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Track Cycling Write Up

Steve’s words immediately after viewing the velodrome summed up what we were all thinking: “That’s not a velodrome, it’s a wall of death!”

At 142 metres long and 47 degree banking it is little wonder there were a few butterflies as we picked out bikes and donned appropriate apparel. Fixed wheel, no brakes and cycling as fast as you can; what could possibly go wrong?!

Our instructor eased us in gently with some flat riding to get used to the equipment, followed by a few circuits of the lower banking. Within an hour or so we were clearly up to Chris Hoy’s standard and therefore the stopwatch was reset and timed laps begun.

With lap times of 10-14 seconds it is fair to say that it was the shortest sprint most people would ever do. That being said, picking the best line, cadence and application of power all played their part. Testosterone in the air, times were tumbling and some even opted to do a timed kilometre over 7-laps! 

Despite the apprehension, thankfully (& almost amazingly) no-one felt the need to become closer acquainted with the velodrome’s surface; a few wobbles, veers up to the upper limits and nervous twitches being the closest anyone came.

A big ‘thank-you’ to Collette for organising such an enjoyable and unique afternoon of track cycling - a great experience and one everyone should try.