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New indoor Velodrome in the US

Old 01-27-17, 09:30 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
Cost is the biggest factor, but space (availability, and ongoing costs associated with it) is a big one as well. When it comes to 166m tracks, it is much easier to find a location/land that can house it (even pre-existing warehouses will work), less expensive for the track build itself, and the ongoing costs associated with running an arena type building are much smaller with a 166 vs a 250.

Construction costs multiply much faster in an open span building the larger it gets. It requires more engineering and more expensive material. Indoor spaces in North America will have to be heated for the most part, if not cooled as well. The costs do not increase linearly, but closer to exponentially. It is also easier to couple a smaller venue like this into a much larger shared facility as well.

Having more 250m tracks pop up would be nice, but it's much easier to sell a Civic than it is a Ferrari.
I get all of that. But, if no one (the riders) wants to drive the Civic and what's more, it won't pass inspection (by the UCI), then why bother?

Again, my #1 question is:

Has USA Cycling or the UCI ever hosted any of those events on anything smaller than a 250M track?
If the answer is, "No", then you have a problem.

The people buying should ask, "Has a Civic ever been allowed to be driven in US or International roads?". If the answer is, "No", then why buy one?

Last edited by carleton; 01-27-17 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:42 PM
  #77  
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Look at it from the Board of Director's point of view. Let's say it's almost ready and the end is in sight. One of the next orders of business (along with building a local scene, of course) will be to attract a big event. (Recall how Rock Hill (250M) almost immediately got Elite and Masters Track Nationals!). During that meeting, I'll bet $1 that these events will be mentioned:

- State Championships
- Regional Championships

- US Jr. Track Nationals
- US Elite Track Nationals
- US Masters Track Nationals
- UCI World Cup
- Pan Am Championships
- UCI World Championships
- Olympic Games


The track will only be eligible to host the first two.

If I'm wrong here, someone please correct me. I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm trying to keep well-intentioned orgs like this from being short-sighted.

Would you buy a car that you can only drive on back roads and it not be legal to drive on city streets or highways just because it's less expensive?

USA Cycling doesn't seem to have a problem spreading JR, Masters, and Elite track nationals around the UCI-eligible velodromes (LA, Marymoore, Colorado Springs, TTown, Rock Hill, Major Taylor, Frisco Superdrome, etc...). But this new velodrome, shiny and new, will not get an event.

Someone please prove me wrong
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Old 01-27-17, 09:44 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I get all of that. But, if no one wants to drive the Civic (the riders) and what's more, it won't pass inspection (by the UCI), then why bother?

...
This sentiment is exactly why we have exactly one 250m indoor track in the US. It's a mistake to think riders won't ride a track that's not 250m. In Portland, we have one of the stupidest tracks in the nation and one of the strongest track programs in the country, particularly in sprinting.

You build what you can afford to build and promote races on that track. You grow the sport to the point where the community is clamoring for a track. This means, in an impoverished sport such as track cycling in the US, you cater to kids and enthusiastic teenagers. Not middle-aged masters racers. A 166m indoor track serves that purpose.

It's also a mistake to think that track racing needs to be a spectator sport again for the sport to thrive. Pools all across the US have almost no spectator seating and we are the strongest nation in the world at swimming events. Guess what: most of our pools are 25 yards, not 50 meters. Most are too shallow at one end, too deep in the other, and the water temp is too hot. You don't need spectator seating, you don't need standardized tracks and you don't need to cater to middle-aged athletes. You need to cater to middle-aged parents and their kids.

The UCI is not built for the way bike racing in the US works. The US is so impoverished in this sport we should ignore the UCI totally and rebuild the sport using what works in the US. If that means we split our time trial times into "short course" times and "long course" times like swimming does, so be it. Whatever works.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:55 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
This sentiment is exactly why we have exactly one 250m indoor track in the US. It's a mistake to think riders won't ride a track that's not 250m. In Portland, we have one of the stupidest tracks in the nation and one of the strongest track programs in the country, particularly in sprinting.

You build what you can afford to build and promote races on that track. You grow the sport to the point where the community is clamoring for a track. This means, in an impoverished sport such as track cycling in the US, you cater to kids and enthusiastic teenagers. Not middle-aged masters racers. A 166m indoor track serves that purpose.

It's also a mistake to think that track racing needs to be a spectator sport again for the sport to thrive. Pools all across the US have almost no spectator seating and we are the strongest nation in the world at swimming events. Guess what: most of our pools are 25 yards, not 50 meters. Most are too shallow at one end, too deep in the other, and the water temp is too hot. You don't need spectator seating, you don't need standardized tracks and you don't need to cater to middle-aged athletes. You need to cater to middle-aged parents and their kids.

