Met Fat – A teeny track race
Hidden away in the heart of France, I’ Isle Jourdain is a small, unassuming town with a big secret. Just an hour by train from the bustling metropolis of Toulouse, a city it took us an hour and a half to cross by bus, I’ Isle Jourdain is one of those delightfully perfect little places, just a small parade of shops, a market square and a handful of boulangeries.
I’d have been happy enough just to while away the weekend sipping espressos and nibbling delicate pastries, such was the charm of the place. But L’ Isle Jourdain has more to offer than talented patissieres; this delightful town also boasts its own permanent miniature cycling track, housed inside a museum dedicated to cycling, Veloscope. There’s also a disused outdoor track and a fully automated wake boarding set up on one of the beautiful lakes.
I was in town to compete on the mini velodrome in an event hosted by one of my sponsors, Met Helmets, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to arrive. The sun was shining, the hotel was lovely (I was so keen on our room, I’d have happily moved in) and all I had to do was enjoy myself and ride around in circles! We decided to celebrate by drinking copious amounts of fabulous red wine – we picked a ten euro bottle from the shop, which must have been roughly equivalent to a twenty quid bottle in the UK, such was it’s velvety richness.
The next day, we headed to the velodrome to try out the track, heads slightly fuzzy. I’ve ridden Red Bull’s minidrome three times so I knew what to expect, having done quite well in the past (as well as having crashed out!). The Veloscope ‘drome was a little longer and slightly less steep than the Red Bull one, which you might wrongly assume makes it easier to ride. In fact, I found the extra length made it incredibly fast and you were able to build up greater speeds, so the only thing limiting me was guts – I could pedal as hard and fast as I felt comfortable with, it wasn’t ever a case of wanting to go faster and being unable to do so.
After a mishap in the qualifications, my lovely Charge Scissor was out of action, so at the very last minute I had to race the final on a borrowed bike – thanks Damien! I actually found it a hell of a lot easier to ride than my Scissor, which had an insanely hard gear and massive tyres… so I’ll bear that in mind next time.
As Coven Magazine sponsored the women’s category I was slightly embarrassed to win, seeing as I’m the Editor, but I was also very pleased as I got to take home a trophy! Big thumbs up to Met for having a women’s category, it’s so important. Yes, there were fewer women than men, but if we ever want more women to race, we have to make them feel welcome. And a big thanks to Met for getting me over for the event. Love you guys.
Here’s the video of the event.