The changes to Saturday session times announced here enable us to start the C session this week but we aim to keep it going on a regular basis. Please read the information below and use the sign-up link below if you would like to be considered for this week’s session.

NB: Unlike freewheel, the C coaches need to know in advance who is attending the session, so please use the sign up form and don’t turn up unannounced: you may not be allowed to ride if so. This is for the benefit of all riders and coaches.

Who can join the C session?
The C session is designed for riders who have demonstrated the necessary skills in freewheel already, and who want to progress on fixed wheel. We ran some of these sessions earlier this year and initially we would like to continue working with these riders, with the aim of them progressing to the B session (formerly 10am) once they have gained the required skills AND speed to participate safely and productively. One of the goals of the B session is to improve the riders’ ability to ride at speed in a bunch on fixed wheel. So if they’re off the back of the bunch on their own, they’re not getting that benefit. This is a coaching decision, however.
Some will have the skills but (because of their age and/or size) will still fall short of the speed of the B session, so we want to give these riders a suitable environment in which to develop on fixed wheel in the mean time.
Other riders will have the speed but not the skills, so it’s important to ensure that they too have the best grounding in fixed wheel training to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience in all sessions.

The C session would normally have 2 Track coaches*, with 1 group on the red track and 1 on the black track. The 2 groups allow us for different abilities & speeds and move riders between groups as required.
For this reason we intend to have an online sign-up list for each week’s session, so that the activities and groups can be sorted out in advance, and matched with available coaching cover.
Sometimes, we might only be able to run 1 group, so we might choose to accept the faster subset of riders that week, but aim to cater for the slower subset next time we only have 1 coach, to compensate.
*Note: we only have a limited number of Level 2 Track coaches (required for coaching fixed-wheel sessions) so we may not always be able to run the session as intended.
Why now?
As a track racing club, we are particularly keen to make a start at this point in the season, to train up a new cohort of riders for next Spring’s Omnium season and Reading’s Monday night Track League, as these events take place on fixed wheel bikes.
I’ve never tried fixed wheel before: can I join?
  • Riders who attended some or all of the C sessions earlier this year are welcome to sign up (we know these riders’ abilities and are keen to continue working with them). If you’ve never tried fixed wheel before, there will be the opportunity to join the C session in due course but we’d like to work with the current C riders for the first few times and invite other riders to join in due course, once we are happy with logistics and numbers.
  • Riders who already have ridden fixed wheel elsewhere or at Track League, but who are not yet riding in the A or B sessions may also sign up.
How will I know when I’m ready to move up to the B session?
This will be decided between the coach(es) and the rider (NB: not the parent!). Once the rider has demonstrated all the required skills during regular attendance at C sessions, the rider will be invited to join the B session ON PROBATION, probably for about 2-4 weeks, during which time the B session coach will observe how they are coping. It might be that after a few weeks they still find they’re dropped off the back of the B group, in which case the coach will discuss the best course of action with the rider, but ideally they would not be put forward for the B session until they’re ready. Meanwhile any borderline B/C session rider would be welcome to attend the C session for extra time on fixed wheel.

Timing, Bikes

The C session will use the track from 10:50-11:30. C riders will however need to arrive at 10:20 to ensure that bikes can be sorted out and all riders ready to enter the track promptly at 11:00 and make the most of the available track time.

If you need to borrow a fixed-wheel bike, please ensure that you indicate this (& size) on the sign up form so that the shed team can be aware of the demand for bikes on the day. Please allow extra time for pedals to be fixed to bikes.

The sign-up list for this Saturday’s C session is here:

Matt (on behalf of the coaching team)