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Monument Man 06-27-05 09:42 AM

Hi yall, a thread on the road forum about the lack of velodromes got me thinking about the lack of these in New England. (From what I can tell anyway)

For those that don't know, the lands along the Charles River in Boston are being totally redone in the wake of a major construction called the Big Dig. Each parcel of land has been turned over to a different entity for development. One of the more controversial parcels is going to be developed into a skate park. The police and neighborhoods are worried about attracting the wrong kind of crowd to this area, and the CDC needs to use private funds to build the park (which they are having difficulty raising). This is primo land, in a primo spot, although this specific parcel is going to be in part underneath the ramps of the new Bridge and Route 93. It's in the heart of Boston/Cambridge (by the Museum of Science on the Cambridge side), close to Green Line, Orange Line, and Red Line, and Commuter Rail, and is near I-93, Route 1, Mem Drive, Storrow, etc.

The skate park is going to be "world class" and they are raising private funds to start construction. They will try to accomodate BMX, Skateboards, and In-line skates.

Wouldn't it be really cool to get a velodrome installed in there?

I would like to suggest that interested parties in Boston go to the link below and offer a suggestion to the CRC to add a velodrome into the mix. From what I can gather, this would offer several advantages to the park:

* would provide the only velodrome in all of New England
* training for an Olympic Event
* would attract leagues and more mature/organized groups than the typical boarders (which could help alleviate fears of attracting the wrong crowd)
* cyclists have a long history of successful fundraising activities (the CRC needs around $1 Mil more before construction)
* thousands of recreational cyclists would be able to stay off the streets and participate SAFELY in the sport

Anyway, do people think that's a good idea? If so let me know what you think and also go to the link below and send them an email. There's a link asking for feedback. That might be a good place to start.

Charles River Skate Park Information

jrowe 06-27-05 01:51 PM

I'm moving to Boston on Friday, and this location is (I think) less than 1/4 mile from my office. I'd support it. Is the $1M figure on top of the $2M already needed?

tink20seven 06-27-05 01:54 PM


did you ever look into whether there was a movement into getting a track for the DC area?

I brought this up the other day with a group of riders, and although there was an understandable agreement that "one would be cool", there was a general consensus that there was simply no money and no space to do so within DC.

has this topic been discussed before?

chimblysweep 06-27-05 02:11 PM

there's plenty of space in dc for a track, if you want one. the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative is actually revamping tons of available parkland along the river. may be worth raising the question with the planning folks...

same time 06-27-05 02:22 PM

I remember a couple of years ago when DC was a finalist city for the 2012 Olympics, the Washington Post printed a map of where the Olympic facilities would go. I almost passed out - a velodrome on the old DC General Hospital site, 1/4 mile from my house. I still get a little dizzy thinking about it.

There's tons of space along the western bank of the Anacostia river - the RFK Stadium parking lots, abandoned auto racetrack, and the (mostly) abandoned hospital.

I'm sorry, this thread is about Boston, not DC. I'll shut up.

jacobs 06-27-05 04:35 PM

I say we just go build a Burnside-style DIY velodrome out on the seaport. They're never going to finish that walking area over near 88 Black Falcon Ave. at the rate they're going anyways! Primo real estate!

IchbinJay 06-27-05 06:13 PM

Massachusetts has a hidden outdoor Velodrome: The Cape Cod Canal! That's what I tell myself when I ride it anyway. Just watch out for seagulls and tourists.

Monument Man 06-27-05 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by IchbinJay
Massachusetts has a hidden outdoor Velodrome: The Cape Cod Canal! That's what I tell myself when I ride it anyway. Just watch out for seagulls and tourists.

i rode that velodrome saturday and sunday with a stiff 25mph headwind in my face on saturday. i'd prefer a track in Cambridge. that would be wicked pissa

Monument Man 06-27-05 06:51 PM


Originally Posted by jrowedc
I'm moving to Boston on Friday, and this location is (I think) less than 1/4 mile from my office. I'd support it. Is the $1M figure on top of the $2M already needed?

Hi, I think that they are trying to raise around $1.6 Million total, and already have $600,000

They already own the land. The skate park (this is going to be a ridiculously cool, world class park) IS GOING TO HAPPEN. The park is going to be akin to something you'd see at the X-games.

It would simply be cool to install a drome. It wouldn't even take up much space and they could put additional ramps and pipes in the middle.

IchbinJay 06-27-05 08:47 PM

It's cool and we're in Massachusetts, therefore it will only get done with A.) Lots of federal aid, and B.) An over-budget of billions.

DancesInTraffic 07-02-05 08:12 AM

Ummm... there's a velodrome in NH so your 'only velodrome in New England' perk is no good... but yeah...I would love to see one go in down here in Boston as well.

jacobs 07-02-05 08:59 AM


Originally Posted by DancesInTraffic
Ummm... there's a velodrome in NH so your 'only velodrome in New England' perk is no good... but yeah...I would love to see one go in down here in Boston as well.

If there's a velodrome in NH, it's one of the best kept secrets in all of New England.

