This was the last week of track racing season at the Dick Lane Velodrome, and the end of my first year of track racing. This was supposed to happen last year, but a pesky broken collarbone got in the way so my first race wasn't until the beginner races this year on April 7th. This was 2 days after a mountain bike race, and this would be pretty consistent for a while: racing mountain bikes on Sunday and track bikes a few days later. My only goal for year 1 was to move up from the D beginner category (which races on Tuesdays) to the C category which races on wednesdays, and to be slightly competitive in the Cs. After 4 days of beginner racing, I'd collected enough points to move up to the Cs just in time for the first of 3 Need For Speed events that preclude the 3 pro racing series events each year. My 200m sprint that Friday was the first one I've ever had timed, and I pulled a 13.03s which, while not a world record by any stretch of the imagination, did place me smack in the middle of a field of familiar names. That night, I got to race with some Cs and Bs for the first time, and had a blast.
Because I wasn't a B, I couldn't race in the Pro series on Saturday, but the following week I started up racing with the Cs and continued to improve over the summer. I'd occasionally get a 1st place in a single event, but never for the points total for the evening because there was always someone really fast (Cat 1 roadies for example) that was quickly moving through the Ds, Cs, and Bs, up to the As. However, I consistently was in the top 3 by the end of the evening and on September 2nd, none of those crazy fast people showed up, so I got first place in the C 8 lap scratch, the C miss-n-out, and the C tempo race (what all these mean) which placed me 1st out of 11 that night and I figured that meant it was time for me to move up to the Bs. I'd sat down and taken off my helmet, but heard Hoppy call out my name "Chris Kelly, you're up!" and after a bit of heckling from the B field, I geared back up and climbed onto the back of the B tempo race.
I wasn't at all prepared for this, but the field was very slow to get going and I knew I wouldn't have a chance to get any points later in the race so I headed up to the boards in turn 2 and took off the front. As I came around turn 4, the field was pretty far back, Jason Atwood was right behind me yelling "GO GO GO it's just us!" and I got points on the first lap of my first B race! Right before crossing the finish line on lap 2, twotone inched by me on the outside and said something along the lines of "in your face!" but I managed to stay at the back of the pack for the rest of the 20 lap race and got to do the same thing to him on the last lap. Lots of fun, and I ended up in 5th place out of 11 which got me 8th place overall for the evening for Bs points on top of my 1st place for Cs.
It was close to the end of the season and due to weather complications, there were only 2 more nights of B racing. The first one, I didn't get any points but played a part in setting the 8 mile scratch record by pulling for 4 or 5 laps, and at the second one (this past Wednesday) I managed to get 3rd place in a win-n-in which got me 6th place overall for the evening. Not too bad for just planning on being in the Cs all year. I was 1st of 28 for points overall in Ds when I moved up, 2nd of 53 in the Cs when I moved up, and with my tiny venture in to B racing, I managed to get 38th of 55 in the Bs. Using some crazy formulas, this got me 25th overall in Mens for the year of atleast 75 but probably around 120 people that raced at the track in 2009.
Next year I'll continue racing in the Bs and will be able to participate in all of the pro events now that I'm out of the Cs, and we'll see what happens! I've met a lot of people including a few that may be on FM:Race for next year, and even if I don't get too much better I'll definitely have a good time. Check dicklanevelodrome.com for the next beginner class, take it, and come out for some races next year! And heres my full results.