hard field sprints in a row I was really gassed.

We did the last Kierin and that was it. I ended up with 2 4ths and a 2nd to power to 4th overall in the Men’s B in my first track race ever, so I was happy. Track racing is pretty fun.

Downsides- I was totally gassed at this point from 90 minutes of high RPM field sprinting. Oh, and I had the Masters crit in an hour and a half.

While warming up for the crit, I saw Mark warming up too. I told him I was tired from the track stuff, so if he wanted me to chase stuff or work for him, do it in the first part of the race as I thought I could get shelled today (especially with the Masters Crit Allstars in the field, most of whom didn’t race before this).

We had a pretty good size field at the start. I stayed at the front making sure no break went without me or Mark in it. Mark normally is “king of the early breaks”. The first attempts went nowhere, but used up a few matches I had. After some idiot got run into the infield grass, I extracted myself from the front and headed to the back of the field to catch my breath and recover.

As expected, I found a favorite Masters racer on another team there. He has just raced the Cat 3’s, so he had a tired set of legs as well. The sun had just started to blast us as the cloud cover went away. I figured Jeff wouldn’t want to waste effort either, so I decided to sit on his wheel for a while.

A lap later, the now standard powerhouse Masters break started to form off the front. 5 riders were going when Jeff and I and one other rider started to bridge. We were flat out 30 MPH+ for 3 laps. But we made the bridge. The break was 10 riders strong at this point, with all the usual suspects. But no Mark. So I was our team's representation and could not get dropped from the break no matter what. The “powers that be” in the break decided that this was the race winner, and the hammer really went down. Up over 30 MPH we went again for what seemed like 10 laps. Every time we went around, I stared at the lap board, and every time they still hadn’t even put up how many we had left yet. Finally, after getting run over by the pain bus repeatedly, they put up our remaining lap count. Can’t be higher then about 10 I figured. Nope, 22.

22. The level of despair at the sight of that number cannot be overstated. I had been on the absolute rivet for the last 20 laps. How could I do 22 more under the combination of the blazing sun, insane pace and dead legs. Fraud is how. I used every trick that Mark and Craig ever taught me about saving watts and effort. Missing turns without looking like it, short pulls, surfing the back I did everything I could to stay in the break as we slowly lapped the field.

Each lap was equally grinding. Hearing Alan and Kris yelling for me was really encouraging and reinforced that I couldn’t lose the break. With 3 to go, the heads of state split the break and caught the field. With less then 2 to go, someone “cracked the whip” on me, attacking as I pulled off after my pull. I lost the wheel just as we came around and got the 1 to go bell. The rest of the break caught the field and I was 4-5 bike lengths back. But the field started to surge for the last lap, and my legs were now cramping. So I put my head down and TT’ed the last lap. I finished as the last man in the break, 10th overall. I don’t know how I stayed in break with the legs I had, but I was going to be damned if I would sit up. I guess just when you think you can’t go any longer, sometimes you can.
 

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Yo no fui.
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8,486 Posts
First fixie ride ever was a race?

Adventures to the adventrous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pablo said:
First fixie ride ever was a race?

Adventures to the adventrous.
Or stupid squared. . . .

:D
 

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chica cyclista
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"Finally, after getting run over by the pain bus repeatedly, they put up our remaining lap count. Can’t be higher then about 10 I figured. Nope, 22..."

AHAHAHA if I had a dollar for every time in a crit I've had that feeling. holy cow dude, that was an awesome race report. Nice work!
 
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