Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

"With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable"

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Pursuit helper at the Vic State Track Champs

Retiring briefly from the racing scene, I have morphed into a helper for the pursuit. Lawrence was in need of some pacing help... I was there doing nothing except it was natural that I gave her the help she needed.

The methods of helping with pacing for the pursuit are many and varied...

  • You can pace the line..stepping paces in front of or beyond "the start line" to indicate how far ahead or behind your rider is from the set plan...this is one that as a rider I loathed.
  • You can have a piece of paper with laps times (written large of course) on so the rider can see exactly what her/his lap time was..too hard for me ..having to read while focussed.....
  • You can make hand signs indicating whether you are above, on or below schedule...this was MY usual.
OR if you have no schedule at all and just want to know each lap time:
  • Your track side helper sticks fingers up, across or down indicating how many seconds and whether high middle or low within that second eg 2 fingers stuck up =high 22secs, whereas a closed fist pointing down =low 20secs.
This last one is the one that Lawrence chose as she had no schedule and just needed to have lap by lap info. That was fine except in the qualifying round she made the classic error of going far too fast on lap 2 giving me a problem since we'd not planned on a 19sec lap signal!! I stuffed the signal totally but in the end it made little difference and she was happy with a PB. The ride off for bronze was successful for both of us although a stutter on the stop watch gave her an apparent lap time of 11seconds..a lap she got no signal for.

I have done many, many pursuits and watching trackside can pick out so many basic errors that my competitors are making..should I help them??!!! Nope! they ARE my rivals once I get back on the track, so I think I will let them and their coaches to work them out for themselves...just like I had to.

It was good to catch up with many riders..there were few there I didn't know, and particular it was good to have a long chat with Shirley Amy, my hour record co-rider. It was interesting to find out that we essentially both suffered through the same after effects and hearing a similar tale from Jayson Austin just made me realise that I was not alone and also exactly how much such a task took out of all of us.

It looks like my new TT bike's headset could arrive next week giving me just enough time to set it up and be ok to ride it for the nats. However..a bird in the hand and all that, so my Teschner TT bike is prepped and ready to go and I was going to test it out on the "Boulie" today after visiting the track racing.

HOWEVER......clearly there has been some localised seismic activity and consequently I was reluctantly forced to change my plan which was to go out on the road bike first, do a lap and then bring out the grunt machine and do another lap. Despite feeling very ordinary, I got on the road bike for a lap...and that's when I discovered there were hills there that hadn't been there before...what's more the air seemed to be very hot, burning the back of my throat and lungs....seismic...volcano....

Both my boys were riding the 100km MTB race today in the Mt Disappointment range north of Melbourne.. an area in which we have spent many hours getting lost when we were foot orienteers. Alex SMS'd me to tell me he came 5th..not sure what Ben did..but I gather it wasn't one of his best races. Aaahh! sibling rivalry!!! Just as well they go their separate ways mostly.

Before I shut up shop for the day..I have a true confession to make...and I hope no-one I know is reading this blog any more.....Linda, yesterday and again today I'm wearing the gift you so kindly gave me when you were in Sydney for the Worlds last October...those pink woolly socks from San Diego Zoo...the ones with pandas all over them.....

Mmm...maybe I'll go one better and wear them with my Teva work.

1 comment:

Lawrence said...

I am very lucky not to be a competitor of yours then Liz! And I appreciate that fact very much ;-)