Learning To Ride On The Velodrome | Ollie’s Hour Of Power


(whooshing) (upbeat music) – [Male] Welcome to the
next step in my quest to take on the hour record, an Eddy Merckx record distance of 49.431 kilometers. – Now the hour record is
typically performed on a velodrome with a fixed gear track bike. And in this video, I’m
going to try and learn the skills that are required
to take on the hour record in this specific kind
of discipline of riding. Now, although the pros we
see in the Olympics on T.V. they make it look really easy. But, be under no
illusion, there’s a reason why they’re at the Olympics. It’s deceptively hard. And when it comes to riding on the track, I’m a rookie, I’m a noob,
a beginner, a greenhorn. So I’m going to have to learn
these skills, and learn ’em fast. I’m going to need some help. Fortunately, I know just the person. Manon Lloyd may be relatively new to GCN, however she’s as experienced as they get when it comes to the track. Having competed for both
Wales and Great Britain, she’s ridden the European Championships, World Championships,
and Commonwealth Games. – So, Ollie, how much
track riding have you done? – Yeah, pretty much none. – Right, great, probably
going to need to go back to basics then. So, we’re here at the Geraint
Thomas Velodrome in Newport. The track is obviously
250 meters long, that is if you follow the black line here. That’s what you’re going to need to follow for your hour record. We also have the red line,
which is the sprinter’s line which they use for racing,
and then the blue line which is mostly training purposes. And then you have the
cote d’azur down here, which you do not want to hit at speed, cause you will fall off. – Why’s that? – You’re just going to fall
off if you hit it at speed. – Oh, great. – Yup, don’t do that. And, remember you are
on a fixed gear bike, so if you do stop pedaling,
you will fall off. – So, I’m going to fall off, great, right. – No, you’re not, you’re
fine, this is why I’m here. – Alright. – So we’re hear today
to work on some of the key skills you’re going to
need for the hour record. The main one is going to be pacing. Do you know how Eddie Merckx
paced his hour record? – Yeah, actually, I did some
research, not very well. So, his opening kilo that he did, would have qualified him
for the 1972 Munich Olympics kilo time trial on the track. So his first kilo he just
went, like the clappers blew up, I mean if he’d
paced it more evenly, he probably would have
gone quite a bit further. I’m glad he didn’t. – You’ve got an advantage
if you pace it right now. So, yeah definitely one of
the most important thing is to pace it right. Another challenging
thing about the track is you’re not allowed a
computer on your bike, so you can’t look at your power or your speed when you ride it,
so it all comes down to feel. You have a coach on the
side, or you can have a lap split board, but yeah
it all comes down to feel. So I’m guessing you’re
used to looking at power when you’ve been training. – Yeah, I am like a slave to the numbers, I’m always looking at my
computer, bit like Chris Froome just not riding anywhere near as fast. – Well, we’re going to take that away and you’re going to go off feel. So, I want you to go up
now and do a few laps doesn’t matter what speed you go, you just have to keep the
same speed for all the laps. – And you’re going to give me splits? – Yes. – Let’s do it, let’s do it. (upbeat music) – So Ollie’s just going to do a few laps to warm up and then I’m going to time him. Never been a coach before. (action music) 21 two. Stay on the black line, Ollie! 22 four. 21 four. Fixing it well. 21 two. He’s within a tenth or two
every lap, so yeah doing good. 21 one. 21 135 mile laps, sounds about right. We’ll go two more laps. One more lap. 21 four. So, Ollie, how do you
think you paced that? – Well, all right, like you get used to it you start to feel it and
actually getting the splits is kind of good feedback,
and something else is you feel like you notice
when you mess up slightly and you don’t get the line quite right you notice it’s an extra
couple of tenths of a second, on, well that’s what I felt, anyway. – Yeah, definitely, you, well
between three and four tenths for the whole eight laps. – Is that good? – Yeah, I think, yeah two
or three tenths, literally, and there was no big jumps in any of the laps, so
yeah, pretty good pacing. – Right, okay, what’s the
next skill I need to master? – Ooh, what is the next skill? – Well, you say that like I’ve
definitely mastered this one. (upbeat music) – So, Ollie we’re sat here on the track concentrating on this black line. This is what is measured
as 250 meters of the track. So, for our record
every lap you do will be 250 meters if you follow this line. You do not want to be above it, cause you’ll be riding the extra distance but you want to be somewhere between the cote d’azur and the black line cause that will be the shortest
distance around the track. – So, it only counts as 250
meters even if I ride above it. So, what, how bad would it be if I rode like just here, for example? – So, if you do, did the
whole lap then you could be doing 252 meters, around the
track but it wouldn’t count because the lap is only 250 meters. – I guess that doesn’t sound
like much, but over the course of an hour record that
adds up to be loads. I mean, that would be like
an extra half a kilometer. Maybe even more, even a
kilometer even if I did worse. But, I mean that kind
of puts in perspective cause that’s the difference between me succeeding or failing at this. – Yeah, definitely, you’d see
some of the best track riders in the world, they will
