Here is a little video insight into what it is like to ride/race at the velodrome. This was a Wednesday evening race series in July. The race was the B group (they have A,B & C categories). Good times & since everyone has taken a ‘track riding class’ and is on a fixed gear bicycle with no brakes, it is actually much safer than most road riding. No one can slam on their brakes. To slow down you simply don’t pedal as fast. Because the velodrome has 34 degree bank in the corners, riders will go high into the corners, then ‘drop down’ to pick up lots of speed before going into the straight-aways.
Here is a little article on the Dick Lane Velodrome in the Atlanta magazine
A great thing about racing at the velodrome is that everyone is very friendly and you can share race tactics in different scenarios, then go right out and attempt it right away since the races vary in length from single lap ‘chariot’ races to 50 laps and even the ‘unknown’ race in which only the director & their assistant of the velodrome know when they will ring the bell for the last lap.
Most everyone usually runs about an 88 inch gear.
For this nights races I was running a 95 inch gear (46×13) – challenging, but not on purpose (I had left my gears at home by accident). But it did make me mash a larger gear than I normally would. Although I usually don’t do it some track races will over-gear to gain leg strength.
Track racing will test your ability to push the same gear for a period of time, then get that gear up to your max spinning effort.
If you are in the Alanta area, the Dick Lane Velodrome has loaner bikes so you can try a beginner class and see what it is like to get bounced around on the lap of the Velodrome.