Shortly after construction of the new velodrome in Milton, Ont. finished — the site of the track cycling events at this year’s Pan Am Games — Rick Mercer of the CBC decided to check out the brand new, UCI-level, state-of-the-art facility.
And as you might guess, hilarity ensued.
Mercer got a taste of what it’s like to ride a track bike around the fast, sloped track of the Mattamy National Cycling Centre — known for the duration of the Pan Am Games as the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Para Pan Am Velodrome — under the tutelage of Canadian cycling great Steve Bauer and Paralympian Jaye Milley, learning quickly the difference between closed-circuit speed riding and, say, your average joy ride around the block.
“You can’t stop pedaling once you start!” Mercer exclaimed, suddenly realizing exactly what he was in for. “What kind of event is it where you can’t coast? You can never relax!”
Riding past, he shouts into the camera, “I have no business being out here with these men!” It’s hard to blame the CBC host, though. Judging from the riders about to tear up the track at the Milton velodrome, with the Pan Am Games now underway, many first-time spectators will likely be realizing the same thing: that no matter how hard track cycling may actually be, the great riders make it look easy.
The track cycling segment of the 2015 Pan Am Games starts on Thursday, July 16 at the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Para Pan Am Velodrome, beginning with the women’s team pursuit qualification.