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Old 01-03-16, 02:22 PM   #1
Koogar
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How Popular is Your Home Track?

Idle musing: how many people would you guess regularly use your track? I'm thinking of the core group that buys memberships or otherwise visits at least a few times a month during the season (or year round if conditions allow). And what proportion of that population races?

I'm not intending to create a "we need more velodromes" or "why aren't there more track cyclists" thread. I've just never seen much in the way of usage statistics and wonder what a wisdom of crowds approach will produce. My guess for the US is that there is a subset of velodromes (10-12?) with a larger, steady user base (50-100 cyclists?) of which maybe 1/3 to 1/2 race, and then there's all the rest....
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Old 01-03-16, 02:59 PM   #2
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25% of the licensed bike racers in Minnesota ride at the NSC Velodrome.
Our race nights average 60+ riders, but there are something like 400 unique riders in any given year.

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Old 01-03-16, 03:00 PM   #3
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15 years of data. Go nuts: Results | The Dick Lane Velodrome

Seriously, you can see:

- How many people race per race
- How many elites, jrs, women, masters
- How many came out to work for volunteer work days.

Example:
Scroll to the bottom.
Results : Dick Lane Velodrome - Fixed Gear Bicycle Racing (East Point) Atlanta, GA
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Old 01-03-16, 03:02 PM   #4
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That's impressive - which track is this?

Last edited by Koogar; 01-03-16 at 03:03 PM. Reason: I can't type as well as I spell
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Old 01-03-16, 03:18 PM   #5
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Sorry - that was directed at queerpunk, I clearly have not mastered the mobile interface for the forum.

Re: DLV, based on a quick estimate, it looks like ~170 racers earned points in 2015. Is that pretty much the population of regular track users? Do you see a sizable population of consistent riders who don't race?

Makes me wonder if people don't generally ride the track if they don't race on it. Which wouldn't be terribly surprising if true.
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Old 01-03-16, 03:47 PM   #6
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Sorry - that was directed at queerpunk, I clearly have not mastered the mobile interface for the forum.

Re: DLV, based on a quick estimate, it looks like ~170 racers earned points in 2015. Is that pretty much the population of regular track users? Do you see a sizable population of consistent riders who don't race?

Makes me wonder if people don't generally ride the track if they don't race on it. Which wouldn't be terribly surprising if true.
At DLV, everyone who shows up for a race gets 1 point for participating. So, everyone on the board has been to at least 1 race.

There are a few people who pay dues and only train on the track. They choose not to race for a few reasons (don't care for it, don't want to risk a wreck, just want to get exercise). I can't really put my finger on a percentage because I don't have access to financial data. But, my gut says maybe 5%(?). I totally pulled that number out of my butt. But, I've personally known people who will train regularly on the track and never race one race.

Think about it, if you want intensity, it beats road/hill riding because you don't have to fight traffic and you don't have to drive for miles outside of the city to get to stretches of road without traffic.

I trained with a woman who was a fitness trainer by trade. She used to race road and track before I met her. When I knew her, she only trained on the track (mostly pursuit efforts, solo or with others) and did group road rides. No more racing.
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Old 01-03-16, 04:05 PM   #7
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I race at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center (TTown), but I don't have any firm numbers to quote. We have three days of racing per week and most people race one or two of those days. I'm only guessing, but the typical number of racers on any given day may be 50-60. We also have special event such as the regionals, districts, collegiate, and the team cup which draw a good number of participants. There are organized training sessions, including motorpacing, during the week for racers. Then there are the community programs that have maybe another 100 registered riders. When I train on the track on Sundays, during a two hour session I might see half a dozen nonracers hop onto the track, so that might up to a couple dozen for the day. All in all, it's a pretty busy track.
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Old 01-03-16, 08:01 PM   #8
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Our race nights are currently capped at 60, are all sold out with long wait lists. This is for 18+, youth have a separate night with around 40.
Everything, literally everything, is booked solid, mostly weeks in advance. The track is almost never empty, 6am-11pm, 7 days/week.



