If you're a Cat 1 or 2 on the track you walk up, sign the releases, pay your money, and ride.
Otherwise there are two different classes that you can go through:
- the 4 session intro class that teaches a lot about riding in general that many riders don't know, as well as how to ride near people and the local track etiquette.
- the accelerated class, which is about an hour and is a discussion of equipment, track etiquette, and general riding tips. It ends with an observed riding session of about 15 minutes. If you look safe then you pass. There's a detailed text summary here: http://lavelodrome.org/Training/AccelClassSummary.htm
A big part of why it works is that during the Tues/Thurs interval sessions are very popular and Roger is on the PA pretty steady throughout the whole thing. Besides calling out the intensity changes, he's giving constant reminders of what riders should be doing, where they should be riding, and how they should be passing etc, as well as occasional corrections when someone (or a bunch of people) do something wrong. It's pretty steady reinforcement of good riding habits.
In addition to that, the same few staff people are at nearly all the sessions keeping an eye on things. If someone is sketchy they'll get tips, and if they do something dangerous they'll be told right away. In the rare event that someone is told not to come back for some amount of time, or not to attend more crowded sessions for a while, they can't show up expecting a different staff person who they can talk past. In general what happens if you do something really sketchy is you hear "the voice from above" on the extremely good PA system admonishing you publicly. It might happen once or twice per session in one of the tuesday/thursday sessions, and it tends to be more related to crossing the track after intervals have started. Much more likely is that more experienced riders will notice if you do something sketchy or stupid and catch you on the apron afterward, explain what you did wrong, why it's bad, and what you can/should do that's better.
And don't knock it til you've seen it-- I went from being a terminal cat 3 to a very competitive 2 with the tues/thurs sessions being a significant part of my training program.
Last edited by bitingduck; 01-14-09 at 09:18 PM.