The UCI is not built for the way bike racing in the US works. The US is so impoverished in this sport we should ignore the UCI totally and rebuild the sport using what works in the US. If that means we split our time trial times into "short course" times and "long course" times like swimming does, so be it. Whatever works.

OK. So, speaking honestly, if Alpenrose were hit by aliens tonight and insurance paid 100% of the cost of a new velodrome, your board would rebuild it as a 268.43m track? If not 268.43m, what length do you think they would choose?

Please answer with your honest opinion
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Old 01-27-17, 10:39 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I get all of that. But, if no one (the riders) wants to drive the Civic and what's more, it won't pass inspection (by the UCI), then why bother?

The people buying should ask, "Has a Civic ever been allowed to be driven in US or International roads?". If the answer is, "No", then why buy one?
So then it's a choice between a Ferrari and walking.

If this is the way that velodrome construction gets justified, then we would all be walking or riding the bus. You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you can have what you need. The size of the track is not going to be a limiting factor in creating elite riders, but not having a track will.

Up until the St. Quentin track was built, the French sprinters trained on a 166m track.
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Old 01-27-17, 11:03 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
OK. So, speaking honestly, if Alpenrose were hit by aliens tonight and insurance paid 100% of the cost of a new velodrome, your board would rebuild it as a 268.43m track? If not 268.43m, what length do you think they would choose?

Please answer with your honest opinion
Of course not. But I may be more in favor of a 166m indoor track than a 250m outdoor track. I actually think the ideal for our environment would be a 400m outdoor all-weather track, like they have in Japan. Can you imagine, 400m concrete track with grippy surface with a covered infield with shade in the summer and dryness in the winter? I might choose that over an echo-y, mostly empty stadium like at Carson... or hitting the top of an inflatable cover like in Colorado.

My point though is the US should absolutely not follow UCI regulations when building velodromes. The championship events are probably money losers - definitely not something to build your track around. Nobody from outside the US travels to the US to race because the level of talent here isn't good enough. You get money to run these things by getting upper-middle class parents to pay to enroll their kids in the sport of cycling; that's the model that every pool in the US runs on. You build a track that can be used by all age groups and is cheap to upkeep. You find an empty lot and you build a track of an appropriate size and shape for that lot; build the track to fit the property and then figure out where to put the start and finish lines for common events. If it's indoor, it'll be 166 or 200m. If outdoor, it'll be 333 or 400. 250m is actually a pretty awkward length. Very difficult to find or build an indoor space that large, it's too small to be a multi-use venue for an outdoor space and the requisite ~45 degree banking is too intimidating for kids just learning the sport or cyclists transitioning from road to track.

UCI caters to nations where track cycling is well established. Track cycling hasn't been well established in the US since baseball and car racing became popular. Right now track racers in the US only have 29 places to ride in the entire country. If you want to keep the sport healthy, you need venues any way you can get them.
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Old 01-28-17, 05:00 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
Right now track racers in the US only have 29 places to ride in the entire country. If you want to keep the sport healthy, you need venues any way you can get them.
^This. The US is a very large country. Only 29 velodromes is pitiful. With the Annadrome just completed in Queensland, we now have 7 indoor tracks (all 250m except Launceston which is 285.714m) ~100 velodromes in total...
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Old 01-28-17, 08:37 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
Right now track racers in the US only have 29 places to ride in the entire country. If you want to keep the sport healthy, you need venues any way you can get them.
^This. The US is a very large country. Only 29 velodromes is pitiful. With the Annadrome just completed in Queensland, we now have 7 indoor tracks (all 250m except Launceston which is 285.714m) ~100 velodromes in total...
I'd rather have 100 non-standard tracks with a robust youth-oriented track culture than host 100 UCI championships on our single 250m indoor track. Heck, if we had 100 166m indoor tracks with a competitive track culture in the States, the UCI would simply change their championship rules as they are prone to do.
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Old 01-29-17, 08:03 PM
  #84  
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They had the ground breaking ceremony for the Detroit track. Here is a youtube video if your interested. 30 minutes long.

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Old 01-29-17, 08:21 PM
  #85  
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In the video Dale Hughes specified the track will be 13 degrees in the straights and about 50 degrees in the turns.
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Old 01-30-17, 12:00 PM
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That article on Dale missed the Cleveland velodrome (although that one is only a couple years old). He knows more about track racing than anyone writing here.

