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  1. #1
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    What a Week of Racing...US Nationals

    I started track racing in 2008 when the Masters Track Nationals was at the Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose, CA. The first track race was the 500 meter time trial in the US Nationals and I managed to beat one guy with a pathetic 48 second time. Last year, I did not participate. This year, most of my training has been focused on Masters Track Nationals and Track Worlds at the end of October in Portugal. Last week, my wife and I packed up our bikes, wheels, clothes, electronics and other paraphenilia and flew to Frisco, TX to compete in the US Masters Track Nationals for a week against the best in the country.

    Masters racing begins at age 30 and is divided by age group 30 –34, 35 – 39 and etc up to 70+. My wife and I competed in the 60 – 64 age group. We were joined by two other racers in our club in that age group as well as a 40 to 44 a couple of 65 to 69 and a 70+. In addition there were several racers from our Hellyer velodrome from other clubs. So besides participating in some fabulous racing, we got to hang out with our friends and meet new people from across the country.

    One can compete in many different events depending on age, gender and race category including the Individual 2K pursuit (ages 50+), Individual 3K pursuit (30 to 49), 1000 meter TT <50, 500 meter TT 50+, Flying 200 meters, Match Sprints, Points Races, Team Sprint, Team Pursuit and the Madison.

    One can enter as many races as you want and there is a best all around rider per age group awarded based on points but not including the team events. Two of our club racers won best all around for the 60 – 64 and 65 – 69 and our team won three national championships.

    Besides racing, I watched a lot of races and cheered on my friends. The most exciting races to watch are the points races where a group races head to head and sprints every 10 laps for points. The racer with the most points wins. These are similar to criterium races but much faster with more action. If you lap the field you are awarded 20 points.

    The Frisco TX track is called the Superdrome. It is a 250 meter wooden track with 44 degree banking on the turns. The track is built on a steel superstructure with sheets of plywood laid over the steel to form the surface. The surface is painted with a "gritty" paint to provide some traction. It is equipped with an excellent lighting system similar to major stadiums. Compared to the Los Angeles Velodrome, the track is not as high (wide) or fast and, IMO, about the same speed as Hellyer. The track surface of LA is made of Siberian pine planks laid on the end creating a very fast solid, slippery surface. Even though the Superdrome had a gritty surface, many racers slid down the track and crashed mostly from going too slow and having their pedal strike the 44 degree banking. I took the accelerated class at LA and raced at LA so I did not have a problem at the Superdrome and really enjoyed riding and racing on the track.

    Results:

    2K pursuit 60 – 64
    Time 2:49.1
    8 of 15

    Although, I did not crash on the track, I managed to crash off the rollers about 5 minutes before my race and land on the cement. It was a perfect 4 point landing on my knee, wrist, elbow and hip. Since the landing was masterful, the damage was minimal. My coach’s wife came to my rescue and bandaged my arm and hand. She did a great job but it looked more like there was a shark attack in the warm up area versus a fall. Not really an excuse but I am sure it had some impact on my race – good or bad.

    I was up against the second fastest racer in the event who lost to my teammate by .065 seconds. He had to pass me on the lap which probably cost him the championship. I got a good start but was about .5 second per lap short of plan on the first 4 laps. I floated the second lap and did a negative split on the race. My fastest lap, by over a second, was my final lap. According to my coach, I am technically perfect but need a more power and less crashing.

    500 meter TT 60 – 64
    Time 40.92,
    6 of 15

    I got a good start and rode a good race. I missed the podium by .11 seconds.

    3K 60+ team pursuit
    Time 4:09.67
    2nd of 3

    The main competition was Vics Expresso. After seeing the results of the 2K pursuit, their team had better times than we did. I did not focus on that fact but tried to motivate our team to work to our strengths and work as a team. We decided to have our strongest rider do two lap pulls with each of us taking one lap pulls. Each racer had the option to do less rather than slow the pace of blow up.

    I felt really good going into this event. I really liked the 44 degree banking upon which to make the exchanges. I felt great during the race even though it was hard and could have gone faster. When my turn came to pull, I maintained pace and tried to lift the pace a little on the second half of my lap. The key in team pursuit is to work as a team and not surge or make it difficult for others. We dropped our 4th on the final lap and the 3 of us finished strong and together.

    The winning time was 4:00.6. The Vics guys dropped their slower guy early and three of them rode most of the race. They set a new national record for the event. Congrats to the Vics Expresso for a great race and record.

    The state and national events are a lot of fun and I wish there were more track events similar to these throughout the racing season. I have one more major track event left for this year which is Masters Track Worlds in Portugal. I plan on racing at LA velodrom one more time before then and hope to have a great time in Portugal but no more trainer crashes!

    Here are some pics...

    The calm before the storm...we arrived on Monday which was two days before racing started to practice and get a feel for the track. Here is what it was like before the gang showed up.









    The hardware





    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  2. #2
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Pursuit

    My wife waiting to start her 2K pursuit.



    My wife on the track



    Wife as new national champion along with another national champion racer with our coach in the middle – to the victor goes the spoils!



