Try track cycling yourself

Most tracks offer introductory courses to newbies and we definitely recommend trying that if you’ve never ridden on a track before. You can usually hire a bike trackside too. Cycling on a racing track on a fixed gear bike with no brakes is a scary thing to do the first time you do it. This is only partly because of the special type of bike. Note: you will always be riding in an anticlockwise direction. Why is it scary? The banking on the track feels much (much) steeper and higher than it looks on pictures, and you have to ride around the banking at above 30kph to negotiate it successfully. One of the first things you are taught, after basic fixie riding skills, is to hit the banking at high speed and keep going, while keeping your line of travel relative to other riders.

From the Côte d’Azur up through the black, red and blue lines, the track has many rules, and you should stick to them. Credit: Getty Images.

Keeping your line is very important and there are always three lines painted on the track for you to orientate yourself with: the black, the red and the blue. The blue band at the bottom of the track is called the ‘Côte d’Azur’ and is used to enter and leave the track. So how do you slow down? Either reduce the pedalling pressure on your feet, or alternatively steer slightly to the right. The track is angled upwards so if you feel yourself heading into the back wheel of the guy in front, you steer ever so slightly to the right, and your route around the track will take a little bit longer, thus slowing you down relative to the rider in front. Want to go faster? Steer to the left. There are a large number of things to watch out for when riding on the track, but also fewer more satisfying ways to get a large amount of adrenalin in your system. And once you’ve got the hang of it, there’s nothing more satisfying on a racing bike than charging down from high up on the banking to sprint like a maniac on the black line.