Many triathletes and road cyclists could stand to improve their bike handling skills. Take a page from your track-racing brethren. If you have the chance for a little velodrome action, give it a whirl.
Going around an oval 250-meter wooden track with banked sides has many uses for those who lack the finesse or style of someone at ease on the bike.
Being held into a beast that doesn't have brakes and won't let your legs stop turning does have a certain fear to it, but you will become much more thoughtful in the use of your leg muscles.
The firing patterns for fixed-gear riding mean you can't just switch off and coast. Do this at your peril! Your reward will be better throttle control and greater leg speed.
- Through and off: All riders on track single-file going around blue line. Changes happen on banked corners. Great for pace control.
- Taking half laps: Two groups ride around the blue line easy, a half-lap apart. Two riders from each group drop down to black line and ride to catch the other group ahead. Great fun as it can go on for ages.
- Hunters variation: Same as above but instead of both riders going up to the group, only the first rider peels off. The other rider continues while a new partner drops in from the group.
- Scratch race: No more than 40 laps (10 km). A mini-race, but controlled until the last five laps, when it's anything goes.
Scotland's Mark Young is a British Cycling Level 2 coach. He works for Scottish Cycling with its Commonwealth Games Endurance programme. He is a diary contributor and coach for athletes funded by www.braveheartcyclingfund.com. He is the first UK Ultrafit Associate. Contact Mark by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.