Go fast, turn left – a descriptor usually reserved for redneck endeavors like NASCAR – is alive and well in Boulder, Colorado and I eat it up like a fat kid with an unattended cake. Welcome to Boulder Indoor Cycling.
About six weeks ago, I alluded to a “covert adventure” on Twitter and Facebook. It was track cycling at the Boulder velodrome. I’d had a jones to try it…well, since I moved here last year…and finally took the plunge right after Veloswap. I figured what the hell? It’s a bike. How hard can it be?
Holy motherfucking shit. And I mean that in the most ladylike way possible.
I let the cat out of the bag a bit earlier this month in my post Dear Guru and/or Expert (aka what track cycling has taught me about social media douchebags), but today I’m going to let you know what your options are if you’d like to come indulge in some track-flavored crack with me. I never thought I’d say this, but riding around 143m with 45 degree banking in the turns is super freaking awesomeness. And yes, “awesomeness” is a word (a technical cycling term).
If you ride a bike, you can ride at the velodrome. Hell, even if you don’t really ride a bike, there’s an app for that, too. The awesome folks out at Boulder Indoor Cycling (BIC) make it easy for anyone to catch the Fixed Gear Fever. I’ll take you through a step-by-step process on how anyone in the Greater Denver/Boulder area can see what all the go fast/turn left fuss is about:
Step 1: Annual Membership
It’s only $30, people. That’s less than $3/month. And no – you can’t do an “installment plan.”
Step 2: Get Your Gear On
All you need to ride at the track is a helmet, your own cycling shoes (no MTB shoes), and pedals (clipless). And you’re going to want to grab a pair of cycling shorts, too. Just sayin’.
Step 3: Whet Your Appetite
For those new to velodrome cycling, you have three options to see if one gear and four banked turns are for you:
“Oh shit – that looks crazy, but I really do want to try it…just once” deal (aka Just Once)
Well, you can try it, just once. With every membership comes one FREE Track 101 lesson. This is a one hour long class that will get you on the bike, explain the fundamental differences between road and track cycling, and how to come on and off the track safely. It’s fast. It’s free. You can run screaming after the fact if that suits you, but I’m bettin’ you’ll be back for more track crack. Click here to view the Track Schedule.
“I’ve gotta do this” deal (aka Take A Class)
Beginning January 4, 2010, the next series of classes begin at the track and run through March 14. The session is 10 weeks long and classes one hour each. You have two options to get going on the track: Beginner and Intermediate. Click here to view the Track Schedule
- Beginner – Really only for those who aren’t bike-savvy at all. If you’re not, have no fear – the coaches at BIC will get you accustomed to riding a bike with one gear and no brakes. The 10-week class series is only $149 + your $30 membership. ($15/class – HAWT)
- Intermediate – If you’re a recreational road or mountain biker, this is your deal. Less of the basic “bike” fundamentals yet solid instruction on how track bikes differ in handling and technique from other multi-gear bikes, along with pace lines, proper passing techniques, flying laps (or Ride Like Hell), introductory racing concepts and how to handle your bike well enough across the entire breadth of the track. If you master the skills in this level of class, you’ll have your Membership Card signed, thus allowing you to ride in Open Riding sessions at-will. Having your card signed is a privilege and not automatic, so buckle down and don’t fall down! The 10-week series is $169 + your $30 membership.
BUT WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A TRACK BIKE? NO SWEAT!
Boulder Indoor Cycling has track bikes for rental for anyone who takes a class! I’m 5’4 and there are bikes that fit me, all the way up to a 6-some-odd-foot dude. On the first day you take a class, show up about a half hour early and the staff is more than happy to get you fit on the best frame size available and show you how to adjust the seat height and position to fit you best. Don’t worry – if you fall in love with track cycling, there are plenty of shops in Boulder that sell track bikes (most are under $1200 off the rack) and if you really fall in love, there are multiple custom frame builders like Tiemeyer Cycles and Primus Mootry that will create a custom, pimp ride for you.
Now, as I get ready to head off to Estes Park for the day for my own Tiemeyer fitting, don’t discount track. If you’ve got a question, pick up the phone and give the staff at BIC a call at 303-CYCLING (303.292.5464) – they’re all passionate about track and will tell you anything you want to know. And ladies – if you’re intimidated about riding with a testosterone-fueled herd, they’ve got an exclusive Ladies’ Intermediate class coming up beginning January 4 as well! (call and ask about it!).
Want to take a virtual ride at the track? Watch this cool helmet cam video and see for yourself!
Boulder Indoor Cycling
3550 Frontier Avenue, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80301
Directions from Denver:
36 to Foothills Parkway
Exit Pearl St.
Left under the underpass
First left is Frontier
Pull into 2nd driveway on your right (you’re there!)