Today we traveled home to Portland with a brief stop in Vancouver at the Burnaby Velodrome Club for a track test with the Canadian Track Development team. It went great. When we arrived around noon, the Women’s National team was just finishing up their morning session so I was able to snag some open track time before the Men’s team showed up around 12.30.
The Burnaby facility is the only indoor track in Canada and 1 of three on the continent; two others in Boulder, Co and Los Angeles, Ca. The surface is wood and the entire 200m velodrome is fully enclosed so racers can train and race throughout the year. UCI World Cup events and the Summer Olympics feature as the pinnacle of the sport. Some World Cup events include huge, spectator friendly “Six-Day” events that bring in TV coverage, night-time racing and lots of tipsy spectators. Very Euro. The national team riders at the track today were training for the Team Pursuit (Men’s TP: 4km – Women’s TP: 3km). As a team of 4 riders, the goal of course is travel from a standing start to the finish line as fast as possible using smooth transitions and consistent lap times once up to speed. The efforts the guys threw down today averaged out to +57km/hr! Pretty impressive.
I was able to score a loaner bike and get comfortable with the banking. It was cool. It felt like ski racing again with the G-forces. The guys jumped on for a warmup and after I got comfortable, I too was rotating through with the nine experienced riders. It was fun. Intense. But fun. Jason suggested that I keep my left shoulder relaxed through the corner and that I push myself to look farther forward than I was which greatly improved my cornering. Thanks Jas. Jeremy Storie, National Track coach, set me up for a flying 200m and a flying 500m. The banking is very important. Proper use of the transitions help a rider speed up without using too much energy and really propel you forward. I was able to record a 12.5second effort at 200m (bit too high on the banking) and then a 32.7 in the 500m effort with a 88inch gear. On the ragged edge, high G-forces, clenched teeth. Good stuff. Ski racing. Since the best time at the Burnaby track for the flying 500 is 29.0, Jeremy and Richard wanted to see me try a different gear. When using less teeth the gear is harder to push but I can reach a greater speed (since track bikes are fixed single speeds with no brakes or derailers, to change the size of the gear, the rear wheel is removed and a different size cog is screwed on). They also threw on the best wheels you can run, a penta spoke, unidirectional front and a full rear disc. I improved my time to a 31.0. It was pretty hard. Felt a few muscles creeping up that I haven’t activated before on a bike. Le Maximum! It was a great afternoon and I look forward to more track opportunities in the future. Thanks Jeremy and Richard!
We have one day at home tomorrow before we take off for Boise on Friday. The Boise Twilight Criterium on Saturday night is an NRC (National Racing Calendar Event) so there should be some fast riders there. Then it’s the infamous Cascade Classic starting July 20th in Bend, Oregon. The first stage has been switched from a gnarly mountain stage to a short 2km prologue time trial. Cool beans.
Labels: Track Report