track cycling

What is happening with the San Diego Velodrome resurfacing?

Many  people have been asking me what is going ton with the San Diego Velodrome resurfacing project.   I'm not  directly involved with any of the resurfacing, and I have not served on the SDVA board of directors for several years now.  That being said,  everything here is my personal understanding of what is going on and does not represent  opinion of the San Diego Velodrome Association,  any of the members of the board of directors, or anyone else but me.     Here is what I know, or at least think I know. Mark Ainsle has been the driving force  behind this project.   Many of us have tried to get the ball rolling on a resurfacing project, but Mark is the one that really  took it on and finally  got it moving.   In early fall,  2016 a bid was accepted to resurface the entire track in blacktop.  Some question the  use of  the asphalt/ blacktop type surface,  but it is actually an ideal surface for an  outdoor track such as ours.   Concrete is at least 5 X as expensive, is so hard that it feels  bumpy to the riders, ALL concrete  will develop  cracks, and can be  difficult to repair.    The epoxy  type surface that  we previously had was difficult to repair, allowed water to seep underneath, and  was  slippery as snot when it became wet.      The epoxy surface had been patched many times over the last 20 years, and simply needed to be replaced.    Black top/asphalt is actually the original surface of the track, and the  epoxy surface was installed over that.    The photos below show the original surface of the track as it was built over 40 years ago:

All Photos uploaded to  San Diego Velodrome Unofficial Discussion Facebook  Page by Dusty Wynne

The bid was accepted and the contractor got to work, the expectation was that the  resurfacing itself would take only 4 days.   There are frequently delays in construction project, as things seldom go perfectly to plan.  But the contractor  ran into problem after problem, most of them generated by his own mistakes.  Days became weeks, and he did not appear to be making any progress.   It almost seems that the more he tried to create a nice, smooth surface, the worse it became.   After ~ 8 weeks and with the track in worse condition than before, the contractor was asked to leave the job.

The current state of the track surface: All Photos uploaded to  San Diego Velodrome Unofficial Discussion Facebook Page by Mark Ainsle

Mark Ainsle has been project managing the job for the SDVA and has put in many hours to get this job done.    When it became obvious that the original contractor was not capable of  doing the job, Mark searched far and wide a contractor or expert  with appropriate experience that would  be willing and able take on the challenge.  But there simply aren't a whole lot of construction companies that have  the right experience for this sort of project.  And  of the few that do, none of them were willing and able to come to San Diego for the work.

Eventually, Mark  connected with  some executives at Hazard Construction, a large, local, San Diego company.   Hazard does not have  experience  resurfacing velodromes, but they are a huge company with  the experts, engineers, and equipment  to get the job done.   It appears that the Hazard Construction executives take personal pride in  the project as well.   The resurfacing was scheduled to be finished the first week of February, but that was before our most recent rains.   My guess  is that the completion date will shift by a week or so.   Even if we add another  week for  more rain or unexpected delays,   that still leaves plenty of time before racing typically starts and before  the first scheduled adult classes begin  in mid-March.      I'll post class  registration links as soon as I'm confident that  the track will be open.    Just email me: if you would like top be put on the mailing list and get an alert when  registration opens.

Thanks to Mark Ainsle for putting in MANY hours of work on the resurfacing project.   I'm sure he'll be as happy as anyone when the whole thing is finished!



New Warm Ups Posted for Road, Mountain, Cross, and Track

A warm up is an important part of your race preparations.   It  is rather silly to  train for countless hours,  travel to a race, and payg entry fees if  you aren't  going to be properly warmed up. A  proper warm up may not necessarily  win  you the race, but it can definitely lead to a sub-optimal performance and can lose you the race.   We have posted  warm ups for road racing, cyclocross racing, crit racing, time trialing, track racing, and mountain bike racing.    These warm ups are not set in stone, and you may have to experiment a little bit to find out what works best  for you.    If you haven't been doing a structured warm up, or are looking for something new, consider them a starting point.   If you like them, stick with them,  but  feel free to experiment a little.     You'll more find  information   links to all of our warm up  protocols here.

