did this happen? I'm lining up on a start grid, waiting
for the tape to go up, feeling like a herd of wildebeest
are migrating through my stomach and wondering if
I'm going to survive the first corner. And to cap
it all off I've seen one crash resulting in a rider
being carried off the track, and another with a rider
employing his face as a brake on the loose shale surface.
Cycle speedway is not for the faint of heart. And
right now I want my mum.
all started so innocently with an invite from Tommy
Lee to come along to a Thursday night training session
Cycle Speedway Club and see what the sport was
all about. Three days later and I'm kitted out in
full-length clothing for a promised full-contact sport,
sitting on a borrowed non-braked bundle of singlespeed
yes. Following on from the main event at Scotia's
Redbraes Park track in Edinburgh I've only gone and
got myself involved in the 'Combination' competition
(an extra open category after the main league meeting
races that preceded it).
Thursday I had been given a thorough grounding in
how to start, sorry... 'gate', and given a chance
to build up a bit of speed and confidence, picking
up the pace and getting the foot down in corners.
It's been a while since I've had so much fun on a
how does this translate into an actual competitive
spin? Starting with your strong foot on the pedal
at horizontal, the back pedal resting against your
standing leg's calf, it's time to get ready for the
off. Riders are readied and once you're put under
starter's orders if you move before that off you're
out - no second chances. Then the tape goes up and
you put the power down making for the gaggle of the
first corner. After that the procedure is simplicity
itself - hammer the straight, hand on for dear life
round the corners and try to get back on the pedals
as quickly as possible.
for four laps.
a race lasting around a minute.