Thursday, 30 August 2012

A blog from Azerbaijan by John Newton

Hi everyone,

Well we all know what a massive global conglomerate the long established Pearson Group has become of late and as if to prove it here is a report from an Asian branch.

2012 took off quiet calmly here in Baku and I managed a couple of Sunday sessions on the 1960s former soviet concrete velodrome in early January. For company I had a few of the local roadies who use the track as a meeting point post Sunday ride. However, February was another story. At pretty much the same time the weather struck Europe the “Windy City of Baku, Azerbaijan” had one dump of snow after another which lasted right through to the end of March. By then I was due a trip home and by the time I got back Andy, Rob and Dave had their new Pearson track bikes ready for action.

The Velodrome in Baku

The Velodrome in Baku

Now for those of you familiar with Manchester, Newport, or are fortunate enough to have been on the boards at London, this is something quite different. I’m sure HS&E in the UK would have stopped us using it some time ago. We get there once or twice a week and, as an example of how different it is, we usually share it with locals on MTBs (bikes have only come to Baku in the last 12 months many locals have never seen them before) riding any which way they please, this is used to hone our track skills, children playing, it’s one of the few open areas in the city. I have also had guys on an electric scooter/bike, a child on an internal combustion powered mini quad!

This week Rob suffered what we had expected for some time, a major blow out. Glass is ever present along with wind-blown poly bags, nails and lumps of grout out of the joints in the concrete. Yes its 300meters of pure fun folks and we love it. I’m sure if we wait long enough an Olympic bid will bring us a nice new indoor wooden bowl. Sorry about Dave’s lack of head gear in the pics he has a sprained ankle (ay?) and was there only for the photos and forgot his lid, oops!


Written by John Newton

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