literally ride somewhere between the black and the cote d’azure doing 249 meters of the track. Should we go do some laps? – Yeah, let’s go do it. (techno music) – So, Ollie’s just gone
out on the track now to ride, just practicing
riding on the black line and getting that line perfect all the way around the track, I was
riding behind him and he was going into the back ends, he was drifting up towards the red a bit. So, if he can just
practice holding that line all the way through the
corner he should get it right. So the more time Ollie spends on the track and the more time he
spends in position riding that black line the
better he’s going to get, you know, practice does make perfect. (techno music) – It’s mad how easy she’s
making this look, like you can tell that she’s an ex-GB rider, it sounds silly to say,
but when she comes round just look at how she’s under
the black the whole time. And she’s probably doing like, 249 meter laps because of it, but she’s just like, (blows raspberry) but she’s just like,
like classy on the track. – Your line was really, really good, when you’re on the straight,
so you’re right between the black like and the
cote d’azur, so you’re taking the shortest
route around the track, but when you’re going into the back ends you were drifting up
towards the red a tiny bit, but it’s still good,
you just need to work on that a bit and then I think you know, as long as you get your line
the same all the way around, so try and get it beneath the black line, and then you’ll be perfect. – Thanks for that feedback,
it’s really useful. I think as a novice track
rider, I don’t always know where I am at the moment,
in relation to the black, so it’s really good for you
to be able to tell me that. On the straights, it’s easier I find, because the bike is directly beneath you. See, that’s a bit easier to know, but when you’re on the back
end, and you’re tilting the bike over, I guess
it’s naturally going to be a bit disorientating
because of that, but yeah. I’ll take that into account
next time I’m riding. But is there anything else you think that I should be thinking about? – There is one more thing,
have you thought about what gear you’re going to
use for the hour record? Because when you’re out
there, you can’t just change your gear like you can on a road bike. (upbeat music) – So, I’ve spoken to
Neil and Mack, my coaches from the CycleFest, and at the moment I’ve got a 52-14 on
here, which is actually the same gear that Eddie Merckx used. And so that equates to kind
of like 104, 106 rpm average for the hour to do that
equivalent distance. And that’s the cadence
that I’ve got used to now, and I’m good but, we’ve
got a trick, right? Neil and Mack reckon we can make this more efficient by still keeping
the same equivalent ratio, but by changing this 52 to like a 61, and then putting a bigger gear on the back like a 17
and that way the chains, less tight an angle, less
friction in the chains, should give me a few watts gained. – Yes, that’s a very good idea, I think a smooth pedal stroke. – So that’s the plan, but yeah, I haven’t gotten a chain ring sorted yet. – Okay, so onto the next skill. The standing start, how
do you feel about that? – Pretty nervous, I don’t know why. It just looks quite intimidating. – Yeah, they do, it is a
little bit more complicated than it looks, you’re
going to have a count down, so it’ll count you down from 30 seconds, and then it will beep from five seconds, and you need to go on zero, obviously. So, shall we go and practice? – Can you show me how it’s done first? – Yeah. So when you’re doing a standing start, you always need to start
with your left foot because naturally, the
track always wants to push you down, but by
starting with your left foot it will push you up a bit, and make you go in a straight line. And then when it comes down to the beeps, so you’ll have a count
down from 30 seconds, and then 10, and then from
five seconds it will beep, so you need to be in your
position ready to go in five, and then four, and then up
on three, back on two, one, and then go on zero. Easy. – Okay, and then when you
actually start pedaling you know, rocking the
bike, like Marcel Kittel– – No, you’re not flat out
sprinting you want to keep it all pretty, your core
engaged, and put your strong and you want to look where
you’re going, you don’t want to look down, so I always
look up towards the timing board when doing a standing start. – And then, how long
before I get into the skis? – So, we always used to
do three quarters of a lap before we sat down, so we’d sit down in the back end over there,
and then you’d sit down and get into position and
get nice and comfortable ready for the next hour. – Okay, right, well, can
you show me how it’s done? (laughing) – All right, ten seconds, and five, four, three, two, one, go! (upbeat music) – Okay, Ollie, you ready for
your first ever standing start? – Yeah, I am nervous, I am nervous. – You’ll be fine, just go on zero. – Okay, right. – Take it away, Gary. – We’re going to go. – Okay, 10 seconds, – Okay. – And five, four, three, two, one, go! Good, walk, walk, walk. – [Manon] No, that was really good. What do you think? – I think it was great, you
got to get the first one under your belt. – [Manon] It’s only going to get better. (upbeat music) – Hope you’ve enjoyed this
track video and found it informative, and if you have
please give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. And if you would like to
see more track content from GCN then let us know in
the comment section because we’ve not done much today. – And if you want to
follow Ollie’s hour record, click on screen now.

