Round and round

In all about the ride, Argentina, bike, Sud America on May 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm

You will not believe this, but Mendoza has a velodrome! A motherfucking velodrome, and it’s got the most gorgeous, high concrete banking, that you’ve ever seen, with a swoop and a curve to it that makes the jaw drop, and in a place that gets as little rain as Mendoza it should be in use 24/7.
But it’s not, it’s derelict, cobwebs everywhere, main gate locked tight and with nobody around and only the sun and the clouds above to observe what I’m doing, that gorgeous steep short track gets me rolling slowly round it, gearing to low, fear in my heart as my tyres squeal and scratch and I try to maintain enough momentum to keep myself up by the blue line.
The track feels shorter than Herne hill, maybe 250 or 300m long and the banking makes me dizzy just looking at it, I wanna say it’s as steep as Calshot of Manchester but I’ve been to neither and so can’t make any sort of informed decision.
To get to the track I have to crawl under a fence, after sliding the bike under it as well, brushing the dirt from my knees and walking the bike across rocks and shrubland, that makes me wish and not for the first time why I didn’t bring some bigger tyres with me, or even a mountain bike. But when I get to the track and see those smooth curves, I know why.
I stare at it for ages, who knew it would be here, I’ve only found it because I was round by the old Malvinas football stadium, trying to find new paths through the big park which sits at the bottom of Cerro Gloria and looking at my little map I see there’s a velodrome. I don’t believe it’ll be any good but you know I’ve got to go and check it out. I’m travelling the world with a track bike for chrissakes course I’ve got to check it out. And for those three short laps it doesn’t disappoint, forum track days would be acecakes here, with the sun always shining, using the long low ramp that connects to the back straight to get upto racing velocity and then just attack those curves hands tight on the drops channeling the spirit of the Hoy, thighs pumping, breath coming slow and deep, before getting out of the saddle for the last dig for the line, the bods cheering and drinking in the infield.
God it’d be magnificent!

addendum: on an early saturday morning ride, saw two guys on track bikes, drops and everything, heading past me in the opposite direction, possibly heading to the track. so it may not be totally unused..

google map linky,-68.880316&sll=-32.884135,-68.880157&sspn=0.001083,0.001666&ie=UTF8&ll=-32.883083,-68.881016&spn=0.017335,0.02665&t=h&z=15

  1. Did you ride the wrong way round? The very large child in me would have been like “fuck you invisible Commy, I’m riding clock-wise!!!”

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