A while ago I wrote an article for VeloBalls about the new velodrome in Derby.
In the aforementioned article I mentioned that I would love a go…. well, the In-laws for my last birthday called my bluff and bought me gift vouchers for stage 1 accreditation.
So a few weeks ago I found myself hurtling round a 44 degree wooden banking, whilst on a bike with no brakes and a fixed wheel and I loved every second. Okay I’ll admit I was scared, but exhilarated at the same time and the adrenaline rush was very real.
Whilst no one had an off, it was certainly not easy and the track needs to be treated with the respect it deserves, I did feel a bit like ‘Fat lad at the back’ at times though. There were two reasons for this, firstly I don’t think my fitness level was as high as some of the group, some were sporting time trialling and triathlon logos on their shirts and I tend to bimble along on my commute. The other reason was, I haven’t done any club riding so I’m not used to riding on the wheel of the rider in front and it just felt wrong to me.
If you have a velodrome reasonably near you, then think about having a go, because ‘it’s cycling (Jim) but not as we know it….’ I did pass level 1 and was invited to book level 2, I’m going to get fitter and faster then re-do level 1 to gain more confidence of group riding as they get you even closer on level 2.
Whilst belting around the very top of the banking (yes we did go right up!) I was thinking something along the lines of…’I have a job I have to go to on Monday and a mortgage the size of a house (see what i did there?) so why the flip am I risking injury when I don’t need to?
Because sometimes you have to take life by the handlebars and ride to the extreme….
about the author
Simon Elson is a self confessed Mamil that got into cycling to hide his Lycra fetish. He is also the author of a bestselling Ebook on Type 2 diabetes and cycling called ‘Sugar Beat: How I controlled T2 Diabetes through cycling’