Hitting the Track at Trexlertown
By Marcy Cruthirds
All photos by Kenji Edmonds unless otherwise noted.
A few weekends ago, my teammate Becca and I left our small local track in Queens for the big league: Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Pennsylvania, more simply known as Trexlertown. Built on land donated by the Robert Rodale, the publisher of Bicycling magazine, T-Town regularly hosts elite national track cycling events and Olympic trials.
The challenge of getting there from Brooklyn almost stopped us, but fortunately our close-knit racing community stepped up to help. Pink Rhino Racing – who host the intro clinics that gave most of us our first taste of track – thankfully offered us a standing invitation for a ride to T-Town whenever they have the space. Riding in the car for four hours with Brean and Iliana gave us more racing insight than the two of them probably realized!
When we arrived, it turned out even more Kissena alumni made it to the day's Masters & Rookies races – we had no idea we’d be racing with the same awesome women we compete against every Wednesday and see our local race official Karl.
Trexlertown was intimidating, but as soon as we hit the track, that all melted away. There’s nothing like stepping onto a smooth track that Olympians race on, too. We whipped through the day’s omnium of races, which consisted of an 18-lap points race, 12-lap “point-a-lap” race, and a flying mile*, following the example of the strong women racing beside us. E we all had a fun, fast, technical day of races.
The biggest takeaway from our day at T-town was realizing the strength our small racing community gives everyone. Seeing familiar faces and riding alongside each other made the nervousness we initially felt disappear. There are so many amazing individuals and teams in the New York area that have endless amounts of advice and positive energy to share. Having their support helps gives us the confidence to take risks and not expect each race to turn out perfectly. That’s way more exciting than having all the answers. The challenges and mistakes are what make us stronger riders and community members and I’m personally so excited to be more involved.
Racing at T-town stoked my and my teammate's passion for racing even more. All the nights I decided to stay in the night before a race are so worth it, and we’re excited to make it out to the big velodrome again with the rest of our team!
Points race: the top four riders earn points on a sprint lap, which happens every three to five laps.
Point-a-lap: the first rider earns a point each lap, except for the final lap.
Flying mile: riders get a rolling or standing start over a short distance.