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Dunc Gray Velodrome tryout

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By mikebike - Posted on 02 February 2018

Ever wondered what track cycling would be like? Anthony and Connor Ryan together with Steve Hume and Michael Coyne trekked out to the Dunc Gray Velodrome at Bass Hill to give it a go. We were also joined by eleven Waratah riders.

Having previously sent our measurements through and bringing our own pedals and shoes, our track bikes were waiting for us. Devoid of cables, brakes and gears, the fixed gear track bikes were anything but simple! It was a bit like learning to ride again - with no free spinning and no brakes for re-assurance, the instructors took their time explaining the mechanics (or lack of) to us novices.

The track was initially more daunting than the bikes with it's steep angle inclines ranging from 12 - 42 degrees. The track measured 250m around so we covered some laps before venturing onto the slopes. Getting the confidence to ride up the banks required some speed and commitment. I am not ashamed to admit it took me a few runs to get onto the banks which appeared like vertical walls!

On about the third session out after a couple of breaks, we all had our confidence up and 'classic complacency' set in. One of the Waratah riders wasn't quite going quick enough when he banked too early around a corner and slipped down taking out the rest of the peleton with the exception of Connor who accelerated around the top of us - Helmut's training paying off! For the rest of us, it was very ungracious pirouetting and somersaults, coming to rest in a heap.

After dusting ourselves off, we rode a number of laps increasing our appreciation for the sport of track cycling which included leading, peeling off and learning to hold a tight wheel - with no brakes and a previous altercation under our belts, this was a challenge. Banking into a corner at speed with no backing off was a great feeling!

In the last session, we started to let loose and the instructor counted down from five laps. We were in small groups, swapping off and pacing ourselves around, all the time picking up speed and using most of the track, to the last lap, straining at the leash to go around your mate while preserving some energy through the draft for the final sprint - what a rush!

After our brief introduction, I see why track riding is addictive. It is exciting and adrenaline inducing, spinning around, no slowing down for corners. Hope to see a few more NSCC riders head out next time. Get a few guys together and email Barrie McLean if you would like to book a session.

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