Monday, March 09, 2009

Kissena Track Attack - push it real good

Yesterday a few of us from the crew went out to the track for a day of informal warm up exercises. On the menu was pace line practice, flying 200s, match sprints, a miss and out, then team pursuit.

Kissena Velodrome is an asphalt 400m track in a public park, so that means anyone can go there at any time to ride. In fact, the wifey once called me late at night, wind blowing into her phone and said "Guess where I'm riding!"

When we arrived there was a local who was 75 miles into an 80 mile ride on his road bike. Yes, 80 miles on the track. He knew it was a time waster, but said he just felt like getting on the bike and zoning out without going too far from home.

The temperature was a nice 14°C, and even though the forecast called for a 30% chance of rain, the sky was blue at times. Everyone got their bikes tuned as they arrived, swapping risers for drops, and shredded rando tires for high pressure slicks. Jody, the fellow who was organizing the event, made sure everyone was running in tip top shape. Feeling the responsibility of holding an unsanctioned training day, he didn't want any liabilities. His rules were simple:

TRACK WHIPS ONLY w drops/no hand brakes/HELMET and i ask that it be in EXCELLENT mechanical condition. no threads showing from skip stopping and your bars r plugged! if not, u denied.

* This IS a public park and i have no permits so keep that in mind.

Here's Jody setting up his crazy Icarus:

(this and other photos by Tito on flickr)

I love this bike for many reasons. One being that the builder shares a workspace and tubing with Marty of Geekhouse in Boston, MA. Another being that it has a wheelbase and handling characteristics similar to my Cunningham. Thirdly because I have ridden it, since Jody runs SPD pedals. Also, Jody is a monster and rides the hell out of it.

After our warm up pace line exercises, I was feeling pretty good. My Flying 200 times would lead you to believe otherwise though.. I think the fastest time I laid down was 14.69s. Its not great, but this was my first time trying 200s on a 400m track, and starting the sprint was a headwind until halfway through the corner. I'm also still getting used to sprinting in the drops on my Spicer. Still, not the slowest time of the day. The wind made me glad I was running a 53/17 gear.. as any higher and I would have suffered along the back stretch more.

In the match sprints I was paired up with a guy named Rodrigo on a Pista Concept. This guy is quick and small. I had to follow him, and had a really hard time drafting him after the bell rang. My attack felt futile at the end, because it didn't seem to make a difference when I pulled out beside him.

I did alright in our Miss and Out race though. I stayed in it till the end with Jody and Rodrigo, but got taken out by Rodrigo at the line.

The team pursuit exercise was pretty fun too, though we were all showing our fatigue. No one really wanted to pull on the back stretch into the headwind, and you could feel the pack slowing when we were back there.

Over all, it was a great day out in the sun with lols all around. After milling about admiring each others bikes and swapping back to street gearing, most of the crew were riding back to Williamsburg to get tacos before heading to the Time's Up shop warming BBQ. I opted to ride my track gear back through Queens to the 7 Train, which took me back to the heart of my little island.

Sidenote: Track drops and gearing in Times Square is fucking crazy. I headed for Central park thinking it would be better, but since it was the first sunny sunday of the spring, it was just as bad as the street.

Later that eve, wifey and I rode back down south to hit the BBQ (this time on my street gear, my legs were cooked). Here's a little vid to show you how they party down there:

Push it real good!


Deltaentropy said...

There are two fundamental strategies in sprinting:

When leading out,
"The Razor"
Jump, but not actually hard enough that you get a gap. Continue increasing speed to the line. This foils the slingshot.

When in 2nd position,
"The Slingshot"
Give 2 bike lengths when your opponent makes his initial jump. Accelerate though that dead air so that by the time you're coming around, you're actually going faster than they are.

What you did:
"The drag race"
When you try and come around from right on the guy's wheel.

((lyledriver)) said...

Thx Adam.
I would have liked to slingshot, but in this case there was very little dead air to be found, even on his wheel. Dude was super aero.
Either way, it felt good to get out on 'the boards'.

morgman said...

Sounds like being behind Skylar. Impossible to draft!

((lyledriver)) said...

Wait, it Skylar impossible to draft because of his profile? (he's got a decent set of shoulders on him).. or just because he's so erratic?