Alarm off at 6 A.M. Already? Sleep wasn’t too bad. Home about 10 last night for some dinner and an attempt to relax and calm down and then finally lights out about 11 after reading a bit. Downstairs to make a hardy breakfast to stay fueled for this mornings 2K. Track Building opens at 7:30 (half past 7 in the Queens English) so some prep work at home so as not to waste time at the track and be able to focus on warm up which goes from 8 to 8:50. There are some Sprint 200 qualifiers for one age group up first and then the 65-69 age group 2k. I put Linsey’s TT bars on the Dolan last night along with some warm up wheels and gear so I’m on the rollers about 10 to 8 and then out on the track about 5 after 8. There is a smaller group looking for warm up so I get on right away without waiting. Time to remember how to ride TT bars at the blue line with a lot of other riders trying out all kinds of things. A little shaky at first, it’s been over a year because my State Champ and Nats 2k efforts happened in sprint bars on this bike and the last time I rode a 2k with TT bars was last year at Indy for Nats. The bars fit surprisingly well without changing them at all, which is good.
The start lists are a little slow coming out but we are into the 200 rounds and then I see the officials searching out the TT group with our start list. I’m second heat, home straight again. As it turns out the first heat is one guy only, 21 total in our field. The rest are run as 2 ups, one home and one back straight. Same set up as the 500 TT and all other TT events here. The officials figure out who races who probably based on the best times we entered on our registration forms. My best so far has been 2:54 and change. Nats in Washington was 2:57 something. This is definitely not my goal race, sprints tomorrow would be the one, so I just want to do a PR and have a good race. I feel good so I don’t see how I can lose with that goal in mind. The French guy who won the Scratch race is looking to do a World Record in this event.
Linsey was generous enough to come with me to call splits, THANK YOU, Linsey. She was up late last night and has a 500 to do this evening. (She’s napping right now as I write this) We are sitting in the on deck chairs waiting for my turn. The official grabs the bike which I have set already with the right pedal forward just past the down tube where it works best for me as a start position. They nod for me to come up and Linsey goes to turn one to call the split times. Split times are really good to hear, especially for an amateur pursuiter like me. Before riding the event you can figure how fast each lap should be so so don’t go too fast and burn yourself out early or too slow and get behind what you think you can do. I’m no pro at this but have done a few and understand the concept and know about what I can ride. Aiming for quicker lap times this event because the track is smooth and of course, has no head, tail or cross winds to deal with. I’m right on my opening lap time, 24 seconds, a little fast for 2nd lap, 19.8, a little slow for 3rd lap, 20.8 and then relatively close the rest until the last two laps Linsey just yells, “It’s a 500, GOOOO” By lap 5 or 6 I saw that I was gaining on my back straight competitor so he is the carrot ahead of me. Not riding over my limit I just keep aiming for him and as we go through turn 3 I ride over the top and pass him at my finish, he has a lap to go. That was fun! Felt good, the second lap felt fast, extremely quiet with only the sound of rushing air past may helmet. The last 2 laps were gradually faster, or at least felt harder. I finish the effort and roll down and see a time of 2:48.574. GREAT, PR by almost 6 seconds and faster than my Redmond Washington time by 9 seconds.
Yes, the Frenchman got his World record, an amazing 2.29 something getting a chance to ride for Gold. The top 4 come back tonight. No I am not one of them. 16th out of 21. Not stellar but then not trained for it and still got a PR, it’s all good for me.
Soon, we will be back to help Linsey go for gold in her 500, more news soon