Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

10/7/2006

A day at the races

Filed under: — stan @ 8:38 pm

Today, Lucinda and I went down to Carson to the new velodrome to see the bicycle races. It was the last day of the Elite National Championships. I had heard about this because Gilby of Ugly Bike fame had qualified and was going to be there. I had taken Lucinda to see a bicycle race once before, and she had liked it. So I thought she might enjoy this event.

We got there just after noon. The first race was in progress. We watched two heats of the women’s scratch race, followed by the men’s and women’s team sprint, the keirin, and the big Madison. The races were all fun to watch. I used to race track a bit in the Old Days, but I felt especially old in that the keirin and team sprint are events that didn’t even exist when I was racing.

We got to see Gilby race twice in the keirin. The second photo is a bit blurry, but it shows her ‘race face’. As an aside, it was hard to get good pictures there. Being indoors, there wasn’t really enough light to get good action photos.

After her races were over, Gilby came up into stands and we got to visit for a bit. That was nice, even if Masi Guy never showed up.

The last two races were the Madison and the final of the women’s scratch race. The Madison is always a fun event to watch, even if it’s not always clear what’s going on. Just watching the riders doing their exchanges is always a show. I noticed that they were all doing hand throws. Back when I raced, almost nobody did that. It was considered an ‘exotic’ technique in those days.

The last race was the women’s scratch race final, and it was a good race. There were several breakaways that almost were able stay away. And the woman who won led out the sprint. Normally, the person who leads out the sprint gets passed at the end, but she was so strong that she held them all off. It was impressive.

Overall, it was a fun day.

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