Last I talked to him, he was targeting this velodrome in Detroit with the goal of getting more youth riding, learning, competing, and maybe even going to the Olympics (been a while since we had one of those cycling celebrities locally). Event wise, this velodrome specifically is targeted at hosting Olympic qualifying events. Madison and scratch racing qualifying can be well suited to a shorter track like this, while Keirin, points, and pursuit trials would be better suited to a larger track (250- 330).

We do have a 200m track also – that one is out doors (and about 20 miles north of this one). Currently we have to drive children from the city 45-60 minutes over to the existing outdoor velodrome.


Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I'd rather have 100 non-standard tracks with a robust youth-oriented track culture than host 100 UCI championships on our single 250m indoor track. Heck, if we had 100 166m indoor tracks with a competitive track culture in the States, the UCI would simply change their championship rules as they are prone to do.
Yep, that is the goal of this track.

Me, I’ve volunteered youth bike programs for the inner city, I’ve watched how Detroit’s bike culture has exploded beyond anyone’s imagination (with thousands of people coming out for regular rides – a river of bikes as far as I can see), and I’m excited to have both an indoor velodrome that I can use year round, and a great second option to draw a sea of talent for in this region

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Old 01-30-17, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post
In the video Dale Hughes specified the track will be 13 degrees in the straights and about 50 degrees in the turns.
Sounds right - those are the specs for the 166m track he built for Chicago and Cleveland.
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Old 01-30-17, 07:52 PM
  #88  
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Is This going to be another plywood panel track?
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Old 01-31-17, 12:05 PM
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I expect it will be just like IVBP, Cleveland, and Chicago which are plywood laminates as I recall (well, I helped take one of those apart).
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Old 01-31-17, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
It's also a mistake to think that track racing needs to be a spectator sport again for the sport to thrive. Pools all across the US have almost no spectator seating and we are the strongest nation in the world at swimming events. Guess what: most of our pools are 25 yards, not 50 meters. Most are too shallow at one end, too deep in the other, and the water temp is too hot. You don't need spectator seating, you don't need standardized tracks and you don't need to cater to middle-aged athletes. You need to cater to middle-aged parents and their kids.
.
Not to derail the thread but there is a lot to think about here. One of my nephews is a very good swimmer at both HS and USA Swimming Events (often at the same time). Go to a swim meet and see hundreds of kids of all ages and abilities competing hard. Parents spending all of their spare time (and a lot of cash) going to practices, paying for pool time and coaching.

I've been to some very nice facilities around San Antonio (we still don't have a Track), our city Schertz is just finishing a new Natatorium to add to the list. All for a sport that as Brian mentions has no spectators other than friends and family. No significant TV following or revenue outside of olympics, and very little Professional opportunity. There is a decent amount of scholarship money out there, that is a motivation for some families. From the perspective of someone involved in our sport it's mind boggling.
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Old 01-31-17, 07:16 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Not to derail the thread but there is a lot to think about here. One of my nephews is a very good swimmer at both HS and USA Swimming Events (often at the same time). Go to a swim meet and see hundreds of kids of all ages and abilities competing hard. Parents spending all of their spare time (and a lot of cash) going to practices, paying for pool time and coaching.

I've been to some very nice facilities around San Antonio (we still don't have a Track), our city Schertz is just finishing a new Natatorium to add to the list. All for a sport that as Brian mentions has no spectators other than friends and family. No significant TV following or revenue outside of olympics, and very little Professional opportunity. There is a decent amount of scholarship money out there, that is a motivation for some families. From the perspective of someone involved in our sport it's mind boggling.
Swimming has a ridiculously low barrier to entry for participation. Maybe 2nd only to running. But, pool fees and running shoes may have the same annual costs. Pool fees might be cheaper. Yeah, you can add in fees for coaching for swimming, but that's the same for any sport.

Compare that to what it takes to outfit a kid to enter a cycling race: Bike, shoes, clothing, helmet, etc...and maintenance (tires, tubes, tuneups, not every parent knows how to do this stuff). That's at least $700-1,000 MSRP to get going (I know that seems high, but little things add up). for a sport that the kid may give up on for reasons that kids give up on sports/hobbies.

Pools are very popular in the US. Looking back at a random selection of places I've lived in my lifetime, and for every one, I can recall a facility within 10 miles that had an Olympic style swimming pool. There is one about 1.5 miles from me as I type this.

Many city parks and recreation programs offer swimming lessons and programs for free or near free. That's actually how I learned how to swim. As a kid, I learned at the HS that I would later attend when I got older. We had a HS swimming team. It wasn't very popular, but we competed against other high schools. There was no cycling to speak of in the school systems.


So, if a kid came home and declared:

A) "Dad, I want to race in the pool.", or
B) "Dad, I want to race bikes."

