Re: [CR]Velodrome Sounds

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 18:35:06 -0400
From: "Edward Albert" <>
To: <>, <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Velodrome Sounds

Todd, Man what a blast!!!!!!!! I only had the opportunity to ride some at the Kissena track in Queens, NY which is neither steep nor tight with none of the excitement you describe. Last Friday was my first chance to ride T-Town and that was a thrill. Woulda, coulda, shoulda......... Edward Albert Chappaqua, N.Y., U.S.A.

Edward Albert, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Sociology
>>> <> 10/12/06 6:25 PM >>> It was a pleasant surprise to hear my old team mate Rick Denman provide NPR an audio clip about board track racing. I haven't ridden at Bloomer Park track but I did ride its predecessor, the Madison Velodrome, that was in Warren Michigan in the 1970's. It provided a similar sound.

That one was portable and someone up and stole it, so the story goes.

Not only are the sounds addictive, riding on a 50 degree bank is uniquely interesting experience. The centrifugal "force" and centripedal accelerations are felt through the skin and bones. The promoters and coaches used to tell us to lock our elbows going into the turns to maintain control. There was an 84 inch gear maximum and an 18 mph minimum to stay on the boards (I slipped off once). In the era before DT spokes we were advised to use the carbon steel Robergels ( the sports) and tie and solder the outer cross on road rims (Fiamme reds)to prevent wheel collapse. I've ridden Trexlertown, Dick Lane (Atlanta), Dorais, Kenosha, Northbrook and the Colorado Springs 7-11 tracks and the feeling is quite different. To the newbie, the experience is quite frightening.

Maybe Mr. Enrst can embellish with his experiences.

By my experience, there is a great excitment watching and riding a madison event during a jam sequence on a 125 to 150 meter track. Riders are zipping over and under each other trying to stay in the contact or contention in the lead group AND trying to preserve some space to allow an exchange to occur. The lead group are nearly horizontal to the floor in the turns and the wheels zig zag in ever so small ways as power is delivered into the pedals and handlebars. The main group is strung out nearly half the length of the track. The resting riders hover and watch carefully from either high on the banks or on the apron anxiously awaiting for their team mate to call for relief. This will go on for 5-15 minutes as the slow riders are blown out or the fast riders gain a lap. Often the jam will be a futile effort with the fast riders unable to get away and the slow riders able to hang on after exerting a herculean effort.

At the moment TV still can't adequately capture the experiences that go on in a Madison event. It is too fast, too tighty clustered, the lighting is too dim. One of these years television technology will be of a sufficient level to capture the excitement the way it really is. I'm looking forward to the day that the European 6 day circuit is televised worldwide.