LINKES_BikeClub_logoAs part of the our West Glasgow Pedallers – We Go Pedal project the young people at the LINKES bike club recently visited the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome – here’s what they got up to…

The first thing that strikes us as we walk into the middle of The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow, is the banked sections of curved track at either end of the arena. The steep, 42 degree angle looks more like a ride at the shows.

Linkes Bike Club are there, thanks to Glasgow Life’s Velodrome Diversionary Sessions, to try track cycling for the very first time. We are made up of a group of five young people, aged between 11-15 and two very excited cycling enthusiast youth workers.

LINKES_VelodromeVisitWe are given a brief tour of the Emirates arena and then it’s down to business. Our instructors go through the technical aspects of the velodrome, the use of the lines and the speed professional cyclist can gather during races. At this point the young people seem unconvinced that they will be able to cycle around this track at the top of the banks. Then they learn that it is done whilst clipped into the pedals, oh, and that there are no brakes! But we are in safe hands with the professional trainers and after we are fitted with our bikes, we are ready to go…slowly.

After a few laps around the track, we are encouraged to go higher, then higher again, then higher again! The young people and staff take to it well and are soon spinning around the track at a decent speed. Towards the end of our session, disaster strikes, and one of our young people comes off his bike, at the top of the bank! Thankfully he was fine, with just some bruises to show for his bravery – ‘can we come back next week’ is the first thing he asks with a teary smile.

As an activity that is not easily accessible to these young people, we were thrilled to be able to offer them this opportunity and they really enjoyed themselves. Who knows, we may even be looking at a future Chris Hoy or Laura Trott.