Pedaling Diego: San Diego's Growing Bicycle Mania

p. 24, ¶7: “All right,” not “alright.” The Velodrome is not a “stadium.” Sean Burke is not a professional rider, he is Category 2. He is a level 3 coach. Sean Burke is not “supplied by the City.” He is a private contractor and takes half of the coaching fee. The other half goes to the San Diego Velodrome Association general fund. The track bikes used for coaching are not “borrowed from the City’s collection.” They are the property of the San Diego Velodrome Association. They are entry-level track bikes, not the typical “fixies” ridden by local hipsters. The frame geometry is different and they are geared much higher. Don’t try to do tricks, bar-spins, or skids on these bikes. They are not the same as the urban “fixies” the author refers to later in the piece, although he apparently doesn’t perceive the distinction. The corners at the San Diego Velodrome are banked at a relaxed 27 degrees, not particularly exciting. If excitement is what one is after, check out the LA Velodrome in Carson with its 45 degree banking, or even 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs with 33 degrees. On the San Diego track one can trackstand in the corners. In LA if one slows below about 15 mph the bike slides out from under one and both rider and bike make a quick trip to the apron below. The San Diego Velodrome is covered with a resin impregnated fabric that is slick as snot with the slightest hint of dampness. It is dangerous and foolhardy to even try to walk across the wet track, much less ride a bike on it. The only part that is now concrete is the ill-advised and rapidly deteriorating sprinters lane. p. 26, ¶7: Entry-level racers will never hear a countdown “Five, four, three, two, one, GO!” The starting instructions given by the starter at a non-championship race are as follows: “Timers ready, rider(s) ready, (gunshot or whistle).” National championships is probably the only time most track racers will have a countdown and it will be a series of electronic beeps starting at 30 seconds to go: (At 30 seconds) – BEEP (At 20 seconds) – BEEP (At 10 seconds) – BEEP (At 5 seconds) – BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BOOP! Riders starts on the BOOP! At national level tracks such as LA the rider’s rear wheel will be released by the starting block on BOOP! to prevent a false start, otherwise if the rider starts early the starter will fire the pistol twice and the rider will have one more chance to start properly in most time trial events. It is more than likely that a rider competing at the national level will be trained by a level 1 coach who knows this. p. 26, ¶13: If riders are in pain after their efforts, something is seriously wrong with the way the bike fits.
— January 13, 2011 2:02 p.m.