are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Saturday Afternoons

As a typical product of the New York City racing scene, I’ve done my fair share of races in Central and Prospect Park. Those frigid early mornings, pinning your number on to your winter biking jacket, dropping the safety pins because you had lost the feeling in your fingers, then couldn’t find them because the sun had yet to come up. Yes. Been there. Done that.

In the Netherlands they have a much more civilized approach to early season Saturday races: they have purpose built bike circuits, with club houses. Yes, club houses, with insulation, heat, electricity, and if necessary - internal plumbing. Nice.

About 8 km south from Amsterdam’s city center is Sloten Sports Park. The park is home to soccer fields, a baseball diamond, a Velodrome, and a 2.5 km purpose built bike racing circuit.

The races start at the end of February, and run through early October. On Saturdays the races are organized by WV Amsterdam, and start at 1 PM, with the “Trimmers" (non-licensed, recreational riders), lasting 1 hour and 6 laps, followed by the licensed racers departing at 3:00 PM., lasting 1 hour and 9 laps.

The Start/Finish

Unlike Central Park, you pick up your number in the comforts of the club house.

Once you park your bike.

It cost a stunning 2€ to race, working out to be +/- 1.45€ an hour of fun.

The ‘mini-museum’ is free of charge.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

After the race you can get a coffee, or beer if you like, and talk about the one that got away.

If you're curious to hear about how some of the races go, and know some Dutch, you can check the reasonably regular race reports from the Trimmers races.


CyLowe said...

Does everyone have some sort of red kit there?

Very cool park, that.

Shaver said...

Red is a popular color, but no, not everybody has a red kit.

Of the big Amsterdam clubs, only ASC Olypmia (pictured in the Start/Stop photo) and WTC de Amstel feature red.

CyLowe said...

Re: "Trimmers."

You know this is going to remind Yanks of "Cutters," right?

Go get 'em Dave Stoller!

Still astonished at the uproar over your vacation from the board. Cause celebre. It's like Leonard Peltier has Rage Against The Machine in his corner all over again! "Freedom!!! Yeah....right."