It’s gonna be awesome!
Image: Greg Ruch
Oh hai there everybody. Track season has begun and Pink Rhino Racing is excited about it! After winning the women’s field at Kissena on Wednesday, I decided it was time to take the show on the road. Genisis and I headed down to T-Town on Saturday for the women’s 3/4, where I came in second (that’s me, above, in second position of all places). All I can really say without giving a boring-as-hell lap-by-lap account is that there were a total of 19 sprints over the course of three races, and 48 hours later my legs are still sore.
Not being one to want to over-recover, I got up this morning and headed to New Jersey for the Tour of Somerville despite a feeling that I might be in over my head. It was a pro/1/2 race (on the national criterium calendar, with actual cheering fans), but the promoters were nice enough to allow me to enter as a cat 3*.
Having no teammates and nothing really to prove, I stayed near the back of the field most of the race, enjoying the fact that even with 50 women in front of me I could still take a corner at 25 mph because everyone in the field knew how to race a bicycle without braking through wide-open corners.
However, there was one time when there was a break forming ahead and the field sort of sat up as teammates of the people in the break started blocking, so I decided that was a good time to attack. For a good five minutes I changed my viewpoint from “meh, nothing to prove” to “meh, nothing to lose, maybe I’ll get a prime for toll money”. The problem with bridging to what ultimately ends up being the winning move is they actually expect you to work to help them stay ahead of the field. Oops**.
After a lap I sat up and backward-bridged back to the field, where I sat in for another 8 laps. I did not contest the sprint, either because 1) I lack initiative, 2) I was in a terrible position to get better than 30th, or 3) see above, racing on the track twice already this week. I’ve been going with #3, fast-twitch muscles all twitched out — but believe what you will.
The weather was also basically perfect*** and after I was done sweating I got to put on a sundress and watch mis hermanos colombianos de Team Rancho Vista in the pro men’s field, which I rarely get to do.
Bike racing, YAY!
* It went something like this: “Can I please give you my money if I promise to be great pack fodder?” “Yes.”
** Sorry, Colavita, for fucking up your rhythm for a bit, but the break stayed anyway anyway and I only sucked your wheels for a lap, so let’s call it even.
*** Sorry not sorry to everyone who went to Killington this weekend. <3
Congrats to Shane Ferro on winning Opening Weekend at Kissena Velodrome AND her Cat 3 upgrade!!!
Track season has started and the Twilight Series at Kissena Velodrome is heating up.
Races are every Wednesday at 6:30pm, check http://www.kissenavelodrome.info/ for more info.
Next weekend is the Kissena Velodrome Spring Classic on Sunday, May 12. Come race!
Shane Ferro took second in the Women’s Open this morning at the Binghamton Circuit Race!
Rhinos in the wild. Captured by @eirenach. #pinkrhinoracing
Cruisin thru Harlem.
Still a few spots left for our first clinic on April 21!
Today’s Strasbourg, Pennsylvania road race described itself as a “circuit in the style of a European kermesse.” Between the rain/snow/sleet, the farms, the narrow roads, and the overwhelming essence of cow dung, I really could have mistaken it for a morning in rural Belgium, save the Amish buggies along the road.
Here’s the thing: I love to race in terrible weather. The crappier, the better, really. I realized long ago that about one in three bike races occur when the weather sucks. It’s going to happen. Embracing it gives you an ever-so-slight advantage over those who decide to let their guard down just because it’s 34 degrees and ice is raining down from the sky. (Jason Gay was not just being cute when he wrote in the WSJ last week that “bike racing is a sport that fetishizes suffering.”)
Which brings me to today: It was a women’s 3/4 race consisting of 35 km over a rolling 5.5 mile circuit. The weather went from a sprinkling of icy rain to thick wet snow as the race progressed. As we came around at the end of the first lap the pace was comfortable. As there was no money on the line and my sole purpose in finishing the race was to train for another, much harder race coming up, I spent most of the rest of the race pulling the pack around with me, not really worrying about conserving energy until the last half lap or so.
Over 35k, some things happened. Someone broke away alone. People chased her. Some caught her. By the last lap, there were five women at the front (sort of) working together. I tried to teach those in my group that pulling off the front of a pace line and then continuing at the same speed next to the new person on the front is actually not helpful at all for anyone in the group. However, they appeared unconcerned with basic aerodynamics. Whatever — it’s not like that’s the whole key to bike racing or anything.
With 2k to go, I figured it would be a match sprint between me and one other category three in the field, which I was dreading (but also excited about) because she’s THAT GIRL — the one I’m always near in race results, but never in front of. She’s kicked my ass on the road and on the track for the last three years. So, 500m to go and I’m following her wheel, ready to come around, when all of the sudden the woman who was off the front for two whole laps, who I wrote off as totally exhausted and also not a sprinter, gives a killer kick and leaves everyone in the dust. I missed her wheel, but in chasing her totally gapped everyone else in the group for a respectable second place finish.
After the race, I found out that because of the large number of women signed up to race, there was unexpected cash on the line! My winnings went entirely to gas/tolls for the drive. But hey, it’s still cash $$$.
(There are no actual pictures of me racing this race because, have I mentioned? Ice was coming out of the sky. I strava’ed it here though.)
My team #pinkrhinoracing will be throwing Intro to Track clinics at Kissena Velodrome this spring/summer. We are selling these sweet socks to raise money for these events. Support NYC track cycling & snatch em up at http://www.pinkrhinoracing.com/buysocks They come my favorite color too: black.
Keep those ankles lookin’ fly with Pink Rhino socks AND support track development in NYC - WHAT?!? Check out the “Buy Socks” page for the details.