Peddlers were keen to go for it on track
As soon as the Avantidrome in Cambridge was completed, Matamata cyclist Dale Ertel was in there like a shot.
Ertel, who is president of the Matamata Peddlers, completed accreditation for the indoor velodrome as soon as the facility was ready earlier this year.
He was one of the first people on the track and said going through the accreditation process was invaluable.
Being accredited means riders have permission and have been certified. They are perceived as being safe to ride on the track, are safe towards themselves and safe towards others.
This was important, Ertel said, as the velodrome was a multi- million dollar facility and it could be damaged easily if accidents happen.
Ertel said he shouted himself the cost of accreditation as a Christmas present.
Putting it bluntly, he said the experience of track cycling scared him.
‘‘I certainly had a few wobbles and that was nothing more than nerves. I’m quite capable on a bike, but that thing, it was a different kettle of fish.’’
In reality, Ertel said it was scary because there was the possibility of getting injured but he soon became hooked.
‘‘Once you do ride it and you find out you can get around those steep walls, it’s a buzz and that’s why people get hooked on it quite quickly, because it’s an adrenalin buzz.’’
Because he became passionate about the track, every time he was with Peddlers members he would end up talking about it.
He then realised there were other club members who would be keen to give the track a go so he organised a have-a-go session.
Ertel said the accreditation process always starts with a have-a-go session, which can either be public and open to everyone or a closed session if you have the numbers required.
The club had good numbers to start with and were able to host two full sessions with about 30 members giving track cycling a go.
But Ertel said of those, a number of the female club members didn’t end up having a go. He said he quickly realised that they felt intimidated while riding around the track, so he organised a ‘chicks only’ havea-go session. He said this was successful and quite a few of the ladies ended up joining the accreditation process.
After the have-a-go sessions, about 16 club members said they wanted to do the accreditation so once a week for five or six weeks the group worked through the accreditation process. This was concluded late last month.
Ertel said it was important to go through the process of accreditation and he was proud of the club members that had completed the course.
He said it was exciting to have a facility such as the velodrome ‘‘in our backyard’’ and he encouraged everyone to organise their own have-a-go session.