Riding in circles

There is something special about velodromes, what should be a pretty mundane and repetitive exercise is one of my most enjoyable past times. How can riding around in circles for hours on end be so much fun? Yesterday was one of these days, Newport Velodrome is the closest indoor track and it is still about a 2.5 hour drive to get there. A few of us got together and went along to a drop in session in order to get some dry miles in.

The journey afforded us the time to natter about all things bike related and grumble about turbo trainers and how boring they are. The question of whether we preferred to ride at the velodrome or outdoors came up, everyone except for me opted for road rides.

I however have some weird obsession with simplicity, I really enjoy riding in its simplest form. By this I mean; I love the simplicity of track bikes, no brakes or gears and once you get your ratio sorted all you have to worry about is pedalling. For me velodromes enhance this even more. You still have to think about what you’re doing and what the other riders are doing, but there is no thought on where you’re going, whether a hill is coming, descending, wind and traffic are non existent. I love just being able to ride around in circles and the only thing that I need to focus on is my cadence and breathing.

When I can’t go to the velodrome I will head to an industrial estate and ride around a 1.2km square route for hours on end. My wife who is also a cyclist finds this extremely amusing, and a bit weird. She often asks me ‘don’t you get bored?’, and I can honestly say that I do not. I could happily spend everyday riding around the velodrome for hours on end without getting bored, maybe I am just a bit simple or maybe I am weird…but surely I am not the only one.

It doesn’t matter what I am doing at the velodrome, whether it’s training drills or just riding around warming up or down I could happily do it forever or until my legs give up. One thing it really highlights is what areas I need to work on, after a few drills covering 160 laps I knew I needed to get in the gym and do some more leg work. I am a fairly decent sprinter but always strive to better myself, an area that I have always needed to improve on is my endurance. I am planning on racing a number of fixed crits next year so endurance is an area I really need to improve on. I have a plan for this; so if boring training plans interest you stay tuned for more on that.

For now its back to the turbo, the gym, industrial estate and the cx bike. Hopefully I will get to go back to the velodrome soon, though it definitely won’t be this side of christmas. There have been rumours of plans for an outdoor velodrome in Devon though unfortunately my sources tell me that £800,000 is needed, so if any of my readers would like to donate then hit me up. Make it easier for me to keep riding in circles.

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About Dave Noakes


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