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There’s a massive sales on smart cycling trainers right now, plus plenty other sports tech. There’s 20% off the Wahoo KICKR, KICKR CORE, CLIMB, Headwind, 20% off the Tacx NEO 2T, Flux 2, and Flux S, 20% off Saris Hammer 3 trainer and Saris MP1 Motion Platform. Plus also 20% off the Elite Direto X and Suito too, even the new Sterzo. Plus even steeper deals including with the Kinetic trainers at 30% off.
It’s time for a non-product post. And given today sits in between two different in-depth review posts, I figure we’ll travel back in time to almost a month ago when I visited the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) for the CycleOps Hammertime launch event.
While many cycling brands hold worldwide launch events at epic riding locales, CycleOps decided to hold theirs in a conference room where the federation undoubtedly debates rules and other boring details. There were nifty little UCI pens and paper tablets though on the table. Though, they only had about 10 sheets, so you must use them wisely.
Of course while this was a standard office building conference room (albeit with a pretty scenic view and outer decks/terraces), it was attached to a structure of far larger interest and importance: The UCI velodrome. In fact, despite all outward photos you may have seen of the famed UCI Headquarters building, it’s actually really tiny. The vast majority of the structure you think you’re looking at is the velodrome, and not the headquarters.
In the image below, the headquarters is only this singular pizza slice wedge. It’s attached to the velodrome and community rec center (with tumbling mats), which dwarf it in size. Here, I’ve made a nifty map. That way every time you see the UCI photo on a news story post, it gives it perspective on just how small the UCI offices actually are.
Given the CycleOps announcement was a trainer, the best way to ride that was indoors. So instead of taking out some new bike component into the mountains, it only seemed appropriate that folks ride indoors in an equally cool spot: The UCI velodrome.
Now this would be the second time I’ve been on a velodrome track. The first was a few years ago in LA at the VELO Sports Center. In that case though, I was riding my triathlon bike on the track. So that ends up being just a wee bit different than riding a legit track bike on the track.
For one, a track bike has a single speed with a rear hub that doesn’t freewheel. That means that there’s no way to stop pedaling without the bike coming to complete and full stop. So it’s kinda like a spin bike, if the wheel is moving, so are the pedals. They are one and the same.
In this case, they did affix PowerTap P1 pedals to the track bikes, so we could check out our power. But to be honest, I never did that once – mostly because I was so focused on not crashing. Be it into someone else, into the walls, or just imploding in the middle of the track.
To get started you lined up against the wall. This was the approved start/stop area. Even the pros that were out there riding for a few hours before me were to start/stop there and in the same manner. You clipped in while holding onto the railing, and then once clipped in you started pedaling.
You’d start off slowly on the lower portions of the track, and then build up speed to get higher and higher on the wall.
There were specific minimum speeds needed to keep from sliding down the wall, primarily in the curves. The UCI coach man told us these speeds. But my bike kinda sorta lacked a speed sensor (no GPS indoors). So basically, I just kept pedaling harder and harder hoping it’d be enough.
Probably the best way to experience this is to show it to you in a video. So here’s a 360° video I shot using the 360Fly. Because the 360Fly has generally crap resolution, this falls into the camp of ‘it is what it is’. Also, it didn’t help that the building only had on perhaps 1/4th (or less) of the lights in the velodrome. So the lighting is pretty tough. Still, I think you’ll enjoy. And remember, you can change the view by just dragging around in the YouTube window. I try and commentate a bit, but eventually the wind noise becomes too much for the mic.
So there ya have it – a fun snippet of riding around the velodrome!
I swim, bike and run. Then, I come here and write about my adventures. It’s as simple as that. Most of the time. If you’re new around these parts, here’s the long version of my story.
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You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2019 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s 2018 Gear Guide too.