Okay, this isn’t about cycling at all. It’s about this site, and maybe about 15 minutes of fame.
A few weeks back I added a little feature to the site - it lists the top searches so that you can see what is the most popular thing to look for here. I was amused (not annoyed) to find that it only took about a day for the first person to realize that they could put themselves on the list by searching for their own name repeatedly. I knew this might happen, and it was fun to watch as several riders from Trexlertown and Hellyer pushed themselves up the list.
Was the rest of the world more modest, less smart, or just not watching? I don’t know.
The game has died down a bit, so I’m going to change the list so that it’s a better reflection of actual searches. From now on, no more than one hit from the same hour and IP address will be counted. You can still “game” the system, but it won’t be as easy.
I just found and added a few more Junior Men’s pursuit results. Now you can find times from the 2003 European and World championship events.
The news to me was how much deeper the field was in 2003 than in 2004. 2:30 barely would get you into the top 20 in 2003, but in 2004 that time would have placed 8th.
Oops - I forgot to include a link to the results database.
This time we had 9 juniors, a new record. Of course new records are easy in a 3-week-old program. Four riders were new to these sessions; three have not missed a session.
Again, the smallest bikes went first, but several of the new riders were larger, so we scraped by again. We finally have all of the small bikes geared appropriately, but we need to do better for the bigger kids. One got a “rental” bike with 51×16 gearing - way too much for a first time track rider.
We did a ribbon ride, whistle sprints, 1-lap efforts, and even had time for some 200m timings. We don’t need times at this point, but the kids like to see the numbers. Everyone did well - the hardest skill seems to be riding in a steady line for drills which require it.
In the search for things relevant to Junior cyclists, I came across this book. Here’s a little review. It’s my first book review, so don’t expect it to sound like the New York Times…
Major Taylor Champion Cyclist is a nice little book, especially the illustrations, which fill each page. The text is written for a 2nd to 4th grade level, and it hits that target, but there are some pretty big jumps in the story. In one place I actually flipped back and fourth because it seemed that I had skipped a page.
Marshall Taylor (nicknamed Major Taylor) was a talented cyclist who discoved his talent early and let it carry him to the hightest levels of cycling. Along the way he faced blatant racial discrimination, but he maintained a positive attitude and kept winning. This book introduces readers to that story.
Even older kids might enjoy this book, for the 10 minutes or so it will take to read. It will be obvious that many details are glossed over, especially if you read the footnote in the back of the book. If you want to go deeper, try Major Taylor by Andrew Ritchie.
Just a quick mention of a mailing list which was established recently. The address is SoCalTrack@topica.com.
I’m reading the list, but as with all things, there are pros and cons to joining. On the plus side, there is frequently information about opportunities for juniors at the ADT center and possibly at other Southern California tracks. There are several negatives:
- It’s through Topica, so it may be subject to included advertising.
- It’s not just for Juniors.
- There has already been one unpleasant email etiquette problem.
I have nothing to do with the list, except as a subscriber.