Thursday, October 4, 2007

Glory through suffering

Well I've been crazy busy lately, moving house, working and trying to train for the Scott 24hr, but as promised, I headed down to the velodrome for the first time in two years and it all came rushing back. The first few laps at speed and in a pace line were pretty tense, until I remembered how to ride a track bike on a velodrome and could finally relax my shoulders and get into the flow.

I only tried to stop pedalling once, which came as a shock, but everything else came back so naturally. The new wheels are awesome. I think I’ll leave the tyres a 160 PSI as apposed to 180 (at least until I figure out how grippy the cement is) as there are some nasty lumps in the track coming out of the last corner where I could feel the back of the bike bounce sideways at speed.

The interval/sprint work quickly reminded me of the intense pain this type of racing is all about. Short and sharp hit outs with no chance for recovery, your legs have to keep spinning even after you’ve expelled all the energy your body has to spare, something that takes a lot of getting used to. You can’t slow down too much on the corners either; otherwise you’ll find yourself sliding down the bank of the track.

Wow you get some speed up though! The bikes are super efficient and it feels like you could roll forever. In the pace line the wind in your face is surreal as you hit 50 or 60 km/h on an enclosed race track with no brakes and two or three others within 150mm of your front and rear wheels.

It’s all about speed, efficiency and courage; with a lot of pain in their for measure.