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

March 19, 2007

Northbrook Track Intro

Filed under: New Rider Info — Administrator @ 9:29 am

The Northbrook, IL park district will have an Introduction to Track Bike Racing class beginning in April 2007 at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome. A description of the program can be found at http://www.northbrookvelodrome.org/programs/highschool. It is called a “high school program” but it is open to those entering 7th grade or higher.

November 30, 2006

Track Pedals

Filed under: Cycling,New Rider Info — Administrator @ 12:49 pm

Many Juniors are new to the track, and they may wonder what type of pedals to use. For just learning to ride, just about anything will do as long as it’s pretty tight. Once the rider starts doing hard sprints or standing starts, it is critical that the pedals don’t release during the effort.

There are many different opinions out there, some based on fact and some just rumors. This article was triggered by a Cyclingnews article about the Sydney Track World Cup with pictures of three of the most popular solutions. Since their observations coincide well with what I have heard it seems like a good start.

Here are their pictures, without permission but with links to the large versions on their site, so I hope they don’t mind:

In short, SPD-R and SPD-SL pedals are two of the top choices, along with traditional clips and straps. Straps can be added to the SPD pedals with various modifications, but this is probably overkill for all but the very strongest juniors.

I have also seen Look pedals modified with a large bolt to make them secure. In general, stock Look pedals seem to be a poor choice, as they can release during a hard pull on the pedals, even without much twisting.

This article is partly here to see if it sparks any disagreement. If you have a pedal system which is as good or better, please add a comment. [Note: comments do not appear immediately unless you register and have a previously approved comment, but I’ll approve these as quickly as I can.]

March 29, 2006

Youth and Juniors Train and Race for Free at Encino Velodrome

Filed under: Cycling,New Rider Info — Administrator @ 4:27 pm

Encino, CA (March 26, 2006) – The Encino Velodrome is pleased to announce that the Encino Velo Cycling Club (EVCC) is sponsoring junior and youth training and racing for the entire 2006 season. Licensed (Juniors) and unlicensed (Youth) riders with racing ages 18 and under pay NO velodrome fees for training and race in their respective categories absolutely free throughout 2006 (only the Junior State Championships will have an entry fee). And that includes bike rentals, too!

This is a fabulous opportunity to grow participation levels among Juniors and Youth. And don’t forget, Thursday is Youth night and a great way to introduce your youngster to riding on the velodrome. Bring your kids out, tell your friends with kids and lets grow the sport we all love.

The Encino Velodrome Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that manages the educational and competition programs at the Encino Velodrome.

Eddie Monnier, Race Director
Encino Velodrome Association
P.O. Box 16006
Encino, CA 91316
Phone: 310-806-1216

February 19, 2006

Welcome Mercury News Readers

Filed under: Cycling,New Rider Info — Administrator @ 7:03 pm

Thanks to the publicity from the Tour of California, the Mercury News had some coverage of cycling this weekend. If I know the people in this area, some of you will find your way here, even with no local links in the article.

If you haven’t seen the paper, you can start with the main article, or skip to the page of photos and videos where you can spot a few local track riders, including some of the juniors at Hellyer Park Velodrome.

Here are some quick references for those new to track cycling:

  1. How do I get started on the track? is directed mostly at junior riders.
  2. The local velodrome site
  3. A free program for riders aged 10 to 14 – beginners welcome.
  4. More information including a session for advanced juniors.
  5. Adults and older juniors (14 and up) normally start with Saturday sessions.
  6. Where is Hellyer park?
  7. This site covers local juniors on the track, though most news this time of year is international.

and of course there are books:

December 29, 2005

Track Rollout Limits

Filed under: Cycling,New Rider Info — Administrator @ 9:52 am

The 2006 rulebook is now available, and so now I can tell you the new rollout limits. Thanks to reader Tim for helping me notice this. Quoting exactly from section 1J6:

For track events the following limits shall be used: (10-12 years old – 6.00 meters or 19’8” [48 x 17], 13-14 years old – 6.36 meters or 20'10.5" [48 x 16], 15-16 yrs – 6.78 meters or 22'3" [48 x 15], 17+ yrs. - unrestricted.) All tests for compliance (road and track) shall be done using the "roll-out method."

As always the limits are enforced by rollout, but this time the gears are selected to allow a simple cog change every couple of years, with the same chainring. For comparison, the old limits were (10-14 years old – 21'3", 15-16 yrs – 21'9", 17+ yrs. - Unrestricted.).

Here’s one way of looking at how each age group is affected. Take 120 rpm as a sample cadence. It’s a rate which might be used in a fast part of a race, but still well below what an experienced rider can handle in a brief effort. How fast will a rider go if he pedals at that cadence and is using the highest allowed gear?

Age Group Old Limit Old Speed New Limit New Speed
10-12 21′ 3″ 29.0 19′ 8″ 26.8
13-14 21′ 3″ 29.0 20′ 10.5″ 28.5
15-16 21′ 9″ 29.7 22′ 3″ 30.3
17+ Unrestricted

There will be different opinions (and I’d like to hear them) about whether these gears are too high or low and whether this change hurts or helps financially. I’d like to comment on one other thing. The suggested gearing (48 x 15, 16, or 17) is going to give gears very close to the given rollout limits. Remember that tire sizes are not entirely standardized, and neither are officials. A typical 700x23c “clincher” tire should pass rollout, but some may not. Riders (and parents) should always check the actual rollout distance of their bikes, and should be careful that a tire change doesn’t put them over the limit. The 15-16 group is especially tight against the limit, and these riders may want to select a smaller tire or keep a 47 tooth chainring available in case there is a problem with rollout.

I hope to have the online gear calculator updated today.

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