Across the world there must be something special about Tuesday Night. No matter where you go, if the locals ride bikes, Tuesday night is Hammer Time. The formats may vary but the premise is always the same. A weekly "Tune up" race, where riding as hard as you can is more honourable than winning. On Tuesday there is no prize money and no Title. No one is afraid to lose, so everyone goes for it.
In Saskatoon we race 55km handicap road races. With three ability groups staggered at 5 minutes. Often the weather plays a strong role. The scratch group catches the leaders 90% of the time and then the racing explodes. Often there is a bunch kick but bold attacks are very common as well. Tuesday in Vancouver is a 30min Critt with a hill not enough to slow you down just to add some burn. If this race where longer it would surely come undone, but almost always finishes with a bunch sprint. In Ottawa I rode the first Tuesday Critt of the season. A simple square loop on the research campus owned by the NRC. The format is a standard 50min criterium. Flat and simple this race is not made by terrain but by the riders.
Lots of Ottawa locals come out to race. For many locals this is the weekly world championship, others will just be glad to finish. Then there are others like myself who will only be interested in working hard. Tuesday is for Tune ups. Stretch the legs, get the lead out and to get the kind of training that you simply cannot achieve by "training." To put it bluntly. The best training is racing, but you have to be careful because that is putting it bluntly.
Thoughts on that later.
Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.