I don't think usage at our track is a fair comparison, as our main group of riders are just cyclists, not track racers. Its -15C outside tomorrow and +24C inside the track. I would guess 90% of people who ride there, or want to ride but can't get a spot, are just looking to avoid the trainer. We haven't been open a summer yet to see what that looks like.
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Old 01-03-16, 08:08 PM   #9
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Our race nights are currently capped at 60, are all sold out with long wait lists. This is for 18+, youth have a separate night with around 40.
Everything, literally everything, is booked solid, mostly weeks in advance. The track is almost never empty, 6am-11pm, 7 days/week.



I don't think usage at our track is a fair comparison, as our main group of riders are just cyclists, not track racers. Its -15C outside tomorrow and +24C inside the track. I would guess 90% of people who ride there, or want to ride but can't get a spot, are just looking to avoid the trainer. We haven't been open a summer yet to see what that looks like.
Sounds amazing.

Do ya'll have room in the infield to setup a proper gym? LA Velodrome has (had?) a gym in their infield.
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Old 01-03-16, 09:04 PM   #10
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Our race nights are currently capped at 60, are all sold out with long wait lists. This is for 18+, youth have a separate night with around 40.
Everything, literally everything, is booked solid, mostly weeks in advance. The track is almost never empty, 6am-11pm, 7 days/week.



I don't think usage at our track is a fair comparison, as our main group of riders are just cyclists, not track racers. Its -15C outside tomorrow and +24C inside the track. I would guess 90% of people who ride there, or want to ride but can't get a spot, are just looking to avoid the trainer. We haven't been open a summer yet to see what that looks like.
I was looking at sessions to see if I could book something to coincide with my trip back east this weekend, and looks like I'm out of luck. Might have to book a session and fly out for it. Good thing the girlie works for WestJet.
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Old 01-04-16, 08:41 AM   #11
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Major Taylor has a small but loyal following, but I think this year will change that. Apart from serving as home base for Marian (which may discourage SOME folks part of the year), there is a perception among the elite road guys that the track kills your legs for road. Rumor that we will have a fairly big payout this year for points winners overall however.
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Old 01-04-16, 08:55 AM   #12
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I'd hazard a guess that the Boulder Valley Velodrome is about 85% racer, or racing-curious riders. I've been involved in several "Learn the Track" nights, and the majority of the participants have later raced, or expressed interest in it. I'm not currently around enough to get a very accurate feel on how many people are usually in for training, however. April (I think) will mark the first full year of operation for the facility, so the community is rather small. I'd guess there were 100-200 unique racers this season.

I'm super excited for the thick layer of snow to bugger off. I wanna practice on my precious wooden boards again!
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Old 01-04-16, 09:59 AM   #13
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I was looking at sessions to see if I could book something to coincide with my trip back east this weekend, and looks like I'm out of luck. Might have to book a session and fly out for it. Good thing the girlie works for WestJet.
If you can get into a B cert on friday night, you could technically ride after that. Let me know if you do and I can probably find a spot in a private session somewhere for you, but you would need to at least get through the B cert. This friday is full but if you wait list yourself and call the day before/of you can probably get on.
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Old 01-04-16, 10:06 AM   #14
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I don't think usage at our track is a fair comparison, as our main group of riders are just cyclists, not track racers. Its -15C outside tomorrow and +24C inside the track. I would guess 90% of people who ride there, or want to ride but can't get a spot, are just looking to avoid the trainer. We haven't been open a summer yet to see what that looks like.
Makes sense and parallels what I recall from our indoor track in Boulder, which closed a few years back - big crowds at night and when it was cold outside. Less interest in racing there, though, as the track was so short.

Makes me curious what we'll hear if some of the folks from Hellyer or SoCal - where weather is much less a factor - check in with impressions.
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Old 01-04-16, 10:08 AM   #15
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Sounds amazing.

Do ya'll have room in the infield to setup a proper gym? LA Velodrome has (had?) a gym in their infield.
Infield is 3 full size basket ball courts that get good use. I haven't seen the financials in a while but they actually do well at paying for the place (burnaby velodrome is actually owned by the volleyball association I hear haha). As I type this the national women TP are doing intervals while some old ladies play badminton.

