Tag Archives: Velodrome

100% adrenaline rush: Tandem cycling at the Velodrome!

Photo of Chris lewis and his pilot banking at the olympic Velodrome

Imagine being at the top of the banking at the Velodrome on a tandem!

The Olympic Velodrome in Stratford runs two-hour para sessions for disabled cyclists every other week on a Monday afternoon.  If you like experiencing something different whilst getting an unbelievable work out you should give it a go!

They provide pilots and the necessary kit although you can take your own helmet along. I have taken part in these a number of times over the last few years. It is nothing like riding my tandem out on the roads around London, I can assure you.

The first thing you notice is that you take a lift down into the bowels of the massive venue. You emerge into the middle of the track and you can hear a lot of echoing around the venue. The tandems themselves are ultra-lightweight carbon fibre. Nothing fancy, fixed wheels, no gears, racing saddle and drop handlebars. Oh, and yes, those cleats that clasp your special shoes to the pedals.

The staff are accustomed to helping everyone so don’t worry if you can’t get your feet into the cleats. But, be careful to listen to the instructions as getting started is a question of balance and listening to your pilot.

What is evident from the start is that the track creaks!

It is built of wooden panels on a slatted wooden frame that flexes with the weight of the cyclists. And, the most important feature, it is steeply banked, at quite an angle on the straights but severely on the ends.

 

Photo of Chris lewis and his pilot at the olympic Velodrome riding between the blue and red lines
The photo above is of Chris lewis and his pilot at the Olympic Velodrome, riding between the blue and red lines.

The lowest level is flat and solid just to give you a chance to get used to the motion. For those who can see, the photos show there are then a series of coloured lines going up the banking. If you have watched it on the telly you can see that it looks steep. After I had finished the session I asked the organiser if I could walk up and feel the banking.

Shoes removed, I walked up in my socks along the finishing straight. I got about halfway before I slid down. Socks off, I walked to the top. I was around 10 feet above my pilot who was standing in the middle! After that, we went to the end of the track. I couldn’t get even a couple of feet up the banking here as it is just so steep.

Once you cross the first line onto the actual track you can hear the boards crackle. The pilot gradually increases the pace until you are flat out. The circuit is only 250 metres in total so there is no real straight or bend, just continuous cycling! Bizarrely, you get buffeted a lot from the air.

Yes, it is inside but you are pushing against the air with nowhere for it to go so it causes buffeting. Going around the track at the lower level is pretty straightforward.

Obviously, you have got to be pushing in sync with the pilot but frankly, the pedals don’t allow you not to do so. Trying to do a number of laps flat out is lung-busting, to say the least. Then, with a little more confidence, the pilot takes you up the banking. This requires significantly more peddle power. At the top of the banking, there is a hiatus before you suddenly drop down at an amazing speed, pulling a few Gs, and swooping onto the bottom of the track is exhilarating!

And, once your ten or fifteen minutes of peddling is done you can’t just stop. There are no gears on the bike, nor breaks, so you just gradually slow down by not pedalling. Coming into the end is a test of accuracy from the pilot and then the joy of sitting down, deep breathing and gulping lots of water plus something energising to eat or drink before heading out again! Depending on how many other people are on the track you will get four sessions in the slot.

If you like cycling or just like doing different things, this is an amazing way to test out your fitness and fearlessness whilst also experiencing an Olympic venue!

The photos don’t do justice to the speeds you achieve nor the steepness of the banking but I can honestly say it is one of the best sporting activities I have ever done.

You can book online and ask for a tandem and a pilot.  Ask for Nicky!

 

by Chris Lewis    |  Twitter: @Chr1sLew1s

 

 

Olympic Velodrome event info below

The Olympic Velodrome in Stratford runs two-hour para sessions for disabled cyclists every other week on a Monday afternoon

Email: velopark@leevalleypark.org.uk |  Telephone:  03000 030 613  * we’re currently unable to answer telephone calls so please email us with any queries that you have.

