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anyone here raced on a grass velodrome

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anyone here raced on a grass velodrome

Old 07-31-19, 03:20 PM
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Radish_legs
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anyone here raced on a grass velodrome

like they have in Kansas?
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Old 07-31-19, 03:26 PM
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Nope. And only on a proper velodrome twice even though we have one in my town. I saw the article on the grass velodrome and it looks hard and scary. Cornering without banks on a fixed gear is scary enough, then add in bumpy grass.... But maybe its tons of fun too.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:48 AM
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Nope. Read that article too (and posted it in the track forum).

I'm not sure how the cornering works with no banking and fixed gears. Even with short crank arms and a high bb I can't imagine you can lean as much as you need to. They described some sort of alternate technique, sounds like they're leaning their bodies and not the bikes maybe, like a track motorcycle racer sort of.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Nope. Read that article too (and posted it in the track forum).

I'm not sure how the cornering works with no banking and fixed gears. Even with short crank arms and a high bb I can't imagine you can lean as much as you need to. They described some sort of alternate technique, sounds like they're leaning their bodies and not the bikes maybe, like a track motorcycle racer sort of.
It's like any other form of racing. You show up, watch what others do and go out and do it. The sport is nothing new. The English have been racing grass for probably 100 years. It's a lot slower than road riding or velodrome riding and if you do crash, it's on grass. Grass stains instead of road rash.
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Old 08-01-19, 10:29 AM
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Sounds fun to me. Not sure why anyone would be concerned about corners. Cross races frequently feature 180 degree turns, sometimes off camber. If you're concerned, just go slower.
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Old 08-01-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Sounds fun to me. Not sure why anyone would be concerned about corners. Cross races frequently feature 180 degree turns, sometimes off camber. If you're concerned, just go slower.
I mean, I think it's logical to be concerned about corners when it's a race, it's flat, it's fixed gear, and it's no brakes. Not exactly the same as a cross race.

Nobody is saying it isn't possible. Clearly it is. It's done in Kansas and it's done in the UK and elsewhere. I just haven't read a good explanation of how they corner at high speeds on a flat track.

There's a reason velodromes have banking.
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Old 08-01-19, 12:42 PM
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But how fast do you think people are going? It's rough grass not a smooth track or pavement. I mention cross because the terrain is similar.
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Old 08-01-19, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
But how fast do you think people are going? It's rough grass not a smooth track or pavement. I mention cross because the terrain is similar.
Fair. I kind figured a bunch of track guys riding short races would still be flying, even on grass, but I can't really tell from the few videos I've found, and I can't find any speed references.
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Old 08-01-19, 01:27 PM
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What I suspect is that racers who over cook the turns with too much speed and inside lean, clip the pedals and slide out taking others with them. They still konk their head (maybe) on the ground but at least they do not get slammed against a banked wall. I think it would be fun and it would require a different skill set, bike setup and tires.

To think of it another way, at Velo Sports Center in Carson, one has to maintain speed and traction in the turns or slide down the track such that speed control is important. On grass, the reverse is true. Too much speed and traction is lost.
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Old 08-01-19, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
It's like any other form of racing. You show up, watch what others do and go out and do it.
I wish. USAC has many rules before you get to do it. The track stuff was so cumbersome we gave up - and I have some nice wheels to sell.

Jr:"Hey, I want to go do the Nats track" Me:"Sorry - you are a Cat 4". Jr:"Wait, we won collegiate nats and I'm faster than those guys." Me:"Sorry". Jr:"Sell the track stuff".

CX, MTB - also. There are so many categories and grades to wade through. Easier to dump the discipline.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I wish. USAC has many rules before you get to do it. The track stuff was so cumbersome we gave up - and I have some nice wheels to sell.

Jr:"Hey, I want to go do the Nats track" Me:"Sorry - you are a Cat 4". Jr:"Wait, we won collegiate nats and I'm faster than those guys." Me:"Sorry". Jr:"Sell the track stuff".

