NZ Masters games: 2 more medals!

IMG_9303Day 2 of the track competitions here in Dunedin and looking at this photo of my warm up bike, you would struggle to believe that it was hammering it down earlier today! 

Today’s races were the 500m Time Trial and the 2000m Individual pursuit. Except, it wasn’t a pursuit because they were setting them off one at a time. the problem with this was that today was really quite cold, and very windy, and there was a LONG time to sit around and wait when they were going one at a time!

That was today’s biggest challenge, well that and the flat that I discovered just 45 minutes before I was due at the track! I have no idea what happened, it was flat when we took them from the cellar to load them into the car. PANIC STATIONS!! I haven’t ever set a wheel in a fixie before. The flat was fine, except I didn’t bring an 80mm valved tube with me. With a valve extender we managed to get it up to 110PSi (I usually ride 116) but apparently slightly lower is better for a concrete track, I discovered later on. My friend and I worked on it as fast as we could, and I was reciting what Mr Pendleton had told me yesterday when he switched my gear around. Several attempts later we ALMOST gave up, one more go and it looked ok – ISH. I decided that I would still ask someone when I got there to check it for me, I didn’t trust myself!

When I arrived I couldn’t find anyone I knew so I chose a guy who was talking to two Cycling Otago women who were on turbos. After deliberating on how much he might charge for helping the opposition (and me pointing out that I wasn’t in either of their age groups!) he agreed to help. It turns out my friend and I actually did it right!

Race 1: 500m TT

I was first up in the age group, being youngest. Being rubbish at starts, and still coughing my guts up, this was all a learning experience. Today I was doubling my track racing experience, having only ever raced once before, on an indoor wooden velodrome. It was cold, and windy. Neither of those things were going to make for a good time, plus this is a slow track, by the nature of what it is made of. I also don’t have TT bars for the track bike, but I did wear the ex triathlon aero helmet – I need all the help I can get!  I gave it my all, that’s all you can do. Rachel beat me, by 5 seconds to take gold, I took silver. 😀 I think I need to save up for aero bars, I know for a fact that it matters, I have experienced the difference while training with triathlon friends. 

Race 2: 2000m IP

This wasn’t actually a pursuit, everyone was set off one at a time due to lack of marshalls. Its a shame because there were enough cyclists about to get a proper IP underway had they asked us for help. Never mind.

I tried my best to do what I had been previously told, hammer the first lap, coast the second, then wind it up. Without lap calls I struggled to pace myself. I would be interested to know what the lap times were, as the lap calls I used to get in Invercargill at the Southland champs were a really big help. With a strong headwind going into the home straight, it was a very different experience than I imagined. Still, I did it, its all something new that I have learned (if you ride on a concrete velodrome be prepared to work your butt off even more than usual!) It hurt like hell, specially with this cold and cough, I wasn’t expecting miracles, and I did expect it to nearly kill me! Anyhow, Rachel took her third gold on the track in the IP beating me by a decent margin. NB she had a disc wheel and TT handle bars too, which on this type of track with me worth some serious seconds in gain.

3 x silver medallist!

So, three races, three silver medals. Can’t complain, and can’t say I expected it either!!

Thanks Mum, for believing that I could do it.

Now I need to keep practising, keep racing, keep gaining experience, and keep learning.

2 years from now, Gold medal? 😉

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