The former is the easier sell.

I have a cousin that was a competitive swimmer as a kid and went to college on a swimming scholarship...and I stood next to Michael Phelps once
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Old 01-31-17, 08:48 PM
  #92  
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My local high school doesn't have a pool, but the local swim club has an annual membership fee of $1440/yr. That's expensive enough to prevent us from joining. I checked out the club's swim team and I noticed that it has strict rules on how much volunteer time required by the parents. I guess that's one way to keep the parents involved.

BTW, my high school had an Olympic size pool and a swim team. Our town also had a community bicycle racing program that was basically bicycle drag races for kids in parking lots. That's how I got started and apparently I became the poster child for the success of the program. Go figure.

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Old 01-31-17, 10:34 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
My local high school doesn't have a pool, but the local swim club has an annual membership fee of $1440/yr. That's expensive enough to prevent us from joining. I checked out the club's swim team and I noticed that it has strict rules on how much volunteer time required by the parents. I guess that's one way to keep the parents involved.

BTW, my high school had an Olympic size pool and a swim team. Our town also had a community bicycle racing program that was basically bicycle drag races for kids in parking lots. That's how I got started and apparently I became the poster child for the success of the program. Go figure.
Do you have a YMCA nearby? I'd check there, too.
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Old 01-31-17, 11:40 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Do you have a YMCA nearby? I'd check there, too.

There's a Y about 10 miles away with a 6 lane pool and it has a swim team. A family membership runs $1068/yr.
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Old 02-01-17, 12:09 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
There's a Y about 10 miles away with a 6 lane pool and it has a swim team. A family membership runs $1068/yr.
How much does it take to outfit a family with race bikes and gear?

or...

How much for an individual membership?
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Old 02-01-17, 12:26 AM
  #96  
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Every sport costs money, even running.

Ask Mario: How Often Should I Replace My Running Shoes?

Over the course of a 12- to 16-week training cycle, you can expect to go through between two and four pairs of shoes.
Ask Mario: How Often Should I Replace My Running Shoes? | Competitor.com

Even at a less than average price of $100/pair, that still comes out to $650 - $1,733 per year.

And that's not counting any track fees, coaching, team fees, clothing, etc...
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Old 02-01-17, 02:10 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
So, if a kid came home and declared:

A) "Dad, I want to race in the pool.", or
B) "Dad, I want to race bikes."

The former is the easier sell.
I would think any parent thinking logically would steer them towards cycling regardless the cost and away from daily 3 or 4 am wake-up alarms...
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Old 02-01-17, 07:04 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
How much does it take to outfit a family with race bikes and gear?

or...

How much for an individual membership?

An individual membership is $636/yr. The reason I quoted the family membership is that mom and dad will want to watch the swim practices or at least wait around until their chauffeur service is needed again.

Anyway, both my local association and my club both have little to no cost bike loaner programs for juniors. The cost of shoes and kits are also subsidized/refunded by my club if the junior actively races. Ttown also has a program where local clubs can sponsor unlimited track bike usage/rental for juniors for a fee that is less than the cost of a single starter track bike. My club participated in this when we had a more robust track program, but today cyclocross is the big thing. Either way, the bar for entry into road or track cycling can be pretty low if the future rider avails him/herself to the opportunities being provided.

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Old 02-01-17, 09:44 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
...Either way, the bar for entry into road or track cycling can be pretty low if the future rider avails him/herself to the opportunities being provided.
...in the town of Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. Not the entire United States.

You know that that system is unusual so you can't extrapolate it to the entire US and make it seem like cycling is as accessible to juniors as swimming is (which was my point).

That's like Taylor Phinney saying that cycling is easy and when you need help, just ask your parents*


*(For those not familiar, Taylor Phinney's parents are Olympic medal-winning cyclists)
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Old 02-01-17, 10:30 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
...in the town of Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. Not the entire United States.

You know that that system is unusual so you can't extrapolate it to the entire US and make it seem like cycling is as accessible to juniors as swimming is (which was my point).

That's like Taylor Phinney saying that cycling is easy and when you need help, just ask your parents*


*(For those not familiar, Taylor Phinney's parents are Olympic medal-winning cyclists)
It seems like every web page for US velodromes I have read mentions a free or low cost program for aspiring junior track cyclists. There are a lot of programs like that out there, but certainly not everywhere.

I know we purchase a gaggle of bikes every 3-4 years, loan them to juniors and rent them to adults, then sell them for a good portion of what they cost new. The gang at the track is happy to donate kids equipment to the track once their kids outgrow it.
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