Track taster session - Highly recommended

Yesterday I did a track taster session at the Lea Valley velodrome. It was velodrome used for the London 2012 Olympics. I was a little nervous at the start, I had never ridden a fixed wheel bike before. I had never been to velodrome before. I had been warned the banking was steeper than it looks on TV. They were not wrong. I wondered if I would make it to the top.

We had a great coach who guided us into the session. My main issue was slowing down, but I got the hang of it in the end. It was a lot of fun. We had about 45 minutes of free ride time. We could ride anywhere on the the track. We had been taught how to be safe.

I made it to the top. It was just a case of faith and believe in the speed. I will never be a track cyclist or racer, but to be on the same track where history was made was such a joy. If you ever have the chance to try it, I would highly recommend it.

I have done marathon, triathlons, Gran Fondo’s and now track. I was never going to be the fastest, but it brings a real insight when watching the pros and knowing how much better they are.

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its great fun isnt it! We used to do quite regular trips with our club, but Newport velodrome is a better track to ride IMHO. I wish we had one nearby as the winter leagues look huge fun and would be a great way to spend winter!

If I lived a bit closer I would do the second session. That is two hours long and if you want to race you have to pass. I wouldn’t race, but it would be good to do.

At the start it felt like a Formula 1 race, eight of us at different confidence levels and close together, but once it strung out, it felt very safe.

Track is a lot of fun. Swooping up and down the track in the corners is fun and satisfying when you get it right (ie, pulling off & reattaching in a team pursuit).

Once you get used to it riding at the top of the track is actually a bit easier / more comfortable than at bottom.

I didn’t realize the London velodrome was that steep. I learned on a similarly steep velodrome (alpenrose) and thought it was more uncommon.

The velodrome here closed in the past year or so :sob:

We had certified coaches in the club, so could hire the entire track for a few sessions and do our own thing. Once they brought a youth track racing team with them and us oldies acted as fodder for them to race against and destroy :rofl: The drills were big fun and doing stuff like the hand slings and flying 200’s etc was a great experience. Never quite got round to doing enough sessions to be allowed to race as it was just too far away.

There is one in Derby now that sounds good and is possibly marginally closer, but we live in the centre of the triangle between London, Derby & Newport so sadly they are all too bloomin far away for easy visits :frowning: I did nearly buy a track bike though just for some indoor fun when we could.

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This was a photo I took of the banking. Maybe it is not that steep, but it seemed steep enough to me :grinning:. I imagined all velodromes that held UCI events would be the same.

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IIRC the London one is slightly steeper and tighter turn than Newport - the wood finish is slower when we did it as well. They feel surprisingly different to ride

I did a taster session at Manchester Velodrome. In my naivety I though it would be an even effort ride, I was wrong and really surprised about how technical it was.

I’d love to live closer to one, I could imagine it would get addictive racing round it.

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I’ve done a handful of sessions at the Manchester Velodrome. I can can still vividly remember walking out into the centre, looking at the track and my whole body turning to jelly :laughing:

Once I’d got my wheels up onto the bank and I’d nailed my first corner, I was totally hooked. For me, there really is nothing quite like the feeling of riding a track.

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