New to Track, Giordana Velodrome session, ettiquette
After reading a handful of 'new to track posts' , finding a 'new' velodrome within a few hours drive, I stopped putting it off and signed up for a cert. class at Giordana Velodrome. I have never raced in any organized format on bike, so this will be a new experience for me. I've been riding my steel khs flite 100 for a good 10 yrs in chi-town and now in the green's of Durham NC, usually just racing cars and myself, but finally found a limit of what I can do in the hilly area for sprinting. I do not know the etiquitte of track racing and am interested in jumping into racing but being on a family man's budget, will not be upgrading any of my equipment in the foreseeable future.
Does anybody here have experience racing at Giordana? What should I make sure I have available as far as hardware for the first or few races? Since 100% of my riding was on the street, i've managed over the years to upgrade all rolling components to phil wood, except the front wheel which got bashed in and is now stock. I suffer from that middle school paranoia of showing up on the track with this street looking setup, and all the track geared-up racers pointing and laughing. Is this a viable paranoia
If I did want to look into occasional coaching, at most 1/month as the drive is about 5 hours round trip, does anybody have knowledge of coaches either in the giordana velodrome area, or even in Durham, NC area?
As far as training for the track on the road, would road bike exercises / training routines cross over to track training well? This may depend on the type of racing I want to do on the track, which I do not know off hand other than the "I like going fast" answer, so this may need to be tabled after I have some track time under my belt.
Thanks for all the info. many of you have posted on this forum over the years as it has pointed me in allot of great directions for more information on this 'fixation'.
I'd like to say welcome! Giordana is my home track as well - actually planning on heading down this afternoon for some riding. You will love the track. The cert classes were good - etiquette, skills, and racing stuff. lots of fun and a good workout. As far as your bike goes, just make sure it's in good working order and your tires are in good shape. I always made sure to bring basic tools and a pump, even though they have that stuff there as well. No brakes. You can also rent a bike there if you have any doubts. They have nice Pinarello track bikes to rent for classes and training days. I've seen people in t-shirts and shorts. Don't worry about the image stuff. I'd say at a minimum have a comfortable pair of cycling shorts/bibs. Don't worry about wanting to be the best in the class. It's just a clinic. To give you an idea, one of the guys in my class was a BMC (yes, that BMC) sponsored road racer. He was doing daily team workouts and mileage and then coming to the class and schooling everyone. But it was fun and I met a lot of good people. This is a family and I have yet to be at any track where people weren't willing to help, even if they didn't know who you were. Have fun and enjoy!
Racing is racing. As you know from auto racing, most rules/etiquette are rooted in safety. That's what the beginner's class is for.
I've raced at Giordana. It's fun and a great group of people.
Your bike is probably fine. Post a pic or list of specs. You'll want a gear ratio of 48/16 (or similar) for the beginner class. A ratio lighter than that (such as a street-able 48/18) will be too light to keep up in beginner sessions. You'll be spinning like crazy. Remove all brakes, bells, lights, water bottles, etc... Install drop bars, no bullhorns for the beginner class. Make sure that your tires are in good, sticky condition. They don't need to be "race" tires. Just fresh. Make sure that you have clipless pedals or shoes with proper slotted cleats for toe-strap pedals.
Talk to Kyle Knott. He's in management at the track. He's a nice guy and he can get you info about coaching/guidance.
Giordana is a really fun track to ride! You're going to love it!
I usually bring my wrench for the wheels and a set of allen wrenches. Someone will always have a pump available, but you might as well bring that with you anyways.
As far as image is concerned, don't sweat it! I haven't spent a lot of time at Giordana, but down here at the DLV, people show up on "street fixies" all the time. Hell, half the time I show up with a pretty jank looking bike. I actually rode my Fuji Track Pro looking like this at Giordana last year. hahaha
Track cyclists are a pretty laid back crowd. If your bike is track legal and functions fine, you'll get along just fine.
Congrats on signing up for the class! You should have a great time riding and racing out there, the people are great and the track is just awesome.
