I’M sat there, with no brakes and my feet strapped in, filled with nerves as I get ready to cycle Newport’s Velodrome for the first time.

Before I arrived at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport, I thought it would be a walk in the park. In the past few days I’d seen Mark Cavendish and Laura Trott sweep the medals in Rio with ease, how hard can it be?

As I walked in to the place where Team GB were training just a fortnight ago, I was shocked, those sides on the oval which look slightly angled on the TV are much more steep than they seem, giving me vertigo every time I look at them.

I quickly make my way over to Rebecca Ransom from Welsh Cycling and youth development officer Ian Jenkins, who are giving a group of children their health and safety rundown as well as a few pointers about how to cycle in a Velodrome.

As I listen in, I realise that it’s completely different from being on my mountain bike or even road cycling.

These fearless kids, who are part of Welsh Cycling's sprint performance academy, listen intently as Mr Jenkins says "there are no brakes, so when you want to stop ease your pedals back a little, come off the banking and let it wind down so you can just grab onto the railings".

Now I’m thinking "get me on a bike!".

They sort me a bike for my size, a helmet, clips for my feet and a pair of gloves. As Mr Jenkins goes over my saddle height he can see how nervous I am and casually builds my confidence by telling me just to get a feel on the inner floor first before going onto the track.

I’ve never been on a bicycle without brakes before, never even been in a velodrome until 15 minutes ago and now I’m going on track.

I am absolutely shaking and I’m thinking that there is no way I can cycle on those sides.

I start off gingerly at a very steady pace, with the clips in it feels very different on your legs, and you feel strapped in like a part of the chassis, an integral structural part of your own bike, man and machine as one.

After a few goes around Ian spurs me on with encouragement.

Then he pulls me up as my saddle is loose, which is a relief. He also gives me a few pointers.

"Get your head down, your back straight and use the side handle bars, then we will get you on the blue service and then on the track" he said.

The track has three marked coloured lines, black at the bottom, then red a little higher up and blue, which is roughly in the middle and half way up the banking. It reminds me of the few times I have failed miserably at skiing.

The blue line looks as hard as a black run through the Swiss Alps, where I once cavaliered through a plastic fence.

Back out and I catch and pass a few people, which feels brilliant. Ian is telling me to ‘push, push, push’ every time as his voice echoes around the velodrome.

Then he tells me to go on the black lines, which seems fine and then the red, which is a struggle.

All of a sudden I wish I had eaten an extra bowl of pasta, if you lose speed then you can’t keep on the line but you need to pump your legs more just to stay on it.

Eventually I am as glued to that line as Chris Froome is to the Tour de France yellow jersey, but after a mere 10 minutes I feel exhausted.

Ian pulls me up and I grab a much-needed breather before joining the back of a waiting train of teenagers being given a once over by Ian before going out.

I’m told to stick with the ‘experienced’ girl in front of me, who introduces herself, it’s only her third go.

As we pull away, within a lap I am following the red-headed girl on the red line, who is half my size but is proving a nightmare to keep up with, making me think "how unfit am I?".

Then Ian mouths from the side of the track the words I have been dreading ‘blue line next time’.

I make a commitment to myself, no matter how steep it looks I am going to make it, I am not going to look up, just down at the line.

All my fear of falling off goes away and before I know it I am speeding around the blue line - Bradley Wiggins eat your gold medal-encrusted heart out.

From there we are instructed to go really wide on the straights and then come in to the blue lines around the corners.

All of a sudden the sides don’t look steep, nor dangerous and the adrenaline rushing through me is exhilarating, it makes an off-road Sunday cycle seem monotonous.

As Ian pulls me up he says ‘It’s not as easy as it looks is it?’, as the sweat drips off me I have to agree.

Speaking to Ian afterwards, with an infectious smile he says: “This is really Newport’s best kept secret as no one knows it’s here. It’s about getting people to realize it’s only round the corner from the city and they should come, have a go and see what it’s like.

"The motivation for us is among our academy and the kids coming along today is to find the next Becky James, it would make it all worthwhile.

“We had the Team GB squad here a few weeks ago with Wiggins and Cavendish and it was brilliant, the stands were full.

"Watching them, they are on the edge, as they were in a train Cavendish shouted and quickly came out but was just off someone else’s wheel, it turned out he had a puncture but thankfully they didn’t collide.”

The girl I was following, 17 year-old Cerys Bate from Liswerry, said: “This my second day as part of the free open sessions and I love it. You see all of it on the TV and you can come down and see what they go through.

“I’m quite sporty and play netball and tennis but track cycling is what I want to get into, I would love to get into racing and I wish I had taken it up when I was younger. Ian and the coaches are really approachable and have already advised me how to get into it further by joining a club, you have to be really dedicated.”

Abergavenny parent Charlotte Mead, whose 11 year-old son Jack was having a go, said: “I saw this on Twitter on Monday and thought that would be good. He is making noises that he really likes it so we might see where we can go.

“The staff have been really helpful. It’s great that people can come and try it out. It’s a sport that’s really good for kids, something different which helps with their confidence.”

The two free sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday this week were part of Welsh Cycling’s Go Ride Wales campaign to get more children and young people involved in the sport. Currently they are affiliated to more than 160 different clubs across Wales, which is the best way to get involved.

In September, they will be going around schools across the country to select a group of 13 to 15 year-olds with the best power to weight ratios with the target of gaining a spot in the Wales team at a Commonwealth games.

National development manager Georgina Harper, 43, said: “With all the success in Rio, everyone is interested so we want to build on that and that is what these sessions are for.

“When we run these or go to schools to test children and do cycling course we don’t want that to be it but for it to be the first stage of them getting involved, join an affiliated club and start progressing. Most of our clubs also take on older people wanting to get involved in the sport and we have the Breeze programme for women.”

For more information, visit Ride Wales at bit.ly/1Tq4M4K or Newport Live at bit.ly/1so26vK