Having never been to the velodrome before a few things hit my about my first visit.
After changing there’s a small walk to the track center, as I walked down the final few steps and got under the blue netting I realised that I was in the home of glory, Yeah I know that all the hard work goes on in Manchester but this is the Olympic track and I had a bit of a memory moment of the time I spent screaming at the telly and there was a bit of fizz of personal excitement.
There was a range of abilities, thankfully I wasn’t the only one there who’d never ridden a track before although it took the other woman who hadn’t maybe three laps before I heard her south stay and whizz past me and she continued to whizz round while I kept taking breaks because of my back pain but that also gave me the chance to what everyone else.
The woman that led us out from the rail lapped me in 10
A couple of the more seasoned riders brought their own bikes, the chap on the Fuji in the speedsuit had quite a pace and the body of a triathlete, and there was a chap with a Dolan with a rather swish flip down visor helmet, there was even a guy that had travelled down from Newcastle for it and a bag full of Geordie swag, I do love a charming Geordie after all I’m a Geordie and it’s been too long since I went back up.
So, the things I noticed straight way. Track bikes are tiny, I ride either a road race geometry or and a relaxed endurance racy kind of set up on my day bikes, and it felt really odd riding on the drops, it’s not something I do, I don’t race my bike, I don’t sprint anywhere, my hand position rarely moves from the hood and tops unless I’m in a TT position.
The crank arms are also tiny, but no matter how small those crank arms are I couldn’t stop thinking that I would ground one going round the bend. Also the telly box doesn’t really allow you to see how steep the banking is.
Speaking strictly as a roadie, fucking fixies ! grrrr more than once I forgot and got a jarring bump, also speaking a roadie it was really interesting to feel the what it feels like to move through a controlled environment that takes away all the natural environmentals, next time I’m taking some lens because it sucks moisture though your eyeballs.
You can’t use Shimano cleats so go get yourself you Look.
Actually riding the track is quite fun, I’d have preferred a larger chainring and not to be in pain because I really would rather like to spank it round that track but not riding has killed my fitness, my legs feel terrible and I struggled to get any significant cadence.
Still, I have 8 days until surgery, then slob until new years and then it’s time to break out the cold weather stuff and get my legs back.