I think you'll find most of your questions will be answered during the certification classes. As far as the racing goes, your bike should be fine as long as the bottom bracket is high enough. There are all types of bikes out there and you won't have to worry about anybody laughing and pointing. You will need a race certification, bike, helmet, gloves, some basic cycling gear, and shoes with clipless pedals. After you've got those bases covered, you may also want to have a small tool kit and few different chainrings and cogs to change gearing for different races.
Thanks for the welcome. As far as bike clothing goes, I only owned a pair of mtb padded shorts and some gloves. I ended up picking up some bibs and jersey on the clearance rack at the bike store. As much as I fought riding in cycle shorts/bibs, those bibs are super comfy and the kids think i'm a wrestler. I'm gonna use one of their bikes for the class so I'm ok on that side. Another stupid question: as far as gloves go, are there track specific gloves I would need, or any cycling gloves should do?
Thanks for the info. Apparently i'm a masher and used a 48/15 while in the flatlands of chicago. That didn't fly with the hills over here in durham, so I moved down to a 16/18 on the rear flip flop and mostly use the 18 to break out of my mashing mentality and learn how to spin. I'll work on posting a pic of the bike, but it sounds like it should be fine going on all of the posts. As far as specs: brake-less (unless the kids trailer is hitched on), drop bars, sugino 75 crank 165mm, phil wood BB and rear hub, Rear is flip/flop laced to deep v's, Look keo 2 maxx pedals, Tires: Vittoria rubino Pro. I'll post a pic of it as time permits. '
Thanks! I'm interested in the race cert class but was not sure how exhausted I may be from the cert. class. I called the track and asked if I could decide that day and they said it would be fine. I'll let you know how it went and hit you up for more info after the weekend.
Definitely take the class. Yes, you'll get tired. The first class I ever did was a weekend clinic at DLV. That was the start of the addiction. The following week I started the 3 day (once a week) clinic at Giordana. You'll get to ride a lot. It's basically talk about what you're about to do and then go out and do it. When we did the Flying 200 at DLV there were probably 25+ people in my group. I was at the back. So we kept riding and they would send the front guy one at a time for their F200. By the time it was my turn I was already beat. Haha!!! At Giordana you'll do race simulations on the last day - F200, Match Sprints, Miss & Out, and Unknown Distance (at least at my class). My head was saying LET'S GO SOME MORE but my legs were screaming OH LORD NOT AGAIN! Definitely tell us how it goes. The people at Giordana are First Class. Oh, as for gloves, I rode regular fingerless gloves until I destroyed them in my slide down the Turn 3/4 banking. I have some 661 Raji gloves that I love and just use those. Go with what's comfortable. Then you can start hookin' it up. 5Bling makes a sweet track glove. And Casco makes a badazz helmet. I saw Carleton's and was like Awww Yeah, but I haven't made a jump to that just yet. You're going to love this! I guarantee it!
42 degree banks look like 90 degrees at a closer look. Walking up to the ominous track was a little intimidating. This feeling did not subside rolling up to the "walls" that were the 42 degree banks. As soon as I had one lap around the track, i just wanted to go faster and faster, but this wouldn't last having another 4 hours in the saddle. All of you that live under 1 hour from a track are super lucky. Being able to let it all out without worrying about traffic, stop lights, pedestrians was really nice. The only long straight flat stretch I've found in the area is only 400 meters . I used one of their house aluminum bikes for the cert and race class, just had to supply my own pedals, which is a really nice offer. I didn't realize how big of a jump it is for road racers to jump into track racing until I saw many veteran road riders falling down getting the toe overlap confusion, or unable to clip in while moving. Much respect for them to jump into not only riding a track bike, but riding it brake-less at 18mph + speeds for the first time. They had two coach contacts available: Steve Lehman and Andy Crater. I'm already looking into my schedule and availability to make it back over there for day trips.
If I wanted to enter some of the races, how would I be grouped up? I'm naive to racing and categories. Being in a group race/ride setting seems to involve allot of "trust" of the other riders etiquette and safety.
Almost everyone starts in Category D, which can still be surprisingly quick depending on your bike racing experience. It does involve trust of the other riders capabilities and accidents can happen, but most people out there racing on a weekly basis know the etiquette, are better than average bike handlers, and incidents are actually rare. The weekly racing schedule and format is up on the site.