Improve Your Skills on the Velodrome

Velodrome riding can help improve your pace control.

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.

Fixed Gear

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.

Group Exercises

  • 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 He is the first UK Ultrafit Associate. Contact Mark by e-mail at

Related Articles:

    •Smooth Your Pedal Stroke With a Fixed Gear

    •Single-gear Riding


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