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My first Velodrome experience(6 posts)

My first Velodrome experiencehrv
May 15, 2003 7:43 AM
After much cajoling from my buddy I finally decided to try riding on the Velodrome. On Wednesday nights, Alpenrose Velodrome in Portland, OR has development classes where you can rent a track bike for $5.00 and take a class for $5.00. Too good of a deal to pass up.

Stats: 268 meters around, 43 degree banks. That's right, 43 degrees. My first impression was that no way can a bike hold on something that steep, and no way was I going to be going up that on my first class. I was wrong on both counts.

They paired up 2 students with an experienced rider and off you went, after getting the introductory talk about pedaling smoothly, holding your line when someone behind says 'stay' and relaxing. After that we rolled on the flat part of the track, or apron, for a few laps to get the feeling of riding a fixed gear. Then the instructor sped up and we followed him up and down the banks. One lap of that and I was hooked! Saw some experienced riders in a paceline and I wanted to be part of it, so started with a two man paceline with my instructor, climbing the bank to change who leads out. Those 43 deg. banks? No big deal as long as you keep pedaling at a minimum speed. I could see having a speedo to help with this.

I still have a ways to go to feel really relaxed, especially in an oxygen debt situation, and don't know if I'll do any mass start track races this season, but definitely want to try pursuit which is a time trial. Also, talk about a workout! My legs feel like I did heavy squats yesterday. But I can honestly say if any of you have access to a velodrome (1.5 hours away from me) then you really should try it. It opens up a whole other world of having fun, big time fun, on a bike. Also a whole other world of pain and feeling thrashed, but we here enjoy those aspects, yes?

Hey hrvshirt
May 15, 2003 9:02 AM
Looks like I'll be in Portland for biz week after next. Going to try to do the Tuesday PIR weekly. I've never ridden on a velodrome before, and this Alpenrose deal sounds pretty interesting... Do they do it every week? Also, isn't 268m pretty damn small? I thought most were around 400m.

May 15, 2003 9:57 AM
I'll probably do PIR then too. Was going to start doing the Monday night master's 4/5 but not on Memorial day. I'm in a red Disco Velo kit with a blue Specialized Allez.

Yes - damn small! Those turns come up way to soon, and talk about small radius. Can be a little bumpy at times also if you aren't smooth going up-track. At first I felt like I needed front suspension. Just was reading about a guy who holds the hour record on it - he did 164 laps! Daaaamn!

One more thing: yes, track development class is every Wed.(nm)hrv
May 15, 2003 10:08 AM
250m is Olympic standard size <nm>Veloflash
May 24, 2003 3:32 PM
I'm lucky enough to have two within 45 minutes...TFerguson
May 15, 2003 9:02 AM
I raced a few time last year on the road bike on 'stock' nights, but haven't tried a track bike yet. Just converted a road to track and will be trying real soon.

Try pack racing, you'll like it. The suffering time per race is very short but very intense. A 15 lap points race or miss'n'out is probably the best interval training I've ever had.