I was wondering how many BF members go to the velodrome at bloomer park? I just moved to Toledo and really really want to try out track riding. Of course I'll have to wait until this winter is over. If there are any people out there with the experience can you give me some insight about the place. Is it nice? waste of time? when's the best time for a new comer to go? thanks for your time. Oh yeah, I have a black kilo tt, would I get laughed at? or do people really ride them on the track?
Marin Stelvio, Pogliaghi road, Panasonic track, Dolan DF3
I don't ride Bloomer Park, but in my experience track riders are pretty fair sorts, and much less likely to get all uptight about others' equipment choices than roadies (for example). So don't worry about getting laughed at, just go have fun on your bike doing what it's MEANT to do- riding the track. It's a BLAST, you won't regret it.
thanks for the support, I really wouldn't worry about someone laughing at me, just didn't know if the mercier was a 'track' bike like it is advertised as. I love it though, I found myself on that bikr everytime if my ride was under one hour, which is 5 out of the six days of riding throughout the week. Kind of sucks though, i have a road bike that is valued at 3400, and a knockoff track bike for 350 and it gets used 90 some odd percent of the time. so this winter i'm totally dedicated to sprinting and gonna see if i can do some damage at the track next season.
Everyone I have been around @ Bloomer has been cool. The basic rules for riding is it has to be a track bike (no conversions), no brakes, plugged bars, and a helmet. If you have never rode the track they have a beginner class that you can take. It is free the first time out and so is a bike rental if you don't have one (Trek T1's). The class last year was on Saturday morning and then one day during the week. I went my first time in September for the Saturday class and had a blast. I can't wait for spring to try and get back. Hopefully my work schedule will allow that.
I go to VBP all the time. I love this track. I could talk your ear off if you wanted me too. It's always a good time. Make sure you have 165 mm cranks on your track bike and it's all good. There are bikes to rent too. First time to ride is free and you get a free class if you haven't been at our track. Don't wear your new year's kit---wear something that can be damaged (just in case you fall). Learning to push your bike over to one side takes some getting used to not to mention learning to turn up the track. Google velodrome at bloomer park to find the website. Oh but you need $5 to get in the city park.
Good racing too. Some of our riders went to nationals last year. I don't know if anyone has heard of Dave Koesel but he used to ride regularly there when he lived in MI. We hosted an International 3-day & Junior Qualifiers for worlds that was wickedly fast. It was just nuts.
Things you should know: VBP is one of the few velodrome that teach and race Madison.
Improves your road racing too---makes bike handling in crits seem like slow motion.
Definitely not a waste of your time! The best thing about the steep angle is that when you're flying around the corners, G force is suckin you in and your drool is flying out the opposite side of your mouth.
Last edited by PurpleMonster; 01-05-09 at 02:13 PM.
well i live in maumee ohio, it's an hour and some change drive. I was just wondering if it was worth the gas and time. sounds like it has your attention though. I've never been on a track but have a kilo tt for my training bike, i believe it has 165 crank, it's the stock crank. do they charge if you bring your own bike?
sorry--don't know much about diff track bikes--but if it's track specific then it works. like i said, everyone's totally cool and they can tell you what you need or don't need. even if you end up not liking the track at least you can walk away meeting some interesting people. the guy that engineered and runs the place wears a safari hat everyday so that tells ya somethin!
the first time you ride is free, so they don't charge anything whether you bring your bike or not. to get into the park that is run by the city of rochester hills is a $5 admission fee (or $25 for the year). the velodrome is not run by the city but is located in the park. the park also has mountain bike trails too so you can bring both bikes and spend a saturday in the park or something. FYI: Everyone has to sign a waiver to ride the velodrome.
last year (and the years before) the rates to ride on the track were as follows:
$100 unlimited season riding and racing
$10 per day of riding
Bike rental fee is $10 per day.
***All juniors (18 and under) are free and their bike rental is free.
Hmm...I wonder if I missed anything...
oh--before coming check the weather and make sure it's sunny. it's an outdoor wooden velodrome so if it rains, it's unrideable.
DEFinitely check the website, www.velodromeatbloomerpark.com for the schedule and mailing list. last year, the times for the new riders were sat morning and thursday evening. you don't want to show up on a friday night unless you are cleared for racing or you are watching the race. both are lots of fun!
let's put it this way: you can ride on the road for 6 hours or you can spend 2 hours at the track and get the same amount of training. the first time is the hardest because you have to learn to ride a bike all over again. the gear is difficult, you have to keep pedaling, and you have to manuever the bike in a totally unconventional way around a constant turn. but if you have to have a need for speed and power, this is fun. your whole body will be sore. but you'll come back and you'll be a lot more relaxed. and you'll go faster. you're always going to be just as sore. but you'll be faster.
and just in case you don't like riding the track, bring the mountain bike.