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Derby Velodrome

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  • Hi for those who are interested I rode Derby Monday night for the probationary accreditation

    Please note the postcode does not take you straight there it gets you close but use the road names and you should see the building.

    The car park is at the rear of the building and has a barrier and ticket system, first 3 hours free (the barrier was up when we left after 10pm) you validate your ticket inside near reception.

    The building is very pleasant and the staff are enthusiastic and very helpful, the lady on reception wanted to carry my kit bag and wheels through to the riders D for me. (this may wear off in time)

    The access to the riders D and the track is through auto doors (Manchester are you listening) the riders D is small so when they run open meetings or track leagues space is going to be a premium so they may have to restrict the number of riders helpers etc to keep space for the riders.

    There is a water fountain in the D

    Loos and changing rooms are close by (a lot closer than Manchester)

    Cycling shoes are only to be worn in the riders D and track side. The floor has a rubber the covering on it.

    The track is all one colour and almost featureless this is nice but no visual markers other than the 200m and finish line this should change at they get some sponsors banners up around the wall edge to the track.

    Riding the track it is very grippy to the point that I would not have wanted to do the extreme lumps and bumps we did at Derby on the boards at Manchester (coach did explain that we shouldn't have needed to do them as extreme as we did but one one slipped)

    The accreditation process was good with a good group of riders.

    Started with riding onto the track then onto the black line then up to the red, then the blue then up a bit more then finally up to the hand rail all in a single line half a wheel off the rider in front, then reversed the process for returning to the bottom of the track.

    Then riding in pairs in a line
    Changing in a single line
    Changing in pairs in a line
    Riding 4 abreast (built up from pair to 3 then 4)
    Track chain gang
    Tacking half laps off a line of riders

    Then a mock race 20 laps first 17 neutralised then 3 laps free

    Cool down

    Straight forward enough we all past.

    They have on order (coach said they are) boards to hold up for instructions as there is quite a bit of background noise from other sports in the lower part of the track.

    The bland feature less colour is being looked into for some visual markers

    It will be different to riding Manchester for racing as the centre has white nest from floor to ceiling and the glass wall (looks like 40mm laminated glass) is in your line of sight across the track, it will just take a bit of getting use to and again you are not too sure where you are on the track sounds silly but maybe I am too used to Manchester and know which end is which.
  • Well that was absolutely amazing!!!!

    Just been for the 1st stage of the accreditation process and loved it!

    Didn't do as much as agent nomad but in this hour session we simply cycled round the track at the different levels;

    Cote
    Black
    Red
    Blue
    Top

    It was scary as anything the first time but I soon got used to it. Gonna get my name down for stage 2 and possibly do stage 1 again to get some track time!

    One of the most tricky bits was remembering to keep pedalling!
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,540
    As you are fairly local if you join a Derby based club you will get on their rota for regular sessions, although they don't include bike hire like the first two accreditation sessions do.
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  • LeighMLeighM Posts: 156
    Just got through stage 1 and 2, waiting to do 3 mid-June. Never ridden track before, but I absolutely love it, such a buzz.

    Hopefully I'll be fit enough to race the league over the winter months.
    2014 Trek Madone 4.7 | 2009 Trek Fuel EX7 | Planet X Pro Carbon Track Elite
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,540
    Poor experience at the velodrome tonight. Stage 2 accreditation. The coach had lost his voice to the extent you struggled to hear the briefing sat 6 feet away in the D. He then proceeds to scare everyone that hadn't done much track telling them how dangerous it is. He then runs an awful session awful in large part because nobody could hear his instructions. Then half way through he tells us the whole group have failed. At the end when challenged to give some individual feedback he is unable to other than to say pace management was poor. Now this may be partly sour grapes but how does a whole group fail en masse including people who have been track league regulars and he can't give a single piece of individual feedback. Yes there were some riders in the group who should have failed, maybe 4-5 out of 16 not all of us. Most of those riding poorly were doing so because of his lack of direction. I could go on but the guy really is an exemplar of how not to coach in any sport.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,540
    Just to add, some of those present had heard similar tales from mates, really does seem like pot luck.
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  • BeaconJonBeaconJon Posts: 294
    Poor experience at the velodrome tonight. Stage 2 accreditation. The coach had lost his voice to the extent you struggled to hear the briefing sat 6 feet away in the D. He then proceeds to scare everyone that hadn't done much track telling them how dangerous it is. He then runs an awful session awful in large part because nobody could hear his instructions. Then half way through he tells us the whole group have failed. At the end when challenged to give some individual feedback he is unable to other than to say pace management was poor. Now this may be partly sour grapes but how does a whole group fail en masse including people who have been track league regulars and he can't give a single piece of individual feedback. Yes there were some riders in the group who should have failed, maybe 4-5 out of 16 not all of us. Most of those riding poorly were doing so because of his lack of direction. I could go on but the guy really is an exemplar of how not to coach in any sport.

