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Woman racing on a velodrome

Racing Bikes and overcoming fears at Lucarelli & Castaldi Six Days of Kissena

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I’m going to start this report off by telling you two things.  First before Sunday I hadn’t ridden my track bike since last summer and second I didn’t really want to race my bike.  Seems like a pretty winning combination right……… yeah not so much.  But thanks to some pressure from one of my best friends (thanks Erin) and the incredibly nice FREE registration for women sponsored by Redbeard bikes in Brooklyn, I registered to race.

So Sunday rolls around and I hop in the car with ALL of my equipment for the over 2 hr drive up to the Kissena velodrome up in Flushing, Queens.    Only to remember a few minutes later that I forgot my wallet at home, the day was getting off to a rocky start.  So I go home, collect my wallet and away we go.

On to the important stuff bike racin!

photo by: Chris Lee

Check out all of these female racers! Photo by: Chris Lee

The schedule consisted of:

20 Lap Points Race – sprint every 3 laps

In my pre race creeping I noticed that most of the women registered were sprinters (including a junior super stud), I am not a sprinter.  My skill basically lies in that I can tire everybody else out, and go hard for an extended period of time (that’s what she said?).  So I hatched a plan BREAK UP THE FIELD, if I can get away with someone else we can grind everybody else down, and I don’t have to try to out sprint sprinters.  Yep, this failed I kept attacking and no one wanted to work with me (WAHHH).  So I kept getting out sprinted on the points laps and then throwing out attacks.  Mildly frustrated this is when I decided that today was going to be best served as a training day.

Devils Scratch – elimination race down to 4 riders and then a scratch race.

                True story, for some reason I just haven’t been able to figure out how to race an elimination race yet.  For the non trackies out there a elimination is when on each lap the last person to cross the line is OUT.  So after some stupid positioning I was out 2nd, GRRR.  In an attempt to make sure I could get some more racing in this is when I decided that I would also jump into the men’s 1/2/3 races.  On to the men’s race, first note they started out much faster but that actually suits me.  Still eliminated 2nd but I actually did a much better job in this race than the women’s.

10 lap scratch race – first to the finish wins

After the points race I knew what was going to happen.  It was going to be a wait and sprint for the win, and no one was going to work with me to establish a break.  So I decided to just hang out, nothing special happened and the junior stud Julia sprinted to the win.  On to the men’s race, first of all I should have put a bigger gear on my bike but I didn’t so whatever.  Which was fine until there was some accelerations in the race, and I got gapped.  With the wind picking up and not enough gear I couldn’t  close the gap, so I just soloed it in.  Excellent training, not excellent racing on my part.

10 lap snowball – first 9 laps first person across the line gets 1 point, last lap riders get points 10 down to 1.

So by this time of the day I was actually feeling a little defeated, I hadn’t been placing in races I should have and I was kind of ready to go home.  But I placed those thoughts in the back of my mind and got ready to race.   This race was gonna go my way, I knew that once the pace ramped up the field was gonna break apart.  After a few laps of every fighting for laps, Junior Stud Julia took control.  I probably waited about a second too long but I went after her.  Shed everybody behind us and I was working to close the gap that had formed.  While the gap kept on getting smaller I ran out of time to close it.  But I held on for a really strong second place.  Finishing the day on a high note and making all of those sprinters hurt, it was fun.  Kissena


I ramble, sorry, but if you are still here let’s talk about some takeaways.  I did 6 races rather than the 4 most of the other women did and my strongest event was the final one.  I feel like that is indicative of my strength, even though I still have work to do before my season starts for real.

The women’s turnout was huge at Ladies Day, which was great.  More women having fun on track is ALWAYS a good thing.  And kudos to Redbeard Bikes for paying all of the women’s entry fees, they made this possible.

Finally I am glad to be back racing bikes.  I am not going to lie I was incredibly apprehensive about racing since the last time I raced I crashed in quite a spectacular fashion.  This helped my overcome some of my fears and remember why I love racing bikes

One thought on “Racing Bikes and overcoming fears at Lucarelli & Castaldi Six Days of Kissena

  1. Pingback: Smiles for Miles at the Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo | Team Laser Cats

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