Fixing Our Playground: NSC Velodrome Maintenance
Track track trackity track-track-track.
We have a grand old track. It’s outdoor. It’s gorgeous. It's fast. Blah blah blah.
There are two teensy quirks to it, though.
1) Splinters. Here’s Koochella prized sprinter and “Master Splinter” Margeaux (alias “Snakebite”) getting splinters picked out of her side by a medical professional after crashing earlier this season.
2) The other “teensy quirk” of our track is: necessary constant maintenance. Our track is getting up there in years so every once in awhile, a board decides that it’s had enough and starts to feel soft. When that happens, we need to go in and drill it out, chisel out all of the pieces, and then replace it with another.
This effort is perpetual when the track isn't covered in snow… which is less of the year than you’d think or we’d wish.
This Saturday was the first in a few where it wasn’t down-pouring. All-City Global Sales Manager and Resident Domestic Robot Aficionado, Adam, organized an effort. NSC Velodrome Resident Good Citizens, Team Koochella, were out in force to put in hard time.
How does this work?
Step one: identify a bad board. When you do track repair, you become sensitive to “improvement opportunities” all over the track while you ride. Saturday's repair followed a practice session, so we were able to hunt down “soft” boards while we rode then hunt them down after. Here, you see Margeaux (top) and Adam (lower right) working together to try to get a closer look at something seemingly problematic in turn four.
Step two: drill a bunch of holes in the identified bad board.
Step three: chisel. A bunch. We do a lot of this.
June "Tiny Terror"
Altan "Turkish Tiger" and Fred "Can Never Seem To Find His Shirt" Mills
Tiana "T-Bits" (June in background)
Altan, Linsey "Linzilla" and Fred on scafolding at the steepest point in the track. Yep, sometimes we have to fix boards there too.
Step four: build the support mechanism for the new board. This happens on the underside of the track… I actually have no idea what goes on down there. Steph is much more “competent” than I am… here she is doing whatever this step is.
Step five: hammer in a new board that has been cut to size.
(NO IMAGE... TOO BUSY HAMMERING)
Step six: attach new board to new board infrastructure. Via magic. Or powertools. Again, this was Steph and Track Director, Bob.
After these steps, there is a solid new board. You can see them out there... they are much lighter in color than the original wood.
It’s a lot of hard work, but it needs to be done. But, if you have the right crew, it's a pretty good time.
I have the best crew.
As Fred “Can Never Seem To Find His Shirt” Mills (see the pictures above), pointed out: this is our playground. We play on it all summer. We love it. So it’s our responsibility to take care of it.