I heard from a source that there was a regional track meeting happening at the Bellville velodrome on Tuesday night, so I decided to go see what the real fixie men are made of. After finding someone to join me, thanks graham, we packed the bikes and headed for tygervalley.
The velodrome is a truly amazing arena, steep banks, I reckon 45 degrees!! I could not believe it when I saw this dude ride the bank without leaning into it and without any speed, I thought he was going to slide right down it.
Graham and Myself were amazed to see the level of racing, unfortunately it seems to be a very specialized sport. I was surprised by the large number of riders, the turnout of spectators seemed to match the riders, maybe even more riders than spectators actually.
There were many different formats of racing which I have no idea about, all I know is that when that bell rings you need to pedal like a “machine”. The gearing on these bikes look like a 50/ 10 ratio so these okes need/have the leg power.
The racing is tight and fast and technique seems to very important, I loved how the guys rode straight up the bank to slingshot themselves into the next straight.
There were different age categories which again I didn’t quite remember but there were young kids from the age of 10 riding. This one kid had a Hansom track bike which I loved, I share my surname with the designer Gotty Hansen so I feel connected to the brand, if anybody ever has one for sale: please let me know.
It must truly be an exhilarating and scary feeling, pedaling flat-out around a banked corner with 20 peeps around and behind you. If these guys fall , they fall hard!! The cement looks very abrasive for traction so if you fall it going to take off alot of skin!
Anyway, we could not stay late but there was talk of allowing newcomers onto the track to try it out. But beware this is type of racing/riding is no joke, fixie riders beware!! Gearing is important for getting up to speed for the banks, short cranks are essential I reckon, I wouldn’t ride my skinny flat bars either!!
Skinny jeans for protection is a must!
Check out our photos from the velodrome: