track newbie seeks advice

fred22
fred22 Posts: 509
edited December 2010 in Track
went to one of the taster sessions at manchester yesterday and really enjoyed my old self. Spent the night before lying awake wondering if I would dare ride around the top but once I got going had no problems beyond running out of steam after about 45 mins. Those turbo sessions were a waste after all.
Anyway to progress to the improvers group I need to ride in a line of four on the midway line not the correct term sorry, the line which in the madison one rider remains above. This seems to be the tricky bit. I don't ride in a club so have no experience at all in this. Has anyone got any advice, particularly for track? When does the leader rise up the banking etc? Thanks

Comments

  • in team pursuits the lead rider swings up the bank and rejoins the back once the other riders have passed

    seems abit of an odd requirement for you to progress
    Crafted in Italy apparantly
  • Yup this is indeed one of the requirements to progress. Nothing to do with team pursuit, just the sort of thing you'd do on the road all the time in a group. Usually change once per lap just as you come into a banking - leader rides up the bank and drops onto the rear wheel. Really easy once you've done it a couple of times. Just start with a bit of a gap to the wheel in front, keep a close eye out and when it's your turn to go, LOOK then move up, then LOOK and drop down once the group is past. The first few times you might create a massive gap...it comes down fast.

    Blue line = 'stayers' line', but more commonly just 'the blue line'.

    Glad you enjoyed it. Keep it up - might be a few tasters before you're happy working in a group. I'll be going regularly again in January to the Friday lunchtime sessions, let me know if you're there and I'll work with you to get that confidence up.
  • fred22
    fred22 Posts: 509
    Yup this is indeed one of the requirements to progress. Nothing to do with team pursuit, just the sort of thing you'd do on the road all the time in a group. Usually change once per lap just as you come into a banking - leader rides up the bank and drops onto the rear wheel. Really easy once you've done it a couple of times. Just start with a bit of a gap to the wheel in front, keep a close eye out and when it's your turn to go, LOOK then move up, then LOOK and drop down once the group is past. The first few times you might create a massive gap...it comes down fast.

    Blue line = 'stayers' line', but more commonly just 'the blue line'.

    Glad you enjoyed it. Keep it up - might be a few tasters before you're happy working in a group. I'll be going regularly again in January to the Friday lunchtime sessions, let me know if you're there and I'll work with you to get that confidence up.
    Thanks very much for your kind offer. I'll get in touch if I can get a friday off in Jan and get a space on one of the sessions
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,247
    I did the beginners at Newport with a line of about 8 cycling novices. Don't worry about it, it is actually easier than it would be on the road as no-one can panic brake or freewheel. If you are a bit nervous give yourself about a foot or so of space. You usually take a lap or half lap at the front after which you check over your right shoulder, flick your right elbow and (assuming no-one is overlapping) move up the bank. The rider at the rear should give a call of "last man" as he goes under you and you drop back down behind him. The closer you can get to his wheel when rejoining the line the less effort you will use but again if nervous give yourself a bit more space and ride slightly harder to close it. You'll be surprised how quickly you get used to it, after one session most of the novices I rode with were riding less than a foot apart. Also, when you go up the back the higher you go the quicker the line will pass you and the more energy you will save.
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    When swinging up, I tend to ride as if the blue line carried on straight (ie swing up at the start of the curve). In a group of four, it's probably more common and slightly easier to swing up mid way round the curve as they do in a team pursuit. Speak to the others in your group and decide how you are going to do it before starting.

    You don't need to go too high up, just a couple of seconds should be enough to scrub your speed so the others pass below you. Don't back off the pedals completely, but ease just a little before starting to swing back down.

    When coming back down, aim your front wheel at the bottom bracket of the last rider and this should take you nicely down to their back wheel.

    Practice makes perfect!
  • To get to the taster improver you need to be able to ride in a line of 4 but also be able to complete 5 laps around the top of the track. The laps are to judge fitness level, so if you could only manage 45 minutes, it may be a struggle.

    In summer, I attended three evening taster sessions where there were not enough riders willing to make up a line of 4.

    I was told that the friday lunchtime taster tends to be used by experienced riders who will be prepared to help others gain their accreditation by riding in a line with them. So I booked a fri lunchtime session and there were three others wanting to move up to the Improver session . We were joined by a couple of veterans and a spare coach, making a line of 7.

    Easy to pass this stage if you can find enough riders on the session to make up the line.
  • Pokerface
    Pokerface Posts: 7,960
    Stick with it - it quickly becomes second nature.

    (You need to learn how to swing off the front and rejoin the line as it's used in virtually all sessions on the track. ie SQTs - it's not to practice your 'team pursuit' skills).

    I remember my first session on the track a few years ago. The bankings looked so big and was terrified I would slide down! But of course.... I didn't.

    Anyway - I'm sure you'll be racing all over the track in no time. It doesn't take long to get a feel for the track. As others have said - just LOOK before you move and keep pedaling!

    Enjoy the experience and let us know how you get on!
  • andy_wrx
    andy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Think of the physics of it that you're breaking-off up the banking, so you'll lose speed a bit by going uphill, but you're also going a longer line around a bigger curve, so the other riders will pass inside/below you.
    Then you drop back down onto their tail again and you come down the banking and regain speed.

    For same reason, if you're following the wheel and catching the guy in front, well you have no brakes so you can't slow that way, so you move slightly to his right and because you're going a slightly longer route round the curve you'll drop back.
    Move to the left of him however and you're on the shorter route and you'll be trying even harder to avoid running into the back of him.

    Novice sessions initially have the line moving like a concertina, as people catch the guy in front and over-correct and drop back too far, then accellerate too much to close the gap and end-up catching him too fast again...
    - the trick is to keep it smooth and to anticipate : don't look fixedly at his back wheel if you're running 1ft behind it - actually look past/through him and see what the guys in front of him are doing and so anticipate and ease-off or speed-up slightly.
  • I think the best thing to do is get as much track time as you can, maybe take a week off work and hit the track Mon-Weds-Fri for the mid day tasters. A little extreme possibly but it'll do wonders for your fitness and once you're comfortable being on the track you can start to work on your skills a little more.

    Passing the accreditation isn't too hard, like a driving test you just have to do the things the coaches are looking for and not perhaps doing things the way you would on a normal track session. On a normal session or in a race in a line of 4 you'd only pull up the banks a few feet before dropping on to the back so you don't lose any ground but on the taster sessions the coaches want you going all the way to the top of the bank before coming down again. They want to see that you're comfortable at the top of the banks and looking over your shoulder before changing your line because everything they do is aimed at safety.

    Once you've got that they'll put you onto the improver where you'll learn your changes and before you know it you'll have passed. If you get good groups with good riders you can get through the accreditation really fast and find yourself in the league in no time!