    I was with you last night (yellow/black/red Rugby Racing club).
    It was a shambles really. I got the impression we'd failed before we even got going. How disappointing after a really positive stage 1 with a different coach.
    I was really disappointed as the tick sheets he should have been filling in per rider was no where in sight. The blanket failing of the group was more of a reflection of his coaching ability than the riding ability of those present.
    It was a lad in our club who'd had a similar experience with guys passing stage 2 after they'd caused a pile up. Bizzar. I hope it's not a numbers game.
  • Kylabr88Kylabr88 Posts: 35
    How difficult is it to get I to the accreditation sessions I've applied but no answer,called but they have just said wait for a email.errrrrm if they run booking a session that way I would hate to think how the accreditation or coaching will go
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,540
    I have booked a session over the phone but I had to go in to pay but that was when it first opened so I'm surprised if that would still be the case, might be worth trying again. They have had quite a few teething problems but I get the impression the staff in reception really do their best, they've always been very helpful and friendly when I've been in.

    To be fair I know plenty of people who have had good experiences of the coaching on the accreditation sessions too - my stage 1 was fair - the guy passed most, failed a few and we all got a couple of minutes in private talking through how we did with him irrespective. I would warn you though that the woman at reception told me that they'd decided to get tougher on passing people.
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  • johnmioshjohnmiosh Posts: 210
    Definitely a bit disappointing so far. They do seem to be ignoring emails. I signed up for the probationary session by email. I called a couple of weeks after they had started to see where I was on the waiting list. There did not seem to be any waiting list and they booked me on for the next session. 14 of us attended, so not full.

    We did all the exercises except lums and bumps. They were a bit scrappy; not really due to anyone in particular, but poor line discipline, not keeping on wheels etc. and I was worried how he was going to sort out who would pass or fail. At the end he told us that was the best session he had seen and if we rode like that the next time we would all pass. This caused a bit of upset as we all thought that as BC accredited riders, this was our stage 4 type test. Turns out he was confused and we were all given Derby accreditation (no individual notes were taken).

    A couple of others on the on the session were saying that they had received emails from the Arena, asking them to register their interest for the accreditation sessions, they rang back to point out that the only way that the Arena could have contacted them by email was because they had already registered their interest. They were then booked onto the accreditation session by phone.

    You can pay over the phone with a credit card. You can also buy a years membership for £5 which gets you a 20% discount if you are resident in Derby City Council boundary and 10% if you live further out. I became a member as three sessions will put me in profit on this.

    I went to my first SQT last week. I was surprised that there were no checks on who turned up, not even a signing on sheet. It started 20 minutes late due to issues with the previous taster session and we finished at 9:10 to partly compensate.

    The session was generally good, although the mock races, particularly the elimination race, were closer to real racing; fun, but more chance of a collision. Manchester coaches would certainly have furnished more ground rules before starting. The exercises were warm up, taking half laps, flying 200m, elimination race and keirin.

    The only really annoying thing was not being able to shower after, as there was no time allowed between finish of the session and the arena closing. I don't think this was just because of the 10 minutes overrun.

    Finally, I have been asked to organise a private club session, this can only be done by email, the counter staff aren't authorised to deal with it. This is a very slow process.
  • Kylabr88Kylabr88 Posts: 35
    What a joke after 3weeks trying to book a introductory session on the track I got one today,after travelling 2hours I turned up 7mins late due to accident on the motorway I was told I couldn't join the group because of safety reasons,so I explain and apologised for being late a serious accident occurred on the motorway so I was stuck In Traffic for 40mins I explain to the woman I've raced track before so she went to ask the coach if I could join the introductory class I booked for.I was refused entry on the track due to safety reasons and he had a full class of 14 and I would interfere with the safety talk WTF.
  • Just my opinion thoughts and experience ( I am also a level 3 white water kayak coach but not a cycle coach)

    Accreditation to ride the velodrome can be seen in at least two ways

    The first is to say you are safe and competent to ride and be part of the SQT system.
    The second is to say you are safe and competent to race.

