Nah... Tell your wife she is totally wrong, Tom.
1.) Explain that it certainly must be because of the "Coriolis Force" effect - the principle which also dictates that cyclones rotate in a counter-clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere. If the Earth did not rotate, the air would flow directly in towards the low pressure center, but on a spinning Earth, the Coriolis force causes that air to be deviated with the result that it travels around the low pressure center. So, it is simple Earth physics which makes this the Natural and Harmonious direction in which bicycles "SHOULD" circle the oval (north of the equator, that is...) Right? ... Okay, I'm joking.
2.) Perhaps it actually has to do with historical custom... as in the direction horses were raced in earlier days.
3.) Or... Roughly 90% of all people are right handed. So, perhaps it is because of the predominantly greater strength of the right hand - to more easily counteract the inertia of the rider (commonly referred to as Centrifugal force) as he would tend to move away from the center of rotation?
:-) Silly answers... to a not-so-silly question.
Bob Hanson, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Tom Sanders wrote: I am wondering why all race tracks that I know of that are either circular or oval seem to have the racers going counter clock wise. Is there a reason for this? My wife speculated that perhaps it has to do with our reading right to left and that folks who read left to right may have different set ups...I think she is on shaky ground there, but I can't sure say she's wrong. Anybody out there know? Tom Sanders Lansing, Mi USA
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