Where we race - Track and MTB
Following on from our post about cyclo cross and closed circuit racing, we now move onto track and (cough cough) MTB.
Track cycling covers both indoor and outdoor velodromes. This will usually mean fixed gear riding on track bikes with no brakes, so bear in mind that if you want to take part you usually need to demonstrate a certain level of ability through an accreditation process. This is where a riders skills are assessed to make sure all participants are able to ride safely.
There are a lot of opportunities to get into track racing in our region, and there are options to hire equipment, so you can try before you buy!
Halesowen Friday Night Track League
This is our nearest local track league. Organised by HACC this is a popular league based at their outood velodrome. Running on Friday nights, there is a wide variety of racing and there will often be a BBQ, drinks and a lot of fun.
There are two accreditation days if you want to ride in the league- these are often harder than the actual racing!!
We've had a lot of success in the league in recent years with Zoe Parker, Alex Burden and Luke Brennan all achievieng great stuff!
More information on the Halesowen website: https://www.halesowencycling.net/
This is our nearest indoor velodrome and is a great place to learn your trade on the track. There are lots of opportunities to have a go, and you can hire bikes and shoes so you don't need to spend money on kit before you give it a go.
There are two main ways to get involved in track riding at Derby.
1. Cluster sessions - these are training sessions organised by 'clusters' of local clubs. Riders will join a Novice, Intermediate or Advanced session based on their experience and ability and will take part in 3 20 minutes training session during a cluster. We are in cluster 3, so our riders get priority for those sessions. You are able to apply to join a session organised by another cluster, but be aware that places will be given to clubs in that cluster first.
These are a great way to give track cycling a go. Just note that even if you are an experienced road cyclist, if you've not ridden track before you should book into a novice session - it's a very different experience!
Invitations to join a session are regularly shared on the BC website and we promote these on the club FB page - so keep your eyes peeled!
2. Derby Youth Track League - This is a league for U14 riders and above and you will need your own bike and kit, as well as being able to ride to an advanced level. For more information, look out for the Derby Youth Track League on Facebook.
Wolverhamption track league
Another outdoor track, Wolverhampton Wheelers run a track league based at Aldersley Leisure Village. More on this at: http://www.wolverhamptonwheelers.co.uk/trackracing
Outside our region
If you are able to travel further there are more options for indoor and outdoor track racing. If you want to know more about the options for these, please take a look at the British Cycling website or the sites for the individual venues.
The main indoor tracks are:
The Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales - recently renamed after the Welsh TdF winner this track hosts early season 'icebreaker' sessions and is a poopular destination for club riders who want to try out the track. For more info: http://www.newportlive.co.uk/venues/velodrome
The National Cycling Centre - the Manchester home of British Cycling is a great venue to both ride and visit for the racing. More at: http://www.nationalcyclingcentre.com/
Lee Valley Velopark - The velodrome for the 2012 London Olympics, this is an iconic venue that should inspire any young rider. More info: https://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/en/content/cms/london2012/velo-park/
The main national series for Youth Racing on the track is the National Youth Track Omnium Series. This is a series for U14 and U16 riders, though some clubs may also organise non-series races for younger riders.
The dates and regulations for the series are available at: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/track/article/20150611-track-static-content-Track-youth-omnium-series-homepage-0
Ummm - time to confess.
So far I've covered off the options for Cross, Circuits and Track - and I've now reached the limit of my experience and understanding! MTB racing is not something I know a lot about, so if anyone can fill in the gap, please let me know and we can complete the article!
The final article in this series will look at the options for progressing on the British Cycling development pathways and what other options there are for getting more involved in cycling at Stratford and beyond.