Secret of how to succeed at Street Velodrome as track returns to Lowestoft

The Street Velodrome back in the town centre as part of the Lowestoft Summer Festival.July 2016.Pict

The Street Velodrome back in the town centre as part of the Lowestoft Summer Festival.July 2016.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The Street Velodrome has returned to Lowestoft this weekend. ANDREW PAPWORTH looks at the secret to a good lap time - and reveals how he fared on the circuit.

The Street Velodrome back in the town centre as part of the Lowestoft Summer Festival.July 2016.Pict

The Street Velodrome back in the town centre as part of the Lowestoft Summer Festival.July 2016.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The return of the popular Street Velodrome, which had been such a hit at last year's Lowestoft Summer Festival, gave me a chance to redeem myself.

I was one of those to have a go on the daunting-looking pop-up track in London Road North last year but, despite successfully getting round without falling off, I lost out in a head-to-head with the Beach Radio breakfast presenter Paul Carter.

This year Paul couldn't make it, so I was up against Beach account manager Kelly King - and I didn't want to let to side down again.

Having already done it once before, I didn't think the steep ramp and tight bends would be quite so scary this time around.

Journal editor Andrew Papworth taking part in the Street Velodrome.

Journal editor Andrew Papworth taking part in the Street Velodrome. - Credit: Archant

How wrong I was.

Although I was fine before setting off, there were quite a few heart-in-the-mouth moments as I rode up the ramp and hurtled down the other side, each time feeling as though I was a just a small wobble away from disaster.

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After a few goes round and some expert tips from Suffolk Swifts rider John Stockwell, which I really couldn't have managed without, I just about got that hang of it.

However the main problem was my cornering line - I was making too many tight turns, which was affecting my overall cornering speed. And if I'm honest, I also wasn't very fast.

Lowestoft Journal editor Andrew Papworth and Beach Radio account manager Kelly King after the Street

Lowestoft Journal editor Andrew Papworth and Beach Radio account manager Kelly King after the Street Velodrome media race. - Credit: Archant

That, unfortunately, cost me in the race with Kelly.

Although I had a height advantage, Kelly had a far smoother line in the corners and as such easily beat me over two laps.

Not wanting to accept defeat, we had a rematch and although I was closer next time round, I was still no match for Kelly and finally had to concede defeat.

I hoped for glory in the corporate race later in the day, only to be beaten again by Marks and Spencer Lowestoft store manager Mark Leftley.

Sadly therefore I let The Journal down and left the Beach as the undisputed kings of the Street Velodrome media race.

Luckily though I managed to get my own back by beating Kelly 5-3 in the Streetwise Soccer football cage just next to track, despite gracelessly falling over while trying to put the ball in the goal.

It's great to see events like to velodrome attracting so many people to the town and encouraging a friendly competitive spirit. For now though, I'll stick to my more leisurely cycle rides along the seafront.

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