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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 08-04-05, 10:11 AM   #1
gonesh9
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Wednesdays at Alpenrose here in PDX is drop in day. $5 gets you in, and another $5 gets you a track bike rental. I went with fellow BF’er Barleyrocket from the road forum, a great guy with a super attitude. His motto seems to be “If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t laugh at anyone.” We got our bikes and stepped out onto the track, watching the more seasoned riders spinning around… we both started to get a little nervous at the angle of the track. I’ve heard Alpenrose has one of the steepest banks in the country, and I believe it.

We got split up into groups of 5-6, each with a knowledgeable racer to coach us through. The head dude gave those of us who’d never ridden the track his official speech, outlining the rules:
-Keep pedaling. (Duh, but I understood some people might not be familiar with fixed gear.)
- Yell “Stay”, and pass high.
- Go faster.
- Have fun.

As he was talking the more advanced riders kept riding. One guy hit the top rail, slid down and broke his collarbone. Didn’t make my confidence feel too at ease.

So our groups took off, at first at an easy paceline at the bottom of the track. After two laps I realized I was hooked, started thinking how I’d have to explain another bike purchase to my girlfriend. Anyways I got comfortable taking the bank really quickly. No crashes, just a lot of fun. At the end of the session they broke us up into A,B,C groups. The A’s (advanced) lined up and raced a flat 10 lap, forgot what that was called. Those guys killed, pretty fun to watch. Next they picked out who they thought were B’s, and Barley and I got called. Lined up and took off for my first track race. Seemed like a fairly easy pace, but I just worked my way to right behind the leader and drafted for 9 laps. Coming in to the final stretch I thought I had it locked in but 2 guys sprinted past…Oh, well. There’s always next week.

Here’s some pics:

A couple of the faster guys coming out of the high turn.


Rollin.


Barleyrocket and I warming up. (Barley's in Blue, I'm in red.)


Here's our group in the easy paceline.


Barleyrocket practicing his victory pose.
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Old 08-04-05, 10:13 AM   #2
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Post (or cross-post) to the Track Cycling forum!
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Old 08-04-05, 10:18 AM   #3
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Very nice though. I've seen other photos of Alpenrose (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/alpenrose/) and that banking is crazy.

How fast were you going on the banks?
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Old 08-04-05, 10:48 AM   #4
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They said you'd have to be going faster than 13.5 or something to stay on, but I wouldn't want to test it. Not sure exactly, but felt like I was staying in the 18-23 range.
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Old 08-04-05, 10:53 AM   #5
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Holy **** that is a nice track. I wish Hellyer had banks like that. What is everyone doing up on the stayers line?
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Old 08-04-05, 11:03 AM   #6
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Sweet! What's the degrees on the track! That is a beautiful one.
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Old 08-04-05, 11:38 AM   #7
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cool photos Gonesh, thanks for posting. and yes, those banks are way steeper than Kissena. Looks like a really nice track. Would love to come out there someday.
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Old 08-04-05, 12:21 PM   #8
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man, that track looks smooth.
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Old 08-04-05, 12:24 PM   #9
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that track needs to be invaded...hmmm.
great pics indeed!
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Old 08-04-05, 12:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lala
Sweet! What's the degrees on the track! That is a beautiful one.
I think someone said 42 degrees in another thread. In any case, damn! That looks so fun... Plane tickets to Portland can't be that expensive.
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Old 08-04-05, 03:46 PM   #11
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We had a great time, and I think the races that we did were scratch races. without the neutral lap. It was a great time, and I'm trying out the top step because it will be the only time I ever get there. Oh well, it was a blast and we both got hooked.
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Old 08-04-05, 08:27 PM   #12
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nice photos, gonesh9. i hear you all the way on those banks - it looks like the mike walden velodrome over in my neck of the woods (also ripe for invading, and closer for some of y'all). riding a track like that is just good clean fun. good on you!
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Old 08-04-05, 10:38 PM   #13
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check out the banks in london - the Forest City Velodrome
http://www.forestcityvelodrome.ca/im...ion/index.html
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Old 08-05-05, 03:14 AM   #14
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50 degrees and 138 metres, fastest lap to date about 8.5 seconds.
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Old 08-05-05, 07:55 PM   #15
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50 degrees and 138 metres, fastest lap to date about 8.5 seconds.
With the cyclists to compare against the track, you can count out the 8.5 seconds, and get an idea of the speed. That must be incredibly fun.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msngr
man, that track looks smooth.
pics are deceiving. ;-)

it has its spots.

-Z
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Old 08-29-05, 04:18 PM   #17
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I just had my first velodrome experience at Helyer in San Jose, was a blast and I too am addicted... didn't know riding in circles could be so damned fun. Our banks are not nearly as steep. I think someone said ours are less than 30 degree... but for my inexperienced noob self, going to the top of the bank and looking down was pretty daunting for the first few laps... gotta get some drops now, all i got is bull horns.
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Old 08-29-05, 04:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I just had my first velodrome experience at Helyer in San Jose, was a blast and I too am addicted... didn't know riding in circles could be so damned fun. Our banks are not nearly as steep. I think someone said ours are less than 30 degree... but for my inexperienced noob self, going to the top of the bank and looking down was pretty daunting for the first few laps... gotta get some drops now, all i got is bull horns.
They let you on the track with bullhorns?
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Old 08-30-05, 04:53 PM   #19
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Hey Adam! How's it going man? See ya Thursday. I'll be at a KidsCamp at the Vel all day Wednesday; I hope I survive!
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Old 09-03-05, 10:06 PM   #20
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remindes me of my first day ... learn to ride [IMG]
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Old 09-04-05, 05:07 AM   #21
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Yeah I've got one of those in the basement in place of *^%$# rollers.
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Old 09-09-05, 12:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msngr
man, that track looks smooth.

AHHHH, HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Seriously, it's not. It's got a fun little "wave" in it. I remember hearing Kenny Williams (multi-time national/world champ; smooth as butter on the bike) saying he thought he was going to crash riding Alpenrose. But there is a plus side: if you can ride Alpenrose, you can ride anything.
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