• Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Racing the Provincial's Crit 2014

  • Forest City Velodrome - London, ON

  • Larkenville Challenge, Buffalo, NY

  • Winning the Sprint at the ForestCity Velodrome

  • Track Nationals 2014: Keirin

  • Track Nationals 2014: Points Race

  • OCUP #1: Feb 2015

Cycling

Today, the Cleveland Velodrome ran two events: TT and Mass Start. The Time Trial events were the 200m flying lap, 1K TT, 3K Pursuit, and the 4K TT (ran as a persuit). Other events were offered such as Team Sprint and Team Pursuit for the local teams that were in attendance. This is my first actually racing the Cleveland Velodrome because the last time I came up, it rained (torential downpour) after I got in 10 laps of a warmup. The Clevelend track is a 160M steal structure wood panel track that is very smooth to ride on.

I can still recall seeing a old photo of a old Forest City Velodrome member riding at the Masters Track World Championships. Since I started at the Forest City Velodrome, I've taking to liking track racing more than the road. I have a goal to compete and win in the Provincial Track Championships this year, race competitively at the Track Nationals next year, and place at Nationals the year following. I figure when I can compete at Nationals and place or do well, I can seriously consider booking the trip to Masters Track Worlds and representing Canada. In the meantime, I have a lot of work to do.

This year I decided to keep up with Wednesday training at the Forest City Velodrome and that has helped. I kind of fell into going to the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park. One of the FCV regulars, I know, makes trips out there, and urged me to go with him. When it couldn't make it, I decided to go on my own and I've been there some five times this summer. I have also been to the track in Cleveland on my own. So, magically, this summer I have had a fair amount of track racing and riding time. This weekend two major events at these two tracks happened to line up perfectly.

With Track Provincials coming up at the end of the month, I decided to force myself to like riding a fixed gear bike. While riding a fixie on the track is relatively easy, it's not so on the road - at least for me. There are things called "hills" to deal with. Bike Couriers ride these daily and are far better at it than me. With the Fixed gear bike, unlike a regular bike with gears, there is only one gear - in this case, 46x16 or 78 gear inches. That means, I'm spinning at about 90RPM at 32km/h.

BIKE2013-09-10 07.42.24Hills means getting out of the saddle unless I don't feel like it and just gring away up to the top. For the most part, I'm climbing out of the saddle on this machine in order to use my body weight to turn the pedals around. It saves the knees.

Cornering has new meaning as well. Most roadies stop pedalling through corners unless they are racing. On a fixed gear bike, stopping pedalling is not an option. Stopping pedalling usually means one gets a very violent reminder that you can't. When I first got this machine, a few times I've almost been thrown from it.

So, this month in order to build strength and skill riding a fixed gear, I'm commited to riding my Urbane Cyclist special (and the fenders make it great for the rain). I hope that improves bike handling on the track where one need only ride in straight lines.

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