    These can be quite different and have different priorities, both need to be as safe as possible.

    So there are different agenders here for riders some who want to ride SQT's and others that want to race track, (some experienced track racers and others with no track experience i.e. race racers,

    The SQT sessions should be as structured as possible and most people will be on the same size gear so more predictable and the group dynamics controlled and smooth.

    Racing is going to be a mix of abilities, fitness levels people riding different sized gears etc until the league sorts itself out (I know it is not running properly just yet) and people are in the best group for them, Manchester has been running since 1994 and has had the same organiser all that time. If Carol can't get it right most of the time we will have to smile and get on with it.

    Some one said they where turned away for being late and missing the safety brief, I am with the Velodrome on this, what would you say if you are riding around and then someone joins in late missing the safety brief and takes you out hurts you or smashes your bike up in a crash the SQT and accreditation are run by the velodrome (Derby council)

    Back to the accreditation process, turn up do what is asked of you and if you don't pass as an individual or a group the chances are it cost around the same as an SQT and the drills where not that different, try and get feedback and work on it, It is not easy coaching/assessing groups with limited time and with little or no background knowledge of the riders, very good coaches can do it straight out of the box with complete strangers, most need a little bit more time and a chance to get to know you.

    As for tightening up or lifting the standard, maybe they have had a few pass then go on to ride below standard as passing accreditation could be like passing your driving test, not all drivers use there indicators every time after passing there test like you need to on your test.

    Just my thoughts.
  • Kylabr88Kylabr88 Posts: 35
    Track cycling is not rocket science there's a lot of coaches out there who know jack censored about cycling.I mean I completely understand the safety aspects but this is health and safety gone mad,you don't get a accredited racing on the road and believe you me it's more dangerous than track.Ive raced around the world and I've never ever had a safety briefing nor had to go for accreditation.My team entered me into a regional track championships in February to get selected for the continental champs I hadn't touched a track bike in 12years and I raced with the elites no questions asked.
    I understand the bullsh** excuse the coach made but I'm sorry 7mins is not going to impact a 2-3hour lesson that much,some allowances have to be made it's not a race where if you miss the start you chase.
    I've been to manchester&newport (no safety briefing)and I've heard so much bad reviews from Derby from bookings to the low level of coaching provided.
    Rant over bite my tongue get acredditated
  • BeaconJonBeaconJon Posts: 294
    I must admit, having ridden group sessions at Newport and Manchester with my club (the later really well coached ending up with a handful of us pushing hard in a tight group doing bit and bit for about 40 mins) without incident due mainly to the relative cycling experience of those attending, I was surprised at the real mixed bag of abilities in the same accreditation session.
    I think the coaches are looking too much at the group dynamics rather than individuals. My last session was a huge spectrum of riders from total cycling novices to a guy looking to compete in the masters (none of which I knew).
    Those less experienced stood out on when riding on the track so the whole group got binned.
    I hope Derby make things a little better for those wishing to ride there as so far, in my experience with them, the two sessions have been a night and day experience.
  • LeighMLeighM Posts: 156
    I did my level 3 at Derby yesterday, the entire group of 20 passed.

    Things got a bit nervy for the 1st lap riding in 2 lines on red and black, but quickly settled down. The coaches called out a few issues with pacing, where the line was accelerating/decelerating and causing things to squeeze at the back, but otherwise it was hailed as a good group/session.

    We finished with a 6 lap Keirin with a sprint finish which was a new experience for me, but great fun.

    I understand them not wanting to let people loose without some sort of skills qualification, but last night made it feel a little like a health and safety box ticking exercise. There was a girl in our group who was clearly a competent, competitive track rider, but as she'd never accredited before, she was having to do all 4 of the stages. Watching her ride a couple of laps would have shown anyone who knew what they were looking at that she was perfectly capable.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,540
    Just seen a guy on facebook post he's now fully accredited - in April he posted it was his first time with clipless pedals, first time on fixed and first time on a track. It really is a lottery and imo a complete joke.
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  • BeaconJonBeaconJon Posts: 294
    Wow, that is scary. I like to be comfortable with the guys I'm riding with.
    A friend was in a group for their stage 2 last week, half passed, half failed. A couple in the failed part of the group were very experienced. It was more to do with being placed at the front early on as they didn't have to deal so much with the yo-yo'ing from poor pacemaking.
    The coach (Simon) even admitted as much.
    It'll be interesting to see how my stage 2 repeat goes as I'll be riding with a mate who races cat 3/2 on the road, arguably far more dangerous than riding with a few bods on the track.
  • dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
    I did my level 3 at Derby yesterday, the entire group of 20 passed.

