Sunday, April 13, 2014

Track racing, part zero

Yesterday started my "career" as a bicycle track racer. I put my war paint on, massaged my own shoulders, and went over my bike, feeling for where the bike "hurt" as if it is a limb of my body. I made some adjustments and brought it to the local bike shop for more adjustments. My new mechanic is Martin at New York's Waterfront Bicycle Shop on West St, right near Christopher St.

I rode pretty hard in Central Park, and, as immensely crowded as it was, I was able to do what they call training as well as some very pleasant people watching. My top speed, according to my GPS device, was 27.7, which is pretty good considering I was fixed to a 73 inch gear.

Today, I attend the first clinic of the season at Kissena Velodrome, where kind volunteers will show us how it's done. No races today. I'm getting my stuff ready. I picked little bits of glass out of my tires to make sure they didn't work their ways further in. I'll ride to the 7 train, take it to the end, then ride to the track in Flushing.

My ride yesterday looked mostly like this. There are two or three points on the map where GPS appears drunk, but it's informative enough.

I barely slept last night. I'm excited.

Here I go.


  1. Hi Tom,
    Can't wait to hear how it goes.
    I rode on the Kissena track in 1973 and 1974 for the NJ state championships, and a few other races. I was riding a Durkopp track bike that Ernie Seubert lent me -- he was then the president of the ABLA before it became the USCF. The bike had an awesome steel crankset that needed a 1 inch pitch chain. Ernie's bike didn't have any wheels, so I built up a set of track wheels using campy record high flange track hubs and track tubular rims. I wish I still had those wheels! I don't remember really now I did in any of the races, but I do remember the amazing feeling of kicking in a sprint out of the last turn -- those bikes can really accelerate!