U.S. VELODROME TRACK DIRECTORY
Green Polo Bike
Velodrome track racing is an exciting and fast sport which used to enjoy massive popularity in the United States, and continues to grow in popularity around the world. It is hugely popular in countries such as Japan, and in the United Kingdom, Olympic success and seen a big growth in popularity and participation. In fact, in the United States track cycling used to be so popular, Madison Square garden in New York was originally built as a bike racing track, and racers were the sporting stars of the day.
To someone who is new to the sport, track racing can seem a little inaccessible. Cyclists on seemingly expensive, high end machines, race around a purpose built track clad in sleek lycra. But the reality is that track cycling is one of the friendliest and most accessible sports out there. Just check out your local velodrome. Most cycling tracks offer hire bicycles, and all offer programs that will teach you how to ride safely on the track, and how to handle and race a track bicycle. Beginners programs also include beginners races, which are usually an excellent and safe introduction to the sport.
And track bicycles need not be the carbon framed, disc wheeled, space aged flying machines you may have seen on the television. A relatively simple track bicycle will be more than sufficient to see you through the beginner and intermediate level without having to invest thousands of dollars. And a track bicycle can also be versatile enough to use for every day riding. Many come equipped with a flip-flop hub so that you can ride fixed wheel on the track, and then change to a free wheel set up when you are out and about.
The benefits of track racing are many. Riding a single speed bike with no brakes around a track is fast and exciting, but also teaches you some important and useful bike handling skills. You learn very quickly how to ride in a pack of riders, and learn also how to handle your bike in a way that is stable and predictable to those around you. Ring and racing in a group on the track can certainly make your local criterium race seem a little less intimidating! Track racing also teaches you how to spin quickly and effectively. A track bike only has one gear, so in order to sprint, or to close the gap between you and the rider in front, you have to be able to spin quickly and efficiently. Track racing encourages you spin the pedals fast and with an even pedal stroke, which is a more efficient and effective way to ride your bike. Just watch riders like Lance Armstrong and see how fast he spins the pedals, even when he is riding up a steep hill.
Track racing is fast! Racing on the track is a great way to improve your power and sprinting. It is also an excellent spectator sport with most tracks being indoors. Compared with road racing where crowds may only get one glimpse of racers going by, the velodrome captures all the action and is a great place to bring family or friends for an evening of sporting entertainment.
Most of all, track racing is a lot of fun, and there are events to suit everyone’s tastes and strengths, including team events. Whether you choose pursuit, madison or time trial, track racing is fast and fun. Check out your local velodrome for events and beginners classes. Most tracks offer mid-week races as well as weekend events, so get down there and watch an event. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked!