Saturday, my wife and I along with 6 other track racers from NorCal flew to Long Beach to get certified to race at the LA Velodrome located in Carson, CA. The trip was organized by our coach who attended the session. We were led by an LAV instructor / coach for the 2 hour private session.
One pic is worth a 1000 words. Here we are for a photo op at the end. This is an amazing facility and we definitely broke the fun barrier.
A couple of my racing buddies, who raced at LAV, warned me about the initial impression when you walk into the velodrome and not to look down the wall. Well, that is not possible and when I walked in and saw the steepness of the 47.5 degree banking and height of the wall 38 feet, I thought this is going to be amazing.
We had to get our rental bikes fitted, pedals installed, adjustments and etc, The rental bikes were Felt and geared at 86 gear inches.
We are all experienced track racers from Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose that is an outdoor cement track 335 meters with 23 degree banking. However, LAV is 250 meters, wooden surface with 47.5 degree banking so we needed to learn about how to ride this track. Andrew our instructor was giving instructions before we saddled up.
To keep from slipping down the track on the banking, one has to go approximately 18 mph. Andrew led us on the track and soon we were flying around the track and making our way to the top near the rail. I did not look down and focused on holding position. It was a piece of cake.
We then did some pace line team pursuit drills riding up the bank in turn one and going to the back of the pace line out of turn one to get used to the wooden 250 meter track. We then did a flying 200 meter. At LAV, one has to climb to the top of the track by traversing. It would use too much energy and the gear is too big to climb directly to the rail. So in the flying 200, you have two laps to climb to the top. Once at the top, you begin acceleration out of turn 2 and dive down the banking into turn one. The dive from the top of the rail into turn one was really fast. I hit the turn and I felt the g forces push me into my seat. It was so smooth and fast I am totally spoiled. We all passed and are invited back to race at LAV anytime.
Andrew showed us his pursuit bike with the Russian disc wheels - pretty cool.
My wife and I have plane tickets for this weekend and plan to race at LAV on Saturday.
Here are a couple more pics...
Flying into Long Beach
Piling into the car
Andrew with his bike