Boy, oh boy. Where to let the long story begin? I suppose I'll pick up where I last left off.... a soggy day, one of many, crying the blues as Ryan's presence was sorely missed.
And then, out of no where, a text from Dave (who's like a brother to me), announcing the arrival of Audrey Ryann Downing West. Such a beautiful baby and what an honor to have her named after Ryan. I'm very excited to meet and greet the little one - but had to delay in doing so as a track racing trip to San Jose filled the horizon.
The Wednesday before we (Tela, Mary and myself) left for sunny skies and better weather I scrambled to find a cardboard bike box and last minute race stuff. Thankfully the weather forecast was spot on as I packed a light as possible - sans arm, leg and knee warmers. The one item I will start packing though, especially to out of town races, is a blanket.
We arrived to sunny skies in San Jose on Thursday and after a short fiasco with Fox Rental Car, we headed over to Rick Adam's house to assemble our bikes after a quick bite to eat at Epi (the best deli in Palo Alto!). A couple of rotations around the track and the legs felt good!
The next morning we woke up to sunny skies (a recurring theme, how nice!) and helped sort through some last minute tasks for Rick. Speaking of Rick - for those of you who don't know him, he is the godfather of the American Velodrome Challenge. Simply put - this event would not happen without him. His tireless efforts and amazing fund raising skills as well as focus on putting on a show for spectators and making the most out of volunteers, donations, etc make this one of the best regional track events in the nation, four years in a row. Each year the event runs smoother and smoother - not to mention, he's an excellent cook!
The AVC was renamed this year to reflect the title sponsor's name - Testarossa Velodrome Challenge. Rob and Diana Jensen fully support the NorCal cycling scene and went above and beyond the call of duty to support this event. A few weeks ago during the Tour of California, the Testarossa Vineyard hosted an auction benefiting the Hellyer Velodrome Community by donating wine, a venue and an amazing list of auction items (signed pro tour jerseys!) to raise the final amount needed to pull off the TVC as well as the junior program. They also donated wine for the VIP sponsor appreciation tent held in the infield and gave away bottles of their wine as primes in both the men and women scratch races. And their wine is AMAZING! Check it out here.
Back to the racing though. First up for us ladies - the Keirin. We had three heats, the first two places advance to the final, 3rd and 4th go into the rep to have another crack. Tela and I both easily advanced into the final and Mary made it into the rep ride to have another go. The field was certainly stacked with sprinters - Dana Fiess, Jen Featheringill, Laura McCaughey, Shelley Evans, Tela, Shelby "scrappy" Reynolds, Beth Newell and myself. Young Dana drilled the pace once the motor pulled off and other than my attempt to move forward with a lap and a quarter to go, nothing really changed. We stayed in the order we started for the most part: 1. Dana 2. Laura 3. Jen F. 4. Shelby 5. Me 6. Shelley 7. Beth Newell 8. Tela.
Check out this video for all the action....
These race reports take some time! More to come...