Long ago that we want to write this article and as RAW Cycling Magazine and cycling enthusiasts, we had a pending appointment with the club more representative of our city, the Pista Barcelona club.
Some of us as members of this club, we have lived through since close its beginnings, its history and the evolution of the project, people who have believed and struggled to regain an installation as mythical as the Horta Velodrome and the practice of the track cycling in a city such as Barcelona.
For several years the track cycling has suffered a significant decline (despite some exceptions) due to the little support from Administration, schools and own riders that we have forgotten to give continuity to the generation that followed us and we left full abandoned many velodromes and historical facilities of our country.
A little more than two years, we are living a movement of global recovery of the mythical velodromes, which form part of the history of the track cycling, either by the growth of the urban cycling and the fixed gear or because people have given that it is a pity that, as legendary facilities as Vigorelli Velodrome (Milan), end up abandoned or, worse, demolished.
In the case of the Horta Velodrome, in Barcelona (now re-baptized as Horta Miquel Poblet Velodrome), it has not been one of the most forgotten by their characteristics and location. Principally, the responsible, for keeping alive the track cycling at this facility, have been Jaume Mas and Vicenç Català founders of the Pista Barcelona, the first track club born with the intention to get closer, teach and inform everything about this great discipline.
Jaume: “Pista BCN is a much needed piece and makes link between cycling’s top competition and urban cycling”.
All started in the summer of 2012, for that one then Jaume used to go once a year to Italy with a group of cyclists to participate in an event that was held at the Fiorenzuola Velodrome (Italy). Just this year, Jaume had been without assistant who will accompany him. As a result of the accident, Jaume and Vicenç coincided in the Horta Velodrome on the day before travel and Jaume did not hesitate to propose to Vicenç if he wanted to accompany him.
Jaume: “Do you want to come to Italy?“
Jaume: “Tomorrow morning at 04:00 am.”
As in a movie when two giants come together, the result can’t be other than a success.
During that trip Jaume told him all projects that he had in mind, offering services to the cyclist, create a club and try to offer what no one had done so far: Introduction to the track, prepare national and foreign riders, travel, competition team, etc. It was there where he gave shape to what then became, Pista BCN.
When they came back, they got down to work to create the club. They were clear about that they wanted to bring the urban cycling to the track, and formed the first initiation team in January 2013.
One of the main aims of the club is to accommodate everyone, try to open the doors of velodrome to the world and not make distinctions. Teach everything about this discipline which is much more than go around in circles in an oval, knowing the technique, races type, camber respect, motivation, team work, and above all, to enjoy the track.
Vicenç:” To go fast, first you need to know to go slow.“
Both Jaume and Vicenç recognize learn a lot from people coming from urban cycling and who is not considered a regular cyclist. It used to be people who come eager to learn, and the possibility of seeing that train after train, increasingly get on better in the track and be witness of the progress made with the passing of the days, they recognize that it’s a very gratifying feeling for them as trainers.
A long time ago, we participated in one of the Velodrome Sessions serving as baptism in the track, and the feeling that we had was amazing, Jaume and Vicenç have managed to eliminate the barrier between the amateur/urban cyclist and track cycling.
Vicenç: “Any symbol of appreciation or interest in track cycling, compensate you for all the hard work.“
Jaume: “The rider of competition tends to be an animal very ungrateful and, instead, a person that you teach him to go biking or ride in a track… that thank you that they give you at the end… There are many professional cyclists who should learn about them.”
Today Pista BCN comes true; the club has been growing and getting stronger as time goes by. Currently with about 60 members, has served as a reference for other clubs/schools who have decided to join this movement to regain the good health of the track cycling and there are more and more interested in learning about this great discipline. It has been given a good boost to the track cycling and it seems that the administrations, are gradually responding, a proof of it is the recent rehabilitation of facilities and the substitution of the Olympic wood with a new one that both the Catalan Cycling Federation and several clubs have long claiming.
Jaume: “Thanks to Manel Herrando, the Horta Miquel Poblet Velodrome director, for the confidence put one’s trust in us and in our daily project. We made a great effort but, without such support, it had not been possible. Also emphasize the importance of the members of the club, without them, we are nothing.”
The work that they are doing with each member of the club in each training is amazing, they have managed to teach people, who at the beginning scared to see them, to ride by camber and to compete. They have managed to perfect the virtues of each pistard on the bike, they have facilitated the essential guides to know train and improve performance… in short, just go to a club training session to see all effort that they put into explaining, transmit and enjoy the track cycling.
Chapeau by people like them!