Website: https://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/lee-valley-velopark

Address: Lee Valley VeloPark, Abercrombie Road, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 3AB

 

Want to try  a free E-bike ride?

These Free Side-by-Side eBike Ride sessions are available every week!  Booking Required. Providing blind and partially sighted people with a safe and enjoyable opportunity to get out cycling across the city and its many green spaces.

Collect some shopping, visit a place of interest or just go for some exercise – the FREE service is a great new way for people to travel more accessibly around the city 

So please do get in contact if you want to attend sessions. We would love to welcome you along, please contact Nikki Ray from Bikeworks Nikki.Ray@bikeworks.org.uk 07833 757954

There will be two-time slots available on each of the days.

Weekdays session times:

  • Session 1 is from 9.30 am until 11 am,
  • Session 2 is from 11.30 am until 1 pm.

Weekend session times:

  • Session 1 is from 10 am 
  • Session 2 is from 12 pm

Next Cycling: Ride Side-by-Side events below

To book and for more info – Click the date you want below.

If you are keen to come along to one or more of the sessions, please contact Nikki Ray from Bikeworks Nikki.Ray@bikeworks.org.uk 07833 757954

 

 

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Tandem Back riders needed -17 Nov!

Tandem Back riders need for filming, please book by 13 Nov!

Tandem Session – Saturday 17th November

Outdoors at the  Velodrome, Queen Elizabeth Park,  Abercrombie Rd, London E20 3AB

We are looking for some back riders for Saturday 17th November from 10:00 – 12:00, at the Velodrome Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  British Cycling is running one of their disability sessions and they will have some trained front riders on the day.

As many of you will be aware Metro Bind Sport have been producing training videos on a variety of sports and we will have a film crew at this event. We would appreciate if some of you could come along and take part in this tandem training session. Consent forms will need to be signed on the day. Metro will provide light refreshments.

If you would like more information please contact our project manager, Mark Bullock, his email and phone number is markcjbullock@gmail.com, 07496 029 539.

If you are interested in taking part please notify Mark no later than Tuesday 13th November, this will ensure we have enough front riders for you to enjoy the tandem cycling session.

Meeting Point

Finally, Roy will be available to meet and greet members at Stratford station, end of the Jubilee line, at 09:00am and departing at 09:15am to the Velodrome.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks, Mark Bullock

Metro training videos project manager

Email: markcjbullock@gmail.com

Telephone: 07496 029 539

 

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Metro Free Tandem Cycling – Velodrome – 21st Aug – book by 15 July!

Free Metro Tandem Cycling
Venue:
We will arrange meet and greet with volunteers at Stratford International station for both events.
Time:
19.00 - 21.00
Phone:
07803 288083
Date:
21st August 2016
Cost:
FREE


To all Metro members, especially those who flagged up tandem riding in our recent club survey.

I am delighted to inform you that in partnership with Wheels for Wellbeing and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority we have booked the outdoor road course on Sunday 7th August from 12:00-16:00.

We plan to have 10 tandems and front riders available from 12:00-14:00 and from 14:00-16:00, therefore 20 members can enjoy cycling around this off road site. We will arrange meet and greet with volunteers at Stratford International station for both events.

Members need to be over the age of 16yrs and  / or Minimum height 5ft or 153cm as there are only adult size tandems for this event.

Please fill in this form – Download here: Metro Cycling & Tandem Form  and Email to Roy Smith By the 15th July to register your interest.

Parents, partners and volunteers are also welcome and they will be able to use bikes and helmets on the day, Children must be aged 10yrs or over to cycle and have taken Bikeability level 2 or equivalent, as they will sharing the road track with the tandems and other riders. I hope the weather is fine so we can enjoy a picnic outdoors in the surrounding area.

