After four weeks of I'm going/I'm not going/I've got the date wrong/I've got to be away, I actually made the club track taster session at Manchester Velodrome last Thursday night (much to everyones surprise).
I'd not ridden a fixed wheel bike before, it felt quite normal until the point your brain tells you that it wants to freewheel and suddenly you get that "jolt"as the bike nicely explains to you that it's not going to happen! It took me about a dozen or so laps to get a feel for the bike, you soon "get it".
Then came the banking, which feels far steeper when you're riding it than it actually looks from the stands. On the first dozen or so laps, it felt like the bike was going to slip out from underneath me, which made me pretty wary, especially riding a fixed wheel. It's just a matter of confidence and speed. After a while, I started to get it, but didn't venture up to the blue line all session (maybe next time).
The fun point was when they set up a one on one sprint, which as a club we all found fun as it allowed a few scores to be settled. I enjoyed it and it does leave you feeling nothing but respect for riders like Sir Chris Hoy and the sheer power and fitness they must possess.
Overall it was a great experience, albeit over a bit quickly. I'd have liked a couple of hours I think to get my full confidence, however I'm really pleased that I managed to get along in the end. Shoe hire was about four quid and the Dolan track bike came within the price. Highly recommended if you want to experience a different cycling discipline to the road.