    My start in the 2K pursuit. Not exactly text book but my starting lap time was on target.



    Me on the track



    My coach doing his 3k pursuit... He is 49 years old. Note the lack of any room for an aerobelly in his position. He got the same placing as I did 8 out of XX.



    My wife on the podium.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  3. #3
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Points races





    Match sprints





    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  4. #4
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Team events

    Team pursuit featuring my coach and strongman Larry Nolan. Larry is 52. After winning the points race and participating in several other races, he flew to San Francisco and won the elite P/1/2 Giro San Francisco criterium against a field of 70+ riders who are the best in the bay area. Who says old guys cannot beat the kids.





    Here is my silver medal team pursuit.



    Here we are dropping our 4th on the final lap.



    On the podium...

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  5. #5
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Misc.

    My good friend, two time national champion pursuit and points, under an umbrella. Is this okay? He and I are going to Portugal together to compete against the Europeans and the rest.



    Women team pursuit winners lead by my coaches wife.



    Our gang...



    My wife relaxing after her 500 meter TT



    The best overall riders

    Last edited by Hermes; 09-07-10 at 09:13 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  6. #6
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Congratulations to both of you and best of luck in Portugal!

    No pictures of you and the bandages? Glad to hear the injuries were minor.
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  7. #7
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
    Congratulations to both of you and best of luck in Portugal!

    No pictures of you and the bandages? Glad to hear the injuries were minor.
    It is never good to fall on concrete but it was minor. Here is a pic of me with my left arm bandaged.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  8. #8
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I am amazed and proud.

    Great pictures and write-up.

    Thanks for sharing and good lcuk.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Wow!!! Great results for the both of you. All the hard work done on bad days does pay off. Best of luck at the World's. Did you have any PR's in your events?
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  10. #10
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Congratulations - I"m always impressed by your racing exploits, even more so w/this post.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Congratulations - I"m always impressed by your racing exploits, even more so w/this post.
    +1

  12. #12
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Way to go, Hermes and Velodiva, nicely done! Thanks for sharing the pics and best of luck in Portugal. One of you guys needs to add some rainbow stripes on that kit.

  13. #13
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    Hermes, congrats to you and Velodiva on a really fine effort. A+ on the report!

  14. #14
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    You people scare me sometimes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Congratulations to all of you. Rich, doe's that buddy of yours do a lot of weight training ? By the looks of his legs, he looks like he should be pretty strong, but I wonder about the speed. I read more than once, that big legs would slow you down somewhat. I guess he must be pretty fast though, or he wouldn't be there. Anyhow great report and pictures as well.
    George

  16. #16
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Congratulations to both of you. Although I don't race and have no aspirations to do so, I always enjoy reading about your exploits and view your photos. I am looking forward to your journey to Portugal. Best of luck to you.
    SloSpoke Jim

  17. #17
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Good job Hermes. That 500-meter time is really good, shows you've got some speed happening. Especially on what appears to be a slow track - 4 minutes for a 4-up 3000m team pursuit was the winning time?

    Dale Hughes is a great guy, but his tracks are a little strange. When I rode the 200-meter track at Bloomer Park (Detroit), I noticed that the backstretch was not perfectly straight, and that the banking didn't put you in the right position on the pole line. Did you notice this at Frisco? Or did they redesign the track? They are wonderful tracks for riding madisons on, though!

    I'm sure you'll find the track in Portugal much faster and better-engineered. On a good track, you will get pushed through the banking and only have to push in the straights. Much easier to stay glued to the banking. Also, the secret to riding a mass start or team pursuit on a steep track is to vary where you swing up (getting off the front), focusing more on setting it up so that you get back on the end of the string as you come out of the turn. In other words, the main concern is where you get back on, not where you swing off. So in a team pursuit doing 50 kmh, you swing up in the middle of the banking, and immeiately dive down coming out of the banking (the steepest part), whereas in a mass start with 20 riders in a pace line, you'll probably swing off in the middle of the straight, wait for everybody to pass underneath, and by then you'll be at the exit of the banking and ready to dive back to the end of the string. The worst thing is to ride straight up the banking at the end of the straight (possibly taking the guy behind you with you), then having to wait while the string passes underneath, then try to get back on at the entrance to the next turn, when the pack is riding AWAY from you! This takes way more effort and is something a roadie would probably do! But your coach likely already told you this!

    Good luck in Portugal; you are our home team!

    Luis

  18. #18
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Wow!!! Great results for the both of you. All the hard work done on bad days does pay off. Best of luck at the World's. Did you have any PR's in your events?
    Most of the conditions were windy and the track speed was similar to our concrete track with more turns per Km. All of us had similar or slower times to our PRs but I will up my HTFU meter to 55%.

    Quote Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
    Way to go, Hermes and Velodiva, nicely done! Thanks for sharing the pics and best of luck in Portugal. One of you guys needs to add some rainbow stripes on that kit.
    My 60 to 64 field is going to be big i.e. 20+ and there will be some 2:30 2K pursuiters. In my wife's field there is one other Finnish women who won the Euro championships at Manchester, England who is equal to or faster than my wife. It is going to be glorious win or lose.

