September is 'back to school' month. The nights start to draw in, the gloves have come out for the morning cycle commute and summer holidays suddenly feel like distant memories. But it's not all doom and gloom! September is also a good time for fresh starts and we'll be embracing this 'give it a go' attitude with a series of 'beginner's guides' over the next few weeks.
This week we're getting some advice on track cycling from Mark (our co-founder) and Marc (our CTO) who have both recently given it a go.
Most of us are used to only seeing velodromes on TV when the Olympics roll around and the British and the Dutch speed around in circles at lightning speeds. The Keirin and the Team Pursuit keep us all enthralled as riders chase each other at speeds that we mere mortals could only hope to achieve going down a very steep hill with a great tailwind.
Did you know that there are velodromes all over the place, most of which you can just sign up and turn-up to? You can find your local velodrome here if you're in the UK, or here in the US. Some are indoors, some outdoors, and the banking of the track varies from 'medium incline' to 'wall of death' but they are universally good fun to try.
Mark and Marc's Top Tips
1. Wear cycling shorts! If you ever needed them, it's here.
2. The bikes are fixed wheel which means that you always have to be pedalling. It's also important to note that they don't have any brakes - slow down by heading up the track or by putting a bit of backwards pressure on the wheels.
3. Do a couple of loops on the flat bottom part of the track to gain speed before heading onto the incline.
4. The faster you're going the safer it feels. If you go too high or slow down too much you'll end up sliding down the bank - not super graceful. Do up your helmet and throw a bit of caution to the wind!
5. Sign up for a group session. It's great fun to chain gang and you can take turns to lead, head up the bank and slot in at the back to feel like a a true pro.