Is Track where it’s at??
By Chris Alomes
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The title, the phrase, the statement, “Track is where its at!”. A popular phrase that is often coined on facebook groups and facebook communities, what does it really mean? Track is where its at!
What does that phrase mean to you? As a “road cyclist”, when I started riding I thought of riding track as some hallowed ground that required respect, something to be looked up to, certainly some of the early track riders would have me believe that. Some of the “roadies” I rode with used to use track, (Nerang Velodrome), as a safe environment to ride, somewhere to ride without the hassles of traffic and all the negative stuff that comes from outside! Very quickly I got to see the Velodrome as just somewhere else to ride, I lost that fear, that awe, that feeling.
I could not comment as to the feeling of other bike riding persuasions and how they see it, so I wont, but, from taking a coaching role and being at the Velodrome on a regular basis, I have seen a lot of diversity using that “hallowed circle/oval”, TT riders, mountain bikers, hybrids, older folk, roadies, and of course Trackies. I would imagine that these people see it as a safe haven, and lets face it, we all love safety!
Scott Goulter of Goldstars, started up Wednesday Night track sessions, would look at me with a cheeky grin and say, “Track is where it’s at!”, why?? I asked Scott the question, his answer,
“I don’t really know! It’s the people, they are usually a great bunch, its safe (no traffic). As a junior I started on the track, its where I learn’t how to spin and proper pedalling technique, I think all juniors need to start there! Most top professional cyclists have some sort of background of one or another in track. It’s not that hard to do, its fairly easy to learn how to ride safely, and the veterans of the groups are always throwing advice around, some we can’t repeat :). I just love track, nothing else to say!”.
The man is track crazy, he just loves it, even more than road riding.
Scott kicked off Wednesday night track sessions in 2014, where, with a small group of people would sit on the motor bike (Goldstars provided) and motor pace everyone for 100 laps, setting a pace of around 42kph. He had some help along the way in Brad Reardon and Chris Alomes (me), Brad and Scott would take turns on the motor bike and I spent a good 12 months flipping numbers. 2016 saw me with some other priorities, but, i’m back flipping again!
Over the time the Wednesday Night Track Sesh has evolved and grown from just a few staunch Trackies, (Peter Lane, Mark Gibbs, Jason Ford, Jeff Harris, Steven Storer, Danny Clark, Robbie, to name a few) to the huge turn out that we see here and now. Scott was running it under his own steam, paying for lights out of his own pocket (reimbursed by those who turned up $5 each) and he did that just for the love of track! Now, Goldstars host Wednesday Nights which has been very helpful and taken a lot of the worry off Scott.
For those reading this and are thinking of having a go at Track, please get in touch with your local clubs and come along on a Wednesday Night, its training, NOT RACING.
In order to be able to participate here are some important points:
- must have a current CA “Silver” license (training only license)
- ride a track bike (if you don’t have your own, Goldstars can hire you one for the night)
- $10 to pay for lights and velodrome hire
What I now see with track is an awesome and exciting experience where everything can happen in the blink of an eye! It takes all your bike handling skills, cunning, bravado, guts, determination and self motivation to get in and have a crack, there is something in it for everyone, with so many different events to choose from, specialising isn’t difficult.
In conjunction with Peter Spencer, we have been coaching riders on Saturday Mornings using the track, we have covered many different training methods, which really puts a different perspective on training. Looking at my strava heart zones I have quickly realised that an intensive 1.5 hr session can give you the same or better training that you would not normally get from a 100km ride, I have become to call this quality training.
The experiences I have witnessed from spending an hour or so every Wednesday Night with trackies, the training and coaching I have been giving/given have made we really want to see track racing start again on the Gold Coast, I have heard stories of how big it was in the past, it would be awesome to have it big again!
Track is where it’s at! (still love my road bike!)