While you are reading put this on in the background <—– this is not optional!
10000 laps that’s 3333km
Well I recon a whole lot more, but as the saying goes, ‘If it’s not on strava it didn’t happen’
A few months ago officially completed 10 000 laps of Tempe velodrome. This was never really a goal, but when I saw the number of laps I had done on Strava, I thought it would be something cool to brag about. Slightly insane but cool.
For all the outdoor track riders I would love to see screenshots of how many laps you’ve done. Or even those Sydney people, how many laps of Heffron, Centennial or Olympic park have you done. I’m sure someone has a higher number count on a segment.
I started riding track at the end of 2010 when I joined Dulwich Hill. Originally I didn’t join to ride track. That kinda just happened. I joined for the fixie century. Back then, I was this ratbag fixie riding commuter. I was riding everywhere fixed and thought the fixie century would be a cool bucket list thing to do. After That I was lured to the track with the promise of laughs, fun times and track beers! I would train once a week and the atmosphere did not disappoint.
It wasn’t until a few years later, I started training 2x a week on the track AND doing group rides, I then got a Garmin for Christmas and decided to take this whole riding in circles thing a bit seriously.
10 000 laps later, and this is what I’ve done!
- Started riding track at the end of 2010
- Got a Garmin at the end of 2012
- 5 different track bikes
- Member of 4 clubs/teams
- Spent the first few years as a dabbler/enduro
- 3 years Sprinting
- Ridden all the gear inches between 47/18 an 56/12
- 17ish skinsuits
- 3 Christmas carnivals
- 3 fixie centuries
- 12 state medals
- 1 national title (Canadian)
- 0 crashes
- 2 classic bike shows
- Rode a penny and a tandem!
So the theory is you can master any skill with 10000h worth of practice. After doing 10000km laps, I wouldn’t say I’m a master, but I have learnt a thing or two about track craft. Full credit to everyone I race and train with. Without you I wouldn’t be the rider I am. Now for your reading pleasure, I would like to pass on a few things I have learnt over the years.
A wise man once told me- Ride your bike every day. Ride for training, ride to work, ride for you. It is the best thing you can do. “Arthur Donnelly” As a sprinter it was hard to get my head around all that riding. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It’s not about the kilometres, it’s about the journey. Getting out of the house, seeing people, getting fresh air, being social, and having passion for something. It is about doing something every day to achieve a goal. No matter how small. Big goals need daily work or smaller targets.
You don’t need to be the fastest rider to win a race. Smart riders win races. I’ve got speed, but I am definitely not the fastest rider out there. If you are a smart rider you can position yourself to take advantage of other people’s weaknesses, or play to your strengths. If you can make other people ride your race, you will have a better chance of winning. This brings me to my next point.
You can’t win a race unless you are willing to lose it. It’s easy to play it safe. Hold back; let someone else do all the work. But if everyone had that mentality, races would be slow, predictable, boring. Since moving up from club racing to UCI racing, I’ve realized I need to make the race. It has resulted in some stupid moves- that have hurt my legs so much. But I have also put 100% in and left the race knowing I did everything I could.
Don’t tell a junior what they did wrong. They know. After training with and watching junior racing, I’ve realized the little munchkins are so smart and a great resource to learn from. Telling them they did something wrong makes them lose confidence in their decision making. Instead; at racing, acknowledge the mistake, laugh, and say nice try. At training, ask what they were thinking when they did a move. If there was no real thought, suggest an alternate move. If it was a good idea, question why it didn’t work, and maybe try it again. I have learnt so much buy not telling a junior they were wrong, and listening to the (usually insane/brilliant) thinking behind things.
The track started as a way to get race experience for speed skating. Then it turned into another social circle. I used it as a bit of rehab after ankle surgery, and again after a torn ACL. Somewhere along the 10 000 laps it became a major part of my life.
Time to do it all again!