It was a hazy, muggy, mid 80 degree evening for Fast Twitch Friday. I arrived in time for a better warm-up, and racing commenced. Match sprints were the flavor of the night, and this was only my second time of said event.
I was paired up with an older seasoned guy who was 1st up, and did a good job of hazing and messing with me, almost losing traction speed once, and I could see him considering going into a track stand at one point. No offensive moves were made by me, and I chilled out to let him jump. He ended up out-powering me by a bike length at the line.
The next round was a bizarre 4-up of the defeated sprinters from their respective rounds. I ended up taking 3rd. Too weird trying to eye people up and consider jumping when there are 3 other riders in your immediate vicinity.
My racing ended on that. This is still a new discipline to me, and though I have been diligent in training my body, I am still weak on technique and chops. I came away with valuable lessons learned. Time and experience can’t be substituted.
It was the opening week of track racing at Alpenrose Velodrome, and time to find out where our off-season training has landed us.
The last 2 weeks have been abnormally pleasant. High temps in the 70s and low 80s, sunny, and mood lifting.
Friday was flying 200 night, letting us test our sprints out with the track to ourselves. There was an exceptional headwind after turn 4, slowing everyone down. Regardless, I put down a personal record of 13.43 seconds, and placed 1st in the cat 4s, but know I could have done faster had I taken a better approach. Each rider was given 2 runs, getting to keep their best time. However, I was “forgotten” by the organizers and was never given my second. I have every intention of breaking into the 12s next time I have the chance.
Saturday was the “Hijinks Get Your Kinks Out” omnium. 3 races, which happened to be sprint oriented. Unfortunately I had to work and could only race one event before I had to leave.
During practice before the racing began, there were a few crashes. This is the dubious early season where racers don’t entirely have their track legs. With this in mind, I resolved to keep my guard up, stomp if I could, but not kill myself for one race.
The event was a six lap scratch race. I told my 2 buddies in team Cthulu to feel free in riding off my wheel if I had a good break on the last lap. Things didn’t pan out correctly, and I was boxed in until turn 3 of the final lap.
When the door opened, I began to switch on my sprint, went wide, and had a rider touch wheels from down track in the pack and come flying up toward me. I have no idea how he stayed up- but he did, and pinched me into the rail. At this split second I tensed up, loosened up, calculated his trajectory toward me and wondered where in the fence I was going to be forced. He corrected himself and I was spared the dreaded “first race of the season crash”. My heart skipped a beat, and that second of relent cost me. I sat up and looked into the faces of the terrified spectators as I crossed the line last.
The day was not ideal, but entirely successful in that I survived. More racing to come.
“Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere.”
After 8 months of collecting parts, I now have a full-time track bike. Every detail is completely dialed and provides dramatically more power/efficiency than I was used to.
Junius were one of the absolute first things Bethany and I ever talked about. Their music meant and still means a lot to us. Years before we met, we had both seen them on the same tour through the country.
They did not let us down. There were probably less than 30 people in the crowd, but they were happy to play their hearts out for us as we warmly received them.
2003 - Central Oregon / 2006 Wanaka, New Zealand
We that ride are self expressionists and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus we use and investigate with are spawned and evolved from a subculture of misfits and social outcasts (surf, skate, music, art). These pioneers felt the need to break away and blaze other trails. From suburban sprawls, subway halls, train yards, far islands, green rooms, cement jungles, and our own garages. Talented, idealists, artists, and athletes, for the love of inner solace that comes from these black arts. Exchanged by the progression of the self thru often times painful trial and error. Courage and Achievements set the bar for self/others to conquer and raise to the next, to push on and against — end on end, level over level. These bloody roots are fueled and pushed on by skinned knees, broken bones, and dreams. The drive within our hearts brought out of adolescent angst transforming and freeing us on to adults… giving us eyes to view and draw lines few venture or will ever see. This lifestyle binds friends and foe alike, with our own languages, spoken world wide. The process the journey emancipates and propitiate us in our rites of spring.
There are pursuits more worthy of such dissidence and unrest, but these are our own boundaries and fronts to explore and realize. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films all tools to prove our points and in turn now work against all that it originally stood for and against. We are a new demographic — a statistical chart hung on corporate walls — just a number, numbered and checked.
I propose a reversal… a new priority in favor of a more useful, lasting and democratic form of communication — a mind shift away from product marketing and toward the exploration of self and production of a new kind of meaning one that can’t be bought or sold. The scope of debate is bounding and grayed… most will scoff at I say out of fear of themselves, shrinking and conforming; we must expand and free. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part through the visual languages and resources of design and conquer, adapt and destroy, lets bring back that which it originally once stood for. The cultural decline of our sports is self mockery, and is now becoming a crock pot or marketing soup which cares only for the fisters who want to spoon your cash. I say move beyond this — push past, pick up and step back… look at our history and respect our founders’ intentions. The original attitude and drive would be spitting in the face of these fat cats. Let’s repair the foundation our forefathers made… adopt a DIY (do it yourself) attitude and know your own spirit’s reward. Bring on your own steez… follow your own dreams, or just assimilate and drive the global market bringing our Art form down with it. This is not some Punk movement, or an Anarchist’s soap box, or even a marketing ploy… I ask only to search within… draw your own lines and set your own place.
Freedom… Progression… Self Awareness… Unbreakable Spirit. Here or there — question everything everywhere, especially the inane ramblings this manifesto brings. If you find nothing here, find it elsewhere but never stop looking and never give up. This is about life.”