Getting Started at The Velodrome

We love track cycling! In fact, in our opinion it's the most fun you can have on two wheels. We want to share our passion with more people so, we put together this guide.

Most of this information pertains to our home track, Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook, Illinois. Which is a 382m long asphalt velodrome with a banking of around 20 degrees. The construction of the track makes it easy to learn how to ride. 

 

Why Are There No Brakes 

  • Well actually, track bikes have two brakes! Your left and right legs that slow you down by pussing in the opposit diriection; just like when you were a kid. 

  • It may not be intuitive at first but it actually makes things safer. This is because it makes riding in a group of people more predictable since no one can slam on the brakes​.

  • In our experience especially at Ed Rudolph Velodrome riding and racing the track is very safe and track riders do a great job looking out for each other. This is because the riders at the track strictly follow the these rules.  

 

I Don't Have a Bike!

  • The NCC has free loaner bikes available for events - clinics & racing - in a wide variety of sizes.

  • Loaner bikes only have flat paddles on them so we recommend that you bring a set of pedals to put on your loaner bike. 

  • KLiCK has our own loaner bike and we are happy to lend it out. It's a 56cm Argon 18 Electron. If interested send us a message. 

 

Clinics

  • Clinics are the best/most fun/safest way to become familiar with the track.

  • While you don't need to attend a clinic to start racing we can't recommend them enough as it as it is a great way to learn track and non-track specific skills. 

  • When are they? 

    • Typically monday clinics start in April and run through July. They start at 6:00pm. 

    • There also are a few weekend clinics too.

    • ​Check Northbrook Cycle Committee (NCC) website for specific dates.

    • There are no clinics on holidays. 

    • If there is bad weather check @edrudolphvelo on twitter. If there is no cancelation tweet then there is a clinic. ​​

 

Sprint Events (Sprinters Omnium)

  • Sprinters events are shorter races that range from 1 lap to 10 laps.

  • On Select Saturdays the NCC hosts sprinters events on 5/21, 6/18, 7/16, 8/6, and 8/7. 

  • Everyone who shows up qualifies by doing a Flying 200m time trial; based on their times riders are grouped together by similar abilities for a sprint tournament.

 

Thursday Night Racing

  • Thursday night races are typically endurance events; however, there are a few keirin nights every year. 

  • Each category races 3 events per night ranging from 5 laps or 1.9km (1.2 miles) to 100 laps or 16km (10 miles). 

  • Each Thursday has different races the main race of the night is listed on the race calendar (more information here). 

  • Thursday night events require a USA Cycling (USAC) license. USAC (our governing body) sells one day licenses so you can try it out without having to buy a yearly license.

  • When?

    • Thursday night racing starts 5/12/2022 and ends 9/1/2022.

    • Racing starts at 7:00 pm and the last race ends around 10:00 pm - some people don't do all three races and go home early. 

    • Typically people arrive at the track around 6:00-6:45 to check in and warm up. 

    • Racing happens every Thursday unless there is bad weather.

    • If there is bad weather check @edrudolphvelo on twitter. If there is no cancelation tweet then there is racing. 

  • Cost: the night cost $30! Yep its a good deal for three races! 

  • Start lists and results for every event is posted to: erv.veloreg.com.


Tuesday Night Training

  • They are open training nights where people can work on skills 

  • Event runs every Tuesday excluding holidays from 6:00 to 9:30 pm ​

 

Want to Learn more? 

Racing at the velodrome is presented by the Northbrook Cycle Committee (NCC). The NCC put together this presentation which is a great introduction to the track and has much more detail than what's listed here.  

We also put together a white paper on