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  1. #1
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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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.

  2. #2
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Post (or cross-post) to the Track Cycling forum!

  3. #3
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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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?

  4. #4
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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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.
    Last edited by gonesh9; 08-05-05 at 09:00 AM.

  5. #5
    Making Records dokushoka's Avatar
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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?

  6. #6
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    Sweet! What's the degrees on the track! That is a beautiful one.
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  7. #7
    Radio Bemba 00.0 EnLaCalle's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Msngr's Avatar
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    man, that track looks smooth.

  9. #9
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    that track needs to be invaded...hmmm.
    great pics indeed!
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  10. #10
    Slow in traffic Paul And Pista's Avatar
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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.

  11. #11
    ???What??? barleyrocket's Avatar
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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.
    ???Huh???

  12. #12
    heliocentrist cicadashell's Avatar
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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!

  13. #13
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    check out the banks in london - the Forest City Velodrome
    http://www.forestcityvelodrome.ca/im...ion/index.html

  14. #14
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    50 degrees and 138 metres, fastest lap to date about 8.5 seconds.

  15. #15
    ambassador of good will *new*guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    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.

  16. #16
    cycle-dog spot DinoShepherd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Msngr
    man, that track looks smooth.
    pics are deceiving. ;-)

    it has its spots.

    -Z

  17. #17
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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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.

  18. #18
    Making Records dokushoka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadly downtube
    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?

  19. #19
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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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!

  20. #20
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    remindes me of my first day ... learn to ride [IMG]

  21. #21
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Yeah I've got one of those in the basement in place of *^%$# rollers.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Xtrmyorick's Avatar
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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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