"Understanding Your Power Files" Clinic

Ok, You've got this fancy doohicky on your bike. Maybe its made in Germany, maybe its built in the US, . This fancy thingamajig may have cost you just about as much as some people spend on their entire first racing bike. It tells you how hard you are going in watts, it tells you you average watts, your max watts, it tells you how much work you've done in kiljoules, and more. It gives you all sorts of information, but what do you DO with all this information. The coaches at Crank Cycling are here to help. We work with power every single day. We sell more Power Tap and SRM power measuring systems than most bike shops. We've helped elite athletes analyze their power files, and adjust their training.  We've written articles on power for local and national cycling news outlets, and we want to share our knowledge with you with you.

This clinic will cover:

  • The basics such as how power is measured, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the different power measuring systems.
  • How, when and why you should do field testing with your power meter.
  • How to monitor and analyze individual workouts as well as weeks, months, or years worth of data.
  • Creating and implementing a training plan based on power.
  • Racing with your Power Meter
  • and more

This clinic is appropriate for anyone who owns a power meter, or anyone who is thinking about purchasing a power meter.    It is appropriate for self coached athletes as well as athletes who work with a coach (Crank Cycling or anyone else!)*.    Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have, the greater your chances for success.

The clinic is scheduled for Sunday November 20th at 1PM at our downtown training studio and is expected to be 3-4 hours in length.   The cost of the clinic is $99 with discounts being offered to Crank Cycling coached athletes or clubs with more  5 than athletes attending.

Registration is HERE , or use the contact form on the lower right or call Coach Burke at   six- one –nine -865-3389 for more information.

*Athletes that work with another coach may bring their coach with them to the clinic for no charge.  We welcome the company of knowledgeable coaches, and encourage their  participation in the question and answer portions of the clinic.

Usain Bolt vs Sean Eadie

Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive, but can a top track cyclists beat him? That was a question posed in the June issue of outside magazine. Most trackies know that a top track sprinter doing a 200M time trial will go almost twice as fast as a 100m runner ( both pretty darn close to 10 seconds, with the track rider going twice the distance), but the cyclists has the advantage of the standing start. The folks at Outside magazine went to Jim Martin, and former track racer and now one of the top cycling bio-mechanist in the world. Just do a google scholar search and you'll see. Jim has done extensive work in modeling performance, so from a theoretical perspective, he was the guy to answer this question.Jim took some power data from Sean Eadie, the 2002 match sprint world champion, along Bolt's 9.58 100M and ran the model. From a standing start, it makes sense that the longer the race gets the more likely the cyclist is to win, as the runners are already slowing down after 100M and the cyclists is just gaining speed. But it is a pretty close race at 100M. Who do you think won?

The answer is the cyclists by 0.16 seconds. Bolt pulls ahead at the start, but then Eadie Passes him at 89.7 meters. Jim's models are excellent, and can be be highly accurate, but when it comes down to 0.16 seconds, I think it could still be anyone's race. If those two men lined up at the starting line in top form, I wouldn't have much confidence in predicting the winner one way or the other. I would love to see something like this happen. It would be great or Gatorade, Red Bull, or a company like that could put on a race with Bolt and a top track sprinter.....maybe Chris Hoy or Gregory Bauge...Jaime Staff is known for heaving a blistering start, so he might be a good candidate. What do you think?

99 lap pursuit

Check it out, a Pomona College student built a tiny velodrome in the library as part of a senior project.    His velodrome is only 132 feet in circumference, so that would be a little over 99 laps to do a 4K pursuit... the same as 12 laps at a 333.33 meter track like San Diego, or 16 laps at a 250 meter track like LA.  I bet  standing starts on that thing are next to impossible, and  you would probably be ill advised to put more than  say riders at  a time, but it still looks like fun! -Sean

San Diego Velodrome Class Chariot Race

Here is a cool video, shot by Chris Grout during the adult developmental class, of a chariot race. A chariot race is a race where the riders are held at the start, and then all do one lap from a standing start. This is a great race for beginners, because there isn't a whole lot of jockeying for position, it also teaches "finshing skills" such as holding your line out of corner 4, and just keeping your wits about you when you are getting tired. This is also a cool race or drill for more advanced riders. It helps you with your explosiveness and speed, a requirement for just about any kind of racers, but even more for crit racers and track racers. You do 3 or 4 of these in one day, and I promise you you'll be feeling it! -Sean