    Things got a bit nervy for the 1st lap riding in 2 lines on red and black, but quickly settled down. The coaches called out a few issues with pacing, where the line was accelerating/decelerating and causing things to squeeze at the back, but otherwise it was hailed as a good group/session.

    We finished with a 6 lap Keirin with a sprint finish which was a new experience for me, but great fun.

    I understand them not wanting to let people loose without some sort of skills qualification, but last night made it feel a little like a health and safety box ticking exercise. There was a girl in our group who was clearly a competent, competitive track rider, but as she'd never accredited before, she was having to do all 4 of the stages. Watching her ride a couple of laps would have shown anyone who knew what they were looking at that she was perfectly capable.

    I hope there wasn't 20 on the track at the same time!!!
  • LeighMLeighM Posts: 156

    I hope there wasn't 20 on the track at the same time!!!

    We rode in 2 groups, either separately or half a lap apart.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,540
    Spoke to a friend yesterday, said they'd just got accreditation. I said that was quick as they weren't accredited at Manchester and hadn't been doing the accreditation sessions at Derby last thing I knew. It turns out they were just down there helping out with a youth session and knowing the coach he said get on the track you may as well join in, after he signed them off as accredited!
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  • BeaconJonBeaconJon Posts: 294
    Blimey, if that's all it takes that's a worry.
    I really hope they can sort things out and make things a little more consistent regarding the accreditation process.
    I might volunteer to help, that'll save me a few quid, lots of diesel and a good few hours of my time.
  • Omar LittleOmar Little Posts: 2,040
    It was a bit of a mess at Glasgow too when it first opened. Although the coaching was pretty good for the most part it was more the organisational side of things that were a mess, having to wait months to book an accreditation session etc.

    Although personally i think the pass rate should have been a bit lower (i dont think anyone failed when i was doing mine) but the directives the coaches were working under was always about safe riding and there wasnt a fitness element to it, which sounds fair enough - get the basics right then the fitness can follow. However in practice it didnt work so well as riders were allowed to come off when they were feeling the pace (in the drills so it wasnt a hard pace) and this meant there were a handful of riders not being tested to the same standards as everyone else. When someone is feeling tired and struggling a bit then that is precisely when mistakes and bad practice are more likely to show up and you want people that can continue to follow a steady line and not do daft censored when they are suffering. But if they keep being allowed out for a breather you miss that. So that was my major gripe.

    Anyway stick at it despite the headaches at the moment it will all be worth it in the end, particularly in the winter when the track leagues start up.
  • BeaconJonBeaconJon Posts: 294
    Huge night and day experience for my stage 2 re-take. Really positive coaching from Nicki. Clear instructions.
    The group was very competent too which gave everyone confidence.
    Here's hoping for a similar experience in stage 3.
  • Kylabr88Kylabr88 Posts: 35
    Spent 3 hours at the track yesterday with coaches Nicki,Graham just as I was warming down Gordan Ramsay,Jenson Button turn up in Lycra waiting to do some time on the track obviously caused a stir around the arena.Monday nights SQT is brilliant Graham and Nicky are great coaches I know Graham races Worlds,Nicki is very well known in South Africa
  • BillyImpBillyImp Posts: 130
    Just been failed on my level 2 for not not observing i.e. looking over my shoulder every time I change my line. Questioned it as I knew for a fact I was checking every single time but he said he never saw me check once and had mentioned it to me a number of times during the session. Only when I get back into the changing rooms afterwards does another rider chirp up and say it was actually him that was spoken to by the coach for not observing!
    It certainly seems to be a bit hit and miss and I guess that's the problem when there's one coach and 20 riders to monitor in an hour's session and then the coach does the checklist retrospectively. Frustrating to have to book again and take time out for a 3 hour round trip thanks to a case of mistaken identity.
  • dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
    Just been failed on my level 2 for not not observing i.e. looking over my shoulder every time I change my line. Questioned it as I knew for a fact I was checking every single time but he said he never saw me check once and had mentioned it to me a number of times during the session. Only when I get back into the changing rooms afterwards does another rider chirp up and say it was actually him that was spoken to by the coach for not observing!
    It certainly seems to be a bit hit and miss and I guess that's the problem when there's one coach and 20 riders to monitor in an hour's session and then the coach does the checklist retrospectively. Frustrating to have to book again and take time out for a 3 hour round trip thanks to a case of mistaken identity.

