Yesterday I had the chance to ride on the track at the Olympic velodrome at Stratford. In summary: it was fantastic.
I hadn’t ridden on a velodrome before, or indeed on a fixed-wheel bike, so I was quite apprehensive about the whole thing. What if, in a moment of absent-mindedness, (to which I am prone), I forget to keep pedalling and come crashing down the banking? That kind of thing.
But it was all fine. The instructor was very good, and took us through one step at a time, so that at each point I felt ready for the next stage. So, first of all understanding about the bike and the rules of riding on the track, then learning how to clip in, how to start off and how to stop, how to ride on the safety zone, how to ride on the ‘côte d’azur’, (light blue section at the bottom of the wooden track), then riding on the boards themselves.
I was grinning from ear to ear for much of the time. Well, inwardly at least. Complete euphoria at actually riding on a track tinged with a hint of nervousness thinking that it could all still go horribly wrong at any moment. But it didn’t, and I absolutely loved it.
At the end of the session I was given the go ahead to progress to Level 2. And you know what? I think I will.
Some photos are below. Please excuse the fact that they aren’t all that sharp – the light is comparatively low and my speed was incredibly fast. OK, not really that fast, but fast enough to be blurry.
Thanks should to go to my family who bought me the ‘taster session’.
If you’d like to have a go yourself, or perhaps buy a taster session for a cyclist you know, you can do so on the Lee Valley Velo park website. I’d say that ideally you need to be fairly competent on a bike. It would help to have ridden a road bike before, but probably isn’t essential. Do ask me any questions about it if that would be useful.