There is a four-stage accreditation process to get fully trained up to use the velodrome. First there is a one-hour 'Taster' session, which costs £30, which basically just gets you used to riding a fixed-wheel bike on a sloping track. The three subsequent sessions are two hours each and cost £22, so all in you will need to complete at least 7 hours and at a total cost of £96. You can't book the next session until you have successfully completed the previous one (i.e. you can't just book all four sessions in one go on the assumption that you will pass each one first time).
Hopefully there will be the opportunity to try out some track racing during the winter and/or make a Lea Valley CC group booking, so it would be a good idea if as many of us as possible can get accredited by October.
Full details are here: http://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/en/content/cms/london2012/velo-park/#track
I know some newer LVCC riders have already completed the whole thing. Harry and I have signed up to do the taster session on Monday next week (9th June, 12-1pm), there are still places available for this (if you're lucky enough to not be working then). Feel free to post below if you want to co-ordinate sessions with other members so that you have some familiar faces with you.
Thanks for the info, Tom. Yes, post everything up here. What you're saying (£30 a go, one hour each session) doesn't seem to match up with the website, or maybe I've misunderstood it? Anyway - tell us everything!
Hi all, I've been informed by Don, that it is possible to book a group of up to 16 For the 4 stage accreditation.
all 16 persons must be Lea Valley members. the advantages are ;
1/ The costs are reduced.
2/ More time is allowed on the track
3/ An extra coach can be provided
4/ Maybe more
I've tried organising this with difficulty, and the only way is through the Lee Valley Regional Park website.
Maybe one of you whizz kids can do it.
Jamie, it's £20 if you have your own bike and £30 if you have to hire one. £22 is the concession price for kids and the unemployed. My understanding was that the sessions are one hour only, I have my stage 2 booked for Monday evening. Worth noting that the coach reckoned most people require 12 sessions to get accredited although it depends on it previous experience and apparently, so I've been told by an experienced track rider whose passed, that of the group you do the accreditation with.
I think the confusion on http://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/en/content/cms/london2012/velo-park/#track might be down to there being the "accreditation" and the "Skills session". The skills session is £22 and 2 hours.
The accreditation details can be seen here:
After the session, at some non-specific time, the coach will update the site with your pass and this will unlock the next stage to be able to sign up to. I have tried to sign up straight after a stage and, often, they will decline you as they do not know the outcome of the training (this is the people on the front desk).
Below is my brief explanations of the 3 stages I have tried:
Stage 1 - taster session
Briefing on safety before riding around on the safety zone. This is followed up with stopping safely. It is, then, up on to the côte d'azur and then the black followed by the red. This is all that is required to pass the taster session. If all goes well, then they may finish the session with initial pursuit training where the lead riders swings up and off the front and rejoins at the back. This is not part of the pass/retake for the session but just wets your appetite.
Stage 2 begins with pursuit training from what I recall. So again, the leader swings up and off the front and rejoins the back. Once that is complete, they get you to ride in pairs, side by side to get you used to working closely with a partner. This, I think, was the full extent of the pass/fail. We finished the session with some pair work but working as a four. So two riding as a pair with another two behind and then trying to switch the front pair and the back pair. Again, this just sets you up for Stage 3.
A key part to passing this is to be about a metre or so behind the rider in-front.
Stage 3 started again with a pursuit warm up. Once this was completed the group was split into pairs and we rode as a pursuit line in pairs. A key part of this is to be less than a metre behind the rider in front.
Once we were comfortable with this, we moved on to the pursuit line movement as pairs. So the 2 on the front would peel off, allow the train to run through and then rejoin at the back. To add some extra spice, the rider on the bottom of the pair would move to the top and the rider at the top would move to the bottom of the pair.
The final exercise was probably the trickiest of the bunch.
The group was split into 3 groups of 5 (or 6 in my case). The idea was to ride around in a group of 5 but as a pillar up the Velodrome. So the first person was on the black, second rider on the red, third between red and blue and so on. Each group was told to keep 1/3 of the track apart.
As the group move around, as they get to the pursuit gate marking, the rider on the black would start to drop back. By the start line, the line would drop down one place (so red moves to black, etc) and the person who dropped back has to power up the Velodrome to rejoin the group at the top of the Velodrome. You have 80 metres to achieve this in (approximately one bend). This change will occur each lap.
I would say the trickiest part here is keeping everyone in a line. The person on the black line needs to hold back when in the corners to allow the riders at the top a chance to keep up. At the same time, the riders at the top need to push on. The other trick is, when powering after the move of dropping back, and trying to climb and get to the top, do not overcompensate when coming out of the bend or you will overshoot your line.
I think that is everything I can think of at the moment. Any questions, just send them my way.
Anyone else reading this thread - please ignore my original post re: prices and timings of stages 2-4. Evidently it's actually £30 and 1 hour for each of the four stages.
John S - we might have been able to get 16 together if we'd got this organized *before* the velodrome opened, but it's going to be tricky now as several people have either completed the process or got part way through it or already paid for their taster session. If people want to go ahead to try to organize a group, feel free to do so.
According to the site, as I see it, there is the Stage 2 accredited and above skills sessions which I see as the 2 hour/£22 option (without bike hire). For this you need to have completed stage 2 or above.
For those that are fully accredited, it appears that there is a separate option but I do not see much about it - possibly because I have not passed it yet.
It is not the best website layout in the world, me thinks :)
Session 1 was great! None of us had track or fixed gear experience but by the end of it everyone was belting round above the blue line and moving around fairly safely/confidently. Hardest part was stopping without overshooting...
Yeah, I'd echo that. Me, Harry & Carsten did the taster session today and it was brilliant. Apparently our group was somewhat ahead of what's normally expected and we'd covered everything normally done in stage 1 with loads of time to spare. So we got the chance to do riding around right at the top of the banking and practising swooping down and stuff. I tried to sign up for stage 2 straight away, but as Tom says above, the people on the front desk won't let you until they've processed that day's training outcomes (even though I was brandishing a freshly-signed certificate).