DancesInTraffic 07-02-05 09:35 AM

There you are. So what if it wasn't first constructed as a velodrome. That's all its used for now.

Grab some buddies and head north.

WithNail 07-03-05 07:18 AM

Wasn´t there a portable velodrome somewhere in boston a few months ago? I seem to remember my friend dae telling me about it and saying that he wished that I still lived there because it was awesome. I know I heard rumors about it but he said that it was actually there and he went to it. Either way, wouldn´t an olympic quality velodrome almost or more than double the cost of this project? I´m not sure they would agree to that. And if you look at a lot of the velodromes across the country, despite an increase in attendance and participation, most of them are loosing instead of making money. You know what I´m talking about derek... Brian Piccolo velodrome was like a ghost town when we went there... maintained but effing empty!!!

DancesInTraffic 07-03-05 07:29 AM

If by portable you mean that we (the riders) are portable and our velodrome is whatever university track that we dont get run off of then ...yes.

But seriously...portable velodrome? Can they do that? I didn't hear anything about something like that.

WithNail 07-03-05 07:34 AM

yah, it (supposedly) was not very long (200-250m) and had some decent banks. That one figure 8 velodrome that shows up on this forum from time to time is portable..i think.

jacobs 07-03-05 10:10 AM

As far as I can tell, through that orginization, there aren't any oppurtunities to even ride on that auto-racing track until next season.

goodtobeawake 07-24-05 09:12 PM

yes indeed there was a little indoor 'drome in South Boston not too long ago... Not sure if it is still up but a couple buddies I know rode it and told me how it was a bit sketchy with overhead pipes and creaking boards and all. Still better than nothing I guess.

noeffinbrakes 08-10-05 01:36 PM

Hey man, that's a stellar idea. Way better than the flat-track races we've been running over at MIT. Let me know what's up or what can be done to get this idea more organized. Send me an email or whatever.


pinky 08-12-05 10:29 PM 'velodrome' up in NH is a mini-auto track. It still gets used as a mini auto track, its just that Tony Eberhardt rocks and rents it out Wednesday nights. He is also running the New England Velodrome Organization (or something like that) thats sole intent is coming up with the cash for a true velodrome in New England. If you want a velodrome in the area he's the man you want to talk to, as he's got hook ups with the T-town folks and actually knows what is truly required.
The portable velodrome (Vandendrome) is a 200 meter track with some kind of scary bank. Unfortunately thats owned by the Northampton folks out in Western Mass who haven't had a lot of luck getting money or space. That track also needs a BIG overhaul so its a long shot.
The reality of the track scene in New England is that unless real interest is shown your not gonna see anything for a 5-10 years. If we're lucky the kids program at Lead will take off which will bring the kids and rents in who can spread it from there. Otherwise there's just not enough interest to justify a few million dollar investment at the moment. And Boston...they wouldn't even let us run Cross Nats here and you think a velodrome is gonna happen??

Michigander 08-20-05 08:56 AM

You guys sure are making me glad theres a velodrome within riding distance of my house.

chungfung 08-25-05 09:37 AM

I have heard wind of some kind of track at a university that people gather at but have no idea where it is or when they meet up. I would be interested. I havn't had a chance to ride a velodrome yet but I would love to give it a shot. But I mean, I'm riding a Peugeot conversion, which is why this sort of pick-up track race sounded cool, the article I read mentioned it was pretty much open to all bikers (if they were in the know) and not just hardcore track folk.

jrowe 08-25-05 04:19 PM

In Boston? Maybe you're thinking of the races on the MIT running track on Vassar St in Cambridge. Thursday nights at 10:30.

Velodrome Rider 09-24-05 09:15 PM

Being a Bay State native now living in Michigan I'm following this thread with interest.

If you really want a velodrome, you can do what we did in Michigan. We built a 200 meter velodrome, 44° in the corners, steel sub-structure and 1" thick plywood surface, all with private donations and volunter labor. This was built in a city park and we are just concluding our 4th season. It does not have showers or training rooms, etc. but we have a great time and put on a great show. The track is also maintained by volunteers, small user fees (age 18 and under are free all the time including instruction/coaching and the use of one of our track bikes) and the Friday night gate.

Our current fund raising is for adding lights for night events. In the summer months, the sun sets in the Detroit area about 45 to 50 minutes later than Boston so in June it is still daylight around 9:00 pm.

Our primary race is the Madison and we have a Friday night series that runs in June and July. We also had our third 6-Day race in August. The Madison race is a blast to ride on our high banked track.

If you do not know what a Madison race is, it is a two person team, one person in the race, the other riding high on the track resting. Every two to three laps, the resting person drops down the track, their partner grabs their hand and slings them into the race.

Pictures at:

and the website for the track is at:

BTW, if you use a design that volunteer labor can build, you can reduce the cost big time. Also, 200 meters and 44° banking make for fun and exciting racing.

Super Rookie 10-03-05 01:34 PM

The figure eight track was portable until it was burnt on the frozed waters of lake eerie a few years ago. Well at least part of it made the bonfire. I have heard the stories from those that were there...ha.

good luck boston! but, I think providence is your best bet. they at least approved 'cross nationals this year.

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