I spent this weekend doing something I've wanted to do for a while but never gotten around to: riding a real track bike on a real bike track. Mike from Faster Mustache organized a group to take a special weekend track certification class at the Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point. Usually you have to commit to going to 4 or 5 classes in a month on weeknights, but because we had 12 people they did a special class for us on the weekend. I had a lot of experience on a fixed gear bike (I've been commuting on one for over six months) but for some people, in 2 days the went from their first ride on a fixed gear bike Saturday afternoon to mock sprint races on Sunday morning. We all had a lot of fun, most of us participated in a tater tot eating contest Saturday night in between the classes, and no-one fell once on the track (It's banked at 34 degrees on the turns). My only damage is a little bit of sun, and one guy broke a spoke on the ride back home from the track on Saturday.
Riding on the track is a whole lot of fun. There are no cars or potholes or traffic lights or rocks, and you can go crazy fast. After the first lap or two, the banking on the turns isn't scary and by the end of the first day I had a pretty good feel of how to use the banking as an advantage when riding with other people. The first mass start mock race with everyone on the track, I followed someone most of the time and broke away at the last minute and came in second because the guy I was drafting behind did all of the work for 4.5 laps and I only had to fight the wind for half a lap. In the second mock race, a 4 person match sprint for two laps, we took the first lap pretty slow and on the 4th turn I cut in from the top of the banking to the inside edge of the track and went all out. You can see that sequence of events starting with this picture. (I'm in the #3 slot at the start) You can dig around there for the rest of the pictures from the weekend and there will be more to come as I go to more track events.