Track Bikes for Beginners

Sunday saw a successful start to the summer season with the Junior Cyclist Come-and-Try session. It was great to hear so many kids and parents who were keen to try riding a track bike.

 

Track bikes V non-Track bikes

Before pressing on, I should mention that we are always happy to grow track participation, however please don’t feel that it is compulsory for summer. We will always continue to offer non-track events and riders can transition later in the season or next season.

 

First time Track Riders at Junior Cyclist or InterSchool Cycling

Riders who are currently riding track bikes at velodromes outside of Lidcombe Oval will need to be assessed before riding at Junior Cyclist or InterSchool Cycling events. Assessments take place after ISC events conclude at around 5pm. Just approach Gay Watson, the JC coach during the event.

If your rider is coming with a track bike for the first time please bring their regular road, hybrid, MTB, BMX bike etc for use during the event and their track bike for the assessment afterwards.

If your rider has ridden at other events that we attend, eg RAW or junior opens, or has been training under a qualified coach, please get in touch with us. -We can automatically qualify the rider to enter our track events in the first instance. If this sounds like your child, please contact us now. If you are not sure, please contact us now. -Don’t leave it till the last minute, if you do, please bring their road bike as well just in case you don’t get the answer you want to hear.

 

Transitioning to Track Bikes

There are a number of skills involved in riding a track bike that are very different to riding a freewheel bike. The best way to master these skills is through training.

Option 1 – Regular Training – Every Thursday 6pm

Your best option is to come to training at Lidcombe Oval on Thursday evenings at 6pm. Training is available to riders who:

i. would like to transition to track bikes.

ii. have no intention of riding track bikes, but wish to develop their skills on regular bikes.

iii. would like to take their track skills to the next level. This is available to emerging track riders all they way through to established track riders.

Training is available for $7 per session or $50 for the term.

Training is available to all riders regardless of which school or club they are from. No special licence is required at any JC training.

Option 2 – Intense Training – Sunday 5pm

If you can’t make it to Lidcombe Oval during the week, another option is to participate in training after the events on Sunday afternoons. All riders participating in intense training are expected to be able to ride with clipped in shoes. -They don’t need to be graceful, but it is expected at every training session.

We have a three session Track Quick-Start Program starting 5 November. -This leaves you over three weeks to source a track bike. Get cracking!

If you fail to acquire a bike before the 5th, JC have loaners to get you out of trouble. Get in touch if you need us to put a bike aside while you wait for delivery.

We can also lease bikes for a whole season. -Get in early as our fleet is limited.

The total cost of the training program is $25. This includes all three sessions, feedback on how your child is progressing, and advice on what needs to be achieved if they are not quite ready. -Additional sessions may be arranged at similar rates if required.

The basic skills that we are looking for are:

  1. Start and Stop off the fence.

    Riders should be able to approach the fence, slow almost to a stop, grab the fence, dismount then mount again.
    It does not have to be graceful, as long as they are following proper process.
    It does not have to be completely unassisted. -Failure to achieve this skill is OK. Its more about event volunteers knowing to make allowances for riders that need a little help at our events.

  2. Stationary Start

    Riders should be able to place both feet on the pedals, while being held, then ride away from the handler without a push when asked.
    It does not have to be graceful or fast, as long as they are following proper process.
    Younger riders will be allowed a small push.

  3. Basic Track Etiquette

    Checking that track is clear to the left of rider before heading to the infield. Did they look over their left shoulder before veering left?
    Leader not leaving the sprinters lane in the last 200m of a sprint.
    Riders holding their line in a sprint.
    Swinging up at the appropriate time.
    Gentle predictable movements among other riders.
    Smooth continuous pedalling at all times.

The majority of the above skills don’t have to be perfect, its mostly about the process the child is taking.

Option 3 – Training Elsewhere

If Thursday evenings or Sunday afternoon’s are difficult for you, there are other venues, or training nights that are available. We can put you in touch with clubs and coaches at other venues. Talk to Gay or Stel.

 

Bike Sizing

Most parents, even experienced cyclists, tend to end up with an undersized bike for their kids.

From 22 October, we will have bikes in every size between 20 inch and a 700 medium sized track bike to try. Regardless of how much race experience you many have, please get a second opinion about sizing from Ian or Gay before stepping into your local bike shop. It is very awkward for a coach to inform a parent that their child’s brand spanking new track bike is undersized. Most junior coaches are known by most bike shops. The coach does not want to be seen to be suggesting that they have been sold an undersized bike. It is better to insist on the correct sized bike in the first instance. -Also, your kid just got taller while reading this paragraph, so any concern about the bike being too big just diminished a little!

 

 

Key Track Bike Transition Dates

Thu 12 Oct – Training at 6pm
Sun 15 Oct – No event, No training – We will be at the Spring Cycle
Thu 19 Oct – Training at 6pm
Sun 22 Oct – Sizing samples available at ISC
Thu 26 Oct – Training at 6pm
Sun 29 Oct – Sizing samples available at ISC
Thu 2 Nov – Training at 6pm
Sun 5 Nov – Intense Track Training after ISC at 5pm – Session 1
Thu 9 Nov – Training at 6pm
Sun 12 Nov – Intense Track Training after ISC at 5pm – Session 2
Thu 16 Nov – Training at 6pm
Sun 19 Nov – Intense Track Training after ISC at 5pm – Session 3

Training will then continue every Thursday at 6pm. It is for both track and non-track riders.

Additional Sunday Intense Training may become available if numbers permit, or riders from sessions 1 to 3 need a couple more sessions.

 

Point-score

Riders transitioning to track bikes will be able to take their points with them in the ISC Schools Cup.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Gay or Stel. We can both be reached through the Contact Page, mobile or email address if you already have it.

Here is a clip of a young Junior Cyclist taking her first ride on the red track bike. -Don’t forget to like and follow us on Instagram!

Trying a track bike for the first time. #fixedgear #trackcycling #cyclinglife #bicyclensw

A post shared by Junior Cyclist (@juniorcyclist) on

 

Hope to see you all at Lidcombe on Sunday.

 

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Track Bikes for Beginners

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