Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

Another big week on the anticipation front. Behind the scenes, boardroom bureaucrats have been trying their best to hammer out a race calendar for 2009. I'm sure it's not easy. But we are thankful someone is willing to do it. The calendar is not final yet, but it's starting to take shape. Once it's done, Team FGBC will meet to determine their big goals for the season. Before we get there, however, let's take a moment to ponder something far more exciting, namely . . .

1) The Spring Ride

Just over 130 days away, it's time to launch the 2009 Spring Ride advertising campaign. Expect more of the same good times you have come to love. New for this year is an opportunity to explore some new terrain. And no doubt Johnny S will talk about looking for that mysterious other section as well. Maybe he will actually help look for it this year.

The Back 40 is on June 7, so no clonflict there. But the aforementioned tentative schedule has races at Falcon Lake on both Saturday and Sunday. This is less than ideal. The Sunday race is one of the joint races with the Kids of Mud. That likely means a rather different end to the weekend for some of us. I'm sure we can deal with it.

We can expect a report from the accomodations director in the next little while.

2) Operacion MUERTO

It was announced this week that there will be no Red Ass this year after all. Reach the Beach, however, will be back. And then they will be held in alternating years. Don't despair, lovers of long distances. It looks like there are plenty of long rides in the offing this year. Operacion MUERTO will consist of the best of those, plus a few more. Based on the current schedule, here's how things might look:

June 7 – Back 40
July 5 – Reach the Beach
July 19 – White(s)hell Enduro
Aug. 30 – Alter Ego Marathon Race
Sept 27 – Birch Fall Classic
Oct ?? – Tinker Cross

3) Spring Training Camp

The North Carolina chapter is hosting a spring training camp during the week of March 2-6. We will ride in both the Asheville/Pisgah area and sample the best the Triangle has to offer. We will no doubt sample some fine craft brewing as well. Halberto has already signed up.

4) Canuck Cross

The schedule says Saturday, Jan. 17. That's two days from now. It would be nice to have that confirmed by the race organizer. A poster is always appreciated as well.

5) Roller Derby

City Park Runners and Woodcock Cycleworks


Roller Derby 2009


When : Saturday, January 25. 6:30 P.M – we're done.

Where : Woodcock Cycleworks, 433 St Mary's Road

A free, fun, roller racing evening. You don't have to know how to ride rollers as these bikes are fixed for your balancing pleasure ! Come on out, bring some friends, and have some fun. Google search 'roller racing' to give you an idea of what this is all about.

We will have two events,

1) 500 meter sprint ( bikes are provided, fixed gear )

2) 1000 meter Freestyle ( use your own bike, max gear 53 X 11 )

No admission fee. Please bring a non-perishable food item (for Winnipeg Harvest) and a used pair of running shoes (for an inner city school) and you're good to go.

6) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

The grass track czar would like you to spend the week thinking about the event known as the pursuit:
Pursuit is a track cycling event where two cyclists (in the case of individual pursuit) or two teams of four cyclists (in the case of team pursuit) begin the race from a stationary position on opposite sides of the track. The event is held over distances ranging from 2km to 5km, with 4km being the standard for elite men. Riders start at the same time and set off to compete the race distance in the fastest time. They will ride on the pursuit line (black line) at the bottom of the track to find the fastest line. Note in the photos below that sandbags (now often weighted foam blocks instead of actual sand bags) are placed on the apron a the bottom of the track (or "cote d'zur" as its called, and it is always painted azure) in order to ensure riders do not cut distance off by riding lower on the track. I'll explain about the other 2 lines (sprint line and stayer's line) on the track some other week.

Pursuit makes for a good spectacle as the two riders/teams are pursuing each other to order to attempt to catch the other rider starting on the other side of the track. If the catch is achieved then the successful pursuer is declared the winner, however they can continue for the rest of the race distance in order to set the fastest time in a qualifying race or a record in final. In the team version of pursuit, the lead rider usually changes off every lap or lap-and-a-half by swinging sharply up the banking and tucking back behind the third rider (think of an echelon on the road). Because the riders in team pursuit ride very, very close together (wheels inches apart) for maximum drafting effect, and because they are riding this close in full aero tuck at maximum power, it's not uncommon for team to crash. It ain't pretty.

One final thing . . . when the teams in team pursuit start, they will have their order in figured out ahead of time (e.g. who will lead the first lap). Many teams will have the riders shout "ON!" when they have made contact with the line (usually in the first 10-20 pedal strokes). Nothing looks worse than the first 2 riders getting away to a fast start but dropping the other 2 guys . . . .

Some photos of pursuits (individual and team). The last one shows a change off. Again, use your imagination to supply the grass.

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