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TRACK

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ROAD

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MTB

©2016 BY SPIDER Websites –  Krissy O'Connor

New to Cycling

 

NEW TO TRACK

Step 1 – Come on down

Come and meet us at a training or racing session or contact us to find out more. We love to welcome rookies of any ages or disciplines.

Step 2 – Get your equipment sorted

We have track bikes you can hire, here are the rates:

  • Season: $70 juniors (under 19) or $100 seniors

  • One day hire: $7 juniors (under 19) or $10 seniors

If you want your own, check out Burkes Cycles and the other local shops or trademe. Track bikes can be picked up for a good price and they don’t need to be mega flash for you to be competitive.

Track bikes are fixed wheel and no brakes. Sounds nuts but it’s for safety – ask us why!

As well as the bike you must have a helmet.

You should also consider:

  • Cycling shoes and clipless pedals

  • Gloves​

It is a good idea to bring along:

  • Drink bottle – track bikes do not have bottles fitted and you will get thirsty

  • Warm clothing – it is important to keep warm when getting ready for a race and warming down afterwards

Step 3 – Start riding round

Turn up early to a session so that we can fit you out with a hire bike if you need one and buddy you up with an experienced rider to show you how to ride the track. The main thing new riders need to get used to is the fixed gear…how it feels, how to start, slow-down and stop.  Remember riding a tricycle as a kid? – a track bike is a lot like that…only faster!

When you arrive just introduce yourself to the race manager and take it from there.  If you are under 17 check out the Juniors page for further info.

Step 4 – Join the club

Joining PNP means that you can race licensed events on the track and road. Membership includes a BikeNZ licence and the total cost depends on what level of racing you want to do. Licences can be upgraded throughout the season so you can start off at whatever level suits you.

Why ride track?

Short answer

It’s fun, fast, exciting and easy to get into!

 

Long answer

Variety – different events that suit different strengths. From short sharp sprints to endurance points races, track has it all. Not to mention the devil take the hindmost, the keirin, the team scratch.. the list goes on!

Accessibility – central location, five minutes from the Wellington CBD with loads of parking.

Non-stop entertainment – spectators can see everything that is happening all the time so friends and family can come along.

Speed – races are generally short, intense and exciting – action packed!

Comfortable conditions – we ride and race throughout summer.

Diversity and inclusiveness – all ages, genders, shapes and sizes ride and are supported by all.

Scope – we encourage competition ability to compete locally, regionally and nationally

Safety – enclosed circuit with no cars, no brakes and no surprises – it’s safer than riding on the road, fact!

Low Cost – entry level bikes available to rent or are cheap to buy.

Opportunities – dropping off the pace during a race is not a problem. It is a short ride to the finish and there are plenty of other events and other grades to participate in.

Conditioning – riding track is great for developing speed, strength, bike handling and efficient pedalling technique. It will help you in all your cycling endeavours – coaches and top riders recommend it.

Frequently asked questions

What equipment do I need to ride track?

  1. Bike with a fixed gear (no freewheel) and no brakes. You can hire or borrow one from us if you don’t have one

  2. Clipless pedals with firm retention or toe clips and straps

  3. Helmet

  4. Gloves

Track bikes are cheaper than road bikes given the absence of many expensive components and there is no need for fancy carbon frames or wheels. Some of the fastest riders use old or entry level equipment.

Is it dangerous?

Not really. Banking provides a safer cornering environment than a flat surface and fixed wheel bikes mean there is no sharp braking. The crash rate on track is far less than other forms of bike racing, and it’s certainly safer to be on the velodrome than Wellington’s roads!

Can track benefit my performance in other forms of cycling?

Hell yes! Track will boost your sprinting and high intensity abilities. Many top riders come from track backgrounds and use it to fine tune. Mark Cavendish, Hayden Roulston, Bradley Wiggins and Greg Henderson are all trackies.

What should I wear?

Riders generally wear road style clothing and clipless pedals. Other than a helmet and gloves, just wear what you want.

What’s the track surface like to ride on?

It’s hard and fast! It’s an excellently designed velodrome and well-shaped. The majority of the track is smooth but it does have a few bumpy spots, although nothing compared to normal roads.

Are there any national-level competitors?

Wellington riders won 2 medals at the Elite Nationals in 2010 and is well represented in age-group national events.  Many elite riders have either started out or spent time here.

Can I use aero-bars?

Aero-bars can only be used in time-trial events. The reduced control makes them unsuitable for bunch events.

Can I ride a road or mountain bike on the track?

Not for racing, and ideally not for training. The main risk with riding any bike on the track is a pedal striking the banking, particularly at slower speeds. Track bikes are specifically designed for this with higher clearances than either road or mountain bikes.

Is motor-pacing behind a motorcycle dangerous?

No, but it’s totally awesome! The motorcycle is operated by a trained person that accelerates and decelerates smoothly and there is a roller mounted on the back in case anyone comes into contact. Riding behind the motorcycle is in single file. It is really exhilarating and most riders cannot get enough of it!

What if I have a crash?

We have a really good safety record and everybody looks after each other. However, on rare occasions riders do fall and we have a full medical kit on hand to attend to any injuries. One of our senior women is a paramedic by trade.

Do I need to do any specific training and/or be really fit before I get started?

Most people who can confidently ride a road or mountain bike can compete and there are different categories to cater for all levels of ability.

I have a fixed gear bike with brakes fitted. Can I use it?

You can use it for non-championship events if you disconnect the brake/s and if the bike definitely has a fixed gear, not a single-speed freewheel. Having operational brakes would present a potential hazard to other riders if you were to jam them on.

Can I use a bike with a road frame converted to a fixed gear?

