Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Where speeds may exceed 60 kmph

Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby toppity » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:37 pm

I know this is preaching to the converted on this little subsection of the board, but after looking at Brentono's last photo it made me wonder if the days when track racing was participated in by large numbers of people will ever return?
The six day scene in Europe is struggling a little from what I can gather.
The big track races over here don't seem to get as many attending as decades gone by (Austral and the like).
Participation at a local level seems o.k. but miles down on days gone by. (I remember when I raced 20 years ago the numbers were greater then).
Is it the perception of the sport? Have drugs and doping made mums and dads guide their children down other sporting paths?
Is there anything that can be done?
We love the cheer the Aussie team at the Olympics, but for the years in between the sport seems to be slowly suffocating.
:(
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
toppity
 
Posts: 968
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:08 am
Location: West Gippsland, Victoria

by BNA » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:37 pm

BNA
 

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby rkelsen » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:37 pm

toppity wrote:Is it the perception of the sport?

Yes.
toppity wrote:Have drugs and doping made mums and dads guide their children down other sporting paths?

There are drugs in every sport at the elite levels. Witness the popularity of swimming, and the drug problems it also carries.

I think it's more to do with the (incorrect) notion that cycling is inherently an unsafe sport.
toppity wrote:Is there anything that can be done?

I think they should repeal mandatory helmet laws.
User avatar
rkelsen
 
Posts: 4187
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:11 pm

toppity wrote:Participation at a local level seems o.k. but miles down on days gone by. (I remember when I raced 20 years ago the numbers were greater then).


The local commissaires tell me that the numbers are up around Sydney, but there has just been the (well resolved) hassle over Hurstville Velodrome and there are rumours that the Dunc Gray Velodrome may be shut down (and probably turned into a car park). I don't know, but having only recently gotten into the sport I don't want it to stop.

toppity wrote:Is there anything that can be done?
We love the cheer the Aussie team at the Olympics, but for the years in between the sport seems to be slowly suffocating.
:(


We need a movie about Oppy. I know just how it would go, I've written and filmed it all in my head. It will be our "Breaking Away" or perhaps "Phar Lap" would be a better comparison. Something to get people excited about the nobility and athleticism of the sport. You just can't beat the story of:
a boy who trained on his bike, rode his bike for work, then raced; did this all over the country; wound up representing his country in Europe in the TdF; overcame sabotage to beat the French in a 24 hour race and then went on to beat the 1000km record; won the Paris-Brest-Paris when it was a race; broke literally hundreds of distance cycling records in Australia and Europe; joined and served in the airforce during WW2; became a federal politician and Minister for Immigration; became Australian high-commissioner to Malta; and finally died in his 90s while riding his exercise bike. In terms of cycling role models, he's probably one of the best. </oppy love fest>

If you know someone interested in making a film, let me know.

David (Yeah sure, Mockridge was a great champion whose life was cut tragically short but he did die while racing and got hit by a bus - perhaps not the message we want to send)
User avatar
bigfriendlyvegan
 
Posts: 2888
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:18 pm
Location: Denistone, NSW

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby brawlo » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:08 pm

At my local carnival Trackpower, I sat with a couple of older riders and former riders. They harped on about how numbers have dwindled and how good things used to be.

I have only just started in the sport as well, just completing my first track season.

My perception is there are 2 major problems with the sport. Both are based on perceptions that are in some ways wrong.

Cost is one. People believe that cycling is an expensive sport. In some ways it is if you want to hang out with the big boys and play the same game. That afterall is what the general public sees of our sport. But when you actually get in and have a go, it's not that expensive to get started when compared to many other sports especially when joining with a club. Through my club I have been very fortunate with my daughter, with training, hand me down bikes and bits and pieces. Not so lucky for myself though but that's my choice.

The second I see is the perception that you need to already be very good before you can join a club and race. I have seen this many times in many different threads on many different sites about people training to be good before they even try a race. I started racing after being a social rider for less than a year and havig a very slack winter. I started and struggled in the lower grade of our club. Through the course of the season I have worked my way up to take out both track and road grades that I started in this year. I love the competition as it drives me from a fitness perspective to give me the many benefits that I need. In my area, if we were to convert the social "I'm not good enough to race" riders to racing, the good turnout of 30-40club racers could easily become 100 riders.

