I’m back again! Apparently people actually enjoyed my blog! I had 300 people read it! Unfortunately, my mom later commented that she opened it around 250 times to make me feel better…
February blew by way too quickly, and I had plenty to keep me busy. Speed Skating, Rowing and Cycling on top of school work and anything else I got dragged out to. Mostly, however, my schedule is 6 am training (sometimes), school, little bit more training, switch sports and a little more training, switch sports again, do some more training, eat, sleep repeat. Yup, ever wonder how to have absolutely zero social life? that’s how… In fact, I spent the most recent Pro-D day at Math Regionals! Got absolutely destroyed but it was actually quite a bit of fun. The next 3 weeks after that (February 12th) were and are going to be awesome! I had speed skating in the Richmond Oval first. I won a few, fell and got DQ’d for quite a few more. (Oops). All in all, however, it was a great learning experience. The weekend after however, that was the real good one, track camp and Bare Bones racing. The track camp was a bunch of fun and with all of us on great form heading into nationals and smashing PB’s it was an even more positive environment than normal.
Unfortunately, I’m still the workhorse. our Friday had 2 x 2hour session and a night of racing. By the second session, we were all pretty tired, but we still had some Team Pursuits to do (4 riders on a team and 3 must finish). We only had 14 riders, that gave us 2 teams of 4 and 2 teams of 3. So what did I have to do? You probably guessed it,
“Riley, why don’t you just do 3 of the 4 team pursuits and you can get your recovery while the one other group is going?”
“Sounds like a great idea…”
It wasn’t exactly “rolling” either, the U19’s didn’t give me a break at all. 53km/hr for 2km, absolutely brutal. Don’t worry, though, we only did it 3 times, in each group. Luckily Mr. John Wilcox jumped in with the U15’s for the last one so I got some recovery before the last U19 sufferfest.
Racing that night was just as brutal. The Burnaby guys kept the racing interesting, with races I’ve never heard of. I raced the first of which with the B’s but didn’t quite understand how the “Scratch/split points race” worked. I was at the back of the strung out bunch of 24 riders when the bell rang for the first sprint. I was still able to get 4th though. Which is one point. The second sprint was when the lap board was at 0 so that was a hard one to miss. I won that sprint but ended with a second in the overall due to my screw up on my first sprint.
The next was the 2 lap chariot race (pretty much a standing start 2 lap race), and thanks to a stupid dare and my stupidity, I raced with the A’s. I was first to the line so I got the best holder (pusher) ever. Launched me off the line like a bullet, and I still wasn’t first. I filed in second, behind Jack Lindquist, a positive for me he was as muscled as a weight lifter, so he was a huge draft. A downside for me, he was as powerful as a weight lifter. There was no way I could come around him, but nor could anyone else, so I pretty much rolled across in second.
After that, I was pretty much forced into the A category. The next race was 9km for the A’s. That was truly hard for me and I was dropped in the last 800m, which was just long enough for them to come around the track and lap me. YAY!!
That was all for me that night so my mom and I booked out to Richmond (about 40min away) to stay with friends and attend The RBC Training Ground. It was an athlete search event, to see if athletes are better suited for a different sport. The event was organized amazingly and it was pretty cool to meet high-performance athletes from different sports. I even bumped into some riding friends like Rachel Carey and Conor Martin! There were 10 “tests” we went through; a vertical jump, a standing triple jump, a standing long jump, a 40m sprint, a 6sec bike sprint (loved that one), a forward 5kg medicine ball throw (sucked at this one, I just kept throwing it vertically), an arm press, an arm pull, a leg press and an elliptical death march. After all this, as well as the training camp for the two days previously, my legs hurt so bad I couldn’t walk down the stairs without my legs hurting! In that case, why not race the next morning!
We made the drive to the track at 7 am that next morning, and much to the annoyance of my mom, we arrived early. Once racing started it was full tilt once again. The first was the Keirin qualifier (electric motorcycle paces you up to 55 km/hr then you race) which I ended up racing from the front and somehow winning. So I moved onto the final, which I ended up being stuck at the back, pretty much clinging with my teeth. So a solid 7th in that race.
Next was a 12km points race in which I dropped back down to the B’s, much to the distaste of Erin (Attwell) and Maggie (Coles-Lyster), who made sure to voice their distaste quite clearly before the race. So, as payback, I attempted to make the race as painfully hard as possible, as well as being “That Guy” who attacks after the sprints and takes the points on bike throws.
The last race of the weekend was the kicker though. It was a Derny Race, normally it’s a race with 6+ racers all drafting off a teammate on a Derny (motorbike). We didn’t have Dernies, so what’s the logical thing to do? Make the really strong riders be the Derny riders and a slower rider draft them. For the first time ever, I’ve regretted being fast. 50 laps on the front, while you have your teammate behind cracking the whip repeatedly, It’s hell. Pretty much how it would go is:
Person drafting: “UP UP UP UP UP UP!!”
Derny: *physically crying that they can’t go any faster*
Person drafting “Isn’t that cute, UP UP UP!”
We ended up 4th or 5th, no one actually knows and I don’t think anyone actually cares, it was a ton of fun. Prizes were great too, ended up winning 3 bottles of wine. Let me tell you, the amount of brownie points I got is off the charts.
That pretty much brings me up to present day again. I leave tomorrow for the BC Winter Games for Speed Skating, super excited and Hoping I won’t fall!
Thanks for reading! (wonder if anyone made it this far…)
P.S bonus point if you find grammar errors!