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First time on the velodrome for Emily

by Carl Brewer last modified 2007-03-21 18:46
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On Tuesday, Dino and I got Emily on the track

Dino's daughter, Emily, has been coming to a few track races at Blackburn and cheering her dad on (and watching him win!), and expressed some interest in having a go on a track bike.  After some pondering (she's 11) we thought we'd join her up to Blackburn as a J13 rider and then give her a tootle on the velodrome on Tuesday night when there's no-one there and I can keep the place safe for a complete novice.

All day Tuesday it had been raining on and off (more on, when I'd been riding anyway ... ) but it dried up and at 6 Dino picked me up from aboc HQ and we managed to squeeze my T1 into the back of his car along with his Raceline, and one quite excited and apprehensive young lady.

Once we got to the velodrome Dino took care of putting all the bikes together and Emily and I watched as a Blackburn junior crashed into the grass on the infield.  Emily didn't seem at all disturbed by this (one cool customer) and we went up to the clubrooms to organise her a bike.  Blackburn has a fleet of track bikes that get loaned out to juniors and beginners, they're old steelies that have seen many years of use, but they're pretty well maintained and certainly servicable.  We found the smallest one we could find and we got Emily as comfortable as we could, given that even the smallest bike was still too big for her.

Forms were filled out, Emily was licenced!  Time to ride.  Emily's got a mountainbike I think, and is a pretty confident rider on it, but track bikes? Fixed gear, no brakes, toe overlap ... a very different beast.

We got her on the bike and Dino started her off by push-starting from the side and running along to keep her steady, but in a flash, she was off! Two laps later and we got her to ride beside Dino who caught her.  A great first step.  We progressively gave her more to do on the bike and at the end of the evening, she was happy to start on the handrails in the infield by herself and come on and off the track onto the rail.  We had one little bingle when she got crossed up in the infield and tried to get onto the concrete at a bad angle, but she was straight back up and ready to go without any issues.

I think next summer might well see young Emily shaking up the girls and boys on the velodrome.  She's strong and tough, and has her family to give her plenty of support.

and did Dad bring a camera?

Posted by dinoapolito at 2007-03-22 04:54
How many cameras do you think Dad brought along to mark this momentous occasion, given that he owns about 11 cameras and was a professional photographer for over 15 years (even Vic. Photographer of the year in 1997)???

None. Not one stinking little box brownie. And it was such a beautiful sunset too....

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