Track 1.2: Turning and cornering
Get people to ride around the roll-around and slalom around the cones. Do not bother trying to get people to “turn” rather than “lean” their bike around the cones. When they are up on the track they will need to lean their bikes more than their bodies when going around the banking at low speeds, and lean their bodies more than their bikes when turning right, uptrack. It all gets just too complex for learners at this stage and it is better left to subconscious balancing mechanisms in the brain than assigned to consciousness. Just get them slaloming as best they can and work at getting them to do it briskly. Again, ensure that they have their chins up and hands on the drops. As a variation, get them to do this drill while standing up out of the saddle. While it is possible to work around an inability to get on or off the bike, it is absolutely necessary that people be able to slalom around the cones before being allowed to proceed. Those who cannot do this will not be able to stick to the track in the turns. They need to be kept back to keep practicing.
Gather everyone on the infield with their bikes. Introduce them to the names you will be using for the different parts of the track.
Explain to everyone that while on the track they must hold to their line (explain that a “line” is any line parallel to the lines drawn on the track). They may only deviate from a line if they signal (with a flip of the appropriate elbow) and shoulder check (over the appropriate shoulder). Emphasize that shoulder checks should not involve a full turn of the head, but just a brief tilt and glance sideways.
Put down 3 cones along each straight, two at the black well away from the turns, one at the black at the middle of the straight. Get everyone up on the apron 3-5 bike lengths apart. Have them go under the first cone, over the second, and under the third, descending back to the apron to go around the turn. Have them signal and shoulder check before changing their lines. This is not a speed drill. Do not let them go fast. Check that their hands are on the drops and their chins are up.
Over the next 15 minutes, slowly move the center cones on each straight higher and higher on the track. As you move the cones up, vary laps done out of the saddle with laps done seated. Also ensure that people are maintaining a constant speed, working on the way up and slowing the bike down on the way down.
The extreme cones (the ones they go under) are placed to ensure that they do not ride too close to the banking before going down and clip a pedal. It is best to stand up on the track in front of the banking to help prevent this. Point riders down the track. As a further exercise, hold your arm out and have them duck under it as they pass.
If time permits, add a 4th and 5th cone to each straight. Riders go under the first cone (which is there to prevent them from going up the track too soon), over the second cone, which is set only part way up the track, under the 3rd, which is on the black line, over the 4th, which is set high up on the track, and under the 5th, which is again placed to prevent them from riding too close to the steep banking. As they do this, they practice tipping the bike away from the track at all times (so, tipping it to the left both while turning left, down the track, and while turning right, up the track). To tip left while turning right, riders must shift their weight well out to the right while moving the bike sideways underneath them. The tipping is necessary to help keep the pedals clear of the track while turning. Bike tipping is always away from the track (to the left).