Wow, is all I can say. If you have never been to a Velodrome I suggest you make your way to one ASAP. This was my first time at one and all I can say is "I want to have a go". It looks like so much fun - I think maybe my Grandad's genes have a little to do with my enthusiasm - you see he was a National Cycling Champion in his day in Uruguay.
Anyway, the reason I went was to support a friend Andrew Mclean aka Macca as he was competing in the State TT championships for his 1km. The kids and I went to Dunc Gray Velodrome and from the moment we walked in we were gobsmacked. I never realised how steep the sides of this velodrome were. I actually got a bit of vertigo as I looked down the face of that wall - huge.
Macca is such a nice guy, a real genuine soul. He never ceases to make me smile every time I walk into the bike shop - Panther Cycles. We could see his quiet/nervous disposition from the other side of the Velodrome as he was warming up on the rollers.
He spotted us and came over to say HI and thank us for coming to support him. State Titles in my books are a huge deal. I was so nervous for him but he seemed to take everything in his stride. I almost felt as though I was participating in this event and wouldn't have missed this massive event for anything in the world.
As he made his way back down to the centre of the Velodrome we all wished him goodluck but knew that he would totally nail it. I have never seen him ride but when you hear about his passion for indoor cycling it's not hard to tell that he was made for it. His face lights up.
Before we knew it, it was Macca's turn to get up on the start line (if thats what you call it in the cycling world). The kids and I were watching intently and the Velodrome became extremely quiet as the Countdown began - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. He was off.
I had been watching alot of the others start and their starts seemed a bit messy - almost like they couldn't quite time their exit from the start - but Macca's start was smooth. Nice and clean and powerful.
With each loop my nerves got bigger and bigger - not sure why, it's not like I was competing but I think I just wanted him to go really well. Not that he needed my help. Macca makes cycling look effortless - he has such a strong, powerful pedal stroke and a real easy look about how he holds himself on the bike. He is not all hunched over and gripping the bars tightly, but rather its like he and the bike are made for eachother - perfect fit.
That is so fast, I can't begin to tell you how fast he zoomed past us all - you can actually feel the floor beneath you rattle. That humming sound is just the best. This amazing time scored him a 2nd placing and a PB of .7 secs. How cool is that.
Awesome effort - we are all so proud of you. Look forward to watching you compete again and hopefully taking part in some indoor cycling myself.