Last Friday a group of ten of us from work went to the Burnaby Velodrome for a Learn To Ride On The Track session arranged by another co-worker and track superstar, Andy George. It lasted about two hours but the time went by so fast it seemed like twenty minutes. We started out with about a ten minute talk from Claire, an instructor, on going around the cote d'azur, or "coat" as it was called. It's an eighteen inch slightly canted strip around the inside of the track that basically gets you onto the track so you can pick up speed before going up onto the steeper parts.
Me standing on the "cote" showing for scale how steep the track is in the curve - 47 degrees.
It was definitely a bit of a learning curve riding the fixed gear bike with no brakes and practicing speeding up and slowing down not being able to coast. After a few laps it was down to the centre again for another talk on transitioning to the "sprinter's lane" between the red and black lines and up to the blue line (see picture above). After another break of five minutes and a demonstration from Andy on how to hit the last curve then stand and sprint down to the corner and into the sprinter's lane, we were all doing it.
It was a pretty cool feeling having no wind resistance and just bombing around through the corners but it wasn't easy riding near the top because of the small hills just before each curve after the straightaway.
I would recommend anyone to try this at least once in their life as it gives a deep appreciation to the track riders and the power required to do really well.
Definitely Not Me
Thankfully Not Me