Road Trip – t-shirts
So I sort of forgot to mention in the last post about the shirts… I started this trip planning on wearing Detroit shirts every day hoping to run into people who had something to say about Detroit. So far no real luck, besides a man at the oil change place who wanted to talk Lions and a waiter who noticed Blaine’s Michigan State t-shirt. But below I have posted all of the shirts I’ve been wearing as well as a write up of the past few days.
Day 6 Let the racing begin.
We woke up at 7am, got ready, went downstairs to the continental breakfast, the 3 of us ate waffles and drank juice. I’m not sure if I’ve said it at this point or not. But somewhere in Arkansas I realized that I had a cold and will probably never recover. I’m coughing like it’s my job and can’t breathe… It’s really cool since I’m hanging out with a bunch of guys who want to be national champions, nothing like feeling bad about breathing! But anyways, I spent the day at the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson CA. It’s a pretty amazing facility but what it lacks is spectators. It turns out that not many people, it seems, know about velodrome racing. So day 1 there was the half of the omnium races. An omnium is basically a mixture of all the races, and who ever wins the most of these 6 races, wins the omnium. There was a omnium flying lap, which means you ride 3 laps gaining speed, and then they time the last lap. Then the points race, which is a longer race, with sprints every 10 laps or so, and the guy who ends with the most points wins. Then we went to lunch, ate at Panera, Martin bet Blaine an iPod Touch that he couldn’t catch a peg legged bird. He couldn’t. Then we came back to the Home Depot Center and the guys raced in another points race and then in an Elimination race. The elimination race is where every other lap the last man across the line gets removed from the race, sort of like musical chairs. It’s pretty exciting. There were women’s races too, they do all the same races as the men, it’s cool to see. Then we went to El Pollo Inka for dinner, and had some Peruvian spit fire rotisserie chicken. Then back to the hotel for showers and bed.
Day 7 – Racing continues
Breakfast as continentally as yesterday. Today we experimented with chocolate and regular waffles. They don’t taste very different. Racing started an hour earlier today at 9am. Toady, I think is the longest day. Scratch race heats, for the scratch race, not the Omnium Scratch Race. The Omnium Pursuit – which is where one guy starts on one side of the track, another guy starts on the other side, and they basically chase each other for the distance of 20 laps or something ridiculous like that. Then the omnium scratch race. Then the regular scratch race final. Then the omnium kilo – which is where you race as flat out fast as you can for one kilometer. It’s nuts. There were some other races in there like the team sprint, 3 laps, 3 people, each taking one lap as fast as they can. It’s pretty crazy, those sprinters are amazing. We had lunch at Tummy Stuffers, a chain that boasts 101 sandwiches, but to Blaine’s dismay they didn’t have any chicken sandwiches. We decided for dinner we would have chain restaurant food, so we picked California Pizza Kitchen, and finally someone commented on a shirt, unfortunately it was on Blaine’s Michigan State Shirt. They waiter asked where he was from, how long we were staying, where Martin and I were from, and told us that his brother worked for State. We went to Yogurtland for desert, had some frozen yogurt, and then went back home, it was already 11pm, a long and tiring day.
Day 8 – Short day?
Today Martin and Blaine only have one race, it’s a team pursuit, so they partnered with Andy and Derek, a few guys we know from Minnesota to complete their 4 person team. This race, is 12 laps, you have a team of 4, and you go as fast as you can each man taking a lap turn at the front. They’ve spent a fair amount of time swapping numbers, gears, handlebars and warming up/cooling down. It’s amazing the amount of time bike racing takes up, since you’re normal time on the track is between 1 minute and 30 minutes. Today there are a bunch of sprint races and paraplegic races. It should be really neat to watch and photograph.