Beginner as beginner gets on the track, and doing a mile race in 2 weeks
I have been road riding for a while (not competitively) and a track cyclist acquaintance of mine strongly urged I try the track out. I did, and so far I like it. In two weeks is a mile race, and I am planning on running it. My buddy, who is quite strong, is shooting for sub 2min times.
I, however, am aiming simply to not be an embarrassment. I am estimating from my road riding and my one visit to the track that I could hit ~2:30 in the mile. Is that laughable? I mean, im going to do it anyway, just wondering if I should avoid inviting friends or not, haha
This is a silly topic, I know, but I still kinda want to get an idea.
FWIW, it is a 333m track, so it is a five lap race.
View your first couple of races as educational events. Don't worry about your time or about being first across the line. Hang back a little and watch what happens and what tactics people use.
Just riding in a straight line around the track (i.e. staying on the black line or red line) during a race is harder than it sounds. For you, it is mostly about being safe, learning, and being very smooth (no sudden moves or overlapping wheels).
Is this a group race or a solo time trial?
Originally Posted by ochizon
Either way, just be safe and have fun. Being a new track racer, just race as much as you can and work on being comfortable on the track with other people.
Don't worry about making a fool of yourself. You are in learning mode right now. No one can really say if you'll do well or not. But, that's not the point right now. Just do.
Thanks for the reply! The reason i chose this event is because it is one at a time - the only person I can hurt is me. I really want to acquire more track experience before I mix with others.
So, it is a standing start solo time trial?
The basics are:
- Learn how to get up to speed quickly
- Know your limit, because you don’t want to run out of steam before you cross the finish line. Don’t blow yourself up.
- You want to ride as straight a line as possible. That means get on the black line and stick to it. Don’t let your bike drift away from it (easier said than done).
Are you taking any “intro to track riding” classes before the race? That would help you get comfortable
Like noted above: watch and learn. Welcome to the track, and enjoy!
It seems to be one of those "Try the Track" events open to road or track bikes.
Originally Posted by ochizon
Sounds like it's a standing start 1 mile (1.6 KM) time trial. Think of it as a fitness test.
My advice (to keep things very simple):
- Do one now to get used to how it feels...and it will feel bad.
- Then just do some tempo work on the road between now and then.
- Don't do any more till your event.
- During the event (and your practice) remember to not go out too hard at the beginning (maybe 85%). Otherwise you will suffer a miserable death on the bike. You wouldn't run a 800M foot race starting with a 100% sprint would you? Same applies here.
- If you start moderate, you can always finish strong with any leftover energy. But, when you start to hard, you will always finish very slow.
- Don't worry about the time for several reasons. 1) you are a beginner, so it's only up from here. and 2) 1 Mile is not a standard distance for time trials. Most are (200M, 250M, 500M, 1KM, 2KM, 3KM, 4KM). So, you wouldn't be able to compare it to anyone but those at your local track who did the same event.
These are basic tips for a beginner. The approach may be different for an experienced rider riding a standard distance.
BTW, this is not a very spectator-friendly event. Time trials are pretty boring to spectators. But, the Madison and Scratch races will be fun to watch for sure.
So i went out to the track today for some practice. my first ever standing start kilo i did a 1:24. I know it is not very good, but i learned a few things for my second run. Unfortunately I got rained out, so my second go will have to wait until my next visit.
What i gathered:
If im shooting for a cruising speed of 25-28mph, i dont need the 46/14 gear combo I currently have. It is just slowing down the initial acceleration.
after the intial accel, take a short "rest" to clear out that lactic acid. That start can really burn your legs up!
and finally, no fear into the turns! im still apprehensive, and i "let off" a bit, and the cost to accel back up is too high. I cant let off.
One thing is for sure. In a previous life i was a gearhead, and would drag race cars. I spent days after track visits thinking on what i could do differently to improve my times. This is almost exactly the same feeling, and it is awesome and addictive. I wonder how deep into this abyss i will go...
Oh, you can fall pretty far, but it is can be a great ride!
Keep practicing on the track - The turns should feel a lot like the straights (no change in speed on the black line, the bike should effortlessly go into and out of the turns), just with more G force. Keep up the good work.