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chimblysweep 07-08-05 07:19 AM

getting a new velodrome built: my dc campaign plan
ok, so everyone wants one, and i'm a campaigner, so i've been talked into trying to make this happen. if i don't get some help, though, i'm dropping this one like a hot potato.

here's the basic campaign-plan outline:
1. get the stats (bicycling in metro dc - how many racers, interest levels, etc. and $ needed to build one) and set up a non-profit shell w/board, bank account, etc.
2. approach national capitol park service to ask - if i give y'all the money to build it, can you find the land? (if answer = no, approach DC Parks and Rec)
3. meet with local racing teams. ask for mailing lists.
4. direct mail fundraise some base cash from racing team members, offering "charter memberships" to the track.
5. use base funding to approach foundations and possibly corporations for some big $.
6. once 2/3 of the funding is secured, re-approach park service, being serious.
7. explore options for running/maintaining the place. get base level ideas of maintenance costs by calling other velodromes.

from there, i'll need some help. but that's my approximate game plan.
SO... anyone wanna help?

H23 07-08-05 07:39 AM

We definately need a velodrome in this (DC-Baltimore) area. It was briefly contemplated in Baltimore at the site of the old memorial stadium, but that fell through.

I think that another player in making something like that happen would be public and private schools. The angle is that this could be another healthy sport for kids to participate in.

Guest 07-08-05 02:13 PM

If you need my help, I'm in. I can help write up grants or brainstorm on money raising ideas.

PM me.


chimblysweep 07-08-05 08:20 PM

That's awesome, thanks, Koffee! I'm planning a race right now, so I'm sidetracked (already, one day later) but I'm asking a couple shops about stats.

Where could we find out the price tag for building a track?

taras0000 07-09-05 04:34 PM

Talk to Dale Hughes, of the Bloomer Park Velodrome in Rochester Hills, MI. is the website that has his contact. He built the 96 olympic drome and knows how to get a track into almost any community. Racing at this drome and seeing what he has done is pretty amazing.


Robert Gardner 07-09-05 11:15 PM

There is a newly built velodrome in the city of Carson California in Los Angeles County California. They should be glad to give you all of the stats on cost and other problems. I am sorry I do not have their address, however here is a web site:

chimblysweep 07-12-05 08:23 AM

Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll chase that info down.

veloellen 07-12-05 10:18 PM

You may want to talk to the guys in Baltimore that tried to get a velodrome here. A few years ago a google search pulled up some things about the "propsed" drome - not sure if its still googleable. I believe one of the guys that was pretty involved was Dave Scharff.

tink20seven 07-14-05 10:26 AM

I have been thinking about this for some time now and I would love to help in any way I can. Lets talk about this. I'll put in the effort.

chimblysweep 07-14-05 11:28 AM

cool. i have a list of park service contacts and a list of velodrome contacts (above) to start with.

I had in mind an uncovered 'drome, figuring it would be more economical. I don't know where we'd get the bucks for a pretty covered wood floor one.

Woofer 07-14-05 02:16 PM

The LA indoor one was built with private funding. You can also make a pretty wooden outdoor one, there are a few in the US, even in the far North of Minnesota.

chimblysweep 07-19-05 09:56 PM

yeah... private funding for something we want built on parkland? hmm. as much as i want a facility, i'm not sure that will fly

lmentop 07-20-05 11:51 AM

theres one near london ontario that was just built and opened in april. the track looks really nice and im hoping to visit it in september (im from buffalo doing a internship down here for the summer). they held a proposal meeting in january 2005 and it opened in april. thats pretty good if you ask me. They built it inside of an old vacant ice rink and got a lot of corporate sponsors. The website is and the contact is:

Rob Good
Forest City Velodrome Association
65 Karen Walk
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 5X1
Tel: 519-883-7849
Email: [email protected]

lmentop 07-20-05 11:54 AM

some stats on it: 16 degrees of banking in the straight, 50 degrees in the corners.

absntr 07-20-05 05:50 PM

Private or partial sponsorship and funding is worth looking into. We're not talking Wal-Mart but even bigger local shops or sports organizations.

