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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 06-27-05, 12:41 AM   #1
harlot
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Marymoor Women's Track Clinic Trip Report

Leaden skies held their rain on Saturday as Marymoor velodrome in Redmond, WA, held a women's 4 hour intro to track racing clinic. In sum: absolutely fantastic!

18 women attended with varying degrees of ages and experience, from casual bike rider to Cat 3 road racers, cyclocross, and mountain bikers (the Group Health women's team was there to represent). One lucky gent from Marymoor Velo Assoc acted as ring leader and coach as a few more experienced women acted as mentors and led us through the basics on the track. We did various drills such as getting comfortable riding above and below each other, holding a paceline, double paceline, bike handling going elbow-to-elbow and hand-to-back, and jumps off the top of the bank. The day ended with everyone in groups based on speed for our first Scratch race. It was a blast! Me, I hardly knew what I was doing, but it was so fun to race around with the other girls after only a few hours and feel that adrenaline on the bell lap and the surge across the finish line. It will not be the last time. MVA and the whole group made it such a fun, encouraging atmosphere for beginners that you can't help but want more of the camaraderie and challenge. With the clinic you get to race at the Monday night beginner races and also join the women's training on Tuesday nights. If anyone is remotely interested come on out! Track rental bikes are available for only $5!

Personal highlight: the revelation after the first 5 or 10 warm-up laps that the bike and I were not going to plummet down the side of the bank like a sheet of ice (although all the bird poo on the one bank from the osprey nest above still made me nervous).

fyi - Marymoor offers the same clinics and races for men this summer so no excuses!

For more info see the MVA.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:49 AM   #2
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The new track refurbishment looks nice! Me? I'm a guy and have always been intimidated by the track riders I see on Friday nights. I love watching them though and when no one's around, I get in and do have fun pretending with my roadbike. One of these days, I'll screw up enough courage to try taking some lessons. Nice pictures.
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Old 06-27-05, 06:25 AM   #3
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Nice report H! There is a certain energy that just comes from riding fast and turning left. Glad you are finding it too! How many more people can we get to show up and ride at their local velodromes? How many people are first timers this year? Hmmm...I feel a thread coming on...
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Old 06-27-05, 08:43 AM   #4
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Very nice. Glad to read the report. Did you ride the Bridgestone or rent a track bike? Are they an open use velo?
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Old 06-27-05, 09:03 AM   #5
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Yay! I can't wait for the next Olydrome women's clinic. I'll get some photos too.
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Old 06-27-05, 10:07 AM   #6
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khuon - Don't be intimidated by the Friday night races! Those are the really, really good racers and they've worked their way up to those races. They have beginner/training races on Monday night and it's all about learning and having fun. After some of those you can graduate to the Wednesday night races that are still beginner races and for gaining experience. If you want to hang there for a year or two that's fine, it's a no pressure atmosphere. To race on Fridays you really need to show your stuff. I'd highly recommend taking one of their clinics and then you can come use their rental bikes and do whatever you're comfortable with. If anything it's a great way to work on your speed and bike handling skills.

absntr - Rosemary stayed home. Her gearing would have left me a spinning fool. The rental track bikes came with the class and they were great to use (I didn't catch what their gearing was....something BIG). It is an open use velo, you just have to make sure no clinics or races are going on.
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Old 06-27-05, 11:06 AM   #7
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harlot,
what kind of riding do you usually do?

i'm asking because i figure cycling must be like running. you have your long-distance runners, your sprinters, etc etc. so is cycling on a track like being a sprinter? or can i cruise around however i feel like?
i just want to know what its like. thanks.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absntr
Very nice. Glad to read the report. Did you ride the Bridgestone or rent a track bike? Are they an open use velo?
Yep. Open-use. Here's a bunch of us (I'm not in this picture) just screwing around with our roadbikes when the track wasn't being used for events. As you can see, this is before they did the resurfacing. Also, you can see the repair of the damage that the 2001 earthquake did. And you just have to love having Mt. Rainier as a backdrop.

