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Old 09-14-11, 07:54 AM   #1
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Velodrome in Hamilton??

The Pan Am games are coming to the Toronto/Hamilton area for 2015. There has been a lot of debate recently in the Hamilton Area about funding for venues and the latest is the velodrome.

The first run had the velodrome as being a temporary facility, but the power's that be want a permanent facility put in. The first battle had to do with specifics related to exact location and not much had be said about funding. Well, in the last week or so things have come to a head since the final decision needs to be made by the local government. Infrastructure Ontario has estimated that cost of building the permanent facility at somewhere around 45mil, which many feel is inflated.

The local residents are of course up in arms because the local municipality would be on the hook for any shortfalls in funding, estimated at over 15mil.

They have trouble believing that the facility would be utilized properly after the Pan Am games, even though this would be the only other indoor world calibre facility in North America, the other in LA.

How does the one in LA do?? Is it utilized to it's maximum capability??

How many on the east coast travel out west to train and feel that this would be of value??

As a resident of Hamilton, a tax payer and a cyclist/racer I'm really curious if this thing would be as hot as some say....

Of course I have a biased opinion
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Old 09-14-11, 08:39 AM   #2
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Considering the climate in this region, it stands to reason that a permanent, indoor velodrome would help develop a substantial track culture. Unfortunately, cycling is at best a fringe sport here in Ontario so I won't be surprised if they bail on the idea and build up the cheapest temporary track possible.

The primary purpose of bringing a games like the Pan-Ams is to bring tourist dollars and any lasting infrastructure is just a bonus. I think most local would-be trackies have stars in their eyes about a place to train and race through the winter and aren't looking at it through the lens of the majority, non-cycling taxpayer. The only real chance this velodrome has is to show a high level of youth participation and engagement from other jurisdictions and hope that it starts to be perceived as a facility that will encourage athletics with youth and that there will be enough users to keep it afloat.

If it does go through, it will be really exciting to see what kind of athletes this area starts producing in the years that follow. Assuming that the velodrome in London continues to thrive, we could see track racing really blow up in southern Ontario.
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Old 09-21-11, 01:53 PM   #3
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This probably ought to go in the track cycling subforum, but...

There's that little hockey rink velodrome in... London??? I think? That's close enough, I'd imagine, if it meets whatever the official requirements for a competition velodrome are.

Failing that, watch out that a temporary velodrome doesn't get turned into a hockey rink afterwards.
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Old 09-21-11, 04:55 PM   #4
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The London one is doesn't meet the requirements, but it does seem to be doing well...
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Old 09-21-11, 07:54 PM   #5
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Well, if it were accessible to Toronto, I can imagine there would be enough hipsters who could be made civilized to keep it going.

Cool that Hamilton is getting the Pan-Am games though. Wasn't there some big pro cycling race there back in the early 90s??

Random, but I proposed to my wife in Hamilton - in that park on the lake. Also race a bike I got in Dundas.
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Old 10-05-11, 10:35 AM   #6
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I doubt it would really last, but who knows? The experience of the people in London (ONT) will give you a good idea of what can be done. Then again there was the infamous Montréal midnight teardown. I would think that the road bike crowd would get more interested in velodrome riding if they could ride all winter. It certainly is better than staring at a DVD on your trainer.

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Old 10-05-11, 01:21 PM   #7
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The one in LA is pretty heavily used, but it doesn't pay for itself if you include all the costs. The electric bill (AC and lighting) for 2 months is about as much as the entire annual budget of the Encino Velodrome (outdoor concrete 250 m) 30 miles away. It's expensive to build and maintain a big building like that, and the volleyball/basketball courts in the infield probably bring in more money than the track.

LA does get a lot of use-- several national teams train there (including Canada) most of the year, and many come for training camps before big events. Road teams also sometimes use it for training camps. Most hours of the day it has some sort of program scheduled, but there's not always a lot of people on for those hours. The biggest turnouts are probably the Tues/Thurs structured workouts that can get almost 100 people on the track at once in the winter, and are typically 40-60 during the summer. Probably half or more of the people who do the structured workouts don't do any mass start racing, and many of them don't even do time trials-- for a lot of them it's a fitness thing that's a variation on spin class.

Some factors that affect the attendance in LA are:
- SoCal has pretty much ideal riding weather year round. It's so nice that you sometimes think "eh, it's cloudy that's sucky". That's good in that it means there are tons of riders in LA. It's bad in that the velodrome is competing with a lot of nice roads that are free (we have beach roads, mountain roads, desert roads, a largely empty bike path that you can take from the beach to the mountains....) and it's really nice to ride outside.
- LA isn't that big but traffic is horrible a lot of the time. The velodrome is pretty centrally located, so it means everyone has to drive 40 minutes to an hour to get there. I think I can get there in as little as 30 when there's no traffic (very early morning weekends, or late night on the way home). But it's about 2 hours if it's raining on a weekday evening, which means that even though it would be idea to ride in the rainy season, I don't go after work if it's raining because the traffic is so bad.
- There's tons of racing in LA year round-- Road and Crits start in February, and CX picks up in October. You can race almost every weekend at least one day for most of the year. That actually makes it hard to get good turnouts for track races, and hard to break even with track racing-- you're limited in the number of riders you can put on the track at once, and the cost of track time, insurance, officials, and EMTs eats up the entry fees fast.
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Old 10-05-11, 01:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbart4506 View Post
Well, in the last week or so things have come to a head since the final decision needs to be made by the local government. Infrastructure Ontario has estimated that cost of building the permanent facility at somewhere around 45mil, which many feel is inflated.

The local residents are of course up in arms because the local municipality would be on the hook for any shortfalls in funding, estimated at over 15mil.
45 million seems way high. 15 million seems reasonable (LA was about that), and the track itself is only a small part of that cost. Dale Hughes builds nice tracks on the cheap-- Detroit was a couple hundred $K of donations, and I think the London one (which I think is a Peter Junek design) was only about $100K CAD, back when the CAD was worth less than the US$. London had the building already there, and Detroit is outdoors. The building will probably cost more than the track unless they do a bubble, like Burnaby (I have no idea what the costs were on that, but that's probably a better comparison than LA, given the demographics as well).
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Old 10-08-11, 05:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
„Die schokoladenseite des radfahrens.“ Eh? Und was genau sollten dass bedeuten?
I toured an electric bike manufacturer in Switzerland called Flyer (for their building design, actually, on a work trip as I'm sort of in building sciences - just happened to be a bike maker); in Switzerland it seems that every company has promotional branded chocolate to hand out to visitors. It said that on the packaging. Also, Fabian Cancellara's mom owns one of their bikes, which made them laugh during the whole hidden motor 'scandal-that-wasn't.'


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The building will probably cost more than the track unless they do a bubble, like Burnaby (I have no idea what the costs were on that, but that's probably a better comparison than LA, given the demographics as well).
Then with a bubble you get screwed on heating/AC costs well into the future.
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Old 10-17-11, 10:59 AM   #10
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looks like no track in the hammer http://www.canadiancyclist.com/dailynews.php?id=22876
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