9. Cycle a lap of the velodrome



Someone didn’t get the message… A LAP was the challenge, just A LAP!

I have long joked that no-one would ever see me on a track bike. I have spent many a day and night sitting in the stands at Newport Velodrome watching my daughter cycle, and I have resolutely refused any suggestion of a ‘mums on the track’ style activity. It looks far too strenuous. And far too dangerous.

What better activity, then, to add to my brave list?

I have to confess that I had one aborted attempt at this challenge. I’d been offered a slot a couple of weeks ago and had talked myself out of going. This time I enlisted the help of my daughter. She hasn’t cycled the track for well over a year… so we did this challenge together on an ‘I will if you will’ basis. Additional support came in the form of the wonderful Kyleigh Manners of 42degrees coaching (www.42degreescoaching.co.uk), who agreed for me to do my challenge at one of his track sessions and promised to metaphorically hold my hand.

We kitted ourselves out – 2 helmets, 2 sets of track mitts – loaded Georgia’s track bike into the car and set off for Newport. On arrival, I got myself sorted with a hire bike and we made our way to track centre.

I was really nervous.

The ‘group’ went onto the track to warm up. I took my bike to track side, where coach Matt Cross helped me to adjust the seat and strap my feet into the pedals. He told me how to start and how to stop. And then I rode around track side a few times, gripping the top of the handlebars for dear life. But I did it, and I managed to stop without falling off.

Yay! I thought that was it. But no. Apparently, that doesn’t count as ‘the track‘.

So after a short break whilst the seasoned riders completed their warm up, I went back on and into the saddle. I was to ride on the ‘cote d’azur’ for a couple of laps, and then Matt instructed me to move onto the black line on the straights…and then the red line. Slightly unnerved by the fact that the wooden track actually creaks as you ride it, nevertheless I did 10 WHOLE LAPS! Exhausted, I came off…secretly feeling quite pleased with myself!

Surely that was it?

Nope. Apparently not. One more outing. This time I rode with Georgia. Increased speed. Down on the drops. Up on the blue line. And higher. Another 10 laps. Woo hoo! My one lap challenge ended up being about 30 laps!!!

I would like to thank my gorgeous daughter for her support for this challenge and Kyleigh and Matt for pushing me further than I had intended. I enjoyed it. Possibly not enough to go again… but who knows. It rather depends on whether I can actually walk tomorrow …


[9 down, 41 to go]

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