A couple of weeks ago, there was a nationals qualifying race at the Velodrome in Redmond - the FSA GP. I raced this after having just done one beginning women's race previously. It was an eye opening experience. I was not too comfortable on the track with no brakes coming from years of road racing. The first night there, it was great to have the company of experienced teammates and my coach out there. First up on the night was the Keirin - a race where riders get pulled up to speed by a moto and then sprint the last 1-2 laps. The race starts from a standing start. I was so sweating bullets waiting for the moto to come around. I didn't have to wait long though. When things got rolling I had no nerve to hold a wheel when someone challenged me for it. But I survived. Miller told me to try to get up there and get out front for the second round. I did manage get up the nerve to try to come around, but I didn't make it to the finals. Later in the night, I raced the points race. It was fun and I did try an attack, but it was on a lap too early before the points lap. Must remember to pay attention to lap card & bell. Anyway, it was a really good experience to race with the national caliber women & then see the contrast to racing on the local Wednesday night races for cat 4 women. I know this track racing will help in crits for positioning & overall tactics, so I really want to get better & improve. It is also a ton of fun. The fast racing in close quarters is a total rush.
I have done 2 more Wednesday night races since then to try to upgrade to a cat 3 before the Alpenrose challenge in Portland at the end of the month. If I can place as a cat 3 there, then I will qualify for track nationals, which would be awesome. I would love to go to nationals & have a shot at a title.
Last weekend, Josh & I spent some time with my brother, Dave, & his wife, Kiana. They came over to visit, so we got to do the fun tourist-ty stuff on Saturday & then they watched the Volunteer Park crit on Sunday. The crit on Sunday only had 6 ladies show up. I managed 2nd in the race. After that, I hopped in the men's cat 3 race. I was thinking of skipping the guys race, but my friend Jesse who is living in NM for school right now was in town & racing, so it was a good chance to ride together, but on the 3rd or 4th lap, there was a nasty crash & an ambulance had to come & take someone away who had been unconscious. That was enough for me & I rode home. Dave & Kiana had a fun time watching the women's race & luckily didn't witness the fiasco of the crash since they took off after the first race.
Josh & I are heading to Bellingham tomorrow for the Nooksack Omnium. I am looking forward to railing the TT & giving the field hell in the RR. If I can manage a win, it would be great for upgrade points. Josh is trying to win the men's cat 4 TT. He can totally do it. He has been really focused on training & preparing for this. He is a great TTer & has a terrific shot at it.