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  1. #1
    asleep at the wheel fixedpip's Avatar
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    Track direction, Is it standardised?

    I've raced track in the UK and in the US. On each and every circuit the racers go counter clockwise (left side down track, right side up track).

    But today in training we went in reverse, which was very odd in itself. But it got me wondering, does any one race the other way round? If we don't standardise on driving, why on the track?

    It was pretty disturbing and made me feel like I've I've never ridden track before.

  2. #2
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    In the northern hemisphere it's c-clockwise and in the southern hemisphere it's clockwise - just like the water in the terlet bowl.

    I can't see the reason for "training" in the opposite direction.

  3. #3
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    They changed it recently to improve the riding style. That is what was quoted in why the changed it.

    S/F,
    CEYA!
    Strength and Honor!!

  4. #4
    this portrait of karma transplant's Avatar
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    sometimes i'll do laps clockwise just to mix it up ;-)

  5. #5
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    Once in a while we have our juniors do a "backwards" 30 lap points race. Needless to say our juniors have excellent bike handeling skills and that's the point of riding clockwise.

  6. #6
    spinlikehell mickster's Avatar
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    Agreed. I was at the Herne Hill session yesterday (hi FP!) and found it really eye opening to do a few laps in the 'wrong' direction.
    Coming down onto the black from high on the banking was particularly unnerving, and the different direction had me doing a double look over each shoulder a couple of times before daring to change my line. I think this was kind of the point of doing it - an exercise in not getting too complacent / lazy. Many of the newer less experienced riders seemed to deal dealt with the change of direction better than many of the regular guys.

    mickster

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    A lot of tracks are assymetrical, the slopes are different on entry and exit of each turn. Riding in the reverse direction feels very odd.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kiecker's Avatar
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    I really want to try ADT in reverse! 45 degrees of fun!

  9. #9
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.

    I can't see the reason for "training" in the opposite direction.
    So when your racing the mariposies backwards you know what to expect! HAHA


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiecker
    I really want to try ADT in reverse! 45 degrees of fun!
    If Roger catches you, he'll ban you for life!!!!!!!!!!

  11. #11
    my nice bike is at home kraftwerk's Avatar
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    it is a form of cross training, everyone should try it...

  12. #12
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    The reason that velodrome racing goes counter clockwise and also does with track running and most oval auto racing is simple. The human heart is located slightly to the left side of the thorax. What this means is that the bodies centre of gravity is slightly left of the meridian that would bisect your body left and right. This means that you will corner better when turning to the left that when turning to the right.

  13. #13
    spinlikehell mickster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo
    The reason that velodrome racing goes counter clockwise and also does with track running and most oval auto racing is simple. The human heart is located slightly to the left side of the thorax. What this means is that the bodies centre of gravity is slightly left of the meridian that would bisect your body left and right. This means that you will corner better when turning to the left that when turning to the right.
    bull****.
    It's because, in the western hemisphere, the earth's gravitational field runs from left to right (eg water flows clockwise down the plughole); thus you will corner better when leaning into rather than away from the natural direction of magnetic flow.
    That's why in the southern hemisphere (eg Australia) their athletes are at a disadvantage as they're forced to race in the same direction as the natural flow of the earth's magnetism - down under, it flows from right to left, yet they're still forced to ride counterclockwise. It impedes their cornering. This explains why the UK track squad regularly stuffs the Oz track squad at most World Cup / World Championship meets.










    mickster
    Last edited by mickster; 09-01-06 at 04:17 AM.

  14. #14
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    shouldn't it make them faster like training at altitude or something?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickster
    bull****.
    It's because, in the western hemisphere, the earth's gravitational field runs from left to right (eg water flows clockwise down the plughole); thus you will corner better when leaning into rather than away from the natural direction of magnetic flow.
    mickster
    yeah, the magnetic flow baby - that's why i always race with a crystal in my pocket.

  16. #16
    Enjoy the ride! Gray Dog's Avatar
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    The reason that velodrome racing goes counter clockwise and also does with track running and most oval auto racing is simple. The human heart is located slightly to the left side of the thorax. What this means is that the bodies centre of gravity is slightly left of the meridian that would bisect your body left and right. This means that you will corner better when turning to the left that when turning to the right
    It's because, in the western hemisphere, the earth's gravitational field runs from left to right (eg water flows clockwise down the plughole); thus you will corner better when leaning into rather than away from the natural direction of magnetic flow.
    Y'all are close...

    1. Water flows clockwise for all of us who live life right side up.
    2. Velodrome surfaces are made of wood.
    3. Water flows into trees in a clockwise direction (see #1)
    4. The grain in trees grows counter-clockwise so it can accept the water (see #3)
    5. Nails are steel and thus magnetic
    6. The grain of wood holds nails much better if they are inserted in the opposite direction of it
    7. The magnetic pull of the earth attracts the steel in the nails better when they are inserted against the grain of the wood.
    8. Track bikes are sooo fast that if they ran in the opposite direction, their traction would rip the boards right out of the floor.


    And that's the real reason.
    A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink. -W C Fields

  17. #17
    spinlikehell mickster's Avatar
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    gd - a good attempt to create a unified theory of track direction, encompassing as it does both materials science and what we've already clearly established about the primacy of the earth's gravitational pull. However, this still doesn't explain the overwhelming predominance of an antoclockwise direction on concrete, asphalt and other non-wood tracks. Surely it can't simply be a coincidence that we almost always go anticlcokwise around these too?

    I think you need to expand yr theory some more. You're nearly there I feel.

    mickster

  18. #18
    Enjoy the ride! Gray Dog's Avatar
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    I didn't address any of the other sports or surfaces since we all know that track cycling is the alpha and omega and all other sports merely follow its lead.
    A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink. -W C Fields

  19. #19
    Enjoy the ride! Gray Dog's Avatar
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    Mickster-I dare say your cousins on the bottom side of the world might have a dissenting opinion. Just remind them of Queen's Rules
    A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink. -W C Fields

  20. #20
    spinlikehell mickster's Avatar
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    Heh-heh! I was hoping to tempt some of 'em out of the woodwork with my poorly disguised (and frankly untrue) attempts at intra-Commonwealth banter but they've clearly got better things to do with their time. Oh well, back on the rollers it is then...

    mickster

  21. #21
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Who sezz all tracks run counter clockwise? World champ Gord Singleton and his oppo Jamie Shankland can't be wrong -
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    Geek Extraordinaire sivat's Avatar
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    Wow, they even went with left side drive to help them race backwards!
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    Sintesi Conversion Serotta Track

  23. #23
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sivat
    Wow, they even went with left side drive to help them race backwards!
    There must be some benefit if they have to go to all that cost for a custom threaded rear hub & cog!

  24. #24
    Enjoy the ride! Gray Dog's Avatar
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    I found this and thought it might clear up some of the confusion...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink. -W C Fields

  25. #25
    spinlikehell mickster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    Who sezz all tracks run counter clockwise? World champ Gord Singleton and his oppo Jamie Shankland can't be wrong -
    Mike - flips aside, is that a legit picture from Forest City?? If so, looks fairly recent judging from the bikes & GS's err, ruggedly weathered features... Or is that just the effect that 50 degree banking has on someone going as fast as Gord
    If it was legit I'd have loved to have seen him riding there - reminds me of watching the likes of Matt Gilmore / Bruno Risi / Nothstein riding the Gent track at the 6 days last November. Incredible speed and spacial awareness on such a steep and narrow track...

    mickster

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