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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 11-18-08, 05:54 PM   #1
patrick.decker@
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How many crashes?

I'm pretty excited that there's a track opening up in town on dec. 1st (142m wood). I'm wondering how likely is it that me and my bike might take a beating if I get into it. Have many of you been in crashes?
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Old 11-18-08, 06:35 PM   #2
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If you race a lot, it's likely you will crash. It's kinda something you just have to accept about racing, it is a dangerous activity. I'm just getting into it again after a many year lay-off (roadracing before, track now), and I haven't had an incident yet. But I've been in many crashes, and most are simply a get up and dust yourself off kinda thing, and I'm sure more crashes are waiting for me. Once you start, it doesn't pay to worry about crashing, it will only distract you, make you tense, and paradoxically MORE likely to crash and a danger to others. You cannot race carefully!

Wear a coolmax undershirt under your skinsuit, the materials slide against each other in a crash, you get less rash.

And have health insurance.

And, have FUN!
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Old 11-18-08, 06:40 PM   #3
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shorter tracks with steeper banking = more crashes.

as the other poster said, you race, and there will ultimately be crashes. how many, how often? it's like getting flats, you might not have any for 5 years, then get 5 in a week.

just accept it's probably going to happen, and that 99% of them don't result in anything too serious and then forget about the prospect of crashing, just go out and ride and enjoy.
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Old 11-18-08, 07:39 PM   #4
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i've been in one and i've only been riding the track for about 10 weeks or so.
the situation was that we were just warming up in a small paceline before the crowds showed up and the least experienced guy in the paceline swung off the front but went too slow around the fence and came off, cleaning myself, the guy infront and behind me up as well.
i was only up for a new pair of knicks but the guy behind me ended up in hospital because he copped my crank in his teeth.

you have to use common sense and know when there are too many inexperieced people onboard and make the decision whether it will be safe for you to practise or not.

and learn the hand signals!!!
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Old 11-18-08, 10:17 PM   #5
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shorter tracks with steeper banking = more crashes.

as the other poster said, you race, and there will ultimately be crashes. how many, how often? it's like getting flats, you might not have any for 5 years, then get 5 in a week.

just accept it's probably going to happen, and that 99% of them don't result in anything too serious and then forget about the prospect of crashing, just go out and ride and enjoy.
Yeah, the banks on the track they're building is something near 40 degrees.

If 99% of crashes don't result in much then it doesn't sound too bad. It's not even that this is the first dangerous sport I would be involved in (was very serious about snowboarding for a long time), but over the last few years I've been taking less risks, and so was just curious what I'd be getting into. I'm sure once I give it a go, if I like it, then it probably wont matter how dangerous I think it is.
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Old 11-18-08, 11:02 PM   #6
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the issue is two fold. not all the time, but often a crash on a steep bank is the result of low speed and a wheel slipping, so more banking means the minimum speed before you stop sticking to the wall is higher.

secondly, almost all crashes happen on the banked sections. so a shorter track, means more time on the banked sections (generally the radius of the turn is similar).

if you've come from snowboarding, i'd say the risk is substantially lower generally
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Old 11-19-08, 09:57 AM   #7
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if you've come from snowboarding, i'd say the risk is substantially lower generally
Good deal, that's what I figured. I'm excited for it to open up!
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Old 11-19-08, 11:54 PM   #8
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It depends some on the local culture, too. If you slide down ADT you go home, so it encourages people to maintain their speed. Despite that we frequently have a mass slide on the neutral lap in the juniors or lower category races. Neutral lap doesn't mean slow lap, it means you can't break away-- remember that, and watch a P/1/2 neutral lap some time.

In normal mass start racing we don't see many crashes, and not terribly severe ones most of the time--in a typical 3-4 hour race session we might see 1-2 people get hooked and slide down, more often in the masters or lower cats than P/1/2, usually they get back up on their own, and sometimes get back in the same race. Keirins are a different story altogether-- maybe one crash every 3 heats or so, and at higher speed. Much less frequently (once a year or so) there will be a much more serious crash with a broken collarbone or hip (which takes a long time to recover...). And racing crashes happen on any part of the track-- all it takes is an overlapped wheel and a little flick and somebody is sliding down. If you're racing madisons you'll crash.

My own experience in a lot of mass start racing is that I only crash in madisons (and only at a particular event in consecutive years...), and they're usually at speed and quite unpleasant.
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Old 11-20-08, 12:15 PM   #9
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Much, much safer than road racing. No 90 degree turns, no one can slam on the brakes. Generally more experienced riders than a crit, though this is changing with the popularity of track bikes (the popularity being otherwise good).
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Old 11-30-08, 12:51 PM   #10
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IF that track is 142meters it will be closer to 50 degrees in the banking not 40. Forest City Velodrome is 138meters and has 50 degree "walls". Alot of people knock the smaller tracks but any good racer will agree that once you throw on a lighter gear they are fun as hell!

Crashing is somthing that happens in 2 situations, 2 riders who are giving everything they have and touch - nature of the beast kinda thing, or because of in-experience. I remember my first crash like it was only last night, a rider who paniced when somone attacked managed to sprint thru my back wheel and take me down, 2 other riders went down and slid off such "walls".

Forest City is a perfect example of if new riders are taught how to properly ride a track and intergrated into racing in groups or levels they wont get killed in they not only continue to come back for more, but get better, smarter and more skilled quickly.
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Old 11-30-08, 07:49 PM   #11
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IF that track is 142meters it will be closer to 50 degrees in the banking not 40. Forest City Velodrome is 138meters and has 50 degree "walls".
Yeah, I guess because of the size/shape of the building that they're putting the track in, it's gonna be a bit more circular and for this reason I guess the turns aren't as steep. Here's the site :

http://www.boulderindoorcycling.com/...e-Cycling.aspx
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Old 12-02-08, 01:49 AM   #12
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IF that track is 142meters it will be closer to 50 degrees in the banking not 40. Forest City Velodrome is 138meters and has 50 degree "walls". Alot of people knock the smaller tracks but any good racer will agree that once you throw on a lighter gear they are fun as hell!

Crashing is somthing that happens in 2 situations, 2 riders who are giving everything they have and touch - nature of the beast kinda thing, or because of in-experience. I remember my first crash like it was only last night, a rider who paniced when somone attacked managed to sprint thru my back wheel and take me down, 2 other riders went down and slid off such "walls".
I went out and rode FCV at christmas a couple years ago and it was a total blast-- I'd love to ride that regularly. And just touching doesn't generally take people down (at least if they're relatively experienced), even if they're at full gas-- usually it takes a whack on the bars at the wrong time or tagging their front wheel.
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