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  1. #1
    Senior Member doomkin's Avatar
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    Recommended Training

    I'm looking for some advice on training regimens that I could pursue in order to get prepared for my very first track experience. I'm pre-registered for the Velo City stop in Chicago (Kenosha) and am really excited.

    I realize I'm going to be no match for most of the competition, but i don't want to look like a complete fool so I've been making an effort to get out on the road and increase my riding speed before June 24 (the big day!).

    Is there anything in particular I could be doing that would help me get prepared? What kind of speeds should I be looking to get myself up to for at least a tiny chance at keeping up with the pack?

    Oh, and how the hell do you guys stay down on the drops for so long? The track rules I read said you have to be in the drops during the entirety of the race so I've been trying to ride in the drops but it really kills my arms and I can barely see forward without straining my neck. Perhaps my bike is set up incorrectly?

    Any advice would be awesome!

  2. #2
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Doomkin, you're trying to run before you know if you can walk. I don't know what the pre-registration thing is that you've signed up for but what you really need is whatever "learn to ride" program that the track offers. There, as long as you can actually ride a bike, you will be in good company.

    When you actually & finally get up onto the track you be riding at gentle speeds with classmates of similar experience. You'll be riding in the 30kph (18 - 20mph) range and "keeping up" won't be your biggest issue.

    The track will offer other sessions that will take you up in skill level to where you would like to be - or can be, depending on your ability.

    If your bike, while riding on the drops, causes you distress then it isn't set up right. The instructor can help with this too. As most track races (and riding sessions) are shorter than most road stuff then a more agressive postion is acceptable.

    By the way - there's not much you can do in the next three weeks to make you fast if you're not already fast. Just relax and enjoy the experience and if what you have entered is some kind of a race then cancel and sign up for their LTR program.

  3. #3
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    Is that the track race for the alleycat crowd?

    See if you can at least start a class by then. Here the classes start the first of the month so you may be in luck. That way even if everyone else is clueless and out of control at least you won't be.

    What other biking experience do you have? Do you go on group rides? If not start(provided you have an appropriate bike.) The vast majority of street track bike riders have thier bars way to low(even the ones who insist it is comfortable) so jack yours up some you will probably be faster for it.

    Make sure you practice your 200s too. A little practice and comfort doing them will give you a big advantage against people of equal strength who haven't.

    Interval training is effective but not enough that you are going to see huge improvements in two weeks. You are probably screwed if you're not in shape all ready. Might as well try some short intervals though. My guess would be that the races will break up quickly and people won't be afraid to pull. If you race smart, never ever ever leave shelter longer than you have to, and pick the right wheel you can likely do much better than your fitness would predict.

    All in all this is not how I would want to be introduced to the track. I am also not uncomfortable around people in lycra though. Still being thrown on the track in a race after minimal instruction with a large group of people who for the most part have no track experience or even group riding experience sounds unpleasant for most people.

    If you do decide to go through with this be careful, have fun, and take a class first if at all possible.

  4. #4
    Senior Member doomkin's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the Velo City website.

    They offer a free clinic before the event begins and following the lessons they have races for a variety of different skill sets.

    As far as what I already know... well not much. I ride my bike a lot and that's about it. At school I like to sprint the street between my apartment and the campus but that's about as fast as I usually go. Most of my riding are midnight cruises, 10-15 miles late at night when I can't get any sleep.

    Since I got my fixed gear I've been hitting the bike trail at the local park about every day putting in 15-20 miles at the fastest continual pace I can.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ste_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    Doomkin, you're trying to run before you know if you can walk. I don't know what the pre-registration thing is that you've signed up for but what you really need is whatever "learn to ride" program that the track offers. There, as long as you can actually ride a bike, you will be in good company.

    When you actually & finally get up onto the track you be riding at gentle speeds with classmates of similar experience. You'll be riding in the 30kph (18 - 20mph) range and "keeping up" won't be your biggest issue.

    The track will offer other sessions that will take you up in skill level to where you would like to be - or can be, depending on your ability.

    If your bike, while riding on the drops, causes you distress then it isn't set up right. The instructor can help with this too. As most track races (and riding sessions) are shorter than most road stuff then a more agressive postion is acceptable.

    By the way - there's not much you can do in the next three weeks to make you fast if you're not already fast. Just relax and enjoy the experience and if what you have entered is some kind of a race then cancel and sign up for their LTR program.
    Spot on. I've just started track training at my local velodrome, and i'm learning a lot about bike handling, riding in a group, and general track manners. Recommended if your local velodrome does something similar.

  6. #6
    Senior Member doomkin's Avatar
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    They do have weekly classes but they started before I got back home frome break and I've already missed a month of instruction. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to call and ask if they'll take latecomers.

  7. #7
    YOU ARE NOW TUNED IN No_Minkah's Avatar
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    Doomkin you should absolutely be coming to either the Monday or Tuesday development clinics at the Ed Rudolph velodrome in Northbrook. They're going on right now. The track isn't as banked a Kenosha, but it's the absolute best way to gain experience and learn what you'll need to know for the VeloCity races.

    If you're in Chicago it's also much closer than Kenosha.

  8. #8
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Minkah
    Doomkin you should absolutely be coming to either the development clinics........it's the absolute best way to gain experience and learn what you'll need to know for the VeloCity races.
    Ain't that the truth. Otherwise I wouldn't ride within 25' of him.

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