There is a typical gym upstairs, although the national team has their own as well (mostly squat racks). Always a walking track around the top behind the seats that sees good use. They were smart in making it a proper multiuse facility, lots of people come into the building with zero interest or interaction with cycling, but it shares the cost for keeping the lights on.
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Old 01-04-16, 10:11 AM   #16
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Makes sense and parallels what I recall from our indoor track in Boulder, which closed a few years back - big crowds at night and when it was cold outside. Less interest in racing there, though, as the track was so short.

Makes me curious what we'll hear if some of the folks from Hellyer or SoCal - where weather is much less a factor - check in with impressions.
A lot of people try to compare us (toronto) to LA, how they schedule, use their track, etc, but exactly as you put it the weather is a different factor. LA would naturally have less demand for recreation riders and more for racers, since if you just want to ride for fitness and live in california, you don't drive to Carson
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Old 01-04-16, 10:32 AM   #17
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I'd hazard a guess that the Boulder Valley Velodrome is about 85% racer, or racing-curious riders. I've been involved in several "Learn the Track" nights, and the majority of the participants have later raced, or expressed interest in it. I'm not currently around enough to get a very accurate feel on how many people are usually in for training, however. April (I think) will mark the first full year of operation for the facility, so the community is rather small. I'd guess there were 100-200 unique racers this season.

I'm super excited for the thick layer of snow to bugger off. I wanna practice on my precious wooden boards again!
BVV is my home, too, and the great first year is part of what got me wondering about the populations elsewhere. I think we generally saw racing nights with 60-70+ riders throughout the season, though that also includes the subset of folks who otherwise/also race down at Springs.

Although I race, I think it's great that we have a solid group of riders who are not on the track solely to train for racing. I'd guess it could be a larger proportion, maybe a third, comprising people who just use the track to stay fit, former racers who have had their fill, etc.
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Old 01-04-16, 11:40 AM   #18
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Sounds amazing.

Do ya'll have room in the infield to setup a proper gym? LA Velodrome has (had?) a gym in their infield.
Sadly, he Gym that could be used by cyclists is gone. The gym run by the tennis association is still there, but can't be used by cyclists.
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Old 01-04-16, 11:41 AM   #19
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A lot of people try to compare us (toronto) to LA, how they schedule, use their track, etc, but exactly as you put it the weather is a different factor. LA would naturally have less demand for recreation riders and more for racers, since if you just want to ride for fitness and live in california, you don't drive to Carson
I expect to see a lot more people just doing fitness riding this year if the el Nino hits hard.
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Old 01-04-16, 01:20 PM   #20
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i can hear crickets at hellyer on race nights.
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Old 01-04-16, 01:35 PM   #21
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i can hear crickets at hellyer on race nights.
That's too bad. Does Hellyer see much use otherwise? By people seeking general fitness, roadies doing motorpacing, anything like that?
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Old 01-04-16, 03:50 PM   #22
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mostly masters track racers (sprint focused). i believe they have a juniors session but no one talented goes. i'd go to the motor pacing if they weren't 11am on tuesdays...
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Old 01-04-16, 06:43 PM   #23
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i'd go to the motor pacing if they weren't 11am on tuesdays...
Pffft...if you want to race with the pros, then you gotta train like it's your only job.



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Old 01-04-16, 08:38 PM   #24
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If you can get into a B cert on friday night, you could technically ride after that. Let me know if you do and I can probably find a spot in a private session somewhere for you, but you would need to at least get through the B cert. This friday is full but if you wait list yourself and call the day before/of you can probably get on.
I won't be able to swing the scheduling on this trip anyway but thanks for offering to help. I'm looking at planning an extended weekend sometime early spring, so I'll just be dilligent and plan ahead enough and make a weekend of riding at the drome out of that visit.
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Old 01-04-16, 11:03 PM   #25
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BVV is my home, too, and the great first year is part of what got me wondering about the populations elsewhere. I think we generally saw racing nights with 60-70+ riders throughout the season, though that also includes the subset of folks who otherwise/also race down at Springs.

Although I race, I think it's great that we have a solid group of riders who are not on the track solely to train for racing. I'd guess it could be a larger proportion, maybe a third, comprising people who just use the track to stay fit, former racers who have had their fill, etc.
Making the BVV community-oriented is Doug's big goal! He's all about the total interest in the facility, not just racers. I'm guessing that's a pretty unique outlook among the 'dromes of the States.
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