Due to the holiday coming up, there was a low expectation of turnout for the evening events, so Alan Atwood scheduled Team Sprints. This was going to be more of a fun event, and a learning experience.
Once everyone was checked in, we created teams of two. No one seemed to want to ride with me, so I teamed up with Babalola Ajisafe, a first time track rider but Category 4 on the road. We did a few laps together to get comfy. We decided that I would anchor since he had a lighter gear. Also he was a bit unsure about riding some of the bumpy sections at full all out speed. For me, serving as the anchor would get me to spin my big gear up with out killing myself, and, after his one lap and his subsequent pull off, I would be on top of my gear for my solo lap. For this event I choose to go with 49×14, 94.5 gear inch.
- Race #1: Qualifier.
After a few of the teams had gone, we stepped up to the starting line on the mid point of the straight. These were going to be standing starts, so we needed holders. I am still not super comfy being held, but it is something I have to get used to. At the start, we got rolling, and I quickly settled in behind Babalola. I tired to verbally cue him in that I was on, and that he could ramp his pace up. Due to his lower gearing, and the fact that I was in his draft, I felt that the pace was a bit slow. I had to pay attention not to overlap my wheel or run into him.
One lap down, he pulled off, and I accelerated hard. I felt good on the back stretch, but heading into turn three, my legs started to feel like they had anvils in them. Turn three, four and the half straight were never ending. In the end I threw the bike with a nice grunt to go with it.
Our times for each 200m split were as follows: 22.95s, 15.04s, 14.5s, 15.47s, for a total of 1 minute and 07.06 seconds. This put us in eight place out of ten teams.
- Race #2: Finals: 7th vs 8th.
This time we would be going up against the 7th placed team at the same time. Our starting location was to be on the back straight. We took off and it felt like a better run. When Babalola pulled off, it took me a few seconds longer to get by him, which to me signified that we were going at a good pace. In the last turns, one, and two, I tried to empty the tank, but, alas, that was not enough. We lost to the seventh place team by two seconds, with a time of 1 minute 7.52 seconds, almost the same time as our qualifier.
- Race # 3 Bonus: Team Pursuit.
Since there was extra time, a bunch of us were interested to do an impromptu Team Pursuit race. After some deliberation we decided on the 2 kilometer, or better five laps. I ended up fourth man with three from the team Deluxe versus two Pink Rihno (Brean and Tim) Matt from Deluxe and Babalola.
On the starting line on the front straight, we all got in a four up position with holders, with me in the fourth spot. At the whistle, we got going and right away I pulled out of my left pedal. I was able to quickly get it back in, and chased to get back on my teammates wheel. We each took pulls for half a lap, pulling off at the entrance to either turn one or turn three. After doing two pulls, with about a lap and a half to go, I was blown, so I pulled up track and left the others to finish. Time was going to be taken on the second finisher so the teams could drop two riders off if necessary.
I do not know how we did and it was not officially recorded, but it was definitely a fun event. I think my gearing was a bit too big for the fatigue I had in my legs. When I finally got back to my spot on the infield my quadriceps were twitching.
A couple of things about Team Sprints and Team Pursuits:
- It is much harder then it looks.
- It is a lot of fun racing with a team.
- When you are on the track and racing, you have absolutely no notion of what the other team is doing.
All in all a fun and educational evening.