Monday, August 13, 2007


Today was my 2nd track class with Coach Skibby and Coach Tainter. I didn't blog about it last week because I wanted to get a better feel for it first. Today was quite a bit different from last week. Last week was basically an intro, and we rode around trying not to fall down or slide down the steep banking. Just staying on the track seemed to require a lot of effort last week, and I it just didn't seem like much fun riding around in circles.

Today was different though. We did some drills that made things interesting. First we snaked our way around the track, going up and down the banking in various places to see how it felt at different points. We had fun swooping down the steep banking, and acquired confidence learning the track's nuances. Then we did some practice drafting, which was much harder than drafting on the road at first. Naturally with years of experience on the road and a day on the track I sort of expected this. Unfortunately we had a crash during this exercise. Fortunately no splinters, but some nasty track rash and a pretty hard fall. I was happy not to be involved. After that we got into some pacelining. Tainter led us for a couple of laps to get a nice rhythm going, and then we got going. Once in the rhythm, I started to get a bit of the appeal of the track. It was a sort of singleminded focus, kind of zen if you will: an even steady cadence necessitated by the fixed gear, and a different kind of cadence created by the layout of the track. Swoop in, swoop out, ride steady, swoop in again but slightly differently and swoop out. It's kind of mesmerizing in an athletic way. I'm not describing it very well, I guess you just have to get out there to know what I'm talking about!

Nevertheless, I don't expect that I'll be cut out competitively for the track. Plus I doubt I'd have either the explosive power or the pure cardio LT ability I've seen from track racers. I do see it as a good training tool though for that very reason. I'm looking forward to the next class, and perhaps trying a few races to see which ones I might like. I suspect anything that involves minimal risk of crashing would be high on the list, like maybe pursuit. There ended up being two crashes today. I suspect at least one of the students there won't be racing on the track after today.

After stopping at the store on the way home, I was treated to an amazing heat lightning show lighting up the sky behind the Minneapolis skyline. Pretty awe inspiring!