Last week, I took some reading I've been meaning to do and left the office a little early to work offsite.

That site just happened to be the Valley Preferred Cycling Center (or the Velodrome as I still refer to it), which last week was home to the US Masters Track National Championships.

Now, I am a regular for Friday night racing at the Velodrome (for me it's "the Velodrome", because as far as I'm concerned there are no others), but I was there during the day watching exciting heats, pursuits and sprints in the mid-day heat. This was a new thing for me. First, since I was technically working, I sat down either in the Grandstands or on the Velodeck, and read in between races. Secondly, and the oddest feeling of all, was not being in my spot. My normal spot is along turn three, in the daytime it's not shaded and very warm over there and if the boss showed up (and he did), he better not catch me "not working".

Those guys and gals may be "Masters" but don't call them old and don't call them slow! The qualifying heats were competitive and the quarter, semi, and finals had all the excitement of your regular Friday night final, except this was not Friday night and there was always going to be another race in about five minutes, at least it felt that way. Tons of entertainment and not enough time to enjoy it.

I should mention that "The Blade" a.k.a. Marty Nothstein made his appearance on the track Friday night, literally racing on the track ... he and his partner had a little spill, but you can't keep a good rider down, much less two of them, so they got up and finished third. And Marty did get his gold on Saturday in the Scratch Race. Those medals, plus the Gold that Kate Veronneau got in the Women's 2K Pursuit, prove that those running the track can really run on that track, too.

Did you get out to see any of the races last week? Get out there this Friday to see Tandemonium!, one of the most exciting nights of the season.

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