My first Velo Club La Grange race report!
I’m in Seattle for the weekend visiting my son and decided to participate in the first annual roller racing championships held at Hale’s Ales to kick of the Marymoor racing season!
I haven’t done any roller racing since the mid 70’s so it was with trepidation that I mentally prepared myself for the Saturday evening races held at the Micro Brewery in Seattle.
I knew that I was well prepared for the event having spent the last 5 weeks (since the La Grange 500m races at Encino) doing bi-weekly motor pacing sessions with Henry Shibata, but how would I fair against some of the best of the Northwest Trackies; many of them cat 1 racers?
I arrived early to check out the setup – 2 stationary roller bikes on the stage. Computerized tracking set up behind the bikes. Music blaring… beer and hot dogs flowing.
The rules were simple. First round all out sprint – 500 meters best times into the finals. No cycling shoes or cleats allowed. The attire varied from shorts, cutoffs, rolled up jeans, skin suits, and a sombrero.
10 pairs went off before my name was called including Tom Wick, cat 1 master’s racer. When it was my turn, I walked up on stage with my cargo shorts and t-shirt on. I was announced as the guy from California (formerly Seattle). As I walked up to my bike I stripped off my shorts and t-shirt to reveal my shiny new La Grange kit… completely psyching out my opponent. With no warm up I jumped on the bike and ripped off the fastest time of the night! 20.8 seconds! (Quinn eat your heart out!) All that motor pacing had paid off! I felt like I was 19 again.
This lead held up for another 1/2 an hour until 2 hotshot 20 year olds came up and broke 20 seconds. At least that kept me in first for the Masters.
Later that night the finals were held. Fueled by 2 pretzels and a diet coke (the beer would have to wait) I came up for the Masters finals… One more 500m to go. The race started and I spun out the gear and recorded an even faster time – 20.5 seconds – averaging over 54 MPH. Alas, I was nipped for first by a so-called master racer 14 years younger than me.
I’ll be arriving back in LA with a brand new Marymoor Velodrome water bottle and memories of a fun night!
State Masters here I come!