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  1. #1
    Member's Only summerinside's Avatar
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    Outdoor Paved tracks

    I'm too am curious about contacting and working with our city (Minneapolis) about building a velo track. We've a impressive facility just out of town in the burbs, but was looking at the possiblities around building a outdoor paved track in a park. I've seen photos of simillar tracks but wanted to pick the collective knowlege of this group in hopes of finding names/locations/pictures/contacts around other "local city park outdoor etc.." velodromes.

    What do you know? I'm interested.
    Thanks

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    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Ed Rudolph Velodrome
    Northbrook, IL
    info here:
    http://www.northbrookvelodrome.org/info/about.php
    just received a facelift last year - I consider myself lucky!
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  3. #3
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/par...bicycling.html

    Sorry no good picks. The state closed a driver test area and the city converted it to a 1/2 mile paved track with banked turns.

  4. #4
    Bling. Super Rookie's Avatar
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    dont try to get an outdoor track in mpls. go for the indoor!

    people are trying to get something together. in the meantime get out to blaine...the best track in the country hands down!

    for a while people were talking to the owner of the armory in downtown. the key is to get a 250m track not a big boring track like northbrook! j.k. of course.

    tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Rookie
    dont try to get an outdoor track in mpls. go for the indoor!

    people are trying to get something together. in the meantime get out to blaine...the best track in the country hands down!

    for a while people were talking to the owner of the armory in downtown. the key is to get a 250m track not a big boring track like northbrook! j.k. of course.

    tim

    250 indoor is fine if you're catering to the elite but if you want to get people track riding a big boring outdoor that riders are as comfortable rolling around with their mates as they are going all out on is the key.

    You will need about five outdoor tracks in a city to support a 250 indoor with riders capable of using it and paying for its high upkeep.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    There are lots of outdoor tracks- we have two in Southern California in addition to the indoor track at Carson. Encino Velodrome is a concrete 250 m track in Balboa park in Encino, and San Diego velodrome is a 333 m concrete track in a different Balboa park in San Diego. They both have good racing programs.

    the encino web page is at encinovelodrome.org
    the san diego web page is sdvelodrome.com

    There's also rochester michigan, which is an outdoor 200 m track with ~45 degree banking and what looks like a great program. It's velodromeatbloomerpark.com, and was built for a few hundred $K.

    that said, there's really no reason you can't put everyday normal people on the track at Blaine, despite it seeming daunting at first. I first started riding the track at a "Get High on the Track" session that a couple people in TCBC in minneapolis organized, and they had us all the way up at the rail on the first day. I've also had completely inexperienced riders at least get up a little way on the banking in their first session there.

    The ADT event center is an awesome indoor facility, and it's still plenty accessible to non-elite riders. There a several different programs to get new riders up, including a $15 "first ride" where the only requirement is that you can pedal a bike. Experienced riders can get cleared for regular riding with a couple hour class, and there's a longer class for the less experienced/more squeamish. There are quite a few periods of open riding, and riders of all levels show up. There are also interval sessions that roger runs that are very inclusive, and have taken some really inexperienced riders and made them really smooth. It's also at the point where it costs more in gas round trip (about 40 minutes away) than for the track time.

    A more cost effective thing to do is probably push all the roadies in Mpls/St. Paul to get out to Blaine. It's really not that far-- I used to pedal out there on my road bike from the U after work and from downtown on weekends, and then race (I left my track bike at the track). And work on having a racing program that's exciting for spectators.

    If you really want a feeder track, you might even consider a grass track. Apparently they were (and maybe still are) popular in Australia and all it takes is some bulldozing and grass seeding to make, and you get slow motion experience in racing.

  7. #7
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikejack
    You will need about five outdoor tracks in a city to support a 250 indoor with riders capable of using it and paying for its high upkeep.
    I'm not sure that's true. We have an indoor track here, and not even one outdoor. It's not a 250, apparently it's about a 380 though......

  8. #8
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    My mistake. It's a 180. And there's no feeder tracks at all.

  9. #9
    Bling. Super Rookie's Avatar
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    Anyone can ride on Blaine. That is the beauty of the track. To say that it caters to the elite is a cop out. As mentioned by 'bitingduck' you go there once and before you know it you are riding on the rail!

    I have never been to a track that is more open and friendly to new riders than the National Sports Center in Blaine. We have worked so hard this year in nipping that stereotype in the butt and it has worked. We get about 60racers a night on Thursdays and bob williams is always running full intro classes. If you can't make a class tell him Super Rookie sent you from Chicago. that would be good for a free pass.

    To go for an outdoor track at this moment would be counterproductive. What would be productive is supporting Blaine and the movement for an indoor track in the twin cities. Indoor is the only way a track could work.

