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Old 12-30-10, 07:40 PM   #1
slim_77
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Chicago VeloCampus

Hi Everyone. This is a double post from track racing.

This is some very exciting stuff happening in Chicago: (from the website)
The Chicago Velodrome is designed to appeal to all types of athletes with a special emphasis on cyclists. The anchor of the facility will be an indoor world class, 250 meter velodrome that will serve as a setting for a variety of programs from junior development to elite and olympic development. The VeloCampus will also be home to a BMX park and a dirt loop for cyclocross and mountain bike skills practice.

Go like this on facebook and then check out the website.

Facebook.

Website.

I'd rather have this than the Olympics...anyday.
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Old 12-30-10, 08:07 PM   #2
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what's the over-under on this becoming reality?

seems to be a rash of proposed velodromes in recent years, none of which have come to life.
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Old 12-31-10, 02:27 AM   #3
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proposing velodromes is the new proposing sports stadiums. This one will get built in the next 20 years or so
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Old 12-31-10, 08:16 AM   #4
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here's another one that has yet to be decided (which means it may still have a chance at becoming real)

http://www.procyclingtour.com/websit...NTY/Page1.html
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Old 12-31-10, 08:51 AM   #5
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Is that the Brooklyn one that lacorte just proposed?
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Old 12-31-10, 08:53 AM   #6
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Philadelphia
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Old 12-31-10, 09:02 AM   #7
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There is one for
NYC
Brooklyn
Paramus NJ
Central NJ
The Hudson Valley
Boston

None of them will ever get built. Crud they can't even fix kissena.
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Old 12-31-10, 09:23 AM   #8
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there was one for Rochester NY that I can no longer even find a web presence for.

the boston one still has a few discussions, but their website has gone away.
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Old 12-31-10, 03:52 PM   #9
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I read recently about (another) one proposed for the Denver/Boulder area.
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Old 12-31-10, 08:09 PM   #10
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There is already a track in chicago, with a vibrant racing program producing quality riders. It would be nice to see money go towards the existing rider development programs rather than build an elitist facility that will undoubtedly charge high use fees. I would like to get excited about this but I just don't see the point.

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Old 12-31-10, 08:15 PM   #11
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yeah but indoor = good.
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Old 12-31-10, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
There is one for
NYC
Brooklyn
Paramus NJ
Central NJ
The Hudson Valley
Boston

None of them will ever get built. Crud they can't even fix kissena.
also, Austin periodically crops up.
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Old 01-01-11, 10:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
what's the over-under on this becoming reality?

seems to be a rash of proposed velodromes in recent years, none of which have come to life.
actually pretty good for one segment of the plan. there is a temp track to be built just off the CVC site this spring, as far as the full campus...at a cost of ~$50m, time will tell.

since this is a private development there is not too much info in the public sphere.

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Old 01-01-11, 11:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by berserker19 View Post
There is already a track in chicago, with a vibrant racing program producing quality riders. It would be nice to see money go towards the existing rider development programs rather than build an elitist facility that will undoubtedly charge high use fees. I would like to get excited about this but I just don't see the point.
Disclosure: I'm not involved in this project.

I disagree. The sport as it exists now, road and track, is as close to elitist and white collar as you can get. That is a fact, so don't begrudge my super-bike slush fund. The Northbrook track is located in the far north suburbs, and you're right, it is great and it does have a vibrant racing community...of north side and north shore racers.

But this track is proposed in a new residential development on the south east side of the city along the lake, in the old US steel site. The surrounding communities are working class, largely latino and african american, and one of the CVC missions is to bring a larger talent pool to the sport through youth development via Chicago Public Schools. Ten years ago I used to coach NISL youth soccer in the north shore, from work (south side) to northbrook it has taken me more than 2 hrs in the evening to get there and I resigned as a result of that commute. As far as rider development, that would be to increase the talent pool and provide a world class facility. You can do both. Difficult to be sure, but surely not impossible if it is a stated mission (it is).

All in all I think the idea is noble and doable, the real challenge is not the idea or that is may be too elitist, it may be the price tag.
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Old 01-01-11, 12:06 PM   #15
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To build on slim's statements - It's a helluva an idea and I agree -most of these projects end in failure, but I have been very surprised with the amount of work already done and having raced shoulder to shoulder for a few years with the guy who is driving this - if it can be done he will get it done. I don't know him personally all that well but he has some deep ties in the international cycling community (personal friends with Dr. Max Testa, etc).

I think the city needs something like this, I love the cross park that would be part of it, it's a professional venture instead of one driven by a bunch of messengers and hipsters wanting to put together a loving commune.....sorry....

The Northbrook track seems awesome - but I have been active here for how long? I have never been to the Northbrook track. Just impossible for me to get to with the racing that is going on. That said I have some killer trackies on my team now. Something tells me I will be more involved in this than I had anticipated.