CX, MTB - also. There are so many categories and grades to wade through. Easier to dump the discipline.
USAC has grass track rules?
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Old 08-01-19, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
USAC has grass track rules?
I assumed this was in the USA.
USAC has rules for about every type of racing in the USA. I expect, yes, they would be over track racing on any surface. Why not?
There are always un-sanctioned races. Some more grass roots and competitive, but certainly USAC rules over 90%+ of any Road Bike Racing in the USA.
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Old 08-02-19, 06:20 AM
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I doubt these grass track races are USAC sanctioned events. Many (most?) gravel races and probably half of track races aren't USAC sanctioned.

(But PM me about the track stuff you're selling.)
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Old 08-02-19, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I doubt these grass track races are USAC sanctioned events. Many (most?) gravel races and probably half of track races aren't USAC sanctioned.

(But PM me about the track stuff you're selling.)
PM Done.

Saying that half of the track races are not sanctioned (permitted) surprises me. There is a lot of liability someone or several is/are taking. Even open sessions at the LA Velodrome required rider registration.

USAC has really broadened their reach. They sanction Fondos (as does UCI), cx, MTB and gravel too. Anytime there is a venue that needs insurance, or races that want insurance, or cities wanting permits, or any kind of officials or medical staff the way to do that with the least liability seems to be to pull a racing permit. My complaint which is related is that they wrap categories that require management around new and fun things.

Collegiate has 7 Categories, Domestic has 7, then there are two teams. That is 28 combinations to manage. An more if you switch the team/event.
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Old 08-02-19, 09:22 AM
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Lots of velodromes belong to ATRA instead of USAC (or in addition). Many weeknight series is just a waiver and you're on your own I think.

Giordana used to be ATRA mostly I think and had a weekly series, but I just looked at the website and they're not a member, and only have 3 race series events a year now it seems and they're USAC.
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Old 08-02-19, 09:38 AM
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As FB said, I think about half the tracks in the US run under ATRA sanctions. Of course, if you only race at an ATRA track, your results don't qualify for USAC upgrades, which is an issue if you want to race national championship events.
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Old 08-02-19, 10:23 AM
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Track racing seems like a great growth opportunity for cycling, since it's in a dedicated location, no permits, no complaints, very low incremental costs for each additional race once it's built. It's fast, ideal for spectators and TV, cheaper bikes are necessary, doesn't take a ton of training time to be good because the events are short.

I love track more than any other discipline.
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Old 08-02-19, 11:26 AM
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The Dallas area velodrome was dismantled and put in storage, now owned by local racer/promoter. We're hoping he can get something in place to rebuild it. However in its prior location in Frisco, it was never particularly popular.

Wagering would make it much more popular.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
The Dallas area velodrome was dismantled and put in storage, now owned by local racer/promoter. We're hoping he can get something in place to rebuild it. However in its prior location in Frisco, it was never particularly popular.

Wagering would make it much more popular.
I think popularity has a lot has to do with the group running the velodrome. At the JBMV in Redmond, Washington they are racing 4 nights a week. They also have junior programs, madison classes as well as race tactics workshops. They also have two to three big weekend races every year. They have done masters and junior nationals.
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Old 08-05-19, 03:06 PM
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I live about 4 miles from the Kansas grass track. There's a CX course on the same property so it also gets used for warmup laps a lot.

It's USAC-sanctioned and there's an official Kansas Grass Track Championship ever year. The season runs from late May to a couple weeks ago. But USAC doesn't include it in its list of official velodromes.

As I understand it, the people who created it consulted manuals from the UK in order to get it to "spec".

I've never done any of the races, mostly because of scheduling conflicts, but based on some cursory review of my friends' Strava rides, it looks like they get going into the 20+ mph range.

Pretty much everyone out there is riding a Surly Steamroller or some sort of SSCX bike. I'd guess the higher BBs alleviate some of the pedal strike issues but also, it happens.

I hope to ride it next year -- I think my scheduling conflicts might be resolved by then. All of my friends who ride out there rave about it. It's like CX, except different.
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