Race number six was yesterday and it was a cold, snowy and wet one! It was at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blane which is a very neat place. In the warmer months you ride on the wooden planks on special track bikes but for this race we only rode on the infield. (Photo hat-tip to Frye).
I also got lost getting there and arrived with just enough time to register, get my bike together, change, and get to the line before the race started. So with zero warm up, and feeling slightly panicked, we were off!
...and the race went about as well as my arrival, with me crashing on lap two hard on the entrance to the Velodrome. I came in to the turn too fast trying to maneuver around a pack of three other people and lost both my wheels. It felt like someone had pulled a rug out from underneath me. And it was on astro-turf so it could have been! No great damage to anything, just a bruised hip and shoulder (and my leg warmer fell down making me feel a little 80s), but I had to get back into the race mentally again after that.
The rest of the course also didn't play well to my strengths, with lots of technical slippery turns and no hills to speak of. And it was cold! I should have had heavier gloves, because I couldn't feel my hands a bit which made shifting and braking an act of faith.
Overall I finished a fairly dismal 47th out of 58 racers, or the 81st percentile. But, while that is my worst finish of the year, I think the makeup of the racers was such that those who normally finish in the top half raced, and those who normally finish in the bottom half stayed home due to weather. I peg myself to a few other riders who finish around me, and they were all about 20% down from last week too.
Now there is just one race left - next Saturday, the "state championship" at Bassett Creek Park in Crystal, MN. The results from the "state championship" don't award any points, so the name has more to do with the fact that it is the last race of the year. Should be a good course for me too from the sounds of it.