I’m interested in racing on the track, how do I get into it?
The best way to start is by attending SATURDAY AM BEGINNER SESSIONS. These are every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. You may rent bikes and will receive basic track instruction. $5 track usage fee, plus $5 to rent a fixed gear track bike if you don’t have one.
Three Saturday morning sessions are required to race any mass start racing event as a Cat 5 track racer. Tuesday nights are focused on newer riders and Wednesday features longer events, with the focus being on riding fast, in a pack, for a lot of laps.
Once you have entered ten race days as a Cat 5, you are eligible to upgrade to Cat 4. The qualifying race days must include mass-start events. The Sprint Tournaments do not qualify as a race day for upgrading to Category 4.
I am a Cat P/1/2 on the road. Do I need to start as a Cat 5 on the track?
Not necessarily. Riders who are Pro or category 1 on the road may be upgraded to category 2 on the track and riders who are category 2 on the road may be upgraded to category 3 on the track without first having to begin at category 5, by
1) Passing a WRITTEN TEST (PDF) before participating in a race at Hellyer
2) Have the approval of a NCVA Board approved USA Cycling coach and NCVA Upgrade Committee.
How can I stay informed about events at Hellyer?
Join the NCVA mailing list at groups.google.com/group/ncva .
Also check out the CALENDAR for up-to-date information on training and racing.
What kind of races are run at the track?
Track racing consist one one-on-one sprints, individual races against the clock and mass start events. There are many different varieties of each type of racing. For a good overview of common races, see RACE DESCRIPTIONS (PDF).
Do I need a special bike for this? Does it really have no brakes?
There are occasional special training sessions in which the track is open for riding with “road” bikes. However to race and do the majority of the training sessions on the track you’ll need a special track bike. And yes, they don’t have brakes but you can still control your speed by resisting gently the motion of the pedals and by adjusting the path of the bike on the banked surface.
Can I rent a bike?
Yes. Track bikes are available for rental on a first come first serve basis. Rental bikes are available on race days at the discretion of the race promoter. To be sure of availability, please contact the race promoter or the supervisor in charge of the event you are attending.
Gears on rental bikes can not be changed. A few bikes have “flip-flop” hubs with gears on both sides. On these bikes, the renter is allowed to use the gear on either side of the hub.
Riders must bring their own pedals.
Are there special sessions for Juniors?
Yes. They are described HERE
The most important facts specific to riders under 18 are:
1) Parents/Legal Guardians must sign a release annually on behalf of minors who use the track. See JUNIORS PAGE
2) Juniors can ride the track for free, and get free use of the fixed gear rental bikes for training.
How big is Hellyer Velodrome?
Each lap is 335 meters – or about 0.2 miles. The corners have about 25 degrees of banking to them.
How much does it cost to ride at Hellyer?
The cost to ride the track for most training sessions is $5.00 per day. This pays for the insurance the County requires for its continued use, and contributes to the NCVA pool used for maintenance, utilities, etc. Enhanced training sessions or special events may have additional fees.
You can prepay all of your training sessions with an NCVA annual training pass. A deal at $100. This training pass is ONLY valid at open training sessions, and is not valid at any race or Saturday beginner session.
Is there Parking?
Hellyer County Park charges $6.00 per day per motor vehicle entry. A “Venture Pass” (this parking permit allows entry into all other Santa Clara County parks which charge an entrance fee for 12 months from the month of purchase) is $80.00. The vinyl windshield sticker can be transferred between vehicles within your household. An inconvenient alternative is to park your car outside the park and walk or ride in.
Do I need to sign something?
Yes. Every rider must complete a Santa Clara County Liability Waiver in order to train or race at Hellyer. See Waivers. Certain events may have USAC or other waivers as well.
Sessions: Rain cancels all track sessions. All open training sessions are open to all riders, category restrictions may apply (e.g. Advanced Training Category 1 to 3). The supervisor at any training session has the responsibility to make sure that the session is held in a safe manner, and that all riders in any given session can ride on the track together safely. In addition, the scheduled session for any time frame takes precedent over unscheduled activities. Be sure to check with the session supervisor on scheduled activities. Supervisor or Promoter contact information for every session is available on the TRACK CALENDAR
Still have questions? Please e-mail a BOARD MEMBER.