by Joel Shapiro
Saturday marked Nick's return
to the racing after 5 years, as well as my first experience on the
Nick, being a successful young lawyer, showed up with a beautiful
midnight black all carbon Colnago C50 track bike - almost too pretty to
I had my Cannondale. And I soon found out that I had a problem -
after attempting to put on some of nicks gears, I realized the stock
road chain was too narrow and I was out of luck - my 46/16 was way too
small to race on. so I sat, watching my cat 5 points race without
Nick's first race was a 9 lap affair, and he took off with the field -
looking really strong and fast. He wasn't able to get good
position so finished out of the points - but Nick was back.
With 2 more races, I finally got the bright idea to ride up to the bike
shop and get a proper chain and gears - so I did and was back just in
time for my race. I felt rather manly in my new burly chain and
big 51/15 gears. However I'd never rode them on the track and was
not warmed up. 9 lap points race – I took off with the front and
actually was feeling good and right in the race - until a huge crash
took out a
bunch of guys on the bank right behind me. They restarted, but
now I was too timid and lost position - finishing mid pack - at least I
Nick, after consulting with kirk, decided to attack his final snowball
race right from the start - unfortunately he was boxed in and couldn't
attack and lost position. He tried a move up high – gaining
quickly, but was out in the wind too long. He held on but the
field was very fast and couldn't get back to the front.
My last race was an unknown distance affair. Again I realized I
needed to be towards the front with the fast guys. I grabbed a
wheel of the right guy and held if for about 5 laps then suddenly he
his teammate. I didn't react fast enough, and wasn't able to turnover
my big gears quick enough so he and 4 others quickly got a gap on
us. I was in the 3 man chase group and we were gaining but the
bell rang and we couldn't catch them. I ended up 8th - out of the
medals, but felt good about my first time on the track. I need to
figure out how to maneuver and grab a good line on those high banks and
need to work on some speed - but I think I'll be back to get some
Nick had the speed and strength to stay with anyone in his field - with
his first race out of the way – look for him to start kicking
butt. Especially if he gets some teammates out there to help him
in cat 4.
by Nick Eisenman
to add to Joel's report ...
First: Hats off to Joel, who had NEVER been on a velodrome before, let
alone race in a HUGE field of riders. He rode aggressively and
was certainly strong enough and fast enough to beat those guys ... it
all comes down to experience and knowing how to race these races. After
the crash .. he got right back in there and mixed it up. He
rocked like thunder in the races ...
As for me, I felt like a rookie all over again. I did not race
with any aggression, nor did I shoot any gaps when i could have.
Although I was boxed in a couple of times, I could have pushed my way
out, I was just very tentative and lacked the confidence of knowing how
my body and bike was going to react to the speed of the race. I
was hesitant about mixing it up and staying on wheels as the race sped
up and slowed down.
As soon as the game starts to slow down in my head, stop thinking, and
just race ... I feel like I will be competitive. I just
need someone to bump into me ONCE ... and I will get the taste of blood
in my mouth again and then go for it. It's like a football player
saying the game doesn’t start until you get hit once.
Race 1 ... done ...
fool 'em in April ... beat 'em in August!