Getting Started

The following is a brief guide of what you need to get started at the track.

Equipment-what do I need?

You need a bike, more on that in a minute, a helmet, close fitting clothing and we would strongly recommend wearing two layers of clothing and gloves when on the track for protection.

There are hire bikes at Middlesbrough sports village to get you started of so you don’t need to invest in a bike to begin with. You will want your own bike for racing however and this does need to be a proper track bike. So what does this mean?

A proper track bike has no brakes,single speed gearing with a fixed cog at the back, no fixtures or fittings sticking out and a higher bottom bracket than most road bikes to prevent catching your right hand pedal on steep bankings. ( If in doubt ask one of the coaches for some guidance and seek expert advice from a decent local bike shop. Track bikes are tough, hard wearing and relatively simple so they don’t need to be expensive and can last many years.

So you have your bike or have booked a hire bike, what next? Due to the technical demands of track racing all riders need to be accredited. We wouldn’t want to let a bunch of riders without brakes loose on a 30°banked track without being sure everyone knows what they are doing.

Accreditation tasters with a taster session where riders are introduced to riding fixed wheel and riding on the velodrome. Please contact Middlesbrough sports village for more info on taster sessions as timings do vary. Improver sessions introduce group riding and develop bike handling skills further and again please contact MSV for more information.

Advanced sessions where riders can progress to being ready to race are also available. There is some time available pre racing on Wednesday nights for riders who are sufficiently experiecnced and accredited who would like to be signed off to race.. If you are already an experienced track rider you can progress straight to this stage with then allows you to race and take part in public training sessions organised by the velodrome.

So you have a bike, you are an accredited rider and you have a race licence from British Cycling, we are ready to race. What happens next?

On the day.

There is a series of race meetings planned over 10 weeks from 17th May to 19th July. Entry will be on the night with signing on at the track. Riders will register with the league for £10 for the season and will keep their allocated number for the season. Racing will be £7 for seniors and juniors and £5 for youth riders. We aim to give each rider 4 races a night and riders will be categorised according to ability so some of the stronger youth riders might “race up”, with the grown ups. If that is the case they must still ride gearing according to their age group. We will aim to have a mixture of endurance and sprint events each week so there is something for everyone and any suggestions as to what races you would like to see are welcome.

Bring some warm clothing to put on between races and refreshments and get changed at the sports village, the facilities at the track are very limited. A flask of warm tea might be a good idea! There is no seating for spectators and riders so a folding chair would be good and rollers if you have them to warm up and warm down.

Any other questions or feedback are very welcome via the contact form or facebook. We are all learning as we go along so please bear with us. We need the support of riders and volunteers to make it a success. Lets bring track racing back to the north east.

The following is a brief guide of what you need to get started at the track.

Equipment-what do I need?

You need a bike, more on that in a minute, a helmet, close fitting clothing and we would strongly recommend wearing two layers of clothing and gloves when on the track for protection.

There are hire bikes at Middlesbrough sports village to get you started of so you don’t need to invest in a bike to begin with. You will want your own bike for racing however and this does need to be a proper track bike. So what does this mean?

A proper track bike has no brakes,single speed gearing with a fixed cog at the back, no fixtures or fittings sticking out and a higher bottom bracket than most road bikes to prevent catching your right hand pedal on steep bankings. (IMAGE HERE?) If in doubt ask one of the coaches for some guidance and seek expert advice from a decent local bike shop. Track bikes are tough, hard wearing and relatively simple so they don’t need to be expensive and can last many years.

So you have your bike or have booked a hire bike, what next? Due to the technical demands of track racing all riders need to be accredited. We wouldn’t want to let a bunch of riders without brakes loose on a 30°banked track without being sure everyone knows what they are doing.

Accreditation tasters with a taster session where riders are introduced to riding fixed wheel and riding on the velodrome and these sessions are currently on mondays and wednesdays. Improver sessions introduce group riding and develop bike handling skills further and these sessions are currently available on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Advanced sessions where riders can progress to being ready to race are currently on sundays with extra sessions planned. We are also looking to run sessions in the non racing weeks to allow riders to be signed off to race. If you are already an experienced track rider you can progress straight to this stage with then allows you to race and take part in public training sessions organised by the velodrome. Wednesday 1st, 8th and 15th of June from 7-9pm are being run as coach led racing sessions to allow advanced riders to be assessed. These sessions are free of charge.

So you have a bike, you are an accredited rider and you have a race licence from British Cycling, we are ready to race. What happens next?

On the day.

There is a series of race meetings planned fortnightly from Wednesday 22nd June until Wednesday 31st August. Entry will be on the night with signing on at the sports centre. Riders will register with the league for £10 for the season and will keep their allocated number for the season. Racing will be £7 for seniors and juniors and £5 for youth riders. We aim to give each rider 4 races a night and riders will be categorised according to ability so some of the stronger youth riders might “race up”, with the grown ups. If that is the case they must still ride gearing according to their age group. We will aim to have a mixture of endurance and sprint events each week so there is something for everyone and any suggestions as to what races you would like to see are welcome.

Bring some warm clothing to put on between races and refreshments and get changed at the sports village, the facilities at the track are very limited. A flask of warm tea might be a good idea! There is no seating for spectators and riders so a folding chair would be good and rollers if you have them to warm up and warm down.

Any other questions or feedback are very welcome via the contact form or facebook. We are all learning as we go along so please bear with us. We need the support of riders and volunteers to make it a success. Lets bring track racing back to the north east.