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Old 06-27-05, 12:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by harlot
khuon - Don't be intimidated by the Friday night races!
[...]
If anything it's a great way to work on your speed and bike handling skills.
Thanks for the encouragement. Being primarily a MTBer, I have poor pedalling discipline when it comes to riding track. My spin and cadence is good enough for roadwork though and to be honest, I'm a much better climber than I am a flat-rider. I'd probably embarass myself pretty badly on the track. However, one could probably argue that's a good reason for me to take up lessons and track cycling.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:15 PM   #10
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AWESOME shot. Ed Rudolph velodrome has a waterslide as a back drop on the east end of business.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusholme
harlot,
what kind of riding do you usually do?

i'm asking because i figure cycling must be like running. you have your long-distance runners, your sprinters, etc etc. so is cycling on a track like being a sprinter? or can i cruise around however i feel like?
i just want to know what its like. thanks.
I had those questions in mind on Saturday as well. I don't have a fast twitch muscle in my body, I've always gravitated towards endurance and long distance. But after talking to people on Sat, they have a variety of track races, from the 500 meter to "unknown distance", so it seems that you can find something to challenge you. I'll never be a sprinter, but in the longer races I may do better, esp if I add sprints to my training and get off my ass. I'm just in it to have fun and become a better, faster rider. Some of the other peeps here may have better information for what kind of track races non-sprinters can focus on. If you go to the velo to just cruise around, you can go for hours and hours or just do interval work. If anything it's a great way to add variety to your riding repertoire!
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Old 06-27-05, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
Thanks for the encouragement. Being primarily a MTBer, I have poor pedalling discipline when it comes to riding track. My spin and cadence is good enough for roadwork though and to be honest, I'm a much better climber than I am a flat-rider. I'd probably embarass myself pretty badly on the track. However, one could probably argue that's a good reason for me to take up lessons and track cycling.
The thing is though....the bloody track isn't flat! There's a good sized hill on those banks and then you swoop down the other side with a trainload of speed to pass everone. I was surprised how much variety there was for your legs in such a small oval. I bet you'd be really surprised how much your other cycling skills improved by going to the track once/week. And the sprints....oy that will help you even more on hills.

Oh and that shot with Rainier...I had no idea she was there! We had clouds the whole day. Maybe she'll be out tomorrow.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:41 PM   #13
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The thing is though....the bloody track isn't flat!
Are you talking about just climbing the banks or is the whole track on a slight tilt? I do love climbing up those banks and coming down the backside. I'd probably get a few laughs off folks who saw me do it though because... well I climb and descend them like a MTBer. The roller-coaster effect is pure fun.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:43 PM   #14
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I have bank envy...
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Old 06-27-05, 01:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by khuon
Are you talking about just climbing the banks or is the whole track on a slight tilt? I do love climbing up those banks and coming down the backside. I'd probably get a few laughs off folks who saw me do it though because... well I climb and descend them like a MTBer. The roller-coaster effect is pure fun.
Yeah I'm just talking about climbing the banks. I was surprised by the roller coastering....way fun! The upper parts of the flats do have a slight tilt, but next to the inner circle it's pretty flat. You can get a bit of everything.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:23 AM   #16
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maybe this is a dumb question, but i havent found the answer yet by myself.

do we have anything like this at northbrook? i looked at theh triple xxx site, the northbrook site, and searched this forum. seems like they had a women's clinic (will they have another one?), and they have an open clinic (reported by hella to be hardcore). what was the women's clinic like? and do they have loaner bikes? triple xxx has training rides it seems, but thats not an oprah-clinic like harlot is talking about. and we have oprah here!!

anyone?
anyone?
please?
thank you.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:32 AM   #17
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um, call Marcus? He is the Race Corrdinator this year! he knows all...except where his face razor is.
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Old 06-30-05, 12:05 PM   #18
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thanks cap'n [165]
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Old 06-30-05, 09:56 PM   #19
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Hey Harlot,
Tonight I went to the Thursday night open coaching session at Marymoor. For $3.00 you get a killer workout and get to practice the techniques you would use in a race. John, the teacher is a good guy. I have taken the class, but am a total beginner. Haven't raced yet, but I feel more confident after tonight. A couple more of these and I will feel ready.
There was one woman in the class of 11. She seemed to feel comfortable and did well. Try it...
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Old 06-30-05, 10:19 PM   #20
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Yup I did the Tuesday night women's coaching session this week with a few other newbies and a lot of more experienced chicks (see thread about newbie drills). And it's free! Our coach was this great guy Paul who led us through some drills. And silly me, I got an extra good workout because I rode roundtrip from Sandpoint....

For now I'll stick with the women's session, but it's good to know that Thursday is an alternative. I'll do this again next week....and then it's the Monday night gumby races!!
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Old 07-13-05, 11:06 AM   #21
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I did the same track class on June 25th. It was a blast!!! I loved it and did my first race this last Monday... while I am not fast.... I hope to build more bicycling skills for road use, more endurance/speed, make friends and have a blast! That is what I was doing Monday night - for sure.
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