    That's why we use coloured and numbered bibs at L.V. Did you appeal the decision with the coach?
  • BillyImpBillyImp Posts: 130
    Just been failed on my level 2 for not not observing i.e. looking over my shoulder every time I change my line. Questioned it as I knew for a fact I was checking every single time but he said he never saw me check once and had mentioned it to me a number of times during the session. Only when I get back into the changing rooms afterwards does another rider chirp up and say it was actually him that was spoken to by the coach for not observing!
    It certainly seems to be a bit hit and miss and I guess that's the problem when there's one coach and 20 riders to monitor in an hour's session and then the coach does the checklist retrospectively. Frustrating to have to book again and take time out for a 3 hour round trip thanks to a case of mistaken identity.

    That's why we use coloured and numbered bibs at L.V. Did you appeal the decision with the coach?

    I did at the time but it wasn't until speaking to the other rider afterwards that the penny dropped, by which time the coach was no longer around. I was thinking how easy it would be to pin a race number on your back so the coach has something to identify you by, interesting that they do something similar elsewhere....it just makes sense to me!!
  • Just been failed on my level 2 for not not observing i.e. looking over my shoulder every time I change my line. Questioned it as I knew for a fact I was checking every single time but he said he never saw me check once and had mentioned it to me a number of times during the session. Only when I get back into the changing rooms afterwards does another rider chirp up and say it was actually him that was spoken to by the coach for not observing!
    It certainly seems to be a bit hit and miss and I guess that's the problem when there's one coach and 20 riders to monitor in an hour's session and then the coach does the checklist retrospectively. Frustrating to have to book again and take time out for a 3 hour round trip thanks to a case of mistaken identity.

    I was on the same one as you, I wondered how the hell one coach could monitor all 14 riders, especially half a lap apart, to know what everyone was doing.

    I think they should have multiple coaches or smaller groups. The idea about different bib colours/numbers is a pretty good idea.

    I agree with what the coach was saying about getting more track time, initially when he was giving "feedback" i thought he was going to fail everyone who hadn't done more than one stage 2!
  • BillyImpBillyImp Posts: 130
    Just been failed on my level 2 for not not observing i.e. looking over my shoulder every time I change my line. Questioned it as I knew for a fact I was checking every single time but he said he never saw me check once and had mentioned it to me a number of times during the session. Only when I get back into the changing rooms afterwards does another rider chirp up and say it was actually him that was spoken to by the coach for not observing!
    It certainly seems to be a bit hit and miss and I guess that's the problem when there's one coach and 20 riders to monitor in an hour's session and then the coach does the checklist retrospectively. Frustrating to have to book again and take time out for a 3 hour round trip thanks to a case of mistaken identity.

    I was on the same one as you, I wondered how the hell one coach could monitor all 14 riders, especially half a lap apart, to know what everyone was doing.

    I think they should have multiple coaches or smaller groups. The idea about different bib colours/numbers is a pretty good idea.

    I agree with what the coach was saying about getting more track time, initially when he was giving "feedback" i thought he was going to fail everyone who hadn't done more than one stage 2!


    Despite my negative post I actually really enjoyed the session just left feeling a bit frustrated about the mix up at the end, thought it was a great step up from level 1. Completely agree with your points, on our level 1 session the coach took all our names at the start and wrote down a description of each rider next to their name and was jotting down notes/ticking boxes through the whole session. You are only letting the riders down and kidding yourself if you pretend you can give detailed feedback on 20 riders all from memory!
    I guess the problem with smaller groups or an extra coach is that the price would go up, think we'll just have to make sure not to wear club kit next time! :lol:
  • Kylabr88Kylabr88 Posts: 35
    I have to say it's down to the coach Graham,Nicky are brilliant a lot of the other coaches are clueless I was at a SQT and there was a rider who was clearly inexperienced and was giving other riders tips which was laughable later this guy admitted to being a level 3 track coach.some of the coaches might know the theory but really are learning themselves hence they going undercover learning how to ride a bike on SQT's.Advice for anyone doing level 2-3 a good coach will have eyes at the back of his head if you want to improve and progress join a session with a proper experienced track coach.
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