Monday of half term was the 3rd track RSR at Lee Valley, another great opportunity to learn new skills (like riding lumps and bumps on track on my TT extension bars, little scary but really perfected steering with my hips) and develop other skills (like doing the longest lap, so track standing on the boards but rather than being on the straights trying to push our limits to track-stand in the banking!)

For this RSR we had to take our road bikes as well as track bikes and set these up on our turbo trainers we had to bring along and the first exercise of the day was we had to video our position on the road bike on the turbo which we later on in the classroom session used to evaluate our riding position and bike set up which was really interesting and I have changed my saddle height and am experimenting with stems and saddles to try and get the bike set up and effectively as possible.

A favourite of John Scripps and Rob Sharman (and step in coach Iain Cook) was up next, the wheels out, wheels in challenge where we have to un-bolt front and rear wheels from the frame, lay them down on the floor and then replace everything as soon as possible. It’s great practice and I am certainly getting quicker and more confident changing wheels, cogs, even had a go at changing a chainring the other day too!

On track from 10am we did some warm up drills including taking a lap on the bunch before we had to change our bars for our TT extensions and then we did a few sessions getting used to using the TT extensions. That included lumps and bumps which on TT bars certainly felt different but after a few laps we were carving up and down the track as we would on normal dropped handlebars. We then did some Team pursuit drills which felt really quick and lead on really nicely from Sunday’s cluster session where I’d practised a 1km TT (The distance I’ll have to do in the National Omnium qualifiers in April and May). I learnt a lot about how to handle the bike in the TT position.

Quick change back to dropped bars and then we had some “Longest lap” race practice which means track standing the bike on the track, when the coaches knew we could do it well we had to challenge ourselves to push further and further into the banking which was trickier but I really enjoyed trying to push myself to do my best.

The classroom session was based on bike set up, as a pre session challenge we had to bring along a photo of a bike rider whose position on the bike was in our opinion good and I’d chosen (along with many others) Bradley Wiggins in the hour and then we looked at our own position videos and critiqued our positions and our coaches gave us tips to improve our position. That was a really useful session and I hope to use those tips to improve my position ready for the road season and even for TT’s. A core and fundamentals workout was next followed by the final block was a group turbo workout which really got us sweating.

I am really proud to be representing Thanet RC as the only rider riding at this track RSR level and I really feel it has improved my track riding and bike mechanics on the track bike especially. It’s a great day but a long day spreading from 8:30am to 5:30pm and I have made many new friends and learnt so much.

Report by Lance Childs

Posted by Andy Mccall

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