I’ve wanted to try track cycling for a while and finally got the chance last weekend at the Forest City Velodrome in London.  If you’ve been there you know how much fun it is.  If you haven’t, it’s time to make the two hour drive to London to give it a try. 

The track is in the arena just off the 401 where the local junior hockey team used to play.  When the team moved to a new arena downtown, many rows of seats and the boards came out and the track went in.  Given the space, the banking in the corners is at a 50 degree angle.  Standing on the ground at the apex of the corner and looking up, the track seems almost like a wall.  It feels strange at first to ride through the corners sideways, but after a few laps this seems surprisingly normal.

The learn-to-ride “Track 1” class lasts two hours, followed by a third hour of skills and drills.  The instructor explained that the intro session is designed for people who don’t necessarily ride.  But since the 12 of us that day were all experienced riders, he was able to take us through the class much more quickly than normal.  After a couple of introductory turns on the infield and apron to get used to the fixed gear bikes, we were running a whole range of drills at increasing speeds that got us using all the different parts of the track.  One involved climbing gradually toward the outside of the track on the approach to the turn, cornering mid-way up the track and then suddenly dropping back down to the inside just after the apex.  Another had us taking the straightaway on the outside, dropping at the entry to the turn and then pushing the bike up and outward again on the turn’s exit, ready for the next straightaway.  Sprint laps out of the saddle left my legs burning.  The wildest feeling of the session was when I cornered above the blue line, looked to my left (effectively straight down toward the ground!) and watched five riders pass beneath me along the inner black line.  All in all, it was a fantastic outing.  I’m already planning our next family trip to London around when I can get into the “Track 2” session.

I don’t know if other BCC’ers are interested in trying track cycling, but I’d be happy to help organize something for a group if there’s interest.  “Track 1” sessions are on Saturdays from 12-3.  The sessions book up several weeks in advance, so we’d have to get organized soon for a date in March assuming that people want to do this before the outdoor season gets into full swing.  If we book early enough and have enough people we can reserve a session entirely for ourselves.  For only $30 (this includes the bike rental fee), it’s a great deal.   Just bring your shoes, pedals and helmet.  You’re sure to have a blast.

Video to follow...

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Comment by Alexx Hooper on January 26, 2011 at 9:08am
Thanks for posting this, Jon. It sounds scary, but intriguing. Might be fun to try!
Comment by Kerri on January 26, 2011 at 12:54pm

I'd be game - just have to coordinate my schedule is all.

K

Comment by Steve Wolowich on January 27, 2011 at 10:52am

Also game to try.

Comment by Jon Spira on February 1, 2011 at 11:29am
I have reserved 10 spots on March 5.  I need to know confirmed numbers ASAP (I don't want them holding spots that we won't use and could otherwise give to others).  I'll post something in the events section.
Comment by Kerri on February 1, 2011 at 3:34pm
Wicked - thanks for doing this Jon!  Steve and I are in for the 5th.  Cheers, K

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BCC Rides

Cycling in the summer can be about casual riding, sprinting, spinning, big-ring hammerfests or what ever your chosen type of riding is. The BCC was founded for the sole purpose to network cyclists. It has grown into a successful club which accommodates Riders at almost all skill/fitness levels. Everyone should be able to participate and have fun at their respective levels.

 

Weekend Rides: 

Saturday

Saturday Morning
Start time is 8:00am early season, 7:00am as days get longer. Route distances vary from 55-120km and several pace groups are available. Saturday morning rides focus on a social vibe.

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Rides will start around sunrise. Rotating routes will focus on distances from 55-160km.  Remote start rides outside the GTA.

Weekly Rides:

 

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Advanced Turbo Tuesdays
For this ride, advanced group riding and bike handling skills are required. You must also be aware of your limitations. Riding speed is 35kph+.

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Starts at 5:40am. This ride includes Bayview, pottery rd, redway other local hills.

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Starts at 5:30AM. Bring your CX or MTB out for a great Don trail ride. Some weeks, we'll head to a local park to practice CX skills.

Informal Rides Click Here



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A place where those interested in, or already addicted to, riding the boards can share info.

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Interested in finding a new route or refreshing your memory on an old faithful? Check out the Routes page.

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