Well it ended last night for us, as Adrian and I concluded our 3 nights of racing in Dortmund. After out lackluster performance on day 2, we scrapped back together for a decent ride on day 3. Still not quite up to par with our first night, but not too bad. We lost one lap to the field, and the Dutch team took a lap on everyone else, so we ended the night officially at 2 laps down. The Aussies won, and no one was surprised.
Despite a few close calls, we managed to avoid hitting the ground this weekend. For example, last night the Polish team decided to chop down and go under an exchange, and to take my front wheel with them, but somehow it all stayed upright. A few other teams weren't so lucky, but at least Adrian and I didn't crash.
Average speed for the races was 52-53 km/h. 40 km per night, covered in between 46.5 and 48 minutes. All in a 49x15 gear. Bob and Bill, thanks for all the motor pacing this fall. It certainly paid off here.
Now for some lowlights, and the lessons learned:
1. After night 1, I ate a mystery meat burger/sandwich/??? at the track while we watched the pros race. Sometime around 1:00 AM, said meal woke me up, and I spent a good while giving my offerings at the porcelain alter.
Lesson Learned: If it's cheap and unidentifiable food, don't eat it. Especially before a race.
2. Temporary tracks can be bumpy, and even if you have a saddle that fits and is comfy in most situations, if it isn't padded, it will still feel like someone is kicking you in the ass 5 times per lap. If the saddle fits well, it will just feel like their kicking the bones. Not much better.
Lesson Learned: Bring a more padded saddle next time.
(This lesson and similar justification also applies to bar tape)
3. Dave Wiswell was unfortunate enough to have his saddle literally snap off during the third night of racing due to the bumps in the track. First the rails on one side broke, then a while later, the other side went, leaving him teetering dangerously and uncomfortably on a shell perched on top of the post.
Lesson Learned: Look at my saddle tomorrow, and figure out what the creaking that got louder each night was.
Alternate Lesson: Buy a downhill saddle.
For now, Adrian and I are staying with a really cool woman in Dortmund named Violeta who we meet through CouchSurfing. If you don't know about CouchSurfing, sign up and get on the boat, it's great. We met up with her last night, met her friend Mathias, and spent the evening wandering around Dortmund. It's like having instant friends. Today we had an easy spin around town, but backed out early in our 2-3 planned hours, as it's getting cold here, and we figured we felt "good enough." We have a few more days in Dortmund before heading to Munich to start racing again on Thursday.
Check out BF-One to brush up on your Dutch and see some pictures of Adrian and I racing at Alkmaar, and a shot of us traveling in the back of the van (no seats, just two folding chairs and a bunch of bike gear).