The Freewheel Women's ride leader, our friend Leslie, sent us this message about an upcoming Women's Track event. Check it out! I especially liked the Four Basic Tips for the Track, below. This event will be happening in place of that week's Freewheel Women's ride.
I hope you are all taking advantage of this beautiful weather and getting lots of riding in! Next Wednesday we have a fabulous opportunity to "try out" riding at the track at Women's Intro Track Night. NO BOYS ALLOWED! Even if you have no intention of ever racing at the track, it is a great way to train and improve bike handling skills! (At least that's what they tell me, I have not actually done it myself, so I will be a beginner right there with you!) The track is incredible fun, and it’s an amazing, world-class facility that’s fascinating to see up close. If you like it, there are classes you can sign up for and season training passes available.
Wednesday 07/13, 6:30 - 8:30 at the Velodrome: 1700 105th Ave NE, Blaine, MN 55449
Contact Linsey Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Please arrive early (between 6:00 and 6:30PM). Do not ride on the track until you've been properly instructed.
You do not need to own a track bike to participate in this event, there are rental bikes available free for this event to everyone who is new to the track.
Bring: pedals, shoes, helmet, bike clothes (also bring a pedal wrench if you have one. If you can't get your pedals off your bike, just bring your bike along and they'll find a way to remove them, using WD40 and a giant bolt cutter. (kidding)
THE VERY BASICS OF RIDING THE TRACK
1. Your Legs Are Your Brakes. Use your legs to increase AND decrease your speed. That's a major difference from a road bike: using your legs to slow you down.
2. Think 50 Meters Ahead. You can't "jam on" your brakes, so you need to think 50 meters ahead. If you are riding up behind someone, coming into their slipstream, you had better start slowing down well before you get there. You can't freewheel and hit the brakes once you arrive.
3. Never Drop Below 17mph. The banking is so steep that if you go too slow, you will come off it like you've just dropped through a trap door: one moment you're riding along, the next you're in free-fall. There is no need for this to be scary: If you are 17mph or above, you are definitely safe. If you are below 15mph, you are in deep danger. Never drop below 17mph.
4. Stay To The Right. Pass on the right. If you overlap wheels, overlap to the right. If a crash happens in front of you - no matter what - go to the right. The right side of the track ("uptrack") is your friend; there is open space and room to move there. The left side ("downtrack") is always a danger zone: if you get caught on the left, you have nowhere to go, crashes will follow the force of gravity down towards you, and you will have no options to avoid. When in doubt - and even when you're NOT in doubt - stay to the right.
NSC Velodrome Site: http://www.nscsports.org/sports/cycling/index.htm
SPBRC Track Blog, which will give you a sense of the track, some of the recent races, and other miscellaneous items: http://www.spbrc.org/track-journal/