As the saying goes, "It's like riding a bike," and WKYC's Sara Shookman, an avid cyclist in her free time, is certainly comfortable on two wheels.
But, there are a few extreme forms of the sport she had yet to test out, and luckily, Northeast Ohio is home to a few of the best facilities out there.
First up, a visit to Akron BMX where Sara met up with track operator Ed Nelson. Ed has been riding at Akron BMX since he was a teenager. Today, he says, it's one of the top tracks in the country.
"We are rated every year in the top ten in the East Coast and always in the top 20 in the entire nation."
BMX stands for bicycle motocross, and it's an all-out race to the finish line with a few challenges (in the form of stunts) along the way. Despite appearances, Ed says, it's not just for beginners.
"BMX is a sport is open for kids anywhere from three years old to sixty years old -even older! All different skill levels from beginners to experts to pros," he said.
Time for Sara to give it a shot.
The first thing she noticed when she got on the bike? It's small size. But Ed explained it's all about how you ride it.
"The ticket for riding here is to stand up, [and] bend your elbows and knees as you're going over the jumps. So you don't really want to be sitting on your seat you want to be standing and bending."
After strapping on her helmet, Sara set off on the track. And for a first-timer, she did remarkably well, telling Ed, she'll definitely be back for a race night.
Next up, a drive up to Cleveland's Slavic Village to check out Ohio's only Velodrome complex. There, Sara met up with VP Gary Burkholder to learn more.
Gary told her that Cleveland Velodrome is one of about two dozen tracks in the US. It's one of the shorter tracks, measuring 166 meters, and 10 laps to a mile.
"The straightaways are banked at 15 degrees, the turns actually go as steep as 50 degrees, and while that seems intimidating to a beginner, you really don't have to worry as long as you get up to speed, you're confident, you're looking ahead," he promised.
Track cycling is a sport that at one time, was bigger than baseball!
"It was huge in the early 1900's. Madison Square Garden was actually originally a facility for track cycling. There was track cycling downtown in Public Hall,' Gary explained.
More than a century later, Cleveland Velodrome is a non-profit dedicated to help revive the sport. And like BMX, thoughtit may look intense, it's open to all skill levels.
"We have a Track 101 [class] on alternating Saturday and Sundays for beginners to come out and try the track. [It's] free for first-timers. All of our programming is free for kids 18 and under," he said.
"We're a non-profit. We're not out here to make money, we're trying to further cycling within the city of Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio and the state as well."
And as for the adrenaline rush? Gary explained, it's likely to result in what the pros call 'track grin!'
Or maybe more like a nervous grin, Sara joked as she clicked in and started out on the track.
After some instruction from Gary, she was off! And no surprise, got the hang of it pretty quickly.
And at the end of the day, Sara was sporting a great version of that famous "track grin" for herself.