First time on the velodrome for Emily
On Tuesday, Dino and I got Emily on the track
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.