Marcus at Yojimbo's told me about a plan he had to get a top-notch indoor velodrome built in Chicago itself - there were some interested private funders but things got complicated. I forget the story exactly but it's quite detailed and I was surprised and eager to hear the entire thing which I did. He might have some good ideas and tips on how to approach the task at hand from different vantages.

Edit: when I mean bigger local shops, I mean bike shops, not bigger shops than Wal-Mart!

B10Cycle 07-20-05 07:49 PM

That would be awesome. Definitely start talking to shops around the area and get in tough with the clubs and teams so the word can get around a bit more. I wish you the best in bringing one here.

Marge 07-20-05 08:06 PM

Redmond WA has had a velodrome for years and hell yes they seek private funding.
Let's be real there isn't enough public dollars these days to even finance kids
recess in schools. here's the url

Guest 07-20-05 08:17 PM

There is a lot of private funding... you just have to know where to look and you have to be able to write a hell of a grant proposal. Once you get through the red tape, it could be very rewarding, provided that you continue to follow through with the grant renewals.


chimblysweep 09-23-05 01:47 PM

this just in...

September 23, 2005

Mr. Tobin L. Smith, Chair, North Tract Task Force
Mr. Erik R. Beach, Manager, North Tract, Arlington County Parks Department

Toby, Erik,

Thank you for inviting and welcoming me to last night’s North Tract design meeting. My interest is in benefiting Arlington citizens and regional bicyclists by advocating bicycle facilities for the North Tract. I wanted to provide background and share initial views.

As I introduced myself, I am a long-time Arlington resident who enjoys and supports bicycling. I am a member of National Capital Velo Club (NCVC -- Washington’s oldest and largest bicycle racing club), Potomac Pedalers Touring Club, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), and United States Cycling Federation (USCF). I serve as a licensed USCF Official (referee) and an Assistant Scoutmaster for Arlington Troop 106 (Rock Spring Church), where I often teach Cycling Merit Badge and lead bike trips. I commute daily by bike from North Arlington to downtown Washington. During the 1980s, I worked in Richmond for a Member of the Roads and Internal Navigation Committee, where we advocated and passed legislation to improve Arlington and Northern Virginia transportation (e.g., the Route 66/Dulles Toll Road Connector).

North Tract is a $100 million park to be developed across from National Airport/Gravely Point/Roach's Run, including the former site of the Twin Bridges Marriott. It will include a world-class swimming/diving facility, soccer fields, bicycle paths, cafe, etc. My preliminary goal is to evaluate whether a sport biking facility -- e.g., a multiuse track or outdoor velodrome -- may fit within the design and usage parameters for North Tract. To this end, I have contacted Schuermann Architects (, global leaders in bicycle track design, received a statement of support from NCVC, and am contacting additional experts to help understand what facilities may be appropriate for North Tract. I am also working with Allen Muchnick, Virginia Bicycling Federation president, who participated in earlier North Tract planning.

My understanding from my September 8 meeting with Erik, our conversations, and last night’s meeting is that the opportunity for a North Tract bicycle facility is to be guided by the following principles: It should fit within the conceptual design for North Tract, it should benefit a plurality of users (e.g., a multi-use facility with broad appeal is best), and it should work within the North Tract budget and schedule parameters. These principles make sense to me.

With this in mind, I think there is potential for a minimally invasive bicycling track either in the park’s south east corner, surrounding landscape features (e.g., the splash/spray pool, walking paths, gardens), or encircling one of the four planned soccer fields. The track could be scheduled appropriately for cycling, rollerblading, running, competition, periods of non-use, and other sport or recreational purposes. During non-use, if it surrounds a sport field or landscaped venue, the track may work well as a banked seating area (akin to the berms discussed for the below-grade soccer field concept). To enter/exit the interior sport field or landscaped area, an underpass tunnel or flyover may make sense. (Perhaps this access could leverage the North Tract’s prospective railroad track berm, aquatic center deck/terrace, underground parking, or GW Parkway flyover feature.) Using Google, I selected a few links to data or images that seem to echo my concept:

This link (Kissena Park (Long Island) Velodrome) features an interior field. I find Kissena notable due to the low-impact nature of the installation and its urban location:

This link is a velodrome (Herne Hill Velodrome) with an interior soccer field:

This link (Palmer Park Sports Stadium) features an interior football field and other sporting elements:

This link (San Diego Velodrome) features an interior field, with passive recreation:

These images strengthen my conception of a facility that meshes with the principles stated above. I am not an expert in velodromes or architecture. My sense is that additional design and sport expertise which we may gather will clarify and improve the concept.

