By Dennis Pedersen
Nils and I have been racing a lot at Hellyer the last couple of years. I drive there from my office in Cupertino, he meets me there, we race, then carpool home to Santa Cruz. The races start at 7:00, so it's not too hard to get there in time, even with rush hour traffic.
I'm still a Category 3 racer on the track, as is Nils, but the new format allows us to choose between the Cat 3/4 and the Cat 1/2/3 races. Nils decided to race the Category 1/2/3 races that night, probably to spare me the pain he'd otherwise inflict.(He did really well; looked super strong out there!)
My first race was a 9-lap scratch race (just finish first to win). A lot of guys like to mark me, so I tend to get followed around the track a lot. This requires me to come up with new tricks to try and catch them all by surprise. This time I went on the attack, was caught by several guys, but then Raul of SJBC attacked solo and nobody followed him. I refused, thinking I could afford to settle for 2nd. I even took a few pulls to encourage them to chase, but to no avail. So I attacked near the end to get 2nd place.
Next we had a 12-lap points race, with points awarded for our placements every four laps. I took 4th (I think) in the fourth lap after getting attacked hard, then recovering. Then 1st in the eighth lap by attacking with about 1.5 laps before that (6.5 laps in). Last lap I think I got 3rd place. This netted me 2nd in this points race, overall (8 points total).
Then we had another scratch race, but 20 laps this time. I took 1st in this one, with a long effort instead of a short sprint. I don't remember it well, maybe due to lack of oxygen in the brain. It was hard!
Last, another points race, with 30 laps and points for every sixth lap. Again, I don't recall the details, but I somehow ended up in 2nd overall in this points race. I think I got two one 1st, two 3rds and a 4th. But I was credited with 14 points which doesn't add up, so I may remember wrong.
For the "omnium" (the combined results of that evening's races) I took 1st overall, thanks to my consistent placings. Fun stuff!