[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][image_with_animation image_url=”40″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In”][vc_column_text]On Tuesday 1st September I headed back to Newport Velodrome to do my track accreditation, so that over the winter I could race in the winter league at Newport. As Newport is an inside velodrome you have to pass a test to make sure that you are capable of racing safely, by doing drills and exercises safely. For the test you have to do everything properly and make signals obvious, a bit like a driving test, so the examiner knows what you are doing. You get 3 chances, so forget to look over your shoulder when changing 3 times and you fail.
For the test we had to do a warm up. This consisted of riding around on the black line with changes every lap, and then moved on to riding on the stayers line (blue) with changes every half lap.This was very easy for me as I have been doing it at the track recently.
We then had to space ourselves out by 2-3 bike lengths and the back rider would weave their way through going over and under until they got to the front. This was also a fairly straight forward and simple exercise, with the only problem being some riders not maintaining distance and sitting on the wheel in front – thus not leaving a gap to weave through. If this happened we were told to move on to the next one, I did this a couple of times when I was weaving through.
The final thing to do was stacking riders and rotating in the stack. We were put in to groups of four, with one rider on the black line, one on the sprinters line (red), one between the sprinters and stayers lines and the last rider on the stayers line (blue). To change the back rider would slow down, the others would drop when it was clear and then the rider would come up to the top of the stack. The hardest thing about this exercise was that all of the front wheels had to be aligned all of the way around, apart from in the changes. The rider on the black set the speed and the others had to maintain the front wheel alignment. This meant going quicker at the start of the banking and then slower coming out of it, if you were higher up.
That was all of the drills and exercises we had to perform as the hour session soon passed. After we had gone back in a group of seven of us were called over and told that we had passed, with the other 5 who took the test failing. So a first time pass… bring on the Winter Track League Series![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]