VELODROME on the Sunday 21st August

We have also booked the Velodrome along with 7 specialist bikes and front riders for a 2 hour session on Sunday 21st August from 19:00-21:00. Again 14 members will be able to take part at this event as they will be split into 2 groups. Must be aged 16yrs and  / or Minimum height 5ft or 153cm as there are only adult size tandems

More information will be sent out to all those interested in taking part. This will be on a first come first serve basis. The closing date will be Friday 15th July.

Please contact Email: Roy Smith or call 07803 288083  By the 15th July to register your interest.

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Metro Free Tandem Cycling – 7th Aug – book by 15 July!

Free Metro Tandem Cycling
Venue:
outdoor road course -We will arrange meet and greet with volunteers at Stratford International station for both events.
Time:
12.00 noon - 16.00
Phone:
07803 288083
Date:
07th August 2016
Cost:
FREE


To all Metro members, especially those who flagged up tandem riding in our recent club survey.

I am delighted to inform you that in partnership with Wheels for Wellbeing and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority we have booked the outdoor road course on Sunday 7th August from 12:00-16:00.

We plan to have 10 tandems and front riders available from 12:00-14:00 and from 14:00-16:00, therefore 20 members can enjoy cycling around this off road site. We will arrange meet and greet with volunteers at Stratford International station for both events.

Members need to be over the age of 16yrs and  / or Minimum height 5ft or 153cm as there are only adult size tandems for this event.

Please fill in this form – Download here: Metro Cycling & Tandem Form  and Email to Roy Smith By the 15th July to register your interest.

Parents, partners and volunteers are also welcome and they will be able to use bikes and helmets on the day, Children must be aged 10yrs or over to cycle and have taken Bikeability level 2 or equivalent, as they will sharing the road track with the tandems and other riders. I hope the weather is fine so we can enjoy a picnic outdoors in the surrounding area.

VELODROME on the Sunday 21st August

We have also booked the Velodrome along with 7 specialist bikes and front riders for a 2 hour session on Sunday 21st August from 19:00-21:00. Again 14 members will be able to take part at this event as they will be split into 2 groups. Must be aged 16yrs and  / or Minimum height 5ft or 153cm as there are only adult size tandems

More information will be sent out to all those interested in taking part. This will be on a first come first serve basis. The closing date will be Friday 15th July.

Please contact Email: Roy Smith or call 07803 288083  By the 15th July to register your interest.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Metro Free Tandem Cycling – 20 places book by 15 July!

Free Metro Tandem Cycling

To all Metro members, especially those who flagged up tandem riding in our recent club survey.

I am delighted to inform you that in partnership with Wheels for Wellbeing and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority we have booked the outdoor road course on Sunday 7th August from 12:00-16:00.

We plan to have 10 tandems and front riders available from 12:00-14:00 and from 14:00-16:00, therefore 20 members can enjoy cycling around this off road site. We will arrange meet and greet with volunteers at Stratford International station for both events.

Members need to be over the age of 16yrs and  / or Minimum height 5ft or 153cm as there are only adult size tandems for this event.

Please fill in this form – Download here: Metro Cycling & Tandem Form  and Email to Roy Smith By the 15th July to register your interest.

Parents, partners and volunteers are also welcome and they will be able to use bikes and helmets on the day, Children must be aged 10yrs or over to cycle and have taken Bikeability level 2 or equivalent, as they will sharing the road track with the tandems and other riders. I hope the weather is fine so we can enjoy a picnic outdoors in the surrounding area.

VELODROME on the Sunday 21st August

We have also booked the Velodrome along with 7 specialist bikes and front riders for a 2 hour session on Sunday 21st August from 19:00-21:00. Again 14 members will be able to take part at this event as they will be split into 2 groups. Must be aged 16yrs and  / or Minimum height 5ft or 153cm as there are only adult size tandems

More information will be sent out to all those interested in taking part. This will be on a first come first serve basis. The closing date will be Friday 15th July.

Please contact Email: Roy Smith or call 07803 288083  By the 15th July to register your interest.

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