    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Congratulations to all of you. Rich, doe's that buddy of yours do a lot of weight training ? By the looks of his legs, he looks like he should be pretty strong, but I wonder about the speed. I read more than once, that big legs would slow you down somewhat. I guess he must be pretty fast though, or he wouldn't be there. Anyhow great report and pictures as well.
    No. He is a former marathon runner turned cyclist. He does no weight training. He is a 29 mph guy and can do it for quite some time. His sprint is okay but not great. In the points race, he lapped the field to win gold.

    He has taken 4 months off from his cardiology practice to train for Worlds. So he and I are definitely serious but one never knows who will show up.

    Now this guys has big legs, a true track sprinter and a great guy.



    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    Good job Hermes. That 500-meter time is really good, shows you've got some speed happening. Especially on what appears to be a slow track - 4 minutes for a 4-up 3000m team pursuit was the winning time?

    Dale Hughes is a great guy, but his tracks are a little strange. When I rode the 200-meter track at Bloomer Park (Detroit), I noticed that the backstretch was not perfectly straight, and that the banking didn't put you in the right position on the pole line. Did you notice this at Frisco? Or did they redesign the track? They are wonderful tracks for riding madisons on, though!

    I'm sure you'll find the track in Portugal much faster and better-engineered. On a good track, you will get pushed through the banking and only have to push in the straights. Much easier to stay glued to the banking. Also, the secret to riding a mass start or team pursuit on a steep track is to vary where you swing up (getting off the front), focusing more on setting it up so that you get back on the end of the string as you come out of the turn. In other words, the main concern is where you get back on, not where you swing off. So in a team pursuit doing 50 kmh, you swing up in the middle of the banking, and immeiately dive down coming out of the banking (the steepest part), whereas in a mass start with 20 riders in a pace line, you'll probably swing off in the middle of the straight, wait for everybody to pass underneath, and by then you'll be at the exit of the banking and ready to dive back to the end of the string. The worst thing is to ride straight up the banking at the end of the straight (possibly taking the guy behind you with you), then having to wait while the string passes underneath, then try to get back on at the entrance to the next turn, when the pack is riding AWAY from you! This takes way more effort and is something a roadie would probably do! But your coach likely already told you this!

    Good luck in Portugal; you are our home team!

    Luis
    Thank Luis. The winning 3k team pursuit time was 4:00.6 in the 60+ age group. As I recall, the 50+ did about 15 seconds faster and the 30+ and 40+ did 4k. Our team did great on the exchanges. We went first and posted the time to beat. I was talking with the Vic's Expresso guys and they were worried about beating us as we were racing. One never knows if the result would have been different if they would have gone first and given us a benchmark - probably not.

    Portugal has a brand new indoor UCI certified track similar to the LA Velodrome. It is going to be really fast and we may see some front discs. I love riding on the 45 degree banking and shooting up the bank for the exchanges and riding at the balustrade.

    The Superdrome was 250 meters but has slightly longer strait aways and shorter radius turns. Besides racing, we were at the track every day training and practicing on the 250 meter track. I love riding open track at Natz. The pacelines are fast and everyone is really smooth. It is a blast just to ride together.
    Last edited by Hermes; 09-08-10 at 01:49 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  19. #19
    Senior Member tony2v's Avatar
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    Congrats Hermes and Velodiva!
    I saw of my San Diego and SoCal track buddies in your pictures, like Patty Riddle with Velodiva! Of course there's Pat Baker......
    Good Luck at the World's!!!!

  20. #20
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    good stuff you two!
    thanks for the posts/updates

    my best wishes for a strong showing in Portugal...
    Golden rose, the color of the dream I had
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  21. #21
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Great job.. congratulations. You are an inspiration.

    Looks like an Adamo saddle on Velodiva's bike. Do you both ride them? I've been thinking of giving one a try in my never ending quest for better comfort/performance.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  22. #22
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post

    Now this guys has big legs, a true track sprinter and a great guy.

    First of all, Congratulations to you both and thanks for a great read!

    Wow! That is an impressive set of pistons!

    And I'm thankful the skinsuit is slightly less than anatomically correct...

  23. #23
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Great job.. congratulations. You are an inspiration.

    Looks like an Adamo saddle on Velodiva's bike. Do you both ride them? I've been thinking of giving one a try in my never ending quest for better comfort/performance.
    Yes it is. She says it is okay but likes the Fizik Alliante better. This is a UCI event with commissionaires inspecting bikes for dimensions and weights. That saddle is UCI legal and short. We set the saddle exactly 5 cm back from the centerline of the crank which makes it UCI legal. If we used a longer saddle, she would be too far back and have to go for an anatomical exception to the rule. I use an Alliante.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  24. #24
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    I am majorly impressed. Congrats to both of you.

  25. #25
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Whoo-hoo! That's some really exciting stuff, and boy am I impressed! You two are amazing. Thanks for the excellent report. And congrats on the wins!
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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