Track cycling for the first time

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  • Track cycling for the first time
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Another cherry popped last night, at the Newport Velodrome. Track riding was pretty much as I expected except for a few quite scary 3D congestion moments. My biggest scary moment was when I tried to slow down to come off the track on the back strait, and I didn’t slow enough so I had to try and make the corner anyway at a much reduced speed.. but I also cocked up my spatial awareness so I had someone below (and I mean below) me and right above me. I thought I was gonna wipe out and cause a pile up. Fortunately there’s a heck of a lot of grip on those boards, more than you think.

    We did this one thing where everyone rode around in a line fairly steadily, then on the whistle you break off the front, sprint like hell and try and catch up the back of the line again. Well, my turn got closer and closer, and I got more and more psyched up so that when my turn came I buried myself sprinting flat out through the first corner and down the straight. I hit the second corner at such a pace I thought all my organs were going to drop out of my arse the G force was so great. It was quite a shock.

    Good laugh though – I really saw the red mist on the sprints, got quite fired up 🙂

    Did you go with the Cardiff JIF and AJAX lot? When I was younger we only had Maindy track which was so much easier!!! Is top fun when you get going

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yeah I went with Jif/Ajax and friends. I’ve also been on Maindy loads since I work opposite. That’s another thing that freaked me out a bit about Newport – it’s about half the length, and the lap comes up in the blink of an eye.

    rustydub
    Member

    Track cycling has just gone on my “things to do this year” list.
    Molgrips, would you say that Maindy is the best track to sart on? I know its closed for the building work thats going on there at the moment.
    I only live 10 miles away from it so it would make sense as well.
    Having been to the Newport Veledrome, I really fancy that too but was wondering if it would be a bit much starting out.

    MrSmith
    Member

    if you think newport is short/steep then try calshot.

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    I’m gonna be trying this out for the first time towards the end of March… and I have to say, I am slightly nervous, but rather looking forward to it.

    Although I have a feeling we’ll be going to Calshot, so MrSmiths comments are not helping!!

    😉

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Maindy is tame – really, it’s just a big round very smooth road. It’d be fun to race on but I don’t think it’d be a challenge. It really didn’t prepare me for Newport. The challenge isn’t riding around the track – it looks bad, but is much easier than a muddy off-camber descent on dry conditions tyres.. but as long as you are going fast enough there’s nothing to do. What is a challenge though is riding around in very close proximity to other people in such a situation. Rather than being alongside people you find yourself above or below them – directly, it feels like. And you’re conscious that you can’t brake or freewheel, and any slip will take everyone else out with you.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    It’s addictive. Can’t explain why just going round and round and round is so attractive, but I love it.

    And it’s ace going like the clappers (doing something like hunters, which is what you did molgrips). Only place I get max HR is on the track because, well, you can always just push yourself a little bit harder….

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I found it exhilarating to be in such direct competition with someone. I mean in an MTB race you’re lucky if you’re tousling with someone but even then you’re really fighting the course and the hills, and it lasts for an hour and a half as you fight for inches.

    As a newbie I only rode with the other newbie who was there last night. We had a go behind the motorbike – so you ride close behind it and swap positions every lap (being behind the motorbike is much easier than being behind another cyclist) and the bike gets faster each lap. Well it started off nice and easy, but got a bit harder gradually.. the building excitement and focus was way cool.. as the bike sped up again and again I knuckled down for a real challenge, but just as I was about to get really worked up the other guy dropped out.. dammit! I was really up for a fight.. It really is gladiatorial.

    So I’m going to try and get my own bike and do some racing.

    Rusty head down to Newport and get out with the beginners. They are excellent with helping people start and getting into it and you can hire track bikes down there. Best person to get in contact with probably is Ian Jeremiah at Cyclopedia, Cryws Road (029 20377772) who owns the shop and one of the founder of JIF. He’ll tell you who best to contact in relation to this. I think Courtney Rowe runs a lot of the sessions but not sure if he mainly deals with the kids. Ian can give you everything you need though.

    Defintaely worth going down there and having a go, great bunch of people as well (I would say that being my mates and all) 😉

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    MC – are you a Cardiff local then?

    Unfortunately not any more! I live in Bicester but I was brought up in Cardiff and folks still live there. I was a founding member of JIF and still all my buddies so regularly back for weekends. Desperate to move back but job wise I need South Wales Police to open recruitment!!!!

    rustydub
    Member

    Thanks for the advice MC and molgrips, this is something I really want to try. I know of Ian Jeremiah from the cyclocross racing, if he rides the track as well it probably explains why he is so bloody fit!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    If you are near Cardiff, rustydub, the clubs usually run a fairly open session every other Sunday night at Newport. Ask before turning up tho 🙂

    rustydub
    Member

    molgrips, I live in Barry, so Maindy is my nearest track, I belive when its open, Wednesday night is Ajax track night. Sunday evenings I am usually unable to walk after mountain biking all day 🙂
    Though it would be good to try Newport ocasionally.

    Rusty rember Ian raced in the common wealth games for Wales in Manchester! Remember he’s not called “sticky” for nothing! top bloke and super fit!

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    I’m glad you Welshies have nice enough weather for an outdoor track in Cardiff – with the amount of rain we have in Manchester, indoor is the only way to go… (OK, I know there was an outdoor track at Fallowfield).

    Sadly, no more top level riders in my club, but then we did have one or two back in the day….

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Maindy is seriously not a patch on Newport. Totally different game.

    One night I was riding home at normal pace on my commuter, when there’s some guy behind me riding really quite fast on a sit-up bike with full chainguard, wearing all the commuter gear. He sat behind for a little while and I thought “oh yeah here we go another wannabe racer trying to get one over on a total stranger”. Anyway he went roaring past, so I let him go – I was on a recovery ride after all – thinking let the small man flog himself trying to prove he’s a better man than I am…

    Anyway, at the next lights he was stopped, and it was Ian. Explains why he was going so fast then – and he wasn’t even trying 🙂

    Molgrips that’s a brilliant story I’m going to chuckle away to myself! Excellent!! He could ride fast on a kids bike! he just always manages it!!
    Remember though Maindy Track is where Geraint Thomas started with Maindy Flyers now Olympic gold medal winner (and various others to boot!).
    Cardiff JIF has had a few good names over it’s time … none you’d want to go training with!

    I would like to add though that the female side of JIF is mainly riding and cake kind of trips!!! Especially to Glyncorrwg where you get the best home made cakes at the end of the ride!!

    A group of us went to the Newport velodrome in October and we all came away buzzing and couldn’t wait to go again, unfortunately it’s so booked up that we haven’t been back yet.

    We arrived early and made the mistake of going up into the stand to watch; from the corners look very steep. It was a nervous first few lamps, mainly because of getting used to riding fixed, but one you get into the groove you soon forget the banking a just go for it. However you don’t forget your lungs or legs which were screaming after the breaking off the front exercise (I was last up so had already got quite a few laps under my belt before I had to up the pace). It made me realise how lazy I am on the mountain bike as I staggered of the bike seeing purple stars!

    Did you see the Cyclo-speedway track outside the velodrome? – that’s my next cycling niche to try

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