Thanks to the ACA for allowing us to post this. Construction is nearing a end on the the Boulder Valley Velodrome in Erie Colorado so hopefully you still held on to that track bike after the fall of the recent Boulder Velodrome in Boulder. Or maybe you did and now it's time to de-hipster it. According to their website the track will be operational in July of 2013.
Katie Macarelli recently interviewed Colby Pearce, a Colorado racer on the track, road and cx, about racing in Colorado and track.
[Katie] What advice do you have for Juniors, having begun your racing career in the Red Zinger Mini-Classics? How can kids (and grown-ups) avoid burn-out?
[Colby] I think its important for any young rider to focus on getting what they want out of the sport. I see to many riders who make themselves miserable because they are not as good at they hoped or "think they should be". But the reality is, you are as good as you are, and most of it is out of your control...so take the sport for what it is (sport) and have fun with it, challenge yourself, embrace your passions, victories and failures. In cycling, you will get all of those things.
[Katie] What was it specifically that drew you to track racing?
[Colby] When I was 15 I did my first bike race and was hopelessly, instantly addicted. I went and bought MTB, CX and track bikes to try the 'other' divisions of the sport. The bikes were nothing special but they got me riding. If there was no velodrome in CO, I would not have known track existed most likely, but there was. I quickly realized that I was a marginal mountain biker and a dreadful cyclocross racer. I mean, I really really sucked. Track I was not dreadful at. Years later, I realized that points racing was a very good fit for my talent set, so I focused on it. Specifically, I am a rider who will get beaten pretty frequently in a one time sprint but in many sprints back to back, I tend to start doing better and better relative to my competitors.
[Katie] What was your favorite and least favorite part of racing in Athens in 2004, (I mean aside from all those olives?)
[Colby] The entire experience of preparing for and being at the Olympics was like living another life. Everyone treats you like a rock star and you feel like one. Its completely artificial and addictive. The entire city of Athens was interwoven with all aspects of the games, which made it seem very surrealistic at times. I am sure it would be a completely different experience to go there now. I suppose my favorite part was just being there and enjoying the atmosphere. The city and events were all so full of life and positive energy.
The most difficult aspect of the experience for me was getting enough rest; there was so much energy it was hard to unplug and even on easy training days, there was a lot of stimulus at the village and always a lot going on. I was a bit under rested when my event came. There is always some team partying outside your window because they just won a medal in Lacrosse or whatever.
[Katie] How have you seen track racing evolve over the years...or HAS IT?
[Colby] Its changed, but I would not say it has evolved much honestly. It is still a niche sport. If cross is the ugly step child then track is the anal retentive idiot savant of cycling. It has a loyal fan base, dedicated athletes who train at an extremely high level, and you can make a living at it, but the numbers of riders making a living racing track is a fraction in comparison to road. There are still plenty of powers that be in the sport of cycling (both in the US and at the UCI) who have no love or respect for track. As far as the Olympic program, gender parity was a good call and the omnium turned out to be a really challenging and interesting event, but taking IP, points and madison out was a huge blow to endurance racing without a doubt. Those events are classics, staples, foundation events, and removing them from the Olympic program had and will continue to have a huge impact on the sport all the way down to the grassroots.
[Katie]. You have a lucrative coaching/bike-fitting business in Boulder (http://www.colbypearce.com/). Reading the website, it states that "each fit will take approx. 4.5 hours." Has anyone ever passed out from fatigue or hunger during a fit? Have you?
[Colby] There is one customer who is still passed out in my office from a few weeks ago....
I think in order to really make a true assessment of an athlete and understand how they are moving on and off a bike, it takes some time. Bicycle fitting is a complex task and I have had fits which last 6 hours. "As long as it takes to get the job done right".
I frequently eat lunch in the process of fitting so I don't pass out. Clearly I can do a better job when I am conscious.
[Katie] What is it like knowing that you have your own Wikipedia page (you seriously do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colby_Pearce)? And if you could update it with one sentence, what would it be?
[Colby] Well when I was 15 I always knew the pinnacle of my success would be when I had a Wikipedia page. So there you go. I am not sure I would add anything to it, except maybe all the results and race wins I have had post 2008. But you know, whatever. Life is not about counting how many races you win or how long your race résumé is. Well, for some riders it is, but for me its not. At some point I would like to have contributed something to cycling which is more than my own racing and coaching and bike fitting. I suppose when that happens, maybe someone will write it and put it on there.