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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 04-11-12, 08:46 PM   #1
JuiceWillis
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What to bring to first ever day at the velodrome?

So I registered for an introduction to track racing course at the end of this month. Other than my bike and a helmet, what else should I bring? I have a basic Jersey and shorts, is this enough?
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Old 04-11-12, 09:53 PM   #2
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Water
food (bars, whatever)
sunscreen (if outdoors)
USA Cycling License (at least at our track you need that)
Cash (if there are fees, they might not take cc's)
Pump
Any chainrings you have, tools, etc.
That's all I can think of
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Old 04-11-12, 10:25 PM   #3
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Water
food (bars, whatever)
sunscreen (if outdoors)
USA Cycling License (at least at our track you need that)
Cash (if there are fees, they might not take cc's)
Pump
Any chainrings you have, tools, etc.
That's all I can think of
I'd add gloves just in case...
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Old 04-11-12, 10:49 PM   #4
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Gloves. Always the gloves. Water, food, money/waiver, helmet. Bike, shoes, pedals, the works.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:54 PM   #5
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Gloves. Always the gloves. Water, food, money/waiver, helmet. Bike, shoes, pedals, the works.
I always ride and race with gloves except pursuit and road ITT's - where I've made a conscious decision to risk riding without for the (minimal) aero gains.

Probably wouldn't hurt having a spare tube and tyre levers if running clinchers. You wouldn't want to miss on track time because of a flat.
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Old 04-11-12, 11:30 PM   #6
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So I registered for an introduction to track racing course at the end of this month. Other than my bike and a helmet, what else should I bring? I have a basic Jersey and shorts, is this enough?
Yeah, that plus a beverage is pretty much all you need for a beginner's course. If they have a water fountain, that's all you need. You won't ride enough to need food on site. Assuming that you are normally nourished, you'll have enough food in your belly and enough glycogen in your liver the get you through the light workout. You can even race an intense race day on water alone. A beginner class is very low in volume and intensity.

You won't need a cycling license. You can probably borrow a pump there or just pump your tires before you leave the house. You won't need tools outside of basic patch kit stuff. Flats do happen but are rare on the track. So, don't stress if you don't have a tube with you. But, maybe stash one in your bag or car.

You'll do the entire class on one gear, I suggest 48/16 (or something close to that). A larger gear (like 48/15) in a beginner class will wear you out if you aren't used to it. You'll spend a large amount of your time just cruising at like 15mph in circles at a conversational pace.

+1 on gloves. Proper sports sunglasses are nice to have, for sun but more to keep wind and debris out of your eyes.
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Old 04-12-12, 01:07 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, I always have a spare tube with me so no worries there. I've been running 48x17 on the road so ill just put my 16 tooth cog back on that day. I'm pretty excited.
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Old 04-12-12, 01:58 PM   #8
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Also bring a towel or two. Its not something that is talked about a lot. But sweating in skin tight clothes can cause all sorts of really nasty stuff. So as soon as you are done riding rub yourself down with a damp cloth, then a dry one. Make sure to clean your sexy bits off espeacially well.

Which track are you heading to?
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Old 04-12-12, 05:01 PM   #9
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Kissena in nyc. I have never done any competitive cycling before, bought a bike on a whim last year and just enjoy riding so much I figure why not try and learn how to do it right.
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Old 04-12-12, 06:13 PM   #10
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congrats and welcome to the track. i completed the weekend clinic at DLV and just finished my clinics at Giordana. all i can say is be prepared...you have no idea how much you're going to love this. i can't get enough of this and am in 100%. the clinics aren't at a grueling pace and you'll mainly be learning about etiquette, skills, and aspects of track riding. ride at a pace you're comfortable with. i will say, my class at Girodana had 3 Pro/low Cat riders in it and yesterday we did the Flying 200, Mass Scratch race, 2 person Scratch race, Miss N Out, and Unknown Distance race and I was spent but loved every minute of it. I have new gearing on order but the 48/15 i'm running was enough to exhaust me. if you can run at 48/16 you'll be set.

as for what to bring, aside from the basic helmet and gloves, i took my pump and tool box (left 'em in my truck - they have tools at the track), and most importantly brought a jug of water. that's all you'll really need. everybody i've met at the tracks has been relaxed and pleasant. you'll have a great time.
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Old 04-12-12, 06:32 PM   #11
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Whats your plan to get there?