You can use it provided that the chain is taut so that it cannot fall off and that the rear sprocket is fixed (no freewheel). Chain tensioners are not permitted as they are not designed for fixed gear use.

 

NEW TO ROAD

STEP 1 – Make contact

Contact us at road@pnp.org.nz and tell us a bit about your experience, your goals and what kind sort of distances you have ridden so far. We'll come back to you with some suggestions and next steps.

Step 2 – Get your equipment sorted

Selecting the right bike when you are starting out can be a bit overwhelming. If you'd like some advice or support in this area, let us know and we'll see if we can match someone up with you to help you understand your campagnolo's from your shimano's.​

There are lots of great shops in the Wellington area, but we encourage you to talk to someone at either Capital Cycles or Burkes Cycles as they do a lot to support PNP. 

As well as the bike you must have a helmet.

You should also consider:

  • Cycling shorts or bibs – they are so much more comfortable

  • Cycling top/jersey – they flap about so much less than regular tops

  • Cycling shoes and clipless pedals – can be scary at first, but the power output is so much more efficient

  • Gloves​ – hands get really hurt if you fall off and they're not protected

It is a good idea to carry:

  • Drink bottle – bottle holders can be fitted to most road bikes and are a good idea, as it's important for you to learn how to drink on the go

  • Additional layers – Wellington weather is unpredictable, so having a vest, jacket, sleeves and leg or knee warmers is smart in the cooler months

Step 3 – Start riding round

Check out when the next road race is scheduled and then look online to see if there's a social or open bunch ride before then so that you can get some practise in. If you are unsure of what's happening in Wellington, let us know and we will try and help you out. 

Step 4 – Join the club

Joining PNP means that you can race licensed events on the track and road. Membership includes a BikeNZ licence and the total cost depends on what level of racing you want to do. Licences can be upgraded throughout the season so you can start off at whatever level suits you.

Why road ride?

Short answer

It’s fast, exciting and great for getting fit!

 

Long answer

Variety – different events that suit different strengths. From time trials to criterium to endurance points races, road has it all. 

Speed – races are intense and exciting.

Diversity and inclusiveness – all ages, genders, shapes and sizes ride and are supported.

Scope – we encourage those who have the focus and ability to compete locally, regionally, nationally and internationally

Opportunities – there are some great events, both here at home and around the world, for road cyclists. There are also multi-sport events you can consider, if you're keen to combine swimming and running with your cycling.

Conditioning – road riding is great for developing speed, strength, bike handling and efficient pedalling technique. It will help you in all your cycling endeavours – coaches and top riders recommend it.

 

NEW TO MOUNTAIN BIKING

STEP 1 – Make contact

Contact us at mtb@pnp.org.nz and tell us a bit about your experience, your goals and what kind sort of distances you have ridden so far. We'll come back to you with some suggestions and next steps.

Step 2 – Get your equipment sorted

Selecting the right bike when you are starting out can be a bit overwhelming. If you'd like some advice or support in this area, let us know and we'll see if we can match someone up with you to help you understand downhill rigs from cross country bikes.

There are lots of great shops in the Wellington area, but we encourage you to talk to someone at either Capital Cycles as they do a lot to support PNP mountain biking. 

As well as the bike you must have a helmet.

You should also consider:

  • Gloves​ – if you come off your bike and your hands aren't protected, they can get really hurt

  • Cycling shorts or bibs – your butt will thank you for them

  • Cycling top/jersey – flappy tops get really annoying, and arghhh the sunburn!

  • Cycling shoes and clipless pedals – yes, flats are cool, but for many of us, locking our feet it is so much more efficient

It is a good idea to carry:

  • Drink bottle – bottle holders can be fitted to most mountain bikes and are a good idea, as it's important for you to learn how to drink on the go

  • Additional layers – Wellington weather is unpredictable, so having a vest, jacket, or sleeves and is smart in the cooler months if if you are embarking on a long ride or remote any time of year

Step 3 – Pre-rides

The week before most races are scheduled, we host a pre-ride at the same location. Each grade has a ride leader and challenging sections can be talked through prior to descending them. 

Outside of our race season, there are lots of opportunities to scope out the likely tracks that will be included in our races for the following season. Just get in contact us and we'll point you in the right direction, or even better – see if someone is available to take you out and show you around.

Step 4 – Join the club

Membership includes a Mountain Biking NZ component and the total cost depends on what level of racing you want to do. Licences can be upgraded throughout the season so you can start off at whatever level suits you.

Why mountain bike?

Short answer

It’s in nature, it's challenging and exciting, and there's a great camaraderie in this sport! 

 

Long answer

Variety – different grades that suit different skill levels. From shorter less technical courses to long courses demanding greater skill levels, mountain biking has it all. 

Accessibility – all of our events happen within 30 minutes of the Wellington CBD. We set up courses in Makara, Wainuiomata, Belmont, Porirua and Mount Victoria mountain bike parks.

Predicable – races are generally all over within 2 hours, regardless of which grade you are in.

Diversity and inclusiveness – all ages, genders, shapes and sizes ride and are supported by all.

Scope – we encourage anyone with the focus and ability to compete locally, regionally and nationally even internationally.

Safety –  we have first aid stations at all of our events, and while it may seem like a high-risk activity we very rarely see injuries more serious that cuts and bruises.

Opportunities – dropping off the pace during a race is not a problem, we often do multiple laps of a course, so you can chose to stop anytime you want to. And, if you're having a low or high energy week, there are plenty of other grades to participate in if you want to go harder or easier for a race.

Conditioning – mountain bike riding is great for developing strength, bike handling and getting an adrenaline fix. It will help you in all your cycling endeavours – coaches and top riders recommend it.