Go-Ride Racing: An Introduction to Grass Track
Grass Track is ideally suited to entry level racing. Events can be organised on any flat field with unused football pitches being an ideal area to set up a track. The track itself can be marked out accurately, enabling times to be compared over a series of events, or more simply by laying out a rough oval of markers with a start/finish line.
Races are short enabling riders to experience a number of different races at any single event. There are a large number of event possibilities in Grass Track racing and a number of examples are listed below to give an idea of what could be included at a Go-Ride Racing event.
Points can be awarded to riders for each individual race and then added up to form an Omnium (overall) score. If appropriate, team events such as Team Pursuit or Italian Pursuit could also be included. Every Grass Track race day should include at least one endurance and one sprint event.
Below is a list of just some of the races that could be included in a Go-Ride Racing Grass Track Event:
Scratch Race: All riders start together and race for a set number of laps (suggested no more than 5 laps). The first rider across the line is the winner.
Individual One Lap Time Trial: Individual riders are timed to complete one lap of the track.
‘Devil' Takes the Hindmost: This is a bunch race which sees the last rider to cross the finish line on each lap being eliminated from the race, when there are only 3 riders remaining the race becomes a flat out sprint over the last lap to declare the winner.
Points Race: This is a bunch race which involves riders sprinting for points on nominated laps. Usually the first 4 riders get points, 5 for first, 3 for second, 2 for third and 1 for fourth.
Team Pursuit: The Team Pursuit involves 2 teams of 4 riders starting on opposite sides of the track and chasing the apposing team for a specified number of laps. The lead rider in each team changes from the front to the back of the line every lap or half lap. The team that achieves the fastest time or catches their opponents is awarded the win.
Italian Pursuit: Very similar to the Team Pursuit but the lead rider does not rejoin the back of the line. The first rider leads for one lap then swings off until only one rider remains to sprint it out for the victory. If you only have 2 or 3 riders in each team the event can be run as a Team Sprint as it follows the same format as the Italian Pursuit but with a set number of riders.
Keirin: A sprint event which, at a high level of competition involves up to 9 riders being paced behind a motorcycle know as a Derny, for 1km at about 50kph. The Derny then pulls off and the riders have a free for all sprint for the last 500m. This event can be adapted to run on a grass track at a slower speed, over a shorter distance and using a coach or experienced rider as the ‘Derny Rider'.