Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Track Racing Season is Almost Here!!!

Track season is almost here! And let me tell you, I cannot wait. This race season has been a roller coaster ride for me. My early days and late nights have been filling up with countless projects, commitments and jobs, ranging from leading after school bike programs, to art consulting, to late night Djing , to writing for small local publications, to personal coaching and training. I shouldn't be astonished that my time to race has somehow vanished. But, the beauty of Marymoor Track Racing is that it is every Friday evening when I have no plans except to race, race, race.

Every Friday afternoon I lead after school bike rides for the Major Taylor program at the Global Connections high school in Seatac. The rides end at 5pm, which gives me just enough time to throw my bike in the back of my pick-up and dive straight into the endless lines of traffic on I-405 all the way up to Marymoor, just in time for racing, which begins at 7pm sharp. If I am lucky I may get a bit of a warm-up.

My main incentive for training for the track these past few months has been solely to beat my best-friend, adversary, and co-worker, Adrian Hegyvary. If you have been following the local road racing scene, you well know that Adrian has been destroying the competition.

On the track him and I are always neck and neck--literally, because we are practically the same height, and figuratively, because we both beat each other on a consistent basis (thus making us perfect Madison partners). Though, I must say, there is no way I am ever going to let him beat me in a pursuit.

This season he definitely has an advantage over me. Every good track racer knows he or she must have a spring big road road season to have a good track season. Well, unfortunately I have not raced much this spring due to my interest in other non-cycling related projects, whereas Adrian has decided--despite the monstrous time commitment of being a full time law school student--to keep on pursuing professional cycling.

Yet, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. Being in shape is an integral and necessary part of my existence. I have been doing a lot of secret solo ninja training camps consisting of bi-monthly half-marathons, stair running, fixie hill sprints, and CycleU InCycle classes. Let's see if this is enough to be on par with Hegyvary...

The beauty of track racing is its controlled environment and simplicity. As a racer you only have to worry about tactics and fitness. The track is always the same; there are never any high-speed descents or sketchy corners, the pavement is predictable, and you never have to worry about racing in wet weather.

The reason why I personally enjoy track racing more than any other cycling discipline is because I find it to be the most cerebral. Because it is such a controlled environment I only have to worry about complex tactics and going hard. Because of this I can get into my brain more and hit those higher levels of consciousness (aka, the athletic zone, aka, tunnel vision). In Criteriums and road racing I cannot establish such high levels of focus since I am always worrying about crashing in a sharp turn or getting a flat because of some massive hidden pothole lurking in front of me.

As a spectator track racing is great to watch. The race unfolds before your eyes, you can see the whole spectacle happen right there, and you have the option of drinking cool beer in the warm fading sun. Though, do be warned, bring a jacket, because its gets mighty cold when the sun blinks goodnight below the horizon.

I will be there every Friday that I am in town. I hope you are there as well supporting your local racers. Come watch the fixed gear madness ensue!!!