18 May 2009

Tinsel town in the rain

Author: will | Filed under: cycle

I showed up at track training expecting it to be cancelled again due to rain and thinking I could pick up a few essentials from the shops on the way home.

Well that was my first track cycle in the rain. It was also the first track cycling session that Sundrive has done in the rain.

Needless to say the shopping wasn’t done.

An outdoor velodrome in Ireland has an obvious problem. Rain.

Velodrome
Image by T.MoE via Flickr

Rain isn’t the problem as such, the banked track getting slippery from the rain is the problem. Based on the training session tonight the solution seems to be to do short sprint training and seated acceleration exercises. That and doing group exercises slowly in case slipping occurs.

Seated acceleration is exactly what the name suggests. Everyone knows that you can get a more more power on the down stroke while standing when peddling than you can when sitting. However, in a race situation, the standing rider advertises to everyone that the hammers have gone down and that a challenge is being made. Yes folks, track cyclists also have sneaky techniques.

The solution; don’t stand. The problem with this solution; its hard. In order to get this acceleration you need a whack of upper body strength to replace what gravity isn’t providing since you’re not standing. In practice, you’re pulling your body down to give each down stroke of the pedals an extra boost.

That however gave me a new problem… I twisted the handlebars around the centre (my drop handlebars were no longer dropped) and kept pushing my saddle down in to the frame. Maybe some of this weight is actually muscle! (pause for laughter).

Anyway we got drowned in the rain, my kit is slowly drip drying away and a very tired rider is typing away.

If anyone wants me I’ll be lying down.

And if you’re wondering about the title, its from the Blue Nile song.

Will Knott

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2 Responses to “Tinsel town in the rain”

  1. TheChrisD Says:

    They really should invest in one of those turbo-dryers like those they use on speedways in the US :)

  2. will Says:

    I don’t think humans survive that drying process very well

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