ZACH’S VELO SPORTS CENTER EXPERIENCE
October 31, 2016
Sunday is a day of the week where people usually relax, watch sports, or spend time with family. After these activities you typically go to bed at a reasonable time to prepare for the work week ahead. For me, Sundays are full of motorsports and bicycle ‘turn left’ otherwise known as velodrome
My name is Zach and I’m the recent addition here to the Aventon team. I started riding fixed gear bikes at 17 just to have a form of transportation. This quickly transformed into a lifelong obsession. Since joining the team I have been introduced to the Velodrome, the bicycle equivalent of Nascar. The location I frequent is Velo Sports Center located in Carson, California. This is a indoor oval track with 45 degree banks and about 250 meters long from start to finish. You run the track counter clockwise while keeping a good pace to ensure your tires traction. For indoor tracks you have to run really soft tire compounds in which you will never use on the road since road oils can contaminate the tires resulting in two wheeled slip-n-slide. The biggest surprise was that you are not allowed to have a lock ring on your bike. The thing that came to mind was “that’s really dangerous, how do I stop without my cog coming loose” but since all the riders will be riding the same speed and losing speed at the same rate, it’s nothing to worry about. This is a very different discipline of cycling but compared to road racing or brakeless criterium, this is a whole lot more exciting.
So far the experience of track riding has been some of the most exciting and scariest things I have done in a long time. You can easily keep a consistent 25 mph with no wind and catching the draft of a rider will easily give you a pull to even faster speeds. Then coming into the corners you catch a lean angle and hold on for dear life. It’s quite safe on the 45 degree banks but a small slip up in pedaling can cause you to break traction which can be a very exciting moment for you. Even now riding the track going through the corners feels like a game of trust fall but I have yet to crash so I assume I have done something right. That being said the experience in a whole has changed my view on fixed gear bikes. This to me is more fun than road riding because you can go full effort without worrying about the elements slowing you down.