Thursday, 1 August 2013

{Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow}

Did you know that anyone can book to have a taster session at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow? Thought not! I heard about it via word of mouth (my neighbour Anne!) and promptly booked myself and my sister (@the_grey_house) in for an intro class. I'm all for trying out new things to do!

There are four stages for new riders (I've taken this directly from their website):

1 - Introduction to Track Cycling (1 hour / £10.20)

This is the first step for anyone who wants to ride a fixed gear bike on a banked velodrome and as such is the first part of the accreditation process. The coach will take riders through a check list of skills necessary to allow the rider to enter the track and ride on the banked surface safely. If you can peform the skills satisfactorily you will be eligible to progress to the next stage of rider accreditation.

2 - Improve your Track Skills (1 hour / £10.20)

The second of the four accreditation sessions is designed to move the rider into group riding on the track and allows them to become more independent. Again the coach will require the rider to demonstrate a series of skills including those listed in the introduction session before moving on to the next step.
Skills covered will include accelerating in and out of the saddle and completing a track tour.​

3 - Preparation for Accreditation (2 hours / £25)

Advanced skills are taught in this session and the rider must demonstrate a certain level of fitness, 30 minutes riding with a group.  Skills included in this session include riding in close proximity to other riders and an Italian pursuit race.

4 - Accreditation (2 hours / £25)

This is the minimum required to allow riders to take part in open sessions, structured training, competition, bunch races and track leagues. An accredited rider will receive a registered rider card.
All skills listed in previous sessions must be demonstrated to the coach who will assess whether a rider is safe to enter the track as an accredited rider, capable of entering structured training and competition.

Ali & I arrived at the Emirates Arena with plenty of time to spare. I wasn't totally sure where the arena was, but we got there eventually! The building is really impressive... much bigger than I had anticipated. And once we got into the velodrome itself we were a bit nervous!!! It's massive!! 

I tried to find a few photos to give you an idea of the scale of the velodrome, but I don't think these do it justice. They also don't show just how steep the ends of the track are... it was terrifying!! I've become such a wuss.

Anyway, we got on our bikes and had a cycle round the flat part of the track to start with. Then we progressed to the blue section, the Cote d'Azur! There are then three, red and blue. We were told to stick to the black line and went round the track a couple of times... and each time we had to go round the back of the instructor who got progressively higher up on the straight section.

I was wobbling a little bit and was so nervous about falling off. I was also dreading having to go up the extremely steep incline on the ends of the track... turns out I was gripping the handlebars too tightly and that was causing the bike to wobble. Oops!

We came to a stop and had a drink of water... at this point I seriously considered pulling out. Ali could tell by the look in my eyes that I wasn't enjoying it.

But I persevered and by the end I was loving it and was going round the track above the blue line and was able to overtake too (was going to say confidently, but not sure about that... it was scary going above someone to get passed them! I was also terrified whenever someone overtook me!!).

I'll definitely go back. It was a good workout and something a bit different too. I also think it was very reasonably priced considering that the hire of the bike and all the equipment was also included. I'd highly recommend it!!

Eek! I was so nervous!!

Before we started!

Ali up front and that's me in the background!

Fancy a shot?? Head on over to this page and fill out the booking form.

Let me know how you get on!! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love cycling but this scares me! Well done for sticking with it :)


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