Head Coach, Dave George, gives us his perspective on coaching track at Calshot:
There’s not much I don’t like about cycling – maybe cheating, seeing someone get hurt, or hurting myself – but pretty much everything about it pleases me. No more so than a visit to Calshot. Last weekend I was double-lucky to be there coaching on both Saturday (with Prime Coaching) and Sunday (with Slipstreamers). Nothing is more pleasing than to meet someone from Slipstreamers, who has never ridden a track bike before, or never ridden Calshot, or who just wants to improve.
On Saturday, my group consisted of new track riders Sam Makariou and Max Saunders, both of which brought their dads along to have a go, and on Sunday I had new rider Finlay Hawker along with improvers Aaron Shearwood and Angel Woods. Both Aaron and Angel are no stranger to riding Calshot, but by offering to help Finlay settle in they made a fantastic little group of suitable riders.
Coaching the novice riders is great – this is the place where the biggest impact in the shortest time can be made. A short session of around 20 minutes is all it takes to start to feel comfortable with fixed gear riding, understand the basics of how track riding works and how important observation and safety is – it is then time to start track riding.
This is that glorious moment where the rigid nervous faces start to melt away to reveal a smile that beams “this is the best fun I have ever had on a bike!”. Yes, we had a tumble as riders learn first hand that gravity and slow speeds don’t play well together. But as often happens, we got them out of the way early with no real drama.
It is always a real treat to point out to new riders in closing a session that earlier that day they didn’t know how to ride track, and a few hours later knew new skills in cycling, could ride all the way around the track at it’s highest point, could ride safely in a group, and each had set their own Personal Best at the Flying Lap.
Flying Lap Times – Beginners/ Improvers:
| Beginner/ Improvers Group Riders:
| Angel Woods
| Aaron Shearwood
| Finlay Hawker
We always celebrate the success of riders in competition – but track days are examples of how we can both pass on and share with the excitement of trying and accomplishing something new.
Flying Lap Times – Experienced Riders:
|Group 1 Riders:||Time:||Group 2 Riders:||Time:|
| Oisin Murphy
| Jed Smithson
| Tom Stringer
| Kye Lewis
| James Brown
| William Roake
| Ollie Emment
| Millie Coleman
Thank you to everyone who took part in a fantastic session – well done all of you.