And some racing too. Recap of Zak’s trip to Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad is a pretty wild place. It’s like a party all the time. Loud music, beaches, good street food, big butts and when I’ve been there plenty of bike racing with great crowds. I was there for the Southern Games along with americans Danny Robertson and David Espinoza and Canadians Stephane Cossette and Gillian Carlton.
The first night was a Crit on the main drag in Marabella. The course was down and back with hairpins at either end. Not the best right after a long flight. We opened things up with a short 4 lap Crit. I kept the pace moving from the start and led out the sprinters for Stephane to win the first race. The final Crit was about an hour. There was a lot of action early and the sprinters got burned off pretty quick. A move got a way and I tried unsuccessfully to get across and had to call I a night. We got some doubles after the race (Trini street food, fry baked bread with Chana) and I was looking forward to some rest and an easy day to get settled.
The next day was quite chill. Easy road ride. Limin (Trini for chillin) at the pool (apparently the tides were to rough for the beach, I hate sand anyhow) and roti from a street vendor for dinner. Afterwards we were off to the VIP area above the stadium for a party for the athletes AND cyclists.
The next two days would be track and field events and GRASS track racing. It’s pretty much like regular track racing but on grass. It’s so hot in Trini that the ground is pretty hard and dried out and the grass is cut short. The runners didn’t party very hard and were drinking juice or soda. Meanwhile all the cyclists were whining (Trini dancing) and throwing back a few beers. We even had some dreamy bartenders.
That night unfortunately it rained really hard and the grass track went from hard and fast to gummy and really slow. It was like riding with the breaks on.
The first day I managed 3rd in the 1500m scratch, 3rd in the 4000m scratch and I won the final 8000m scratch with a wicked lead out from Gillian. Stephane and David qualified to move on to the sprint rounds the following day. Many more doubles were consumed that night.
The next day the track was quite a bit faster. We started off with a miss n out. And like most good miss n outs, it was quite sketchy but not wanting a repeat of my last trip to Trini when I fractured my back in 2010, I got out of the fray and went to the front but could only hang on to 4th from there. After that we had a 3k scratch and a 5k points I was back to 3rd for both if those.
In the sprints Stephane barely missed riding the old final and ended up finishing 3rd and David finished 2nd. In the final, Gillian and I nabbed up a bunch of primes early on before the rush come over the top and we called it a day.
One of the Trini riders arranged an after party for us. It was pretty wild. Whiskey, beer, whinin, big butts an lots more. Yup. Then some of us had to go to the airport still quite intoxicated. Luckily I had stashed some doubles in the mini fridge. And I was extra luck to have an empty row on my first flight for some rest. Can’t wait to go back.