That first step to riding a velodrome

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Lyon Deliver rider at the Anquetil velodrome in paris for the 2016 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Paris

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Not all velodromes are created equal – and an easier bank is more inviting

“I am here from Lyon and have never ridden a track before. I am here with Deliveroo and we have someone for every event. We have a cycling track in Lyon, but it is like a wall. But this track. I can ride this track.”


Notes: Velodrome riding is a thrill. To be able to ride the banks, ride the sprinter’s lane, take the bike higher on the banks and feel the surge of speed  when you turn the bike down and feel the rush. The older velodromes are far kinder to first-time riders. The banks are easier, the track far longer. Easier to ride the bank and get basic confidence.

The modern tracks are far more intimidating. The banks can seem as steep as a wall, and frightening in their size. But they are still easy to ride. It just takes that leap of confidence to keep the bike on the bank.

Easiest way is to follow the wheel of another, more experienced, rider. Let them hold the speed and you stay on the wheel. The bank disappears as you concentrate own the wheel ahead of you. Then you are through the first bank, then the second. It will not be long before you can ride the banks unassisted.

Before your first session is done, you could be riding the high side of the bank, holding your line, showing some track confidence.

I am posting a series of articles on the 2016 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Paris. Look for CMWC in the search engine above ands get the complete results to date.

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