Wow! Something new! This post is long overdue. While I’m sure many people were believing I rode off a cliff on my bike playing Pokemon Go (is that still a thing?), I’ve had a very busy five months actively competing, training, and brainstorming new material.
A lot has been happened since my last blog post, so I’m finally going to starting recapping my experiences all these months. Let’s start with the velodrome.
6 Days of Kissena & The Twilight Series
If I had the legs of Chris Hoy, I’d tell you right away that competing at the track has been a breeze. Well, I don’t...and it hasn’t been. My inaugural season at the track is best described in one word: FUN. It’s safe to say 6 Days of Kissena brought out some serious competition in all categories and Cat 5 was no exception. Many talented messengers and riders from the NYC Alley Cat scene were also making their debut and having a crack at velodrome glory. Of course - not to mention teams, such as Redbeard, King Kog, Crankshift, Pink Rhino, Formula Femme, and Nomad (just to name a few). It was a tough group of riders the whole six days. That said, I may have picked a hard time to get into track racing.
After completing 6 Days and two race days into the Twilight Series, I decided to “cat-up.” I won't lie to you. A part of me was hesitant to do it knowing the competition wasn't going to get any easier, but it was ultimately the best decision to make if I wanted safer riding and improve overall. [Enter inspiring quote here]
For any newcomer getting into track next season, DO NOT get discouraged if you don’t place or get podium. This is coming from a racer who probably gets DFL in almost all of his track races.
Winning isn’t even all that important.
The real reward here is the opportunity to race and monitoring your progress after every omnium. I’m a beginner at the velodrome. It has been hard and at times left me feeling defeated, especially with no winning results. The key to continue pedaling forward and overcoming your ego is acceptance. You make a plan and train harder. There is no easy mode in racing, but you must realize the many others gains of this sport.
Track racing has opened a whole new outlet to cycling for me, as well as my DCS teammates. It has provided us with more structure and routine in our own personal lives. We all gave up some bad habits for something ultimately good - our love of cycling. It’s safe to say, we are probably in the best cycling shape we’ve ever been. With the support and amiability of the people at the velo, life at the track has been a beautiful experience. Competing with and against a group of people who are so passionate about cycling week-in and week-out is great energy to be around. It would be almost impossible to not come away with at least one new friend at the end of the season. You race together. You suffer together. Comradery at its finest.
Life at the track is special and worth experiencing.
The 2016 track season is over. I feel proud to have done it. My main goal was met, which was to mature as a rider. There were certainly the other ones, but as the saying goes "There is always next year."
Let the off-season commence!
Next week's post - "Red Hook Crit: You Never Forget Your First"