100 thoughts on “Learning To Ride On The Velodrome | Ollie’s Hour Of Power”

  1. Great stuff.. really interested in trying a track day at our local Velodrome (Manchester ha ha!!) yikes. This is a good insight into some basics as well as a taste of more to come, hopefully. It's gonna be tough Ollie, Manon made it look easy. I wanna try it.. 🚴🚴🚴

  2. The boy done well for his first boards session. Good luck to you mate. If you’ve not tried the boards then give it a go. Great winter training.

  3. One of the best GCN videos that I have seen in a LONG time. Seeing someone who knows what they are talking about and being able to demonstrate it is great. Keep up the great work Manon and good luck with your ride Ollie.

  4. Great video. If you ride 5cm above or under the black line in the curves, the difference with the 250m reference distance is around 30cm per lap. In the straight line you only add a few cm. So imagine the additional distance for nearly 200 laps if you are above the black line

  5. The maths is all wrong. If you are above the black line the distance difference is only 6.28x however far off the line you are i.e 2 x PI x r however if you are a metre up the track that is still significant per lap. 10cm lower than the black and you are saving over half a metre each lap. Thats more than 100m extra

  6. More track cycling content <<<PLEASE>>>
    Will it be possible for spectators to come to Newport to watch the record attempt… I'm sure a big crowd would help.

  7. I think Ollie was a bit track-made rather than road-made. BTW, please, stream the attempt! I'd ride with him on the rollers if you do #ridewithOllie

  8. Good luck Ollie, great investment in achieving this goal!! Your next goal is to get bigger shoulders and arms than Manon's.

  9. If I do my math right, at ~21s / lap, he's not going to make the record. He needs to be in the 18s. Hope he just was not pushing hard for this session.

  10. I'd love to see more track content. Now that Manon is on board hopefully some of it can be a bit more advanced and detailed as well like your crit racing series. As someone who predominantly rides track it would be great to see some training and tactics videos for different track disciplines as they are completely different to road riding. Great content!

