Getting into track cycling - newbie

arryb Posts: 22
edited December 2008 in Track
I've always loved cycling, did JoG to Lands End at the age of 14 on a racing bike and now just ride for pleasure on both road bike and mtb whichever one I feel like using. I much prefer the speed I can generate on the road bike on the flats and don't much like hills which has led me to want to give track cycling a go! However, I'm based in Bath at university and have a feeling the nearest velodrome is Newport? I contacted them about getting involved and was told that they only offer beginner sessions etc on monday nights for 2 hours, however if I'm travelling that far, I'd much rather go and do a longer session, or maybe one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Does anyone know much about the setup at Newport velodrome or have any advice for me? Oh, and I'm 21 if that makes any difference. And on an idle level: I'd also be interested in how one would go about getting properly involved with track cycling to perhaps seriously take it up?

Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks, Arry


  • Eddy S
    Eddy S Posts: 1,013
    Where to start? Here’s some stuff just off the top of my head:

    If you’ve never ridden the track or a fixed gear bike before you’ll find a 2 hour session more then enough to start with.

    Your first few sessions will be about learning track etiquette and skills that are essential on an indoor track both for your safety and everybody else’s safety. You can’t rush this.

    With Newport, you’ll be able to progress from the beginners session to drop-in sessions as you become more proficient. From that stage you can look at getting track accreditation and maybe attend some SQTs.

    You will need accreditation to compete at the Newport track league – you can’t just pitch up and race the TL.

    EDIT - All of the sessions run by the velodrome are listed here.

    Other track time at Newport is booked by clubs and coaches for their own sessions. To get involved with this you need to know who is running the sessions and get in touch – the velodrome should tell you but not everybody welcomes beginners or non club members on closed/private sessions.

    My coach runs sessions and you can get involved with those here -> but as you will see, due to the Olympics these are popular and pretty full at the moment.

    Your other alternative is to get involved with the track league at Reading or Maindy (Cardiff) but the outdoor season doesn’t start till April. Again, you will still need to attend some training/accreditation sessions before being allowed to race.

    The best way to get more involved is to errr... get more involved. Get yourself booked on some training sessions - there are always experienced track riders that will help and guide you. You should go to the track on the evenings that the track league is taking place and speak to people that race there. The vast majority of people who track race are extremely approachable and will share their experience.

    Bath to Newport? I wish I was that 'local'!!! 8)
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
    BUICK Posts: 362
    My first session was an hour at Manchester Velodrome (only travelling from Leeds). I was pretty much broken by the end. Last time I did two hours including a couple of 10 lap practice scratch races and loved every second. Definitely recommend going to give it a try. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security about track racing's 'flatness' though. Before my first session I'd been doing hill training on the road up some serious hills and expected the track to be relatively easy (especially given the smooth surface) - I mentioned this to a more experienced rider afterwards in between dry coughs and dizzy spells: he laughed a lot. It's ALL uphill on the track :twisted:
    '07 Langster (dropped one tooth from standard gearing)
    '07 Tricross Sport with rack and guards
    STUNNING custom 953 Bob Jackson *sigh*