Go Fast, Turn Left

Mountain bike racing season slowed down for a bit, my next mtb race is a month away, and track racing has picked up steam. What would have been my first night racing with the Cs got rained out, so my first races with non-beginners ended up being part of the Pro Racing Series at the Dick Lane Velodrome. I showed up Friday afternoon, warmed up, and did the best 200 meter time trial I've ever done to qualify for the sprint tournament. It took me 13.03s and I hit 37.01 mph which was a new top speed for me by several mph, but that only got me 17th of 29 people which meant I wouldn't be doing any match sprints with pros, which was fine with me! I had 3 or 4 races against a lot of very fast people, and managed to stay with the pack every time. It was a lot of fun, and significantly more fun than the beginner racing I'd been doing. Saturday was "The Kerin" and in hindsight, I really should have raced. Even though it was a very fast crowd, people I did 200m faster than the night before were doing well in races, and I'll definitely be riding in the next pro series event on July 11th. As usual, when not riding, I took a lot of pictures. Here's Dave Worth from Knoxville, TN speeding by: Dave ended up sleeping on my couch and we went on a road ride Sunday morning after perhaps a few too many beers Saturday night. I also tried out two new video camera things this go around. First, I strapped the camera to the back of the motorcycle used in the Keirin races. It turned out alright, but one of these videos will definitely be enough due to the consistent perspective:

DLV 2009 Pro Racing Series - The Keirin from Chris Kelly on Vimeo.

The second new thing was strapping my camera to Greggory and making him try and keep up with the pros in a 20 lap points race. He did an awesome job both keeping up and getting great footage, and it was nice to not have to be the one trying to keep up for once:

DLV 2009 Pro Racing Series - Mens A 20 Lap Scratch from Chris Kelly on Vimeo.

With some racing-with-pros experience under my belt, my first Wednesday race with the Cs was a whole lot of fun. The results only tell part of the story, but do show that Tyler Grohovec is a Cat-1 road racer just moving through the Cs and Bs to the As! Ability levels in the Cs were a bit spread out so at times it was tough to work together to break away, and I couldn't quite keep up with Tyler, but the highlight of the evening for me was getting 3rd in the scratch race which got me in to the Wheelrace final. This meant I was in a race with s3 other Cs, 4 Bs, and 4 As: we started at intervals around the track designed to have us all cross the finish line at the same time after 5 laps. My 48x16 gear ended up being a poor choice as I spun out a little bit and (like all the other races) couldn't stick on Tyler and Chris's wheels, but I held my own and Emile Abraham (who won the pro racing event last Saturday) didn't pass me until the last 10 meters of the last lap. Having that kind of competition was great, he commented afterwards that he was going all out and had a hard time catching up, and 5 minutes later I was off into the Cs 20 lap scratch race where I only got 6th. Lots of fun, and I'll definitely keep coming back on Wendesdays as this has the potential to be a lot more fun than CX mountain bike racing. And maybe I'll put a stiffer gear on my track bike before then..

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