You will probably be pretty beat after the session so riding to the subway, even though its annoying to bring the bike on the train, is probably a good idea if you aren't taking a car.
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Old 04-18-12, 02:45 PM   #12
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Assemble a track bag in which you keep shoes, helmet, gloves, bandanas, headbands, casquettes, defibrillator (no joke!), and anything else you always want to have with you at the track. I've seen too many folks arrive without shoes or helmet and then have to go home to get what they forgot or not ride that session.
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Old 04-18-12, 05:01 PM   #13
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What Ray said! I bring more than enough and keep it in the truck. Better safe than sorry. You can't bring too much.
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Old 04-20-12, 08:33 AM   #14
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Im going to be renting a bike at hellyer, should i bring my own saddle? Or do people not do that for rental bikes?
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Old 04-20-12, 10:22 AM   #15
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No one would look down on you for bringing your own saddle, but its not too common. Id go for it.
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Old 04-20-12, 05:59 PM   #16
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ok thanx
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Old 04-21-12, 01:41 AM   #17
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Im going to be renting a bike at hellyer, should i bring my own saddle? Or do people not do that for rental bikes?
1) I've never seen that happen. Man, you really won't be in the saddle more than 15 minutes at a time. Unless you have some really, really compelling reason to do so, I'd pass and save the hassle.

2) DLV has a rule that people cannot change anything on the rental bikes. Everything (chainring, cog, wheels, bars, saddle, etc...) must stay as is. The only thing you can change are the pedals if you bring your own. The no-changing-the-bikes rule keeps things organized and all in one piece. It would be a mess if people rented bikes, put on their favorite wheels/saddles/bars/etc... then left the stuff in a pile at the end of the race day. And this *would* happen. With the rule, you just take your pedals off then put the bike back on the rack in the bike room and everyone is happy
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Old 04-21-12, 08:25 AM   #18
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A woman in my class at Giordana brought her own saddle this week, but in the class we spend a good bit of time on the track.
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Old 04-21-12, 09:26 AM   #19
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Unless you have a major issue, I wouldn't bother. I know at the commonwealth track, you can only change the seatpost, not the saddle.
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Old 12-23-15, 10:08 AM   #20
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If you ride at a high altitude track (with thin, dry and cold air) take along some Ricola candy. It help to calm a hacking cough.
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Old 12-23-15, 12:15 PM   #21
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1) I've never seen that happen. Man, you really won't be in the saddle more than 15 minutes at a time. Unless you have some really, really compelling reason to do so, I'd pass and save the hassle.

2) DLV has a rule that people cannot change anything on the rental bikes. Everything (chainring, cog, wheels, bars, saddle, etc...) must stay as is. The only thing you can change are the pedals if you bring your own. The no-changing-the-bikes rule keeps things organized and all in one piece. It would be a mess if people rented bikes, put on their favorite wheels/saddles/bars/etc... then left the stuff in a pile at the end of the race day. And this *would* happen. With the rule, you just take your pedals off then put the bike back on the rack in the bike room and everyone is happy
I'm pretty sure Hellyer has a similar rule against changing stuff on the rentals. I know you are not allowed to change the gear, for example. I'd just bring pedals.

Last edited by Baby Puke; 12-24-15 at 10:01 AM. Reason: autocorrect
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Old 12-23-15, 03:50 PM   #22
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1) I've never seen that happen. Man, you really won't be in the saddle more than 15 minutes at a time. Unless you have some really, really compelling reason to do so, I'd pass and save the hassle.
Bring water a helmet and pedals if youre clipless

Ive seen people do the Alpenrose class in Jeans and Vans, and when I did the Superdrome course two ladies showed up and did it because they had a group-on despite having not ridden in years.

its literally going to be one of the least taxing things you'll ever do on a bike, dont sweat it.
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Old 12-24-15, 01:44 AM   #23
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As for gloves, I'd recommend full finger coverage and not to look for the thinnest - I've burned a hole through the palm of a new glove sliding down a wood track at low speed. The cause was my own carelessness, but the point is that good gloves are cheap insurance. There are people who wear motocross gloves at the track.

Also, consider wearing a base layer under your jersey when riding on the track, irrespective of the temperature - it can help protect skin in a fall. Crashes are generally not common, but they suck nonetheless.

One thing not to bring is too much confidence from any road or other riding experience. It's a very different game riding at high speed without brakes, in close proximity to others. Plus, everyone in an intro class will be predisposed to overreacting. The first time you try to draft another new rider too closely into turn 1 or 3 (i.e., going uphill) or successfully chase them down into those turns, can be be a pucker inducing experience as you close on them way faster than you had planned. Expect rubber banding in the pace line and space accordingly. Don't be afraid to move up track to slow down, when in a pace line. A lower gearing (e.g., below 80 inches) helps with pace control. You might feel frisky after sitting around listening to talking for what seems like a long time, but don't succumb to the temptation to go hard to compensate. I've made every one of these mistakes.

You probably won't be changing gears in a day 1 class, so not much else to bring. Maybe a set of Allen wrenches, just in case.

Have fun!
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Old 12-24-15, 02:21 PM   #24
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I'm pretty sure Hellyer has a similar rule against changing stuff on the rentals. I know you are not allowed to change the gear, for example. I'd just bring pedals.
Ttown isn't quite as rigid with their loaner bikes. My wife raced one day last year and we swapped the seat and flipped the stem for a better fit. I also fitted the riders for a Try the Track session and I wouldn't have thought twice about swapping a seat.
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Old 01-04-16, 05:52 AM   #25
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so, @JuiceWillis, how did it go?
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