Track cyclists from across B.C. will descend upon the velodrome at the JdF Recreation Centre later this month for the provincial track championships. (Don Descoteau/Black Press)

B.C. track cycling championships come to Colwood

Many of B.C.’s best set to compete at West Shore velodrome

The Colwood Crawl will have a whole new meaning when the Provincial Track Championships hit the velodrome at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre later this month.

The Aug. 18 to 20 championships will feature team sprints, team pursuits, individual sprint tournaments and points races, but one of the fan favourites is likely to be the aptly named Colwood Crawl.

Participants will be tasked with cycling as slow as possible over an undetermined amount of time. Touching the ground or the railing is cause for disqualification, as is crossing the start line. But once the time elapses, it’s a free-for-all sprint around the track.

“It’s fun for the spectators and the riders,” said Tony Winter, Greater Victoria Velodrome Association president.

Other races will take place at considerably higher speeds – up to 70 km/h for some of the top sprinters – and will feature some of the best track cycling talent in B.C. across a wide swath of age groups. Events begin on Aug. 18 at 5:30 p.m. and continue throughout the day on Aug. 19 and 20.

While most athletes come from the Island or the Lower Mainland, with Colwood and Burnaby having the only two velodromes in the province, Winter notes that there is usually a strong number of riders from the Okanagan as well.

While he says growth in the sport has stagnated somewhat over the past few years, Winter hopes that the opportunity to check out the provincial championships will lead to more local interest in a sport that enjoys a considerable following in his native Australia.

Track cycling is safe and offers unique challenges compared to other sports on two wheels, Winter explained.

“We ride fixed-wheeled bikes,” he said. “If you pedal forward, then the back wheel turns forward, and if you pedal backwards, the rear wheel turns backwards. So there’s no coasting.

“What that does is it really improves your pedalling technique.”

Track bikes don’t have any brakes, and the nature of the sport helps participants get comfortable riding in tight groups at high speeds, he added.

Those interested in giving track cycling a try are encouraged to participate in regular “Learn to Ride” sessions on Sundays throughout the month, with Aug. 20 being an exception. Bike rentals are included in the $50 fee and no previous experience is necessary.

For more information on the velodrome association and the provincial track championships, visit gvva.bc.ca.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police seek suspects in series of bear spray attacks

Police responded to several calls Saturday evening

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

Lamborghini driver slapped with nearly $1,000 in fines while speeding in Central Saanich

Vehicle impounded by Central Saanich police, 11 points issued

West Shore RCMP arrives just in time thanks to tip

Officers remind of resources after mental health call Monday morning

Man arrested after speeding to Victoria court date for driving offence

West Shore RCMP remind drivers to be mindful of construction zones

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out of stand on Norcross Road

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Most Read