Forum home Road cycling forum Track

New to track racing

AndyG26AndyG26 Posts: 5
edited October 2015 in Track
Hi.
I'm looking at track racing next season after 2 yrs Crit/road racing.
I understand that I need accreditation at some tracks before hand which isn't a problem, the only issue is that looking at the BC calendar all the races seem to be midweek when I can't ride.
Do they hold any races weekends or is it just midweek stuff .?

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,731
    Who are 'they'..?

    Difficult to answer without knowing where you are planning on racing...
  • Who are 'they'..?

    Difficult to answer without knowing where you are planning on racing...

    Oops my bad.
    Tracks like Herne hill, Stratford, Palmer park etc, I've looked and everything is midweek is this because it's nearly the end of season or is this the norm.?
    Thx
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,731
    You'll need to differentiate between outdoor and indoor tracks. Outdoor tracks will tend to run more events in the spring/summer when the weather is better and the evenings are lighter - and aside from a few showcase events or local/regional champs, most will be midweek.

    Indoor can effectively be anytime, but events still tend to follow the same pattern.
  • I'd race indoor and outdoor, I just want to make sure that there's weekend races before I buy a new toy.
    I've looked at the BC calendar and gone back to March but it's very vague regarding weekend races.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,731
    There's fewer weekend races, as mentioned. Unless you're prepared to travel further afield, don't expect to be doing much regular weekend track racing at any time of the year.
  • I don't mind travelling, I'm in west London and there's 5 trackers within 1 1/2hrs but I don't mind a 2-2 1/2 drive.
  • Tom-STom-S Posts: 5
    Hi Andy,

    The reason they're not showing up is you're out of season – it's only midweek winter track leagues at the moment, and they're only at the indoor velodromes. The season is the same as the road season and goes from April-October.

    Herne Hill hosts an open meet the first Saturday of every month from April till September, and Full Gas promoted four or five opens at Lee Valley this year. There are two or three at Reading (though they tend to have a derny race element to them), and Bournemouth does two or three – Newport is rarer. Palmer Park still hasn't reopened. There's also Welwyn, but I've not ventured up there yet. There's also the Good Friday meet Lee Valley, but you'll need some decent A-cat results to your name and indoor race experience before they'll even consider you – it's heavy duty stuff, you'd be racing against the big boys…

    One thing though, opens are a bit of a step up, and I wouldn't recommend doing one without experience. Crit racing will have given you some decent spatial awareness, but there is a different etiquette for racing on the track. Don't pass on the inside, for example, unless there's a ginormous gap. If you do shout inside and go for it, the rider in front of you is totally within their rights to shut the door on you. Also, you're going to have to know how to maintain a steady pace on the different parts of the banking, how to slow down gently without kicking back, how to take a pull on the front without causing a concertina effect behind you, how to dive back into the bunch from the top of the banking safely… Jeez, I could go on…

    Just try heading down for either a Wednesday track league or Monday night race training at Herne Hill a couple of times, and if you're comfortable doing that (and the coaches don't yell at you…) sign up for some opens. Also, if week nights really are completely out for you, there's the intermediates session at HH which runs from 10-12pm on a Saturday, which would at least be a decent place to start, but not as good as actual race experience.

    You'll probably be up to speed in a couple of sessions, it's just that an open meet isn't the place to be learning!

    Just realised I've not given you the absolute standard advice everyone gives a new trackie: go fast, turn left ;)
  • I do not know about the outdoor tracks but none of the indoor tracks will let you ride without going through the accreditation process. At Derby this is a minimum of 6 hours on the track. These sessions are not about speed or aggressive riding but rather safe riding in a velodrome. they can then be followed by SQT (Structured Quality Training) which is basically race training. These sessions take place in Derby on Mondays, fridays and Sundays. They are great fun and would be good for your crit racing even if you do not end up racing in the leagues.

    All the indoor velodromes will hire bikes and again at Derby they are good quality bikes. I wouldnt buy until you are certain you are going to enjoy it.

    If you do buy a bike then remember to clean the tyres of release compound. Having seen a guy slide from the top of the banking and take out another rider because of failure to do this was not funny. It also seems to be the rider at the bottom who comes off worse. On this occasion a dislocated AC joint!!
  • One of the problems with the track accreditation is the perceived view that this is a ticket to race. Even with road race / criterium / time trial / chaingang experience, riding a fixed gear bike at over 44kph (av. speed of a C cat endurance race) in a bunch on an indoor track takes practice. Passing your driving test does not make you a racing driver, it just means you have met the minimum standard to drive on the road. Same with track racing. Post accreditation should be all about riding SQTs, learning to ride with fast moving, fast changing riders. Time and again I see inexprerienced but strong riders taking part in SQTs who are hell bent on going faster than everyone else regardless of their ability to ride safely. (Probably the same ones who cause crashes in 3/4 crits.)
    Live to ski
    Ski to live
  • One of the problems with the track accreditation is the perceived view that this is a ticket to race. Even with road race / criterium / time trial / chaingang experience, riding a fixed gear bike at over 44kph (av. speed of a C cat endurance race) in a bunch on an indoor track takes practice. Passing your driving test does not make you a racing driver, it just means you have met the minimum standard to drive on the road. Same with track racing. Post accreditation should be all about riding SQTs, learning to ride with fast moving, fast changing riders. Time and again I see inexprerienced but strong riders taking part in SQTs who are hell bent on going faster than everyone else regardless of their ability to ride safely. (Probably the same ones who cause crashes in 3/4 crits.)

    I agree. Even in SQT you can see the blinkers coming down and people stop looking, touch wheels, etc.
Sign In or Register to comment.