Junior Track Cycling Velodrome cycling for junior (18 and under) riders

February 16, 2005

Survey: How are your junior championships run?

Filed under: Cycling,Uncategorized — Administrator @ 2:19 pm

Our track (Hellyer Park Velodrome) is planning to reschedule Junior Districts this year, and we are also expecting a larger turnout than before. I’d like to ask those of you in other areas a few questions about your State or District Championships.

Please respond in this form. You don’t need to give your email address or your real name – I’m just looking for information.


  1. How many total hours do your junior track districts take?
  2. Are the races all in one day?
    1. If not, how many days, and are they consecutive?
    2. If the races are on different days are they split by age, by event, or what?
  3. About how many juniors participate in your championships?

Here is what I know so far:
Northern California/Nevada District, 2004: 6 hours, one Saturday, roughly 16 riders.
Southern California/Nevada District, 2004: 11 hours, one Sunday, very roughly 35 riders.

February 13, 2005

Women and Juniors at Hellyer

Filed under: Cycling,Hellyer — Administrator @ 5:06 pm

 Women and Juniors at Hellyer Park Velodrome
Women and Juniors at Hellyer Park Velodrome

Today marked the start of the annual Early Bird Track series at Hellyer Park Velodrome. This has been a women’s event, and this year juniors are included. Similar to the local Early Bird road series (but otherwise unrelated), the emphasis is on getting newer racers ready for a safe racing season. A combination of skills work and racing is planned.

As you can see it was cool enough to require jackets and the (screaming for repair) apron wasn’t quite dry, but it was decent weather by winter standards. I can’t say much more because I was only there long enough to match a junior up with a bike and take one picture. I just wanted to acknowledge the start of this program, which continues every Sunday through March 13th.

February 12, 2005

Fast Pursuiters for 2005

Filed under: Cycling,Junior Worlds — Administrator @ 8:45 am

It’s too early to be naming favorites, but I saw that the Australian nationals are taking place and asked myself “who are the known fastest pursuiters for Junior Worlds this year?” Below are times from two sources. Five are the top 5 qualifying times from Australian nationals. The others are the fastest riders from 2004 worlds who are still young enough to ride as juniors this year.

Of course the riders from last year will be getting faster and Zakkari Dempster may get faster still. We can’t consider this a prediction for Worlds, but it’s interesting to look ahead.

Name Country Time TTLY
Zakkari Dempster AUS 3:25.174 3
Patrick Gretsch GER 3:26.053 3
Alexandru Pliuschin MDA 3:26.962 5
Todd Dawson AUS 3:28.638 8
Mitchell Pearson AUS 3:29.554 8
Jackson-Leigh Rathbone AUS 3:30.327 9
Matthew Pettit AUS 3:30.433 9
Daniel Oss ITA 3:34.021 12
Isma?l Kip NED 3:35.017 15
Vojtech Hacecky CZE 3:38.477 17

TTLY – what’s that? This Time, Last Year. This column shows the place the listed time would have earned at 2004 Junior Worlds.

Visitors: I could use some help. I’m sure there are many excellent riders missing from this list. If you have times for riders who belong in this list, send me the information, or a link. I’ll be glad to update the list and add the top riders and times to my database. Please include current racing ages if you can.

February 8, 2005

Review: Hearts of Lions

Filed under: Cycling,Uncategorized — Administrator @ 10:13 am

This is probably THE book for learning about the history of bicycle racing in the USA, but I am far from the first to say that. This book has been recommended to me many times.

Track was a huge spectator sport in the early years of cycling, and this book covers those days well. As time goes on, the book follows the sport as cycling fades in the USA and then rises with a stronger emphasis on road cycling. Still, track cycling plays a significant role in the return of cycling, and in this book. The time line extends from the earliest days of bicycle racing to Greg Lemond’s first Tour de France win.

I found that Hearts of Lions changes character a bit as it goes on. The early chapters are full of interesting detail, but they are less than exciting, perhaps because history has preserved dates, names, and prize amounts better than the human side of the stories. Still, this part of the book is interesting to any student of cycling.

Later in the book, the stories become richer, perhaps because the author was able to interview more actual riders from the post-World War II days, or at least people who were there. It is inspirational to read how a few dedicated riders carried on during the weakest years of American cycling, with almost no support, few serious competitors at home, and no help for those brave enough to attempt to break into European cycling. I especially enjoyed the story of Art Longsjo showing up for his first race in loafers and a t-shirt.

One of the enjoyable things in this book was reading about people and places who are still important in cycling today. If you are active in cycling (especially track) you have probably met or raced with people who are mentioned in this book, or their children. You may have ridden on some of the tracks mentioned later in the book, though the earliest velodromes have all been torn down.

I wish that there could be a second edition of this book, covering the last 20 years as well. If I could really have my wishes, I’d ask the new author to reduce the number of times a person or topic is introduced by mentioning some key event, and then dropping back in time without warning to give the background. Still, with or without that change I’d be eager to read a new version. It would almost have to be second edition rather than a new book, because it would be very difficult to cover this same material without simply imitating Hearts of Lions.

Conclusion: Get the book, read the book.

I can’t resist one quibble, which was annoying because it came right at the start of the book: Riding a mile in a minute is not the same kind of milestone as breaking the speed of sound in an airplane. A “mile-a-minute” is just an accident of units. Would anyone have considered 96.56 kilometers per hour a milestone? No. The speed of sound marks a fundamental change in the way air moves over an aircraft, with dramatic changes in lift, drag, and temperature. It’s a real thing, which doesn’t depend on what system of units you use.

February 7, 2005

Firefox Browser

Filed under: Uncategorized — Administrator @ 10:38 am

Yes, this is totally off topic, but I noticed that some minor things on this site don’t work quite right using Internet Explorer, and many of you are still using it. There are bigger reasons to replace your web browser with Firefox, which you can read about when you click the button below. You’ll also be able get the free download and join over 23,000,000 internet users who have already given FireFox a try.

Get Firefox!

Just to borrow a couple of links from that site:

Beware of spyware. If you can, use the Firefox browser.– USA Today

Better than Internet Explorer by leaps and bounds.– FORBES

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