Track cycling incorporates a wide range of activities. Most people are familiar with the steep wooden tracks of the indoor velodrome used in the Olympics, but events are also run on longer shallower outdoor tracks and even on grass tracks around public green spaces in the summer months.
There are two Olympic style velodromes within easy (ish) reach of the club, Manchester and Derby.
There are also outdoor tracks at Forest Town near Mansfield and at Scunthorpe.
Track bikes have no brakes and just a single fixed gear, meaning riders can’t freewheel. They are usually very stiff frames. Riders on the other hand come in all shapes and sizes, taking part in a variety of events from sprint to endurance races.
Track cycling has become much more popular in the UK since the successes in the 2012 Olympics, and the 5 national indoor velodromes hold taster sessions where inexperienced riders are able to try riding the boards in safety. Be careful, riding the track is very addictive; you will probably want to go back again and again to improve your speed and technique. B&DCC organise occasional taster sessions for riders that are looking to try the velodrome for the first time.
There is a formal four stage approach to gaining accreditation to ride organised training sessions at the velodromes, and we now have a number of riders who are either accredited or working towards it.
Accreditation allows you to ride the velodrome’s Structured Quality Training sessions (SQTs), which are a good 2 hour workout, fun but especially good at keeping up your fitness in winter. We also publicise drop in sessions run by other clubs and training sessions run by ex racers. Many B&DCC members are regular users of Derby and Manchester.
B&DCC also run periodic track sessions for club members, approx every 6 weeks on average. For safety reasons we ask that novices do not attend these sessions, you must either achieve Stage 2 of the accreditation or have a history of racing on the track.
Our members are active in several track leagues at both Manchester and Derby and we had a great many podiums at the Forest Town track league. There is also the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists (LVRC) track league starting at Derby this summer.
Our youth riders are able to participate in training sessions run under the auspices of British Cycling at Derby on Sunday mornings with progression to the leagues built in.
At the other end of the age scale, we have several members who hold medals on the track from the World Masters games and will be competing again in the UCI Masters in October this year
B&DCC volunteer coaches and commissaires help to put on events for the wider area, helping out at local tracks for youth training, at Derby Arena, and at the LVRC and Forest Town Track leagues. The club has also promoted several rounds of the National Grass Track Endurance Series at Sharley Park, Clay Cross.
Spurred on by the encouragement and support that comes from being in B&DCC, the club has emerged into a rising force on the track, with many successes in last year’s Forest Town league and we hope to transfer those skills to indoor tracks this year.
We have several track coaches available to work with riders (usually for a small monthly fee) and are looking to submitting a funding bid in the near future for a fleet of loan track bikes that can be used by riders for grass track meets, and at the local hard track series.
John is a cycling obsessive whose earliest sporting memory is watching grainy footage of track racing from Mexico City in 1968. He can often be seen attached to two wheels by a single fixed gear.
Can you inspire others to ride round and round in circles for hours on end? Are you a dab hand at removing splinters? Can your best shouty voice be heard within the odd acoustics of one of the indoor velodromes ?
Then we have just the position for you, in the shape of our track captain! You could be the one that inspires kids and adults alike into a side of the sport that is terrifying for the first few minutes, but then becomes truly addictive and will mean you need yet ANOTHER bike !
Mick has over 40 years of experience in Track racing. He has a deep knowledge of the skills required to win a race and the tactics particular to track.
Martyn is nearly as old as Mick, but not quite…he has the smoothest pedalling style imaginable, with slippery legs that just ooze supplesse. Its barely noticeable, but even on a flat straight road, he leans ever so slightly to the left just to try and recreate the centrifugal forces that his muscles have grown accustomed to.