I think I can confidently suggest that there would be considerable citizen and enthusiast support for a sporting bicycle facility. The closest velodrome to Arlington is in Trexelertown, Pennsylvania, 200 miles distant. Cycling at Hains Point, intermixed with traffic, is broadly popular (and crowded) at lunch and most evenings (I help coach a Juniors’ cycling program at Hains Point Friday nights). A North Tract facility, with additional amenities (swimming pools, cafe, bike path access), will be far superior to Hains. Arlington has a well-served bicycling constituency (supported by the County Chair, BAC, Charlie Denney and others). We have staged world-class cycling events -- the CSC Invitational/Clarendon Cup. Cycling is increasingly popular in and sensible for the county, with ever improving facilities, worsening traffic congestion, rising gas prices, and the need for lifetime fitness and recreational activities for youth (as championed by CDC, Department of Education, and Arlington Schools).

The cost of a complementary cycling facility should work within budget set for North Tract. Indeed, the cost of building the track would seem to be less than the cost of relocating Old Jefferson-Davis Highway -- a feature which is likely to be eliminated from the North Tract budget. Sponsorship or complementary commercial activities (e.g., a bike station, a repair shop) could offset costs. Further research should narrow cost and design parameters.

In conclusion, I appreciate the opportunity to advocate bicycle facilities for North Tract and share my initial views. I think an outdoor velodrome is workable and beneficial. I look forward to your guidance, feedback from the Task Force, and sharing further information and thoughts as Arlington’s spectacular North Tract park is developed.



James R. Wilson
[email protected]

4664 34th Street North
Arlington, Virginia 22207

(703) 532-0658 (h)
(202) 906-5653 (h)
(571) 239-6772 (c)


Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee
Myron Lehtman, President, NCVC
Pete Lindeman, Team Director, NCVC
Donald Saroff, Squadra Coppi
Eric Gilliland, Executive Director, Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Allen Muchnick, President, Virginia Bicycling Federation
Charlie Denney, Arlington Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
John Zebatto, Chair, Executive Committee, PPTC

chimblysweep 10-19-05 01:07 PM

Arlington County, Virginia, is moving to develop a $100 million
sporting facility on the 30-acre North Tract parcel, located between
Crystal City and the Pentagon. Although a bike track is not currently
a part of the base North Tract plan, an outdoor velodrome would be
possible as Arlington acquired additional property in July 2005.

The closest comparable facility being 200 miles distant in
Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, Arlington Sports are asking to support the
velodrome project by attending the design workshop on Saturday,
October 29. The North Tract Design Committee's Open House will take
place in the Courthouse Plaza Building (2100 Clarendon Boulevard)
from 9:00am-4:00pm, including group discussions, presentations and
information displayed all day.

For further information, please contact or Rob Laybourn
([email protected]) or Jim Wilson
([email protected]).


Guest 10-19-05 01:25 PM

I'm all over it. I just contacted Rob.


Eman 10-20-05 07:05 AM

I would so love to have a velodrome here. I just emailed them as well. Any feed back?

same time 10-20-05 07:42 AM

Wow, how did I not notice this thread before? I'll be emailing those guys to offer my help.

Super Rookie 10-20-05 02:41 PM


super rookie here.

if they are interested in running a multi use enviornment you can incorporate the infield of the track as a skate park of a roller hockey rink. i have seen quite a few concepts of this idea as well as pictures of working tracks. if the center is all asphalt of 250m then you are in a perfect situation. that is a huge infield for kids to skate. just put a small linear fence around the velo.

oh. make it worthy of my presence....250meters and wood....but any velo would be nice!

Guest 10-21-05 12:46 PM

Yeah, so far, positive support. I contacted the guys wanting to do that project, and when I get back into town, we're going to be talking, meeting, exchanging ideas, etc. And since I'm at a 3 day coaching conference for cyclists, I've just met some great guys in the cycling world who are very interested in supporting a velodrome in DC. :)


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