Ok, WTH is going on this year. Anyone have any knowledge to share?
In short there are just a handful of race nights, no practice races. A big emphasis on juniors, 40+ and women racing - almost no availability for SM racers. I love the support for different categories, but we have a small racing population to begin with, better to slate it by strength the demographics if you ask me.
Obviously I am bummed, I don't see the benefit in paying money to the velodrome to ride in circles by myself. I love track to compete.
I feel like Summit Productions is not considering the wants/needs of the racers.
I really hope I'm wrong. If not I have a 1 y/o Langster up for sale.
On a more productive note, care to share how your local velodrome organizes the year? Practice races, race nights?
Total shame that your local track has some poor organizing in regards to providing for the more competitive riders, have they justified it? I can see them wanting to bring in beginner riders of different categories, but it seems pointless if they have done it by lessening the amount of (organised) track time for riders such as yourself...
My local track's club is very, very biased towards juniors racing/training, but provide more than enough 'adult' races.
Monday night - Ladies road bike night, this gets lots of attention, and many of them pick up a track bike sooner or later too.
Monday (cont.) After the ladies, it's track training for both genders, aimed at adults and only invited youth riders (based more on safety than fitness).
Wednesday - Race night
6 events for 'freewheelers' (under 12's on freewheel road bikes) Usually a handicap to finish with too, the handicap being set by one of the prior events in the night.
Categories for racing -
Freewheelers - U12
Cat. C - U16
Cat. B - Mainly lower end fitness riders (adults) with U16 riders that are able to stand for themselves (often winning).
Cat. A - Elite racers, of both youth and adult... Youth also seem to win these. A lot...
My opinion on cat. system, I don't like it. It's easy in the fact you know exactly what cat you're in, and when to get on the track.
Each night holds four races, and each cat gets a race, so 12 races overall.
A fifth is planned if it doesn't get too cold/dark.
I won't explain Friday too much - a session for youth and then adults, each one road bikes. More of a starter/taster to the club and track for those intimidated by fixies without brakes, but all abilities show up.
Overall on racing -
Everyone gets a go, but the cat system is seriously flawed. A certain C rider can barely hold on to the group in mass start/endurance events, but he can out-sprint any A rider you put him against, with times that are significantly faster. Then another C rider, can break away from the group in endurance events, and make it stick - even when the main group makes fairly well-planned efforts to catch him, working together well. But he is lucky to place in the top half of the field in sprints (out of about 20 riders in Cat.C).
Sorry for long post, I get excited writing about the track or racing...
The Colorado Springs track is part of the US Olympic Training Center and it's run by the US Olympic Committee. So, there are a lot more things involved than most local tracks.
Like Carleton said the US Olympic program has its own goals, that are separate from the those of local tracks. There is no way that US Cycling, the way it is run now, can compete with the UK or Aussie squads in elite men. So they are trying to groom the next generation of cycling and find places where they can win medals and rainbows.
Penrose Velodrome is in a big growth period which is awesome. It is also located in a public park, so the velodrome is open to ride year round, no need for sessions. We have our weekly racing night on Thursdays that do A,B,C, and women class. There are also some Jr. races sprinkled in. Then on Sunday afternoons my team runs a group practice session for everyone that is interested. It is mostly b and c riders that have been attending. There are also a few big weekend races planned this year for the first time.
So we have a Tues practice night racing back (more or less). Yay. The racing schedule is all funky and what not, but that is to be expected with the addition of another velodrome up north this fall.
My feathers are still ruffled so to speak. I just found out for our first race night there is a 5$ spectator fee. Insulting I'd say. Especially when there isn't any international talent showing up.
And I've dropped a 300.00 anual fee on top of 4 races totaling just under 100.00 already. Seems like I'm being taken to the bank. Any feedback on local fees?
I've tried talking to the local director but I have a hard time starting up a conversation without a chip on my shoulder. I have no problem supporting the local track, but I only have so much money. I just want an explanation on why I feel like I'm being used and abused this year.
I love track. Honestly I'm between either trying to join the board or just quitting next year. Between road racing, winter skiing, etc. I dropping around 600.00 on just track fees in a summer seems crazy to me.
Any sage advice from those who have been through the game before?