So you’d like to start riding at Encino Velodrome but not sure how to begin? Here’s a little step-by-step guide to help launch your track racing career.
- Learn to ride a bicycle. If you want to race your bike, you’d better know how to stay upright on two wheels. That’s a skill that we don’t teach at Encino Velodrome.
- Take the Beginner’s Certification Class. This class is REQUIRED for all riders with no prior track riding experience before attending any other Encino Velodrome sessions or races. In this class, you’ll learn about the velodrome, basic rules, riding etiquette and fixed gear track bikes. This class is also RECOMMENDED for riders with prior track riding experience who haven’t ridden at Encino Velodrome before because you’ll learn some regulations that are unique to our track. Rental bikes are available for this session. Please check the calendar for upcoming Beginner’s Classes.
- Check out some weekly training sessions. Now that you are certified to ride at Encino Velodrome, you can participate in some of our weekly training sessions. Remember that practice makes perfect so the more riding you have on on the track, the better you’ll do on a race day. Dingo’s Structured Training on Monday evenings is a great session for all skill levels because it focuses on group riding practice as well as speed and fitness. Rental bikes are available for all our training sessions. Check the weekly schedule to find a session that works for you and if you plan to train at Encino Velodrome often, you may want to consider purchasing an annual membership.
- Take the Intro To Track Racing class. This is another great session to participate in once you’ve gotten certified through the Beginner’s Class. In this six-week course, riders learn the rules and how to compete in all the different events in track racing. This is also a great course for experienced racers who want to fine-tune their strategies or just want to get some race practice. Rental bikes are available for this class. Check the calendar for the next Intro To Track Racing cycle.
- Try a few races. So you’ve been training your legs off and you think you’re ready to show how much it’s paid off. Time to start racing. Encino Velodrome hosts many races throughout the year. Our USAC-sanctioned races are usually held on Saturdays. You’ll need a USAC racing license available at usacycling.org. There are also some non-USAC races such as the Summer Race Series. No license required to race those but you’ll need to be a certified rider (through the Beginner’s Class). Rental bikes ARE NOT available on race days so by this point, you should own your own track bike. Check out the 2013 Race Calendar for races scheduled this year.
- Try riding at another velodrome. There are velodromes all over the country and we are lucky to have four of them right here in California. Try the indoor wooden velodrome (the only one of its kind in the United States) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, here is a bigger velodrome (333 meters) down in San Diego and check out our neighbors to the North at Hellyer Park in San Jose. When everyone is dumbfounded by your blazing speed, tell them you train at Encino Velodrome.
- Pay it forward. The sport of track racing relies solely on the strength of the community behind it so when you consider yourself a veteran racer, do the sport a favor and take the time to give some of the newer riders a few pointers. Introduce some of your friends and family to what got you so addicted to track cycling. Maybe even become an Encino Velodrome volunteer. After all, you would never have made it to step 7 in this Beginner’s Guide if someone hadn’t done the same for you.