Gentlemen, start your engines! Well, get your legs moving, that is. Track bicycling is a lot like NASCAR, only the vehicle of transport is a single-speed bike with no brakes.
There is a $5 fee for the Beginner Training Session, which is offered every Saturday. Check out their Web site for class schedules.
Make sure you come prepared. You'll need a release form, helmet, cycling shoes, pedals, warm clothing, a snack, water, Allen wrenches and sunscreen.
If you have a track bike bring that also. If you don't, no problem. Hellyer Park Velodrome rents out track bikes for $5.
Sound dicey? It isn't—not under the good instruction found at San Jose's Hellyer Park Velodrome. At the Saturday morning beginner sessions, novices get a "crash course" on how to speed around the 23-degree embanked track known as a velodrome.
First, the instructor will teach you to follow two completely counter-intuitive mantras: relax and keep pedaling, even if you have no brakes (the pedals don't coast; they're always moving forward with the bike). Then it's on to some pace line drills, rolling around the curves of the track. Relax and keep pedaling: Once you do catch the riding rhythm, the good times really start rolling. You'll be hanging on "the rail" in no time. Wheelies not recommended.
See website for schedule. Rain cancels.