Add to all this you have other sports and video gaming to compete with. Extreme is the catch cry of the gen Y and cycle racing just doesn't cut it. New blood is thin on the ground, though having just been involved with our local junior tour, it's not too bad, just not what it used to be.
brawlo
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:01 pm
Location: Goulburn, NSW

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby Jeremy » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:08 pm

I would dearly love it to.
I'm only relatively new to the game....about 4yrs or so, but i've heard stories and seen photos etc....of the time when our local football ovals with a couple hundred spectators once were velodromes, with tens of thousands of spectators.

Speaking from a South Australian point of view, cycling, and particularly track racing, really isnt promoted at all. All anyone hears about is the tour down under, Lance Armstrong, and all the pros' getting done for doping.

They dont hear about all the local track riders that get out there every week, riding clean and having a great time doing something that is good for their bodies.

I do think it is quite expensive compared to the alternatives.....which could be a contributing factor if some kid is interested in doing something that all his friends dont (unlikely in itself). This is the playstation generation.

Even a second hand track bike (if you can find one in your size, when you want one) is about $500.....add the $250 or so for a license to race, another $250 or so for some cheap clipless shoes and a helmet, $150 for some club kit

All that, and you still dont have anything you can ride around the streets with your friends, or do any training on the road.

I dont know what it costs for a kid to play soccer or football, but it'd be alot less than $1150 up front.......
A playstation costs about $400.

I'm keen to hear everyone elses thoughts.....as I said, i'd love to see it grow, and if collectively we can come up with some ideas to make that happen, count me in! :)
Jeremy
 
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:58 pm
Location: Adelaide

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby Oxford » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:18 pm

couple of weeks ago I posted up the programme of the '56 olympics road race. I also have a programme for a '56 track series which I personally find interesting to read through. I was going to scan it and post up but there was little if any interest in the olympic programme so haven't bothered. reading through it, it is obvious that cycling was a revered sport in its day, it would be nice if those days returned.
Life is not about waiting for the rain to pass.....it's about learning to dance (or ride) in the rain.
- anonymous
Oxford
 
Posts: 4506
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby brentono » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:18 pm

Much of this was covered earlier regarding Cycling as an Australian Sport.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=21458
On the Media.
I feel it can be mis-information, or aiding and abetting poor perception of the public,
of a drug riddled sport (Cycling). :roll:
(Parents be Aware!)
Truth is, that if reality was portrayed in the media, footy codes and many other sports,
would have a higher "drug riddled" profile. IMHO. :|

It seems when it come to Track, Media (these days) give little or No coverage,
and that can be well exemplified by SBS Cycling coverage of Track Events. :?

Since the UCI got involved in regulating that Velodromes to be of a minimum "Standard Size" 250m,
I feel this is detrimental, and much of the Spectacle of Track Competition is lost, on larger venues. :?

FME, as in Europe, on Small Velodromes (160-200m), a closer social atmosphere,
with seating innner track, gives a better Entertainment experience. 8)

So, as mentioned in the "post link"- until, a good promoter gets involved, and all the media
come on side. And with a deconstructable Velodrome, that can be setup, innercity venues (stadiums)
and the right promotion, and the gathering of Australia's/and Overseas Track Talents.
I feel unless something like this comes to pass, the Halcyon Days of the Track, will not return.
Just a few thoughts, Déjà vu, as this has been discussed (for many, many years) before.
:mrgreen:
Lone Rider- I rode on the long, dark road... before I danced under the lights.
User avatar
brentono
 
Posts: 3667
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:33 pm
Location: Perth DubyaEh.

Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby scotto » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:03 am

When they start having more open days with free loan bikes you might get more people looking into it, esp with the Olympics coming and hopefully more medals from the track then the boring as all pool.
My first track taste was at a bankstown council sponsored open day last year, and I know of a few who took it up after that.
User avatar
scotto
 
Posts: 2336
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Baulkham Hills

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:59 pm

I Australia the halcyon days would have been the post depression years. That was when the great all round Aussie sporting culture was of doing it rather than watching it on Fox or at the track with a pie and sauce.

