Scott was so, so excited about today. An Omnium was like Track Racing Christmas for him. And I thought I was an exceptionally passionate soul — but Scott shits all over me in this department. Just rips me to shreds. He had to give me a lift cause Dee had stolen the car for her hen’s weekend adventures up in the Pomona wilderness.
In the car I could see he was almost shaking with excitement and also a healthy dose of fretting. He kept saying, “What have I forgotten to bring?” Yet he had bags and bags of stuff including a $40 trip to the supermarket which accounted for the two grey Coles plastic bags full of snacks and healthy bike-fuel.
He had brought various sets of wheels, extra chainrings, cogs, tools — you name it. And yet we still had to stop at Gear for the most expensive lockring he could buy — cause some wheelset absolutely needed it.
Meanwhile I was just coming along for the adventure — not really caring about outcomes. I had mashed out a ride already this morning so my legs were a bit damaged. But when the event came upon me I kinda regretted that effort and realised I was competing so I wanted to be just a tiny shadow of what awesomeness I can muster. Scott instinctively knew I just might want to compete (perhaps actually ignoring my protestations) and had decided I needed a better wheelset and had brought along his Woblers (from his Rossin) and they didn’t just do the shit — they looked the shit too. I offered to buy them but Scott said, “Fuck off.”
So we only got about 5 or 6 minutes of warmup and then it was a massive waiting game while other divisions raced.
I guess that’s where the lustre wore off for me cause it was fun racing, but it was a shitload of waiting in between sets.
Of course Scott just buzzed the whole way through it. “I love this! I am so happy!” he kept saying.
And it got really, really cold when the sun went down and it seemed a bit more like camping than track racing. I was suddenly telling bad jokes and we were all wrapped up in doonas and blankets huddled together and eating chips and looking at flammable things with a bit too much interest. Red eventually caved and rode home.
My first race was the “flying 200” which is essentially a lap of the velodrome from a rolling start. I thought I did OK except I rubbed off a bit of speed just rocking the bike a bit too much with my mashing. It may seem crazy but I had never gotten out of the saddle here. And I was too scared to attempt this — so maybe that fucked me up a bit too. (Later I managed it — just through necessity)
Meanwhile Shirts had too tiny a gear and I could see him just spinning out and unable to get any faster. It was a bit weird seeing him a bit handicapped but I am getting used to the fact that Track racing is not just power, but decisions and strategy.
The 30 lap points race was next and I knew this would be chaotic and an ordeal but I just went along with it. I tried to grab Shirts’ wheel but I lost the main pack after 6 laps and was on my own for ages. And then I realised Jesse was behind me so we worked together to finish the race. Which really fucking hurt, but we did it. Even though we got lapped twice and had to scream at the front crew that we were still racing when they started acting like drunkards all over the track. One fucking idiot, perhaps trying to be a hard-on, screamed at me, “the race is finished” and I was like, “You lapped us, UGH!”
I only did one more race and it was the 6 lap “Pursuit”. And just quietly: I was up against a ParaOlympian. (And thus a very, very good rider). And so when he lapped me on the final lap with his rear-wheel disc spinning up this “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of EPIC DOOM” it was horribly deflating. I was already feeling so tired and slow and generally pathetic. My friends in the crowd watching were spurring me on in the early laps but then they got quite deathly silent as I spun past and I knew something terrible was about to happen.
So that, and the cold and the fact things were just going so slow meant I took an opportunity to get a ride home with Jesse. When I left I heard that Scott was ahead in “elite B”. GO SCOTTY!
And here are some pics — some by me, some by Red and some by Nate.
This is me grimacing on the flying 200
A lot of people took this waaay too seriously. Kids came out with “sperm helmets” and everyone seemed to be switching to TT bars for the pursuit. I was out of my depth. Way out of my depth.
Scott and Jesse having FUN!