Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Velo Bella Womens Track Clinic Report

From Emily Fronheiser

The track clinic March 17-18 was a huge success! Fourteen beginners were there to learn about the track life, and most of them came away certified to race on the track (with some more track time, of course). The day started out with everyone getting fit up to their bikes. Then, Cathy gave a great description of the track, history of Dick Lane Velodrome, and explained the differences between a track bike and a "regular" bike.

Once we were all informed on the etiquette of riding on the track, she set us loose to do a few laps on our own. There was a lot of screaming and pounding hearts on the first lap or two, but most of the beginners caught on quickly. Personally, I was so excited after the first lap that I had to come down off the track and get a drink and calm down. Then, I went back out and did three more laps...and came back down to get a drink. My husband got a good laugh out of this when I told him.

Cathy split us into groups, one with Amy and one with Melissa (but which one is which??). We did a few follow the leader exercises where we rode all over the track just to get comfortable with the places where you can speed up or slow down. The next drill was to demonstrate the differences in riding on the various parts of the track (sprinter's lane, stayers line, rail, turns, etc). We rode four wide across the track and did a sort of paceline where the top rider fell behind to go to the inside lane while the other three moved up the track. It's amazing the differences between the sprinter's lane and the rail. It really taught us a good lesson.

Next, it was on to 200 meter sprints. In groups of 4, we rode a neutral lap and then took off at the 200 meter line. This was my absolute favorite part of the day. It was so exhilarating! The Italian Pursuit was fun, too, but it was hard to pace ourselves for all four people to keep up.

After lunch, we did some pacelining drills and then finished up the day with a Scratch Race. The two groups got to race within themselves. The first group was pretty even until the end, when Kelly shot past the pack and I followed. I finally got past her on Turns 3 and 4, and managed to win the race! I've never had so much fun in my life!

The second group was a different story! Sarah led out in the 2nd or 3rd lap and stayed out front until the end. There was a great sprint between a couple of the others for 2nd place, though.

All in all, we had a great day, and some of the participants had enough in their legs to train on Sunday, too, to get a little more track time in. I, on the other hand, was a little sore from Saturday and had a long drive home. I can't wait for the next time I can get down there to ride again! It's amazing how much more fun riding can be when you're doing it where you're supposed to be!


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