Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Training/First Track Day

Winter training-- It means trying to become good friends with two implements of tourture well known to all track riders:

#1 The Rack


#2 The Rollers

I've not been doing too badly, posting my own small P.B.'s in the squat, deadlift and overhead press. And while it would be a stretch to ever call the gym "fun", it is gratifying in it's own way as progress is so easily demonstrated-- 'Before, I couldn't lift this, now I can'. Progress on the bike is a lot more complicated sometimes, and while on the track we do deal with numbers, 200 and 1km times, etc., sometimes it's a lot fuzzier. "Well, I didn't win, but I FELT pretty good...". None of that in the gym. Either you can lift this or you can't. That's kinda nice in a weird way.

The rollers- well, I've been pretty lazy with them. Sometimes religiously riding them, sometimes religiously avoiding them. I'm on them again recently, and it feels good. There's nothing like rollers for smoothing out your pedal stroke, that's a fact. And the off-season is the time to work these skills. Ok, I'm writing myself a little motivational note... .

And few things are more motivational to the gear-obsessed bike rider than NEW GEAR, and I'm no exception to this description. Not a lot of disposable cash these days as a new father, but a couple shiny things recently came my way:

Pretty, pretty Dura Ace NJS headset. Hey, the old one was notchy, so it was time.

Light, stiff and ultra cool Easton EC90 track bars! Ok, these might seem pretty extravagant, but I paid for these well over a year ago-- team discount deal back in Japan through Shonan Airinkai. Yes, they took a year to show up, but they were worth it. After the steel Nitto's the bike seems ten pounds lighter.

A couple of weeks ago the weather was nice enough, there was enough money in the bank for the rental car, and everything just came together so we headed down for the first Sunday training session of the year at Hellyer.

This was Henry's first extra-uterine visit to a velodrome. He seemed to like it just fine.

I worked on some over-geared (48X13) rolling 500's with new MRBerkeley/White Oak team captain, Mark Altamirano. It felt surprisingly good! I thought that 100 inch gear would feel like towing a boulder, but it felt alright, and I never once came close to puking. Yeah!

Afterwards Tomo and I took our traditional rewards at In & Out, of course.

Henry hard at work training for his future as a millionaire keirin professional.

Obviously a natural.