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Old 11-03-16, 08:04 PM
  #101  
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I've had three sessions at Hellyer in the last 2 1/2 weeks. The caveat? My back is NOT healed, but it's 90% there.

I did a beginners session, an intermediate session (a juniors session, really), and an advanced session (today). I've been making adjustments to the bike all along the way, as well as getting the track etiquette down. The bike is approaching "training trim" now. I've got the Miche/Tufo wheels on it, 81 inch gearing, and a 120mm stem with my 35mm 3T Scatto pursuit bars (which I REALLY like). I rode well in all of the sessions except today. I'm carrying a fair amount of "life induced" fatigue, as well as the injury. I also had a hard session this past Saturday with all those juniors, whom I of course had to try to stay with in the sprints (and I did in a couple). That really upped the accumulated stress, and today I felt it.

It's November, right?

My point? I'm having a great time on that track!
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Old 11-16-16, 10:09 AM
  #102  
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I had a long awaited session at Hellyer with my friend and training partner yesterday. She transitioned to the track last year, went to Nats and set two national records. She was the force which served to finally push me over the edge to getting on the track ("you and I need to do team sprints!"). Anyway, getting a feel for each other's abilities at the track was something she and I have been anticipating for a while. As we both suspected, we are very closely matched. So, once my back is 100% (it's close now), we'll start training together in earnest.

By the way, I feel uncannily comfortable both on my track bike and on the velodrome. I very much enjoy it. I am not saying I'm a natural or anything presumptive like that, I'm just saying that I'm having a blast! I can not wait to get into some actual competition.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:30 PM
  #103  
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I've been busy! I'm almost over the back issues, at least to the point where I can make efforts and not pay for it in a bad way. Anyway, I've been riding at Hellyer a lot, and then, last Saturday, I got certified here:



Andrew M. was my coach, I was able to ride with my training partner/track teammate, and I had a whale of a time! i rode one of the Felt rentals. I wish I'd had my bike, but i couldn't bring it down with me from NorCal. My regret was that I wasn't permitted to change the saddle to my own, so I had a an issue with saddle pain. But, I got it done! And, I went back the next morning for an open session with my teammie. I hope to get back down soon for some more sessions, possibly a Roger's Session and motor games. I'd also like to do some LAVRA events. In fact, I need to! VSC is quite a place. I am still amazed by it!





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Old 01-28-17, 10:14 AM
  #104  
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Yeah, I know. You've all "been there, done that". Excuse my exuberance, however, VSC was literally a magical experience for me. Do you all remember your early days of riding on a velodrome, and then getting into competition there? That's where I am right now. Basking in it! Tolerance for silly, girlish giggling is appreciated...
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Old 01-28-17, 10:48 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by sarals View Post
Yeah, I know. You've all "been there, done that". Excuse my exuberance, however, VSC was literally a magical experience for me. Do you all remember your early days of riding on a velodrome, and then getting into competition there? That's where I am right now. Basking in it! Tolerance for silly, girlish giggling is appreciated...

It's great that you are sharing your enthusiasm and experience. I help teach the introductory course at my track and I usually work with the folks that are intimidated by the whole experience, but after a couple hours almost everyone of them are enjoying themselves.
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Old 01-28-17, 11:22 AM
  #106  
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Yeah, I agree.

Track racing is exciting and fun and we shouldn't lose sight of that. It started to feel like a job to me which is why I quit.

Also, finding new hobbies and interests is truly awesome. I think that learning and experiencing new things and having fun is part of life's journey. I've certainly collected my share of hobbies...and all of them are really fun and exciting.
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Old 01-28-17, 01:35 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by sarals View Post
Excuse my exuberance, however, VSC was literally a magical experience for me. Do you all remember your early days of riding on a velodrome, and then getting into competition there? That's where I am right now. Basking in it! Tolerance for silly, girlish giggling is appreciated...
I remember. https://veloclublagrange.wordpress.c...rm-your-label/

Haven't touched my track bike since July. Hoping I can get the fire back.
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Old 01-28-17, 02:17 PM
  #108  
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I'll tell you all, because it's only a number, and I am a lady, but being coy has never been a strong suit of mine. I'll be 65 in less than two weeks, and life has never been better. I haven't been any more enthused about anything I've ever done, and the bike has given me so many opportunities to stay and be young.

By the way, the lady in the photo with me is 77 years old. We race and train together, and we're not exactly slow!

@VanceMac, my you surprised me!! As did you, @carleton. However, I understand the need to step away from time to time.

But, @VanceMac, your blog was SPOT ON...

@dunderhi, thank you!!
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Old 01-30-17, 03:47 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by sarals View Post
Yeah, I know. You've all "been there, done that". Excuse my exuberance, however, VSC was literally a magical experience for me. Do you all remember your early days of riding on a velodrome, and then getting into competition there? That's where I am right now. Basking in it! Tolerance for silly, girlish giggling is appreciated...