  11. Would absolutely love to see more Track content! As a track rider, it isn't super easy to find good information about current races, tech etc!!

  12. Wow Ollie! 52 x 14 used to be my highest gear back in the day. 5 speeds back there 14-21 or 14 -24 depending on where the race was. That is a pretty good gear to hold 100+ rpm on. But, I have never been on a track, so I am enjoying this series of videos, best of luck to you!

  13. Super cool. When I was small I loved watching velodrome action. Too bad I went with the flow and went with MTB instead, was not as awesome 😛

  14. I've been wanting to try track cycling for a while now and you guys have inspired me to book a course down at Calshot, Southampton, so thank you! I'd love to see more track related advice, training and etiquette tips

  15. Oh man Ollie ! I am so excited for you to beat this record ! I am even doing math and stuff. Good luck from the fat kid in Texas !

  16. In the standing start, it is stupid to stay back in 2 secunds, time it different, so you are bagwards at 1. Move more forward and bagward, and thereby using your weight as a help. AND USE YOUR CORE!

  17. Nice job explaining the black measurement line and the fact that riding below the line gives you credit. One question: Will those foam blocks be on the track and if so, where do those get placed?
    EDIT: I just watched Some of Sir Jiffy Bag's hour record and the foam blocks are on the Côte de Azure right up to the edge. FWIW, Sir Jiffy stayed very close to the black line but didn't seem ever go below.

  18. Begs the question: Will you be going to a higher altitude to attempt the record? thinner air = faster times if you acclimate.

  19. As I said before in other comments, the "Global" cycling network never takes into consideration track world cups, championships or continental level events. Not even mentioning results but talks about and participate in local "famous" amateur road races, i remember just one time when a photo of a rece was displayed and maybe just saying "oh wow that is hard, now lets move on". And dont get me wrong, i like road racing but if not going to cover the true place where cycling was born, better change the name of the channel to RCN Road cycling network.

  20. I suggest Ollie puts his watch on the inside of his wrist. If he really wants to wear one (having it on the outside under skinsuit must be some drag) (see 11:20)

  21. always more track, always.
    ride a bike for 5 hours, race for one on the road
    race a bike for 20minutes on the track with no downtime
    every one of my best power numbers has come while on the track

  22. They won't show much track stuff because there is no money to be made shilling for the bike manufacturers . Great work Ollie .

  23. I'd love more track content…from getting into track as a newbie to different track disciplines such as the IP. Great video by the way. Manon is a great addition to the GCN team!

  24. Thanks for talking about the friction losses on the smaller cogs! Sadly there's very little talk about this, especially now, that the 10Ts are coming to road bikes.

  25. 9:25 If a normal fixed-gear transmission is 97% efficient and your FTP is about 300 then your current transmission losses are about 9 watts. IF you can raise that efficiency by 1% you'll save 3 watts (in reality probably a lot less than that). Set against that there's the extra aerodynamic drag and weight of the larger chainring…

    In summary it's probably pretty marginal or they'd all be doing it. It can't hurt to try I suppose – if someone else is paying 🙂

  26. Its really interesting to me (a noobie in road cycling or cycling in general) since I only knew there is such a sport but never paid much attention to it. It's truly fascinating how difficult and complex it actually is. Good work, GCN!

  27. Manon has been a great addition to the GCN team. Natural presenter. Also nice to have some oestrogen back on the team after the loss of Emma Pooley. So good to get more representation of women’s cycling

  28. Pause…..let's make a brew enjoying this series. GCN need to be selling tickets for this event, go Ollie! Some great basics and insights to track riding, thanks Emma, and to all involved in this series. Keep going Ollie all the best Andy

  29. She's a cutie and obviously knows what she's talking about.

    When she stands to demonstrate the standing start, Gary makes a face like… "I'm on camera… don't look at her butt… don't look at her butt… don't look at her butt…".

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