Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This comes from the department of stories I almost finished writing and never got back to, until now. Last month I had the pleasure of watching my first track cycling event. I attended the Saturday October 4th line up of races for the National Track Racing Championships at the ADT Velodrome in the Home Depot Center. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I made it out to this event using mixed transit, combining cycling, buses and train hopping.
Sadly the velodrome lacked bike parking for spectators, so Meghan and I attached our bikes to a handicapped sign in the parking lot. Being somewhat annoyed that a place like a velodrome, a holy land of bicycles, did not have bike parking, I exchanged e-mails with the track director later. Apparently the Home Depot Center had moved bike racks that were there before without notification to the track staff. I've been assured they will be moved back before the ADT Center hosts another spectator event. Cyclists who train at the ADT Center can bring their bikes into the in-field of the track. But enough of my cyclist activist ranting...
Watching the races was really exciting, and I had already caught the bug for watching track after seeing the Olympics this year. After seeing track racing in person, I'm giving serious consideration to learning track riding so I can compete in races next season. I love watching the crazy mind games of the match sprints, and the occasional explosion of energy in a points race when a competitor goes for the coveted 20 point bonus for lapping the field.
Jack of Orange 20 fame was out there in the Men's points race, and the motor paced keirin event. He was riding under the team name Vegan Death Squad, which was hilarious to hear coming out of the announcers mouth.
Track racing is an awesome sport, and I'd love to see it get some resurgence in popularity in the states. It used to be huge here, with packed gambling crowds at velodromes like the one that used to exist at Madison Square Garden. Let's make it happen! That is unless America is okay with the British team winning damn near every international track event, led by super humans like Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy. NASCAR isn't the only game in town for exciting left turns damn it.