I completely understand your enthusiasm! Way back in the late 80's when I first rode on the Olympic velodrome in Carson, where the Galaxy soccer field now stands, I took my accreditation class. In those days, you had to walk down, and then up, through a tunnel to enter the infield. While the track looked awesome from the top, nothing prepared for me when I emerged from the tunnel and came face to face with the Olympic rings that were still painted on the track. That moment is still seared in my brain!


I was also one of the last people to ride on that track when they closed it and tore it down. For many of my friends, it was the last time they rode on a track, because they just didn't like the new indoor one for one reason or another. For me, it was nirvana, and I still ride at least twice a week, even though it is about 40 miles from my house. LA traffic being what it is, that is not trivial! Now if I could only ride each lap a little faster I hope you do get a chance to come and ride the LAVRA races; there are some really fast 65+ year old women down here too, and they would love the competition, and the friendship that comes with being a trackie.
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Old 01-30-17, 08:33 PM
  #110  
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@rensho3, that was kind of you! I have to tell you that when AM took us up to the stayers line and we hit the banking up there for the first time I was giggling like I was 15! I had waited literally years to get on those boards (@VanceMac was present the first time I saw VSC, but I didn't ride it then), and it was quite a moment. More had to do with who had ridden there than the physical plant, although there was something quite mystical about that beautiful wood.

I have yet to do a mass start, or any, really, race on the track. I'd very much enjoy getting into a field with other women my age, and I do look forward to meeting and racing with the 65+ women in LAVRA! I'm sure they'll ride me off their wheel, but, hey...it's all good!
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Old 03-11-17, 05:24 PM
  #111  
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The photo is of my day at Hellyer on my 65th birthday two weeks ago.

This past Tuesday I did a baseline 500 meter effort for my coach. It was done with the bike in race trim; disc, trispoke, aerobars and bigger gearing than I have been training on (90 inches). I did a held start and had ad hoc timing done for me, and I was in the mid 40 second range for the effort when all was said and done. The WR for my age group is just under 42 seconds, so I'm in the ballpark. That's encouraging!

My form is starting come back, and I'm getting used to riding on the track, although I have a LONG way to go. I need to do some racing, too! Hopefully I can make a few LAVRA sessions and some of the Hellyer Tuesday and Wednesday races when they start up this spring.

Yep, I'm enjoying myself!

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Old 03-16-17, 08:39 PM
  #112  
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The crickets sure have been loud around here as of late....

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Old 04-02-17, 05:48 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by sarals View Post
The crickets sure have been loud around here as of late....

It gets quiet- I'm in the same boat as VanceMac and Carleton - I spent a bunch of years racing and putting on races and got burned out. I'm still riding and will eventually be back...

A few comments on your last couple posts - the guy who certified you on the track is a little older than you and is still riding strong and learning new things on the track (he dips into Madison training now and then).

I got started on the track at the Blaine velodrome (Minneapolis) in the early/mid 90s, and would pedal there from the U, race, and ride home. After I moved out to LA I tried encino a few times, but it wasn't the same, and there was some attitude there (which is funny, because the same people later complained about attitude at VSC, where we made an effort to let anybody with a license be able to show up, get certified, and race). When I got certified at VSC a few months after it opened, it was me and one other guy. At the end, Roger put on music, cranked up the PA, and got on the electric motorbike and motorpaced us for a while and I was hooked again.

There used to be some women in your age bracket who would show up and race, at least the time trials- they may still be around (I don't go regularly and haven't raced in a few years), and from looking at the latest race results, they're getting some decent sized women's fields in both the 1/2/3 and 4/5 groups, which is nice to see.
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Old 04-02-17, 11:41 PM
  #114  
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@bitingduck, I've been trying to get down there to get a training session in, a Roger's Session in, and a LAVRA race in. I only get every other weekend off from work, and fitting in travelling to Carson and then riding/training/racing is not so easy to do. I'm a member of VanceMac's VSC page, so I've been seeing who does what at VSC, and I am so wanting to meet them and get some time in on the track with them. My teammate has made several trips, raced some LAVRA events, and as I said, I've yet to be able to do it. I really must get a solid session in before I race anything on those boards, and especially before the Masters Worlds.

I'm waiting for some races, specifically sprint events, to start happening at Hellyer. It's only an hour a way (not six hours like VSC), and right now I am able to make Tuesday sessions there with my teammate pretty regularly. There has been talk of Tuesday night masters racing, and I hope that includes masters women. If there are any besides me and my teammate!

I've yet to race on the track, at all. I'm getting a little antsy!
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Old 05-16-17, 08:56 AM
  #115  
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First race, LAVRA Sprints, this past weekend. I did the 200, 500 and 2K. My times were pretty good, especially good on the 500. On the 200 I was way undergeared, and spun out before I even started down to the sprinters lane. Hey, it's all about learning at this point! I didn't race in the omnium, but I did watch it.

Video of my 200.

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