A mix of 35 adults and youth riders from Dreigiau Coed Y Brenin Dragons swapped mountain bikes for fixed wheels this month when they descended on Wales' national Velodrome, home of Welsh Cycling, to get a taste of track cycling.
The group on the track after the session-all smiles!
Dreigiau Coed Y Brenin Dragons is primarily a family mountain bike club, organising Go-Ride races and family events in North Wales.
The club, always willing to try new experiences, organised a trip to south Wales to try out cycling on Wales’ only indoor velodrome in Newport.
Elize Freeman, club secretary, was one of the members who got on the boards for the first time. She said:
“Everyone has been up on the boards. It has been a great experience and all the club members have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was a bit nervous before, but I'm glad I had a go.”
Debbie Ames, club treasurer, is used to cycling to school rather than in circles but is hoping to return to Newport for another go next year:
“I wish I was younger, I definitely would have tried to get to the Olympics. It's an outstanding facility and Scott Bugden has been great in coaching us on the track. He was very encouraging and even though we are all at different ability and fitness levels we all got to the same level on the track.”
The group was split into two and each group of riders had a two-hour slot on the track.
All of the riders learnt how to ride a fixed wheel bike, successfully got up onto the track and by the end of the session they were riding around the blue line with big grins on their faces.
Each member also got the chance to try a timed lap of the track and, whilst they didn’t quite match Chris Hoy’s times, they were all pretty impressive for their first time on the track.
When on home ground in Coed Y Brenin, the Dragons run weekly Mountain Biking coaching sessions for children and the club is growing rapidly, regularly seeing 20-30 young riders on a Saturday morning.
As well as the youth sessions, the club members also help out at community events marshalling to help the club to survive, put on social activities for members of all ages and organise local races.
In 2012 they held two rounds of the Go-Race North Wales MTB Series and provided marshals and other helpers for the Welsh MTB XC Championships held at Coed-y-Brenin.
They are looking forward to organising more events in 2013 and are already making plans for a return trip to the velodrome.
The club always welcome new members so if you fancy getting involved,e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org