Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for most kids.
But at the Encino Velodrome, novice cyclists, young and old, can sign up for a beginner's course offered once a month to learn the rules of the track.
In this class taught by Kenneth Avchen, president of Encino Velodrome, beginners learn basic track safety, cycling etiquette and technical skills. In a few hours, they're ready to graduate onto the track.
In the accompanying video you can get a brief preview of what to expect in the class.
The Encino Velodrome, at 17301 Oxnard St., relies on donations, sponsors and volunteers. The beginner class costs $40, which goes toward maintaining the velodrome.
Cycling is a great way to get fit and burn some calories, Avchen pointed out.
“Cycling is excellent because it’s a non-weight-bearing activity and it’s a really good cardiovascular exercise, so it works your heart, lungs. Works off those calories, which everyone wants to,” Avchen said. “And it’s pretty safe, unless you crash. But it’s easier on your body than running or other activities.”
Every Thursday evening, you will find young riders between the ages of 10 and 18 training with There are also regularly scheduled structured or open training sessions. Costs and times are listed here.