Sunday 8 March 2009

Track is Back - Great News!

It's that time of year when I know the spring road season is well and truly here because I don't need to get up on a Sunday morning to travel to a muddy field somewhere. Also you see more and more road riders coming out of hibernation as they cram in the extra miles, hill reps or other training in time for that all important road race in the Surrey or Kent lanes next week!

The other reason I know we are out of the winter racing season is because Herne Hill is open for track cycling again. Yes, it's back on my cycling menu, as well as the menus of at least a hundred other local cyclists - as I noted while riding around the crowded velodrome yesterday.

It's great to see so many people out riding at Herne Hill, and even more impressive how the coaches at Velo Club de Londres (VCL) manage so many riders at such busy times.

Why am I so glad Herne Hill is open?

Well, for me, track cycling is a very good element in my cycle training. It forms that link between the steady tempo ride and the training pace chain gang. I am comfortable enough to do 3 or 4 hours of steady riding. I am not quite back on the fast chain gang stuff though. The various mini races that we do on the track on Saturday mornings will be a great help in training to ride at high pace, for a sustained amount of time in a group.

Herne Hill track is also a great place to meet up with all the local club riders. Yes, I know it's training, but it's still good for the psyche to have a good old chin wag and press the flesh while you're up there (preferably not while sprinting for the line).

Furthermore I don't need to worry too much about how my bike is. Track bikes are low mainenance compared with cyclo cross bikes and road bikes. No gears, deraillers or brakes to think about. I just take a train or ride over there on my old hack, unclip my track bike from its peg and, Bobs your Uncle, I'm ready to ride on the track - it's simple. I like it like that.

I am also looking forward to the traditional Good Friday International meeting that'll be held at Herne Hill next month. It's always an actioned packed day out, with the chance to watch Elite and club riders compete on the same stage. All of London's cycling fraternity turn out in force to spectate and it's a great chance to catch up with cycling friends, old and new, over a beer.

So yes, I'm glad that Herne Hill is open again.

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