Around and around and around…

5 01 2015

I want to love track racing. I really do.

It’s fast.

It’s a spectacle, with so many riders racing around and around on the high-banked boards, often only inches away from each other.

But it’s also confusing as hell.

On the last Monday of the year, FRF represented at the 4 Day races at the Burnaby Velodrome. Not as racers; as spectators.

It’s a pretty good night out. Cheap too.

Five bucks gets you an evening choc-a-bloc with races, live entertainment between those races, and access to a beer garden in the infield where some quality draughts were on tap for $4.

It’s a fun, festive atmosphere. Hardcore trackies mix with curious roadies and fixie hipsters.

And there’s some star power on the track, as accomplished road racers like Zach Bell and Tyler Farrar, get in some pre-season training and their competitive juices flowing against top national and international track racers.

Around and around and around at the 200-metre Burnaby Velodrome.

Around and around and around at the 200-metre Burnaby Velodrome.

But deciphering the program is as dizzying as following the pack around the 200 metre banked plywood track.

There’s Scratch races, Dutch Win & Out, Belgian Win & Out, Progressive Elimination, Elimination, Madison, Flying Madison, Chase, Match Sprint, Point-a-Lap and something called a “Derny” where the racers are paced by a small motorbike.

(Alas, the latter was on the schedule for the night we attended but for some reason it didn’t happen).

Trying to discern the sometimes subtle differences between all these disparate races is a mysterious science I’ve yet to decode.

All I know is once those men and women cranked it up, they were travelling really fast. And the beer was tasty.