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I rode the velodrome today...

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I rode the velodrome today...

Old 02-24-21, 11:47 AM
  #26  
vane171
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Would riding a fixie bike on road be a good preparation before trying out velodrome track? Maybe then also your muscles would not be so sore and the skills you gain on a fixie transfer to track directly.

This talk of different length of tracks and banking angles make me wonder about racing standards. I mean that surely winning of some track race must then also include those specs, otherwise the result doesn't have much any meaning.

BTW 50 degrees sounds incredible, I used to do ice climbing, up waterfalls and even 45 degrees is quite steep and demanding, although it also depends on the length (that is, height). That 50 degrees reminds one of those circus cages where you ride motorbike even upside down in a globe.

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Old 02-24-21, 01:00 PM
  #27  
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vane171 Riding a fixed gear bike on the road with a front brake is good preparation for the track. It does not include some essential skills.

At a beginner session at Hellyer, I divide the group into those who have had a previous beginner session and those who have never ridden on the track. I take the new to the track riders to the warmup circle and everyone learns / demonstrates the ability to get on and off the fixed bike and put ones feet into the pedal cages. So if you are a fixed gear road rider, you quickly pass this exercise and I would put you on the track immediately.

Some new riders have trouble getting on and off the bike and some cannot get their feet into the pedal cages. So if one cannot get on the bike or get ones feet in the cages, then one hangs around the warmup circle longer but all eventually make it onto the track.

After everyone has ridden around the track for a few laps and gets the feel of the banking then we proceed to contact drills where riders slowly ride around the apron in pairs and gently bump into each other. After they can bump on the apron they slow roll on to the banking and practice bumping each other. Contact is inevitable but survival and not crashing is easy to learn and a required skill. This is hard to do on a steeply banked track because one must have some speed on the track versus a track like Hellyer, Trexlertown or Marymoore.

Next the entire group goes on the track rolling around as a peloton and on the whistle, a lead rider accelerates away and laps the field. When everyone has done this as an individual, I send 3 riders off the front.

We then organize groups of four and put each team on the opposite side of the track to ride team pursuit style and do 1/2 lap exchanges at slow speed. After that technique is mastered, we increase the speed. Each team may get 3 to 4 team pursuit efforts.

Then I demonstrate and flying 200 meters and each rider gets to execute a couple flying 200 meters.

By this time the beginners are cooked but had a great time and learned a lot.

So you can see where your road fixed gear skills may fit. IMO, it is probable that you skip the get on the bike and maybe you have better pack skills and team pursuit / pace line capability. Keep in mind, that when they are doing team pursuit, I am constantly reminding them to ride closer together but obviously not real team pursuit close. Some riders ride 3 bike lengths off and that is too far even for beginners.

At Carson, the workou is similar it just takes longer to get riders on the track due to the speeds required not to slide down the banking.
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Old 02-24-21, 01:07 PM
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With respect to racing on different tracks, it does not matter. Results are results except that World Cup and Olympic racing is done on a 250 meter indoor wooden track.

Track / world records can be set on any track including outdoor concrete tracks. It is just harder to go fast on a rougher surface with wind. Hence the fastest tracks are indoors and at altitude.

Racers who show up at Carson with no Carson experience are at a disadvantage to those riders who have extensive experience on the track. Once one masters Carson, all the rest seem easier. Carson is shaped with longer straight sections and shorter radius turns versus Manchester, England which is more oval. Manchester has the same surface and is faster.
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Old 02-24-21, 02:49 PM
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I think the intro clinic at Rock Hill is similar to what Hermes said. They start by getting people comfortable riding the fixed gear bikes on the warm up circle and then move to the apron. I think it then progresses to riding onto and off the straights then riding around at the track in the sprinters lane, then learning to move up to the blue line on the straights and slowly progressing to the point that everyone is comfortable enough riding the track up to the rail. From there, they start doing paceline drills, rotation drills, sprint drills, passing drills, out of the saddle drills, Flying 200s and standing starts.
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Old 02-24-21, 09:57 PM
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I didn't know body contacts are meant to be part of the game or even taken as a regular thing. But that is probably something like body, mostly elbow contacts in road races, it can happen but should not be seen as intentional(?). If I lived near some track, I'd also be tempted to take the beginner courses. Great explanation, thanks.

I've heard it said that all road racers should start on track when young, probably somewhat old fashioned idea. Same as it is said that all modern style dancers should go through ballet drill when starting out.
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Old 02-25-21, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
I didn't know body contacts are meant to be part of the game or even taken as a regular thing. But that is probably something like body, mostly elbow contacts in road races, it can happen but should not be seen as intentional(?). If I lived near some track, I'd also be tempted to take the beginner courses. Great explanation, thanks.

I've heard it said that all road racers should start on track when young, probably somewhat old fashioned idea. Same as it is said that all modern style dancers should go through ballet drill when starting out.
Well, contact is not meant to be part of the “game” but there is always the possibility of incidental contact when riding / racing on a small venue and there is the Madison race where pairs of race compete in a points style race and make exchanges by throwing each other into the action. These races tend to be chaotic and the chance of incidental contact increases. And in general, during a race, racers ride very close together.

The goal in a skills clinic is to learn those skills that keep riders safer and increase enjoyment. A detail that I did not talk about the contact session is that I teach them and have them practice the old Madison push. This is where the Madison exchange is done by pushing your partner into the race versus throwing. But it serves the purpose of having the beginner challenged to take a hand off the handlebar and while on the banking gently give his partner a push. This develops the skill to watch the track ahead, ride in a straight line and maintain balance while pushing the partner. The goal is to make riders bullet proof on the bike and not crash due to being startled by incidental contact or having other riders in close proximity.

We got a lot of juniors at the track and our local coaches offered sessions and coaching for juniors after they completed the beginner sessions. It is always a great idea to start a sport at a young age. And it is great when the local community such as the Velodrome offers well thought out sessions designed to offer kids a way to get started and learn the required skills and racing technique under supervision.

However, in NorCal, the NCNCA, the local racing association offered an Early Bird series for road / crit racers that focused on skills and racing with mentors. And the NCNCA had instructors that offered skills clinics for racers on cornering, sprinting and etc.

When I started racing, I did all of that i.e. coaching, skills clinics, beginner sessions at the track. My goal was to learn as many skills and techniques as possible to gain a competitive advantage.
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Old 02-25-21, 11:43 PM
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and never try to come around Kochi Nakano.

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Old 02-26-21, 08:17 AM
  #33  
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One of the best things about track riding is you're never more than 166m, 250m, or 333m off the back.

I rode at the Frisco Superdrome for a couple years in the late 1990s. It was a fantastic track with a great group of riders.
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Old 02-26-21, 02:33 PM
  #34  
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