    On a side note I think that the ADT Center from a rider standpoint isn't very good. Where are the bathrooms for riders? Where are the changing rooms? Where is the access from the infield to the seats in the facility. What is up with the super soft wood? It is a nice track for big meets...I just feel that they cut a little corners to get it done. Did I mention the pillars in the middle of the viewing area...gosh...but then again at least we were able to host the World Championships!!!!!

    As far as catering to the roadies in the twin cities we have tried that and more are coming out. But, to honest with you I feel that they are scared. We have a number of cat1/2 on the road that will not race on blaine. I have heard many excuses mostly it centers around the idea that they would have to ride in a cat4 field. I find that stuckup and disheartning. Are they to good to race with the 4s? If they are in two weeks you can upgrade out. I am a cat4 on the road. A cat3 on the track. The cat4s on the road don't come to the track because it is 'scary.'

    I have tried recruiting as have other racers. We even got on cable access once this year as well as two local news reports! The roadies are coming more and more. But, I think that you have to forget about catering to roadies and getting the new fixed gear riders from the city out there and in the velo community. It isn't just about racing it is about the culture and being able to ride with other people with like minds on a velodrome. I moved to chicago 1month ago. Mpls right now is a fixed-gear mecca. Those kids need to discover racing at the track. This summer alone I could count about 10cat5s a night that had never raced on the road. They just wanted to do the track. They came back every week! I think that is the way to go.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Rookie
    We get about 60racers a night on Thursdays and bob williams is always running full intro classes.
    Yow! That's awesome. When I was there (mid 90's) even a third of that was a good turnout. Bob was great for teaching the class-- he taught the intro class I took after doing the TCBC thing.


    Indoor is the only way a track could work.
    Indoor there would be awesome. It was great here in LA when we had huge amounts of rain last winter, and it's nice on the smoggy days in the summer, too. Plus the sound system is nice. Given the length and harshness of winter in Mpls, indoor would be awesome. We used to sit on the rollers in the living room in january and fantasize about a dome over Blaine.


    On a side note I think that the ADT Center from a rider standpoint isn't very good. Where are the bathrooms for riders? Where are the changing rooms? Where is the access from the infield to the seats in the facility. What is up with the super soft wood? I
    The bathrooms are the biggest pain. There are a couple of changing rooms donated by a bike shop that work fine, though for big meets a locker room would be nice. This being hollywood, if there were enough money it would be no problem to roll up some pretty nice bathrooms/changing rooms right outside the rollup door for temp use. The worst thing with the cheap portables is when it gets dark-- there's no overhead light outside, so they're totally black inside. They have been slowly making improvements-- there are finally concrete steps outside the top of the stairs to get to the bathrooms. You get used to the wood pretty fast-- it's just different, and you don't get splinters when you go down (as I can verify). I once watched a guy slide about 20 m on his butt on Blaine and people took turns with the tweezers pulling the bigger splinters out of his butt while his mom talked to the urgent care ("yes, he needs to come in. he has hundreds of splinters in his buttocks. Yes, from a bicycle crash" - you could hear the confusion on the other end).

    The story I heard was basically good project management is why there are few amenities-- they had a base plan that put in the track and the building over it, and the amenities were basically bought out of the reserve that was left as it neared completion.



    As far as catering to the roadies in the twin cities we have tried that and more are coming out. But, to honest with you I feel that they are scared. We have a number of cat1/2 on the road that will not race on blaine. I have heard many excuses mostly it centers around the idea that they would have to ride in a cat4 field. I find that stuckup and disheartning. Are they to good to race with the 4s? If they are in two weeks you can upgrade out. I am a cat4 on the road. A cat3 on the track. The cat4s on the road don't come to the track because it is 'scary.'
    Yeah, I hear you. I wish we could get (yet another) track at the Rose Bowl and get people who do the Rose Bowl ride to move onto the track and learn to ride. I'm another track 3/road 4 (and a couple people have been suggesting I upgrade on the track...). I started racing road and track at the same time, and really got hooked on the track. I find crits and some group rides far scarier than the track. The Rose Bowl is just nuts-- the second time I smelled burning rubber in the pack I decided it was just a bad idea.

    We just had a bunch of Cat 1/2 roadies come out this year (at encino and adt) and they rode the 4s with everybody else for a little while. It was killing some of the new rider type 4s. Fortunately they got upgraded pretty quickly.



    This summer alone I could count about 10cat5s a night that had never raced on the road. They just wanted to do the track. They came back every week! I think that is the way to go.
    This year was my first year back racing after a long break, and I raced only track. Next year I'm thinking about getting out and doing some road racing to improve my endurance for hanging off the front on the track. Track is just way more fun.

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