If you watched the World Championships this August then it’s highly likely that you saw some of the track action – so why not give it a go yourself?
As daunting as it may seem riding around the banked corners of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, it really is just like riding any other bike. Sure, there are a few intricacies that must be learnt, but we would urge anyone who’s interested to give it a go.
Let’s face it, World Champion Neah Evans only tried riding the track for the first time when studying at Glasgow University – before that she was a runner – and in the space of five years she’s the best in the world.
So, what do you need to get started? Nothing. You simply book on to an accreditation session at the velodrome in Glasgow and turn up, ideally with your own helmet. But it really is as simple as that. Glasgow Life have a fleet of hire bikes that you can use free of charge, and will set you up so you’re happy and comfortable.
There are four accreditation sessions to go through and everyone must do them – these will teach you everything you need to know, from how to ride a single gear bike that doesn’t have brakes (don’t worry, they teach you how to slow down!), to track etiquette, so that there are no accidents and everyone understands the rules.
Once you get the hang of it, which most people do in the very first session, the buzz from flying around the track is hard to beat. What’s more, the track racing community are super friendly, with everyone hanging out in the infield in between efforts, like you see at international events, however the atmosphere is far more relaxed and everyone is up for a blether.
Plenty of Glasgow based cycling clubs run regular track sessions, and joining a club is a fantastic way to meet like minded people, which makes cycling even more enjoyable. And if you want to be the next Neah Evans, Katie Archibald or Jack Carlin, then Glasgow Track Racing Club are a serious track racing team who can help you go all the way.
Scotland’s second velodrome is at Dundee’s Caird Park. The outdoor 400m concrete track is an excellent place to take your first steps in track riding, 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mark Stewart and professional road rider Alfie George are both among those started on the Tayside track as members of Discovery Junior Cycling Club. Sessions at Caird Park take place all-year round with racing commencing during the summer months.
So, whether you simply want the experience of riding in a velodrome (which would make a great birthday or Christmas present!), or want to get into racing, track cycling is far more accessible than you’d ever imagine. From super-fast sprint races, to tactical endurance efforts, track is fascinating form of cycling that everyone should try at least once.
So what are you waiting for? Now it’s #YourTimeToRide