The Chainlink

Ok, first, SO happy for Detroit - this will be so good for the city to have a velodrome. That said, I'm sad for Chicago because it's also a city that could really benefit from an indoor velodrome like this. 

An indoor cycling track in Detroit is expected to draw bike riders from other cold-weather states and across the U.S. while giving inner-city youth the opportunity to participate for free in the fast-moving and growing sport.

The Lexus Velodrome, which will have its grand opening Monday, is in an inflatable, climate-controlled dome a few miles north of a new professional hockey and basketball arena and close to a site proposed for a professional soccer stadium.

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The irony being you have to load your bike in or on your car to get to it park in a garage...

The "inner city youth"? live no where near this college town in the city, getting there would mean taking one or 2 buses if the bike racks work on them... but there is a Whole Foods near by to pick up your protein smoothie afterwards.

On a positive note the arterial routes in the city are so wide you could literally take an entire lane for cycling with no impact on traffic, parking would be curb side as those lanes are still mostly original brick in spots. 

I'd assume they provide the bikes since you can't ride just any old bike.  

That'd be a big cost too. I mean if you just want to cruise around town a bike like Citi or Divvy works just adjust the seat.

How would they have bikes for all types of body shapes,sizes?

The only spot large enough for a Velodrome in Chicago would be South (where it already was/is) or West unless they want to take over more park space like the synthetic turf Soccer fields.

Yes, they have a large collection of track bikes that are free for the youth to use. Adults can use the bikes and track, but there's a fee.

There are a large number of families living near the track, which happens to share its parking lot with a couple schools, from K to 12. Detroit's main youth earn-a-bike programming is just down the street as well. Getting youth on bikes is a major focus and shouldn't be an issue.

Chicago couldn't support an outdoor velodrome, so how would the added cost of putting it indoors work?

But there is an active velodrom in Northbrook.

an indoor velodrome would be accessible year round though - I'd be there A LOT!

Did you frequent the South Chicago Velodrome when it was active and do you ride the Northbrook velodrome?

I know that I meant to get to the South Chicago Velodrome, but never did, shame on me.  I would have thought that having two velodromes would have created a good competitive series, but maybe two so close is too many to support.

I know, in response to Jared, Northbrook has track bikes on loan.

I do race in Northbrook, yes. 

There is talk of building a 20,000 seat soccer stadium at the Finkl Steel site. An indoor velodrome would take up far less space.

There's probably more fans of soccer than cycling.

But, a collapsible track such as, I think, the South Chicago Velodrome was could be assembled in the soccer field for shared usage.

I think that there's an indoor soccer field at 39th and Halsted.

A soccer field would get plenty of use.  But 20,000 seats?  The Fire aren't going to move out of Toyota Park anytime soon.  Can a B team really draw 20,000 fans?  It can't in Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Orlando, Seattle, or Toronto.  A substantial amount of parking for a soccer stadium that size would also be needed because public transportation isn't convenient to that location.

Since there are people trying to get more park space at that site, it seems like putting a velodrome there (near a 606 extension) makes sense, especially since Northbrook is considering getting rid of the Ed Rudolph Velodrome.

As you alluded to below, the Fire aren't moving out of Toyota Park any time soon.  They have a 30-year lease there that they signed in 2005.  A general entertainment venue might be a possibility, perhaps.  I think a lot of people on the north side who go to the Allstate Arena or the Sears Center Arena for events would be glad to switch.  I think an indoor velodrome is a real long shot, although I'll bet the remnants of the one that closed could be purchased inexpensively if they're still usable.


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