January 23, 2014

The Grass Track

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Traffic in large cities has made teaching children to ride bicycles difficult. Allowing them to venture around the block on a bicycle alone, as past generations did, is worrisome for parents. Even for experienced cyclists, riding in traffic can be daunting. Drivers speed through neighborhoods, rushing to get to work, to get their kids to soccer practice, to pick them up from school, or to go for coffee while chatting on phones or texting. Now that modern traffic no longer allows kids to ride up and down many streets, where can we safely teach them to ride, race, and have fun? The answer might be on a grass track.

Grass track racing was once a popular discipline in Britain and northern France. In some areas, it still is. The format is simple. Set out on a soccer field or cricket pitch, on a 400-meter, smooth grass oval that’s marked with chalk and wooden stakes. (Continue reading)