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New indoor Velodrome in the US

Old 02-01-17, 10:54 AM
  #101  
carleton
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
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.
DLV has a thriving kids program. It's free for kids in the neighborhood and they have a fleet of bikes for use during the classes 2x/week.

...but:

- The bikes are not for use outside of the program:
- - Kids can't take them to race at another track.
- - Kids can't even use them for weekend training at the same track.
- - Only Monday and Thursday for 1 to 1.5 hours each.
- The bikes cannot be modified (can't change saddle, gears, bars, etc...)
- The bikes are not individual. Timmy can't claim a bike as his own. The bikes are numbered, so Timmy can hope that his favorite bike (e.g.: #32) is available when he gets to the bike room. But, if another kid has it, too bad.

So, it's a great program to get kids started. But, it's like taking guitar lessons where the instructor has a guitar for you to use...eventually you will need your own guitar. Very little progress in any sport, hobby, or activity can happen with only 2-3 hours/week of time-on-task.

Last edited by carleton; 02-01-17 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 02-01-17, 03:18 PM
  #102  
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Cycling, particularly track cycling, is as expensive as you make it out to be. A loaner bike, a pair of shoes and a helmet is really all a kid needs when they are young. Parents will pay for stuff too, to get their kids outfitted for sports. They'll pay a surprising amount, as long as you have a good program. $2k for a year of participation is small beans to many parents when they are spending for their kids.

Youth team organization makes it better too. A team can make a single loaner bike available to a single kid for a year, funded by dues paid by the parents. A team can make a mechanic available to every kid, funded by dues paid by the parents. A team can buy track time dedicated to that one team and can enter races against other youth teams, funded by dues paid by the parents. Kits, helmets, shoes; all that can be bought in bulk for a discount by a team using dues paid by parents.

When we are talking youth sports programs, we are talking about 40-50 kids on standardized equipment with a dedicated coach training in concert. Very different than the "team" model cycling has now which is mostly 5-20 mostly middle-aged men individually training, tricked out with power meters, carbon frames, $3000 unobtainium wheels, buying wind tunnel testing at a university and working individually with a coach on a tailored program.

Point is, you can do this if you have enough venues... of just about any type. They don't have to be standardized to Olympic velodrome standards. They don't require sponsors or promotions or government/school participation. They don't require national championships or the blessing of international standards bodies. In the entire nation, you need just a couple national championship sites. We have that already. But to make the national championships something worth participating in, you need participants. For that you need kids starting early. For that you need venues. Truly world class athletes make their start when they are still in the single digit ages. You cannot have world class competition by catering to middle aged masters racers.

Sorry by the rant, but I am still sore about seeing the Olympics elimination race on YouTube where the US rider was the first one out after losing the back of the pack during the first two laps.
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Old 02-01-17, 03:20 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
DLV has a thriving kids program. It's free for kids in the neighborhood and they have a fleet of bikes for use during the classes 2x/week.

...
A thriving kids program is one in which the parents support the program with real money. Free youth programs are great, but they will never build a sport. It's because they rely on donations of, most of the time, a single person's time. Once that person decides to quit, it's over.
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Old 02-01-17, 07:15 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
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.
+1

Sure Ttown has a huge youth program starting with the Pee Wee Pedalers and working up to their elite junior team, but I see many othe examples. My club with free bikes for juniors is in NJ and my local association is MABRA has first year junior bike rentals for only $40. Heck, Kissena which is severely underfunded has loaner bikes for new riders. I think cycling organizations work hard to lower the price of admission.
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