Thursday, February 19, 2009

Burnaby Velodrome

Yesterday was my first day on the track at the Burnaby Velodrome.

My first impression was that the track was WAY steeper than I expected in the corners.  I guess the tracks I have seen before are 400m tracks and this is a 200m track.  That means the corners are a lot tighter and therefore a lot steeper.

We were told that in order to stay upright we had to maintain a minimum of 30km/h in the corner.  Any less and the tire would slip without warning and you tumble to the infield.  Ouch.

I didn't take this photo (and I have no idea who this guy is) but he is demonstrating the steepness of the corners quite nicely.

We were instructed on how to get going and how to stop....  in between you just ride (at >30km/h).

My first 7 or 8 minute stint went by in a flash - I was gripping the bars pretty tight.  I had very little in the way of thoughts as I was super-extra-overly focused.  My dismount began mentally about 6 or 7 laps before it happened physically.  I kept slowing down to get off the track then losing my nerve and sprinting to get back to 30+ for the corner.

The second stint was way more relaxed and I began to experiment with some harder efforts.  I tried sprinting out of the saddle, climbing the wall and shooting down to the sprinter's line (which is low down.)

Third and fourth stints were just messing around and getting a feel for the bike and the track...  a couple of timed efforts.  We did a few "Flying 500s" - 500m is two-and-a-half laps of the track.  My fastest lap was 16.something - not bad, but leaving lots of room for improvement.

Jeremy Storie and Stephen Burke did a great job of teaching us the etiquette, skills and tricks of the track....  I am looking forward to more of the same today.

My pictures were pretty bad - the lighting is dodgy....  but here are a couple I took of Darren late in yesterday's session.  I'll hopefully get some better ones and maybe a bit of video today.

Darren chilling on the "Côte D'Azur"....  The mellow blue zone where you can go sub 30km/h without eating it...

Darren laying down a "Flying 500"....  The best line is the black line (shortest route around the track) but generally if you are between black and red you are in the right area for sprinting.

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Nelson José said...

Nice photos. COngratz!

holly said...

Oh my goodness... That looks somewhat terrifying. I'm impressed that you would choose to do this.

Jo Lynn said...

I'd be scared to death to do that. Impressive!

Ulyana said...

200m???? That's insane! I bet after you'd get off the bike, you'd still feel like you are going in circles!

PC Ironman said...

I cant believe Im smiling, those intervals hurt... Looking forward to today's pics. Good hanging with you this week, we must do it again sometime.

Missy said...

OK, I sooo want to do that but I better be alone because I am sure to bust my ass bigger than you know what. Wow, what a banking.

Triple O said...


Came in from out of town (Iowa). Unable to contact anyone at the velodrome before I arrived. Sounds like fun, though.