Swirling, whirling world of wheels and drive, the Velodrome during AVC (Mike Murray's Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge) offers an education to children of all ages.
Athletes driven by the pursuit of glory, thrill and vex the onlookers with their specific mannerisms and their spectacle of speed.
Cyclisme racers watched and interacted with the scene on the infield, thanks to the vision and focus of Jake Hansen.
Jake, who has been training in the discipline of a 4kilo "Pursuiter" showed up for the "Pursuits" Friday Morning. His effort on the old Scwinn Paramount was jolted by the crack of the back axle of his opposing
Pursuiter who had to be removed from the track. The big man Ryan Belew from the Colorado University left Jake to Pursue no-one which for the beginning Pursuiter, is a bit of a death knell.
Jake finished 4:16, well below his best, but came back that evening to score two points in the Points race putting him in 10th in his first pro Points race.
The following morning saw the fastest 10mile scratch race in Alpenrose Velodrome history. Jamie Carnie and local Zac Kavalcik split the big money, but Jake played a big role in the record setting pace.
With $3 for First on every lap and $2 for every Second place finish, JAKE WON TWENTY SIX BUCKS!
He made quite an impression on everyone who saw. Luciano on the mic called him the "Rookie of AVC!"
Mielle and Shane came out to support their teammate, and on the infield talked with one of Mielle's pals, Camille Hook. Mielle took a moment to pick the brain of the seasoned elite track racer.
Around, and after all this, Jake was acting as the Lead Instructor for the "Pursuit of Glory Track Class."
Starting at 11am Jake issues OBRA bikes, raises saddles, then zips around in a 47-17 gear to teach everyone Pursuiter's tactics.
Thanks to the AVC having just been in town, amazing Guest Coaches made themselves available.
Three time National Champ, David McCook who won many of the Master's Category events at AVC, taught the first hour of Pursuit class stressing SPINNING EASY GEARS LEADS TO SPINNING BIG GEARS! David was running around in a 50x20.
He also taught us to use the whole track, from the rail to the grey wall inches BELOW the Measurement Line, but above the blue Infield line. Big and strong like a Keirin Champ, he taught us how to do starts in sinc with a ten count with gentle rocking and rhythmic breathing like the Chi Gong Master.
Then as if part of a master plan,
just as we bid au revoir to Mr. McCook,
Ryan Belew of Colorado shows up with his bike in a bag on his shoulder.
"Hey man, you are the guy Jake was supposed to race at AVC!" I yelled.
"You want to race 4k now?" I asked.
"Sure," big Belew said with a cool smile. "Just give me a minute to switch a gear."
"You want 20 laps to warm up?" I asked.
"That would be great," he answered with an easy smile, then set about the work of putting his bike together and changing the front chain ring.
Lining up on the same marks they were about to start at four days before, everything was the same, but now Jake was on a Carbon Fibre Teschner "Track Pro" bicycle loaned to him by Jacob Rathe a couple of nights before.
A monstrous fast start by Ryan Belew almost caught Jake in the first 500m, but Jake scramble away as if racing from a Tsunami. Slowly the sewing machine engine of Hansen slowly pulled back the advantage.
Then on the last lap, Belew demonstrated what benefits the brilliant coaching world famous Mark Tyson really yealds.
Again Belew suddenly almost caught Jake, this time with a frenzied suicidal sprint.
Jake's sister Riley yelled, "5.01!" I looked at my watch.
Big Ryan Belew came gliding by on the infield, now a lap later. "4:55," I yelled, "is that right?"
He just clicked his teeth and winked at me, with doppler effect.