MDCC goes to the Velodrome

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Leaving Simon and potential new member Paul at the clock tower to head out on a club run in the cold, grey weather 9 of us made our way to Lee Valley to the Velodrome this morning - a mixture of Bird Hills and Clock Tower riders heading into the unknown for a session on the track! Only Steve had ridden track before, so we were all unsure of what to expect.

After the long train and tube ride to East London, Mark, Mike H, Dave, Brett, John, Steve, Peter, Mike W and myself (had to represent the ladies this time!) watched the group before us, some of us wondering whether we would be able to go far up the banks...but really up for giving it a go. So, a quick change into club kit (well most of us...Mark!), got shoes helmets and bikes and we were ready. The first challenge - getting the saddle the right height. We are so used to being able to spin the legs round to get the 6 and 12 o clock positions to make sure that the saddle is the right height - but of course you cant do that on a fixed wheel!

  

Ali was our coach, and he did a great job of getting us going with a couple of easy laps - to get used to starting off the rail, slowing down using backwards pressure on the pedals - using muscles I am not sure I often use - and stopping. It was just enough to get us used to using the bikes on the track without going on so much that we got bored, and then we were off! What a huge amount of fun that was - we were soon zipping around the track - and yes going well up the banks. I was lapped a few times, but I overtook a few too - there was no way I was stopping as we didn't have long.

 

I was surprised at how easy it was to control the bikes in the end, so long as you kept your line the bike did the work for us- it was like riding in a straight line, the more power you put in, the higher you went up the banks.

  

The others thought I was sad, but I counted the laps! 62...and at the bottom its 250m around (the higher up you go the further it is -but that makes the sums too hard) so I worked out we cycled about 15.5km. We were all a bit sweaty and buzzing at the end. A shower and a quick sandwich/brunch at a local cafe and we made our way back home.

 

Thanks so much to Dave for persevering with booking this for us, and for all the organising. I would thoroughly recommend this as a good day out, and I am quite a nervous bike rider when I am out of my comfort zone (you should see me on a mountain bike!) so was a bit apprehensive about having no gears or brakes, so if I can do it anyone can!