I have been promising The Boy a chance to see the bike racing at the Redmond Velodrome since before I left for Ireland. Unfortunately, as my 12 Loyal Readers know (and you realize that even if I had 100,000 Loyal Readers, 12 would still make me laugh), I returned with Brontosaurus-Sized Bronchitis. Finally, after much bugging on his part, I agreed to take him to the Monday night races.
At the Velodrome, Fridays are the big race nights, but The Boy is normally at his dad’s on Fridays. Wednesdays are the second biggest nights, but… well, you get the picture. Monday was it, custody-schedule wise. But Monday was also our company picnic. Fortunately, the bike races start at seven, which allowed plenty of time for me to sit through a full day of staff meetings, go fetch The Boy, bring him over to bounce a bit in the rented bouncy castle and hang out with my co-workers’ kids and then… off to Redmond we went. Mama was a bit tired at this point, but we had purchased some grapes, for sustenance.
We parked in the furthest lot I could find at Marymoor Park, and rode the quarter mile over to the Velodrome. It wasn’t very busy, as the races were mostly Junior level races. There were three Junior levels, Cat 4 men, and something called “Madison” races. I still, after reading about them online, don’t understand exactly what these last races entail, except that they involve two people and hand-offs during the race.
Before each race, the contestants line up along the railing.
They ride one lap, then the ref blows his whistle and they start to actually race.
We stayed for the first four races, and at first, The Boy was quite intrigued.
Note the paramedic, who is on hand in case things go badly.
Being seven, The Boy’s attention span is limited, and he wanted to “race” his own bike around before darkness overtook us. We stopped on our way out at the edge of the top of the track’s curve, to watch the Madison racers coming straight at us.
This was quite a thrill, actually.
Then we headed over to the parking lot next door, which had been the site of a dog show earlier in the day, but was now completely empty. It was a very large parking lot.
That tiny red dot over by the climbing pinnacle is The Boy, racing. Though he wanted more “fast” out of his mama, there is a limit to what a vintage Raleigh powered by a vintage person can do. I have had too many scraped knees to throw all caution to the wind. But we did do some figure eights and a bit of chasing.
Much fun was had in the end. I think he’d like to go back next year, on a more exciting night, and see some more racing. Does he want to race? He’s not sure. It looked “scary,” but he was intrigued.
And he asked for slicks on his bike again. Next summer, I may have to oblige.