Yesterday was the first of the two "Club Championships" for track. They are being held early because the Metros are on on Saturday 15th December ... so the Club Champs give the juniors practice prior to the Open Metro champs.
After I'd borrowed a club bike from the shed, Mal taught me how to start and stop from the fence. It took me so long before I let go and did my first start! I know to hold onto the top of the handlebars now - rather than drops/hoods (if practicing on road bike). My last start I stuffed up a bit though - as I pointed the bike too far down the slope, and ended up on the grass ... but at least I managed to stay upright.
There were two championship races held yesterday - scratch race, and 500 m time trial (for all categories). I had to scratch in the scratch race
, and won the championship for the 500 m TT
While watching the junior scratch races, it got a bit confusing sometimes - because there were often two races (girls and boys) on at the same time.
In the M15/W17 scratch race it was extremely confusing because Jack Cummings (who normally races in A grade) totally blew away the field. He'd actually finished his race (and was doing a cool-down lap) before anyone else got their "bell" lap
He's certainly a rider to watch, now and into the future!
Finally, it was time for my race. M19, Elite, and Masters scratch race was held at the same time. M19 and Masters had to do 30 laps, and me (Elite female) had to complete 15 laps.
I was offerred a held start, which I accepted, as I'm still not all that confident starting from the fence (and I'm slow to leave the fence too). After leading for a few laps, everyone overtook me in the back straight. Once everyone had passed, I tried to speed up to join the end - without any success. I realise now that I should have moved up above the blue line (after announcing intentions) at that point - but I didn't.
After I'd completed 6 laps, the lap counter was saying 23 to go - which meant everyone else had done nearly 7 laps. Again, I realise now I should have yelled - going up to blue line, and moved - but I didn't.
So on that corner, I heard the sound of sprinting ... and everyone passed me again. (I was holding my line at the bottom of the velo) Except someone's back wheel clipped my front wheel - so I hit the deck, reasonably hard. Luckily no-one else went down.
My bike had already fallen slightly down the track, so was out of the way - so I immediately shuffled off the track out of the way - then assessed injuries. I immediately noticed a reasonably deep cut just below my right knee - so decided not to continue with that race. As I started walking with my bike back to the registration tent, Grant (track racing organisor) was running over the check on me. He asked me whether I wanted to continue - but I'd already decided to scratch in the scratch race.
Once sitting in the registration tent, a few of the kids around were pointing at my shoulder. I'd ripped my blue & black skinsuit - so that was the most obvious injury to everyone else. Out came the first aid kit - gee that pink antiseptic stuff stings like anything
) - and gauze/tape was put over my knee and grazed elbow to keep the flies away.
Luckily, my injuries were mostly grazes - to side of right knee, right hip (burn), right elbow, right shoulder, slight graze to right ankle, as well as cut to right knee. I also have two slight grazes on the back of my right hand.
I was wearing my grey arm protectors (for sun protection) - so they did their job in preventing gravel rash - and they tore quite a bit.
So 2 crashes in 2 months, and both times I've had clothing on my arms - talk about lucky. The elbow is just grazed this time, so I can still comfortably fully bend it
I'm just kicking myself that I didn't move up above the blue line when everyone passed me the first time. When I had completed 6 laps, the lap counter was saying 23 laps - which meant that the others were about to have done 7 ... so I *almost* called out "going up to blue line", but I didn't. I stayed down the bottom, then on the corner heard the sound of sprinting behind me, so I held my line so everyone could go around me.
After I'd been patched up, I talked to the other guys in the race. Turned out that as they passed me, someone launched an attack ... so everyone in the same licence category went after him. Then, someone used the banking to get some extra speed up - but came down too close to me, so clipped my front wheel in the process.
Mal commented that he was quite happy sitting behind me, as I was doing a good speed ... so maybe they were on my tail as I finished 6 laps and they did 7?
I normally race C grade in track (lowest of Senior grades) ... but yesterday the M19, Elite + Masters scratch race had riders who normally race in A, B and C grade. Mind you, this discrepancy in grading would have existed in the junior races as well. I just need to get more experienced at rolling turns
I still got one "championship" though - in the individual 500 m time trial, which I was determined to race in. Comparing some of the juniors times (around 40 sec mark), my time (approx 50 sec) wasn't fantastic ... but as I was the only female "Elite" licence holder to race yesterday, it was enough to get me the "championship" ... by default! Injuries, poor time, and all!
What about the bike ...
There doesn't seem to be much damage to the club track bike I was riding - apart from handlebar tape! Graham (JDP coach) will replace the handlebar tape during the week.
A day later, the grazes aren't giving me too much trouble - as I got some Melolin dressings from the chemist yesterday. (It says absorbent dressing for cuts, grazes and minor burns, and that's what the pharmacist told me to use).
My right knee is now stiff and sore, and has swollen a bit as well. I've been icing it, but I'll get medical attention tomorrow if its still bothering me. And somehow I managed to hurt the knuckle of my left thumb as well - so thats a little swollen, red and sore as well.
I just hope that the grazes have basically healed by Friday, and my knee is feeling a lot better ... because the family are going on holiday to Cape Bridgewater (near Portland), right next to the beach.