Hell - there is another outside track in Kenosha as well - just a fart over the cheese curtain from the Northbrook track. They co-exist just fine. Here's the thing....there's a ton of people here.
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Old 01-01-11, 12:11 PM   #16
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Ok,
I am not sure about the "fact" that the Chicago racing scene is white collar and elitist... have you ever been to a race night at NB? Most of the riders there are working class people who live in the city or various suburbs. There is a strong contingent of Polish immigrants, college students, poor bike messengers, and there is even a team that busses inner city youth up to race at the track (juniors race free of charge!). Ok, so the track is in the north burbs, big deal. I don't see the distance as being a gross justification for a second track. I drive from Bloomington(!) to race on thursdays, it is a two hour drive, I can't imagine coming from anywhere in the Chicago area could be much more difficult.
It's not that I am against another track, I just do not see the burning need for one. Let's say they build it and run a racing program. Ok, who is going to race there?
You are going to either be splitting the fields of people who race track (not a huge number already) between two programs, or you are going to have to build a program and a new crop of racers from scratch. Who will make up the elite contingent? Do they expect racers to come down from the NB cat1/2 or cat 3 fields to race two nights a week? It would be possible to attract new riders to track racing, but then you would have a program with nothing but cat 5 and cat 4 riders for a while, and would that work? I'm not sure what the aim is here, that's my point. I wonder if they aren't pushing to build a track just because it "sounds like a good idea"
Believe me, I would love to have the ability to train during the winter or race at a world class track. I am a Cat 2 track racer and one of the things that holds me back from competing at the national level is not having enough track access. A track on the south side would certainly be easier for me to get to.
If the track scene in chicago was as crazy as the cross scene has become, I could see this working. But think about it, you have literally hundreds of riders cueing up to pre register for cat 4 cyclocross races somewhere like carpentersville or wauconda, but someone is telling me riders won't race at NB because it is too far? I just don't buy it.

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Old 01-01-11, 04:58 PM   #17
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I'd go there when visiting mom. already on the south side.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:15 AM   #18
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Ok,
I am not sure about the "fact" that the Chicago racing scene is white collar and elitist... have you ever been to a race night at NB? Most of the riders there are working class people who live in the city or various suburbs. There is a strong contingent of Polish immigrants, college students, poor bike messengers, and there is even a team that busses inner city youth up to race at the track (juniors race free of charge!). Ok, so the track is in the north burbs, big deal. I don't see the distance as being a gross justification for a second track. I drive from Bloomington(!) to race on thursdays, it is a two hour drive, I can't imagine coming from anywhere in the Chicago area could be much more difficult.
It's not that I am against another track, I just do not see the burning need for one. Let's say they build it and run a racing program. Ok, who is going to race there?
You are going to either be splitting the fields of people who race track (not a huge number already) between two programs, or you are going to have to build a program and a new crop of racers from scratch. Who will make up the elite contingent? Do they expect racers to come down from the NB cat1/2 or cat 3 fields to race two nights a week? It would be possible to attract new riders to track racing, but then you would have a program with nothing but cat 5 and cat 4 riders for a while, and would that work? I'm not sure what the aim is here, that's my point. I wonder if they aren't pushing to build a track just because it "sounds like a good idea"
Believe me, I would love to have the ability to train during the winter or race at a world class track. I am a Cat 2 track racer and one of the things that holds me back from competing at the national level is not having enough track access. A track on the south side would certainly be easier for me to get to.
If the track scene in chicago was as crazy as the cross scene has become, I could see this working. But think about it, you have literally hundreds of riders cueing up to pre register for cat 4 cyclocross races somewhere like carpentersville or wauconda, but someone is telling me riders won't race at NB because it is too far? I just don't buy it.
Like I said, I am not part of the project. I don't know the returns (financial returns are typically bad with tracks--hence the additional amenities and wind tunnel in this one) or the use studies they have done. I do believe that doing something because it is a good idea is usually the right way to start going about doing anything. Following it up with serious leg work to ensure your investment is just as, if not more important. I know they have not disclosed too much info, but they are doing the leg work. And I believe that they are doing it right. But I can say that because I have met with them.

Your concerns about the fields are pretty valid. E-mail them and they will get back to you and possibly meet with you--as they did with me.

I stand by my commute statements. You can not compare a drive to a "nice Sunday in a park" with a drive "afterwork/rush hour/multiple hours in the car/work tomorrow." ...but that is my perspective and rationale, not theirs. I don't speak for CVC.

Get in touch with them...if they have already thought through your concerns the answer will be quick. If not...well, they should. Right?

btw, I said "as close to elitist and white collar as you can get"--I didn't say entirely, because I personally know the proof.

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Old 01-05-11, 03:29 PM   #19
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So, I saw on FB that John VandeVelde will be managing the temporary outdoor track. Looks like somethings are falling into place.

He's good.
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Old 01-05-11, 03:40 PM   #20
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That is good to hear.
If this project does work out, I will go there and race.
The only other thing is that I fully expect everyone who thinks this is a great idea to go there and race a bike also. It would be pretty disappointing for the effort to go wasted because people just don't show up after all the hype.
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Old 01-05-11, 04:28 PM   #21
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I finally have to admit I do enough to support the Chicago racing community and race scene - so nice try on trying to guilt me into going there...

Would it be disappointing if it failed? Yes. Would I be surprised if it did? no. Unfortunately I have been around the cycling and racing community for over 20 years and have witnessed a lot of failures over that time.

What I personally feel allows this a glimmer of hope is the power that has already been exhibited behind the push, the fact that it would be offering something that is a true rarity - an indoor velodrome....hell even Major Taylor isn't indoor.

Indoor would draw national caliber talent and would most likely add competitors to Northbrook at the same time.
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Old 01-06-11, 08:59 PM   #22
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too bad!
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Old 01-06-11, 09:32 PM   #23
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I'd go there when visiting mom. already on the south side.
Are you originally a South Sider? I am.
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Old 01-13-11, 10:45 AM   #24
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from a FB posting:

We lost the bid to build the Brooklyn Velodrome. Trees is parks seem to be more important. Jay and I tried.
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Old 01-13-11, 10:50 AM   #25
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Are you originally a South Sider? I am.
born in hyde park
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