Cycle your way at our centres

Experiment with Track Cycling or Mountain Biking

Jul 28 2023

Cycling at The Track at Calshot

Cyclists are among the fittest athletes in the world with events like the Tour De France, the most challenging bike race of the year, pushing the rider’s endurance to their limits.

Cycling is a fun way to stay healthy and a convenient means of transport. Whether you cycle to work or stick to riding more for recreation, the great thing about cycling is that you can enjoy the sport in many forms.

Read our blog post and be inspired to try track cycling or mountain biking while learning some key terms along the way.

Track Cycling

Track cyclists preparing at Calshot

Track cycling is an exhilarating ride no matter your experience level and it’s relatively easy once you get the hang of it. For road cyclists, spending time on an indoor track can provide many benefits and ways to hone existing skills, including developing a smoother pedalling style, improving your posture for faster speed and bike handling. Also, you won’t have to worry about rain, snow or wind getting in the way!

There are only 6 indoor velodromes in the country and Calshot Activities Centre is home to the only indoor banked velodrome in the South of England. Calshot has introductory sessions for both juniors and adults, designed to help you learn new skills and build confidence at your own pace – you just need to have experience riding a bike.

A beginner’s session will start with an introduction to the fixed wheel bike and the cleats. Junior riders will then help each other to launch and catch fellow riders whilst managing brakes and speed individually. End the session on the track with a ride round the Cote d’Azure cycling line. For adults, you will progress up the track from the sprinter’s line, working towards the goal of riding in a group with other riders confidently.

Track cycling at Calshot

Track cycling terms for beginners

  • Apron: the 5-metre-wide flat section at the bottom of the track.
  • Cleats: the part of the pedal which attaches to the bottom of your cycling shoe.
  • Cote d’Azure cycling line: the blue beginner’s line, which is on the lowest flat part of the track.
  • Fixie / fixed wheel bike: a single gear bike with no freewheel mechanism so the bike will stay in constant motion when you pedal; if you stop pedalling, the bike will stop.
  • Sprinter's line: the red line on the track which begins at a 12-degree angle moving up to 45-degrees - this space is also known as the sprinter’s lane.

For more information and to book, visit our adult or youth sessions pages. Let us know if you try track cycling at Calshot on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking at Tile Barn Outdoor Centre

If you prefer connecting with nature and being outdoors, mountain biking is a great option. Imagine cycling off the beaten track, battling rough terrain, and facing obstacles throughout the course – it’s sure to excite even the most thrill-seeking rider.

By getting the blood pumping and strengthening almost every muscle, mountain biking is a full-body workout with your legs powering the pedals as your core works to stabilise your centre of gravity for downhill riding. You can expect improved reflexes and agility while working on controlling the bike using balance and technique.

Mountain biking at Tile Barn Outdoor Centre

Tile Barn Outdoor Centre has routes both on and offsite in Roydon Woods. Aimed for riders who can already ride a bike, a beginner’s session from their MIAS qualified instructors will focus on teaching the optimal body positions including the attack position when tackling the course. Expect to explore the different gears, controlling the breaks, the 60/40 rule as well as exploratory games to hone your skills further.

Mountain biking terms for beginners

  • Clean: to ride through a section of the trail without stopping or taking your foot off the pedals.
  • Drop off: a part of the trail where the land starts flat but then continues into a sudden drop which must be jumped or rolled down with the bike.
  • Greasy: when the mountain biking trail is wet and muddy.
  • Hairpin: a sharp U-shaped bend on the course requiring the bike to turn approximately 180-degrees to continue riding on the path.
  • MIAS: stands for ‘Mountain-bike Instructors Award’ given to certified instructors (at Tile Barn, all instructors are at least Level 1 qualified).

For more information or to make an enquiry to book, email the team at [email protected].

Let us know if you try mountain biking at Tile Barn on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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