Facebook has just informed me that racing in Bendigo has started early this year, in the light of coming repairs to their track. This is most excellent news indeed. I'm a big fan of racing in Bendigo, for a number of reasons. First of all, the track is really big - 412 metres, I'm unreliably informed. This lends itself to harder racing, a leaning that is pushed further by the locals, who are reliably strong and capable cyclists. With little banking and some resistance in the track surface, it's a track suited to endurance track riders, especially when the wind is up.
Furthermore, there's the crowd. That's right, a crowd. At Bendigo on a Thursday night people go to watch track racing - people who don't even know the racers! That's unheard of down here, where entertainment options are plentiful. Throw in a coffee cart and occasionally a baked potato van and you're sorted for atmosphere.
But there's something more to it. I don't know if it's because I'm a bit country myself, but it's pretty satisfying to be out there in the open, the coolness of the evening coming in after a long day's heat, riding your bike and talking shit with the other blokes, sticking around for the presentations afterwards, then that long drive home, the car stinking of sweat and bikes and tired. Yep. It's a good feeling.