From what I have been told (dad and his generation) weekend road cycling - sprints and distance - was as common as the bikes they rode to the shops. Egalitarian, not elitism.

Oh, for the good old days. Am I sounding really old here?
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4281
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby toppity » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:01 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I Australia the halcyon days would have been the post depression years. That was when the great all round Aussie sporting culture was of doing it rather than watching it on Fox or at the track with a pie and sauce.

From what I have been told (dad and his generation) weekend road cycling - sprints and distance - was as common as the bikes they rode to the shops. Egalitarian, not elitism.

Oh, for the good old days. Am I sounding really old here?


yes...yes you are.

But it's not bad.

Just yesterday I put up the idea of a carnival at my local club Warragul. Many years ago South Gippsland had a few good Carnivals (Leongatha being one of the main ones I remember). The cycling culture in and around Warragul is decent and growing. The time might be right. We will see if there is interest and hopefully a few of us can band together and make it happen. Latrobe have a good day for their Wheelrace, I like to do the same at Warragul.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
toppity
 
Posts: 968
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:08 am
Location: West Gippsland, Victoria

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby alex » Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:43 pm

there is no promotion to make track cycling something that people want to watch or do

in adelaide we have a world class track, world class athletes (the AIS track program is based here) and an entire state of people who love watching sport but nobody at the top of the tree is interested in promoting the sport

not too long ago, doors were closed to the public for what i recall was an annual sprint event called the 'sprint GP' which i believe was being used as prep for the comm games - the reason the doors were closed was (and i sh*t you not) that 'it costs too much to get the cleaners to clean up the grandstand after the event'
if i get killed while out on my bike i dont want a 'memorial ride' by random punters i have never met.
alex
 
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:19 pm

alex wrote:there is no promotion to make track cycling something that people want to watch or do

in adelaide we have a world class track, world class athletes (the AIS track program is based here) and an entire state of people who love watching sport but nobody at the top of the tree is interested in promoting the sport

not too long ago, doors were closed to the public for what i recall was an annual sprint event called the 'sprint GP' which i believe was being used as prep for the comm games - the reason the doors were closed was (and i sh*t you not) that 'it costs too much to get the cleaners to clean up the grandstand after the event'


Which may indicate that they are underfunded. Maybe not.

But it is certainly pretty poor that those few that are interested are turned away. Perhaps they need to take a look at how state footy clubs work where everyone and anyone gets to watch the training sessions. (Exceptions are closed sessions to keep vital knoweledge from competing teams. Understandable.)
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4281
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:26 pm

There has always been a short sighted approach to promoting Track Cycling, by the knobs at the top! :roll:
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km
Image
User avatar
foo on patrol
 
Posts: 4036
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:12 am
Location: Sanstone Point QLD

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby alex » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:05 pm

i think the wider racing community see track only as something that juniors are forced to do and something that happens in the olympics, and that is pretty much it.
if i get killed while out on my bike i dont want a 'memorial ride' by random punters i have never met.
alex
 
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby scotto » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:20 pm

alex wrote:i think the wider racing community see track only as something that juniors are forced to do and something that happens in the olympics, and that is pretty much it.

its a shame, because i enjoy all racing , but from a spectator POV, track it where its at... you can see all the action, races arent an hour long ( ie 57minutes of boredom with a 3min flourish at the end) and...well ive run out of reasons, but yo get the jist of it..
User avatar
scotto
 
Posts: 2336
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Baulkham Hills

Re: Will the Halcyon days of the track ever return

Postby alex » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:42 am

yes it is a shame because even the most casual fan would find a good points race or madison interesting to watch.

maybe part of the problem is that people don't find the 'pure' track races very interesting, ie pursuits, kilos, match sprints... i know personally i dont find those events interesting to watch at all
if i get killed while out on my bike i dont want a 'memorial ride' by random punters i have never met.
alex
 
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:12 am


Return to Track

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Top Bikes & Gear
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Cell Bikes Cell Bikes AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Ebay Ebay AU
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
ProBikeKit ProBikeKit UK
Evans Cycles Evans Cycles UK
JensonUSA Jenson USA
JensonUSA Competitive Cyclist