Last Thursday I did my first Kilo this year, the second I’ve ever raced. I cannot but wonder why one feels the need to torture himself like that. What an unbeliavably horrible event!
The early summer race offered an opportunity to acid test both the bike and the rider. My first Kilo last summer was a fair start to my career as a track cyclist. As such, a start that is, it also had several shortcomings.
So there I was, waiting for my turn, feeling deep unease about the whole raw deal I was about to have. New bike, totally different training regimen, bigger gear… I became preoccupied with a thought “pace yourself”. Not such a bad idea. I just forgot to think through the “when”.
So what happened? The self suggestion led to a slobbish start. Instead of taking full advantage of the lower body power, I hunched over the bars and tried to increase the the pressure on the pedals by pulling from the horns. That ruined the core stability. As a result I was spending energy in something stupid that did not help me in moving the bike forward. The next bad decision took place near the end of first turn when I decided to sit down. I knew I fell short from the full throttle RPMs. My acceleration was good 40m short. The rest of the ride followed the set trend. The last 200m was absolutely horrible, and the feeling did not stop at the finish line.
What it means to pace yourself in Kilo? After this ride I think I have a better understanding of how to do it right. Timing others made me realize that I die in the end but so does everybody else! That is where the aerobic part comes to play. Comparing the two rides it seems I already have it at the same level as last year. So instead of being overly concerned about the finish I should focus on the beginning. I need to start harder and go faster!
So as a result, my strategy for the next ride is as follows:
- Go deeper. I need to drop the bullhorns lower than they are today. That means -25deg stem. I’m in serious trouble if that does not work. PRO Missile costs five large ones.
- Gear up (48×14 -> 50×14 -> 47×13?).
- Start like a bat out of hell.
- Wind up the gear.
- Sit down and PACE the next 200 or so.
- Give it all you got for the next 200.
- Die a glorious death on the last 200.
We shall see what this 40+ year old engine of mine is made of.