The Wall

The blog’s been a bit slow over the last week apart from updates on my job interview results (see the previous entry).

There’s not been a lot happening in Chicken World, unless you count some fun on the weekend. Hang gliding on Sunday, but on Saturday evening, I got the chance to try out a real indoor cycling velodrome. We “funny bikes” don’t get to use velodromes often – it was a specially organised session. Here’s what I wrote elsewhere ….

Tim Marquardt’s session on Saturday night at the DISC velodrome was a unique experience. I’ve used the Packer Reserve outdoor velodrome(360m circumference) for some safe off-road training prior to the ATB 210km ride, but the indoor 250m velodrome is a totally different beast.

The smooth wooden surface looks worrying – will you slip? But even more intimidating are the high, steep walls at the ends of the circuit. It’s hard to believe, especially when you are barrelling along the straight toward them, that you are going to stick. Tim assured us that at 30km and above it wouldn’t be a problem

It’s especially intimidating if you’re some distance up that same wall at 40+km/hr as Ben’s “Black Betty” streamliner rumbles by further up the wall looking like it is about to fall on you, then dives across your path as he comes off the wall for a speed boost! (the pic shows Black Betty  and “Suicide Bend” behind her.)

Thanks to general milling about we only managed to run timed flying 200m speeds for all riders, plus one individual pursuit – Whoops vs.Black Betty.

Our 200m speeds were all quite grandmotherly, only the speedbikes were anywhere near competitive club speeds (11-12 secs). It goes to show, I guess, that having an aero bike doesn’t confer athlete status! I clocked in at 15 seconds – only 48km/hr. I think I can do better; I just need some practice – but maybe only by a couple of seconds.

I’ve never seen an upright race in person at a velodrome. It must be impressive with top class riders.

There were spills on Saturday. I came off once going too fast too low on the track and the back wheel just slid out. Fortunately I only got a slight friction burn on the elbow. Ken H was less lucky, coming off higher on the wall and sliding down. He scraped through his nicks and lost a little bum skin too. He was looking a bit stiff when we left. Tim dropped Whoops a couple of times as well, but was protected by the shell.

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