I just got back to Virginia! The company I worked for before I left, Beautyscope, even hired be back for the 2 weeks I am home. Hooray! The money will go directly towards new runners I am purchasing. I got a welcome home present from Northern Virginia on my drive home today. Traffic. My 25 minute commute turned into a 1.25 hr commute. Urg.
The drive from Lake Placid to Vienna was smooth sailing minus the fact that McDonalds in Lake Placid does not open until 6am. Oh, and the Starbucks is not open until 7. WHAT PLANET IS LAKE PLACID ON. So at that very tired moment I was thinking to myself, “Ok, it’s 6am… I can make it to the interstate and then find a coffee place right off the interstate. By that time Starbucks will be open.” Well… TWO HOURS LATER, I find a coffee place. The portion of the drive from Lake Placid to about Albany entails absolutely NOTHING.
Anyway, back to the good stuff! My last week at sliding school was good. The ice was really quite fast on Thursday and Friday. Apparently one of the international sliders was only .1 off the track record. Russia and Germany were having their team trials so we showed up a bit early to watch some of the runs. It was really pretty awesome. Check out some of the videos Nick took of them going through turn 4 and 10 here.
It has definitely been a learning process with the whole steering thing. I got some positive feedback on Thursday for my steering through the top of the track. When you get the top of the track right, the bottom goes much faster. I screwed up the chicane a couple times just because my brain just couldn’t process which way to go fast enough. I got up to 68 mph! I guess that’s kind of slow compared to the world cup guys (I think they get up to 75 mph) but it’s still pretty crazy to me that we can travel that fast on a sheet on metal a few inches above the ice in just 3 weeks.
Btw, the chicane is a seemingly straight segment towards the bottom of the track. Upon closer inspection it is not quite straight. This “inspection” could be through a track walk or just sliding into the walls frequently. I have been known to opt for the second option on occasion. A slight adjustment will keep you clean, but anything too harsh will send you slamming into a wall.
I feel like the whole steering thing is coming along, it is just going to take many more runs to be comfortable doing it, much less doing it correctly. I find the track walks we do to be helpful even though we are flooded with information. Some of it definitely sticks, it is just a matter of applying what we learn correctly.
I will leave you with this video of our track. It’s a helmet cam view. This is not mine, but it was taken at Mt. Van Hovenburg, the same track we slide on.
I’ll be buying my jofa (helmet) and Davenport runners when I get back to Lake Placid. I will be sure to take pictures for you guys as soon as I get them. I will be in VA for 2 weeks and then will head back to Lake Placid for 3 weeks until Xmas.