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How to Find a Track to Practice On

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How to Find a Track to Practice On

Old 09-21-14, 12:29 PM
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How to Find a Track to Practice On

I'm basically a neophyte roadie, but I would like to find a closed, hill-less, generally oval shaped surface to ride on in addition to public roads. Though I used the word "track" in the title, I'm not specifically speaking about a Velodrome track since the nearest one to me is about 5 hours away. I've wondered about running tracks, small airfields, and similar places. Does anyone who does not have access to an actual bike track have experience that might point me in the right direction?
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Old 09-21-14, 09:57 PM
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I like your question. I want too do the same think. But i not have see small tracks in my area. I live in atlanta ga. Have one velodrome the only one i know i have two road bikes with gears i wanted to ride in that track but is tell me is allowed only track bikes.
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Old 09-21-14, 10:09 PM
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A residential block might work.

Go round and round the block, and residential areas tend to be quite quiet in terms of traffic.
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Old 09-22-14, 06:32 AM
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If you are not practicing to ride on a track then practicing in such circumstances is not going to help you much. When road riding one needs to be used to dealing with varying cambers, gravel, etc. A residential block will actually be very difficult, as you have to cross the crown at every corner. That being said there were occasions when I lived in Michigan that our cycling club was permitted to ride a closed motorcycle road course - not an oval but rather an irregular track with curves and small ups and downs.

Yes, you must have a fixed gear bike to ride on a velodrome.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 09-22-14 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 09-22-14, 07:46 AM
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There a no such tracks that I'm aware of. Parking lots of shopping centers, large office complexes or factories can sometimes serve in the early hours, on Sun morning, etc..
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Old 09-22-14, 08:09 AM
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A flat, oval shaped track would suck as you'd spend about half (maybe more) of each lap cornering. If there's a light industrial area nearby find a block with little or no elevation gain and have at it.

Evenings and weekends in light industrial parks tend to be quiet and relatively traffic free though you may have to hunt around for a spot with relatively new pavement.
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Old 09-22-14, 09:14 AM
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School parking lots tend to be pretty empty on the weekends.
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Old 09-22-14, 09:24 AM
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If your goal is to practice for crits, have at it.

If you want to practice for actually riding on a velodrome, it's not even close. Due to the bank, you don't really "turn" much on a velodrome other than to move up or down track.
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Old 09-22-14, 10:59 AM
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Just do the local practice crit
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Old 09-22-14, 11:27 AM
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Not sure what the heck you're trying to do, but an indoor trainer of some type might fit the bill as well as anything. Assuming you want to ride in boring circumstances without danger of getting hit by cars, that is.
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Old 09-22-14, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
A residential block might work. Go round and round the block, and residential areas tend to be quite quiet in terms of traffic.
It is more the flatness that I am looking for. But where I am normal semi-rectangular "blocks" are a serious rarity, except in little urban sections with excessive parked cars, people, etc.
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Old 09-22-14, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
If you are not practicing to ride on a track then practicing in such circumstances is not going to help you much. When road riding one needs to be used to dealing with varying cambers, gravel, etc. A residential block will actually be very difficult, as you have to cross the crown at every corner. That being said there were occasions when I lived in Michigan that our cycling club was permitted to ride a closed motorcycle road course - not an oval but rather an irregular track with curves and small ups and downs. Yes, you must have a fixed gear bike to ride on a velodrome.
No, I'm not "practicing". Rather I'm curious and data-centric. I'd love to be able to get a feel for and collect some data on different gears and cadences in as controlled an environment as practical. Having someplace flat, sans traffic and obstacles and short enough that small winds will balance out over the course of several loops is ideal.

I'd looked at the local short-track course, but it is dirt. And currently hosts some of the hundreds of fire engines here.
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Old 09-22-14, 01:24 PM
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I see that you're in Yreka. Can you sneak onto the track at the fairgrounds?

[edit]

Sorry, looks like you did check it out. How about an out-and-back route on a country road?
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Old 09-22-14, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH
Not sure what the heck you're trying to do, but an indoor trainer of some type might fit the bill as well as anything. Assuming you want to ride in boring circumstances without danger of getting hit by cars, that is.
I've got that on my Christmas list. Basically, that is what I'm looking for and failed to think of. [facepalm/] Thanks!
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Old 09-22-14, 01:33 PM
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FWIW, Tacx of NL makes drums that are slightly curved to tend to keep your wheel in the center [more than a straight cylinder]

https://www.tacx.com/en/products/trainers/galaxia



Red Bull Corporation, tours a damn small banked velodrome around the country/world.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-22-14 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-22-14, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
I see that you're in Yreka. Can you sneak onto the track at the fairgrounds?
[edit]
Sorry, looks like you did check it out. How about an out-and-back route on a country road?
That is my normal ride. 9.5mi or 19.8mi. Boatloads of hills, though. Thanks for the suggestions, but [cite]StephenH[/cite] filled in the hole in my brain with the suggestion of the indoor rollers.
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Old 09-22-14, 04:37 PM
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What about an indoor trainer or rollers?
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