Sports

Start off on the right track for Bike Week with free velodrome beginner sessions



To mark the opening of Bike Week 2022 on Saturday, Cycling Ireland and Sundrive Track Club have teamed up to promote Bike Fest Track, a day-long event offering an opportunity for 10-year-olds and above to try their hand at track cycling.

hile Ireland has punched well above its weight in terms of winning Track World Cups, and European and world championships, the country still doesn’t have a steeply banked wooden indoor velodrome like those used in the Olympics.

The outdoor track at Eamonn Ceannt Stadium on Sundrive Road in Crumlin, however, has held numerous national championships and international events over the years and is the home of the Sundrive Track Club.

First built in the 50s, the 458.8metre long tarmacadam track was resurfaced by Dublin City Council in 2009 and its shallower angled-banked corners of around 15 degrees make it the perfect place for beginners to get to grips with track racing.

On Saturday from 12pm, the track will hold free beginner sessions, running in two hour slots with booking available on Eventbrite.ie

Starting with the basics of riding a bike with no brakes and no gears on a flat surface, Cycling Ireland coaches will be in attendance to safely progress riders onto riding the banking and even up to a skill point where they will feel confident and safe enough to return to training on the track on their own and perhaps even take up racing after a bit more practice.

“We have huge experience in taking absolute beginners to a decent standard within their first session,” says Cycling Ireland’s coach education administrator Rosin Hickey. “We can remember many of our current stars of road and track as track debutants. While we can’t guarantee that everyone will become champions, we can say that everyone will enjoy the experience and that you will be welcomed into our fold should you decide to keep it going.”

While riding the track requires specialised equipment, you don’t need any of that for these taster sessions, with Cycling Ireland providing everything from the bikes to shoes and helmets if you don’t have your own.

“We will supply all equipment, however we would ask you to bring your own helmet and indeed Cycling Shoes if you have a pair fitted with LOOK Keo Cleats. If you don’t have either, then we also have an assortment of shoes and helmets. If you’d prefer to wear runners, we also have attachments for the pedals that enable you to use them either.”

You don’t even need a Cycling Ireland Licence to participate in the track day so this is a great opportunity to try out riding on a velodrome for free.

Places are limited and and booking is advised.

Bike Week begins this Saturday and runs until the following Sunday. There are lots of events happening around the country from family rides to school skills challenges, bike maintenance sessions and longer sportive cycles. For information on events in your area click on www.transportforireland.ie/getting-around/by-bicycle/bikeweek/ and find your county to see what’s on.



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