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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 03-13-10, 08:40 PM   #1
gr@sshopper
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Getting Started on a Track

I'm a roadie and mtber. Ride in quick group rides, occasionally race cross country.

My boss wants me to get a license and ride with him at the carson velodrome. So, questions.

1) Think I should sign up for the intro classes or the accelerated class?

2) Sounds like a won't be able to use my bar bike conversion. Older specialized Cirrius. Any comments?

3) Will my old road pedals be ok? SPD sl.

4) Any tips on smoking an old guy who's been doing this a while? I know I'd wreck him on the road, but seems like there might be a little more technique for the track. Figure if I'm going to do this, I need to kick his ass.
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Old 03-13-10, 09:04 PM   #2
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1. intro..at least for a couple of sessions. you'll learn the basics, etiquette as well as the races and formats
2. check with your velodrome/director to see if your conversion will be allowed to race, i know some venues can be strict with conversions
3. yes. SPD SLs are almost de facto standard at my track
4. who knows haha
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Old 03-13-10, 11:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gr@sshopper View Post
I'm a roadie and mtber. Ride in quick group rides, occasionally race cross country.

My boss wants me to get a license and ride with him at the carson velodrome. So, questions.

1) Think I should sign up for the intro classes or the accelerated class?

2) Sounds like a won't be able to use my bar bike conversion. Older specialized Cirrius. Any comments?

3) Will my old road pedals be ok? SPD sl.

4) Any tips on smoking an old guy who's been doing this a while? I know I'd wreck him on the road, but seems like there might be a little more technique for the track. Figure if I'm going to do this, I need to kick his ass.
1: Sign up for both. The intro class to learn track etiquette which will keep you safe and predictable. The accelerated class will help you not get used too badly as you progress :-)
2: Nope. No conversions. It's up to the track director, but most conversions are out.
3: SPD SL are perfect. Remember to set th etension to hard so you won't pull out during big efforts. This is important.
4: You will probably be his Mary for a while, hahaha. The track is one place that certainly rewards experience over youth. Also, try to avoid the funny business until you become comfortable on the track and people become comfortable racing with you. You will likely have to race with others of your same experience level for a while. At our track there are guys who are CAT1 on the road, and still have to race with the rookies for 4 race days before they can move up. They are also forced to stay with the pack during races (20 MPH) and learn handling skills. They don't get any love If they run away from the front of the race just because they are strong enough to do so. This is so that when they finally do get to a Cat 1/2 Track race they are comfortable rubbing shoulders while riding in a pack...at 35+ MPH.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 03-14-10, 12:21 AM   #4
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1) If you're ok on stuff like the montrose ride or the rose bowl ride (which I hate for a variety of reasons, most of which have been posted on BF at one time or another) then you'll be ok in the accelerated class. Take it on a non-race day and you'll likely get more time on the track to get used to it. On race days you only get about 15 minutes on the track before racing starts, but on non-race days you'll probably get a few hours. The intro class is a really good intro and will go into a lot more depth on how to use the whole track and how to ride better in general (lots of things that will translate back to the road), so if you can afford the time and $ it's worth it.

2) If it's got drop bars, no brakes, and fixed gear, decent tires, and is well maintained then you can probably use it-- there's no bike inspection-- but you'll probably be happier on a rental your first time, and a real track bike in the long run. You can also run aerobars, but you'll find narrow flat bars don't give you enough control, especially as a beginner on the banking (plus will scrape the track if you slide). You'll have limited range of gears available on a conversion, and you'll find yourself always in the wrong gear. Equipment recommendations (and most of the content of the accelerated class) is online here: http://lavelodrome.org/Training/AccelClassSummary.htm

3)SPD-SL will be fine. Lots of people use them.

4) Who is he? Some of the old guys are pretty fast-- the masters racing starts at 45 because too many of the 40-44 racers (and some of the 45-55) are still competitive in the 1/2 fields.
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Old 03-14-10, 01:56 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. There doesn't seem to be an intro class for March or April, so I was thinking on the accelerated, then the intro when it opens up. I've done montrose, but don't really like the constant stop sign running etc. (Well, I do actually, but feel like it's not a great PR thing) I do the bud's ride regularly. Ideally, I'd prefer to take the intro class, but waiting a couple of months seems not fun.

The bar bike is a pretty slack angled bike, I thoughted I'd be renting in the beginning, but just figured I'd confirm.

I'd rather not say who he is, just in case he is known. Definitely don't need to have him snooping. I don't think he's anybody. He's been WAY out of shape for the 5 years I've known him. I've just been *****ing about not being in shape this year, and I think he takes it to mean he might be able to go out and beat somebody. I wouldn't mind flipping it around.
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Old 03-14-10, 11:29 AM   #6
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There's no reason you can't take the accelerated class to get certified and then go back and take the intro class later-- there's a lot of times I think people could benefit from that.

I was just interested in who he is to know if he's one of the fast old guys who still beat on the kids...

I agree with you about Montrose-- that's part of why I stopped doing it. There's no reason it couldn't be more civilized about stoplights and signs with a group that big. The old "tour of sierra madre" ride was always pretty brutal (in part because it was really small) and stopped at all the lights and stop signs and even had regroups.
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Old 03-16-10, 04:15 PM   #7
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Just got a tweet from LA Event Center: intro class noon-2pm Saturdays april 10, 17, 24 and May 7 (the class is 4 sessions). Limited to 12 riders. You can sign up at the LAVelodrome website.
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Old 03-19-10, 06:36 PM   #8
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Just got an email, and signed up. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 04-25-10, 02:12 AM   #9
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So the first class got postponed to today. Had a good time! Just me a one other person in the class. Went over basic riding positions, got set up on the bikes, etc.
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Old 04-25-10, 10:38 AM   #10
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Did you stick around to watch the racing after? Next week's racing should be better, with the higher category and masters riders. Sometimes I just have to close my eyes when I watch the cat 5 races.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:02 PM   #11
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nah, I've got to work saturday afternoons. I'm late as is, but the boss is cool with it. Got to see just a tiny bit of warm ups. Maybe I'll tell him I ran out of gas or something this week.
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