Met up with the crew and headed out to East Point, south of Atlanta, to check out the wednesday night track races at the Dick Lane Velodrome. The facility is located smack in the middle of a neighborhood, which was kind of odd but actually really cool. We had a debate about whether the track was there first or the neighborhood. There isn’t a history section on the Dick Lane website.
The track is wicked! The banking is pretty sick. Most of the races start while the group is already rolling, so before the races the rides cue on the outside lane of the track until the starter rolls them out.
We didn’t have to wait at all to see some action, the races are quick and run one after the other with only a few minutes in between.
There was only one wreck, which happened during the rolling lap before the start of a race. One person fell at the top of the banking which caused almost the entire field to go down and slide to the flat. If someone were to wreck at full speed here, it would be a world of pain. There are a zillion clips of track bike wrecks on yoootoob is you feel the need to satisfy your blood lust.
Although I probably could have walked into the infield area, I stayed on the outer portions of the track this time around. Next time I’ll probably shoot entirely from the infield. Trying to get shots that conveyed motion from the outside was terribly hard because of the high speeds. There were some pretty trick rides there…
So many people were running disc wheels and partial carbon whels that it made a really unique sound when the riders passed. Very different than the sound you here from a group of geared road bikes with cassette ratcheting. The NoBrakes shop guys were out in force
We learned a ton and saw some pretty exciting racing. The longest race was 40 laps with several sprint laps. Having the sprint laps really makes the racing interesting, because in a long race there are several races within the race. You could here riders communicating as they went around the track, making alliances and working out tactics.
If you have ever wondered about track racing, you should go check it. There is ample free seating, and no charge or spectators. Later this year they will host the Festival Of Speed which is a large event that there will be an admission charge for. I’m really stoked to see track racing in Atlanta.