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It's hard to deny that my taste in what constitutes a good time on a bike has changed in the last couple of years. From traveling the country to do endurance mountain bike races to recently uttering, "This whole racing for longer than an hour stuff is for the birds" upon finishing the XC race Muscatatuck. Of course, I was half joking when I said that, but only half.
Whether or not my genes made me built for power, I'm finding that I much prefer to train for it over slogging through big chunks of steady state. Lets face it, if 2004-2010 is any indication, it's not as if my genes really made me built for endurance, either. The main difference is that I spent a lot fewer hours training last season, but doing so finally reach some tangible level of cycling success, even if it was just in Cat 4. Eight hour weeks and winning beats the hell out of 12+ hour weeks and losing.
As I've expressed multiple times lately, I'm worried about how (uh-mmm, mumble mumble) hours a week will stand up at the Cat 3 level, but there's very little I can do about that in the next six and a half weeks, so I suppose if I fail, I fail, and I'll learn a lesson for next year. I do rest little easier knowing that I had the exact same thoughts this time last season and it all worked out fine. I guess we'll find out soon enough the strength of my dark cyclocross sorcery.
Anyway, since I keep leaning toward the sprint-ier side of cycling, I think it may be time I went all the way, at least for the "off season". For less than the price of a pretty full-suspension 29er that needs a fork upgrade, I could become a member of the growing sorority of the region's premiere girl-quads that call the newly revitalized and rebranded Major Taylor Velodrome home on summer evenings.
It may just be something stirring in Indiana now that Marion University has MTV under new and better management, but it sort of seems like we're on the verge of a track renaissance in the US. A couple of weeks ago, a friend who lives in Nashville, TN said that she knows a lot people getting into track racing right now, and the closest velodromes for them are four-ish hours either north or south, Indianapolis or Atlanta. That makes an hour and fifteen minute drive on a Friday night seem pretty small. I guess people just really need a new way to drink beer and heckle when it's not 'cross season. I need a new way to stomp pedals and *be* heckled when it's not 'cross season. I also really want to write a "Last Friday Night" parody blog post next summer.
So I'm setting my plan in action. I'm going to sign up for the last Saturday "Track 101/102" class of the season on August 25 and rent a bike. Then, if it's all I'd hoped it would be, I can start saving up to get my own bike by next April.