Friday, May 8, 2009


The team is coming together in a good way. In particular, our little subset of it. We're getting used to reading races in similar ways, and sharing similar instincts. We are also figuring out some of the nuts and bolts of cooperation. Like this one: somebody being protected or worked for can call the shots, big time - throwing commands out not necessarily to quarterback the situation, but to get people doing what he needs. "Uh, guys? Let's not forget to talk to each other."

In a scratch race in Wednesday night's Twilight Series, Al and Gui attacked over and over again, letting the pace yo-yo enough to keep things both fast and disrupted, wearing down some of the other, faster riders. With 2 laps to go William worked toward the front with me on his wheel and with 600 meters to go he ramped it. At 200 meters to go he pulled off to the outside, giving me the sprinter's lane, and there was space behind me - I rode home for the win.

Incidentally, winning a race makes me feel relief more than triumph: relief that, when it came down to it, I didn't let down my hardworking teammates. I've always though that I could work harder for others than for myself, but I realized how hard that is when I tried to throw Al off the front in a Snowball. I picked him up from midpack and brought him to the front in about 300 meters and then I was cooked. My willingness to ride myself into the ground for my teammates is limited by my ability to ride myself into the ground, and I'm best at riding myself into the ground when I've been struggling to hang on to wheels for two laps, the pace is ridiculously high, and then it's time to sprint.

In a way, track racing can be more individual - the races are so short and fast and there's so much movement that maybe there's not even time or incentive for teamwork. But we are doing a good job gauging our strength and energy and offering to lay it down for each other. Next week I'm riding for them.

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