London Ontario is blessed in that we've got one of only 4 indoor velodromes in all of North America. It isn't fancy, but it is very cool. The Rantwick family went out there last Saturday night to watch some racing. It was a very good time. There was some pretty darn good sprint racing:
There were kids and youth riders competing for their very first time, one (in yellow) as young as 9. As you'll hear, some instruction goes on during the race:
There were sprints, endurance, points and other races many of which I didn't know existed before now. The racers covered the whole spectrum from kids to young women to teenage boys to grey-haired veterans. The place had a great vibe, one of competition and support and encouragement all rolled together. The cost was $10 per adult and my kids got in free. We found it worth every penny. If you haven't attended a Race Night at the velodrome I encourage you to do so... I'm sure glad we did.
FCV is a not-for-profit organization that runs on grants, membership fees and race night earnings. If you live around London Ontario or are here for a visit, please check it out. I want this thing to flourish and be around for a long time, and it ain't cheap to heat an old hockey arena through the winter. I think non-cyclists might find it even more entertaining than those of us who ride all the time; who knows, maybe you'll catch the bug like I think I may have.
I was a little surprised at how scary the track looked with its 50 degree banks. FCV offers something called "Track 1", an introductory session where they train you up, rent you a bike, and give you a couple of hours of track time. Since I already know how to ride fixed gear, it would be a shame if I didn't try this out. When there is something as cool and rare as this right in my own city, how could I not?
I wonder if they would let me run a camera...
R A N T W I C K