Well, everything but the track structure is going to be new... That is- if we can save it.
Have you heard of, or been to, Chicago Velo Campus? Well, that corp. lost it's lease and a bunch of us locals are working to keep the track here.
We're looking to run a transparent organization and actively seek feedback from cyclists and other users and neighbors.
We've started a forum here: http://chicagovelodrome.com/forum/ Please visit for news, discussion, updates or to contribute your own voice. I look forward to your visit!
Also- I kind of walked into this role, as a coordinator, out of necessity. I want to do my best- so if you have any positive/negative feedback for me- about the way I'm doing things, or anything with the organization- please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly.
We're looking for all sorts of volunteers too, starting as early as tomorrow :) We're fostering a friendly, constructive environment for the coming seasons...
Thanks for your time, attention and thoughts!
We can do this! (but it's not guaranteed)
Thank you for creating this group. I really, really think it needs to somehow be moved indoors. If it's the only alternative to riding on stationary trainers during the winter, I think it will succeed. In the summer, I believe there's too much competition from criteriums, mountain bike races...not to mention two other velodromes.
Marcus thanks for taking this on for the community! I want to see it come to fruition.
Thanks Julie! I'm just trying to help get everyone on the same page and help organize this effort. A lot of people want to see the track stay and give it another chance to win the hearts of the public. There are a lot of things about that place that will change for the better.
Brett- thanks! An indoor situation is something most of us talk about. We do know the costs associated with it and can't do it right now. I would like to have some discussion at some point, on the forums, about long-term goals. I'd also like to talk about the business plan and what we're planning on doing to bring the track into the black and engage and bring in more spectators and advertisers (embracing technology etc)...
As far as the forums- a lot of people have been checking in- the first thousand visitors only took about 19 hours from the time we announced the forum. Wow. A lot of people are interested in this track and with what's happening.
Here's my Newcity article about the closure of the velodrome, including an explanation from the Chicago Velo Campus folks and Marcus' campaign to reopen the track:http://newcity.com/2014/12/05/checkerboard-city-a-new-hope-for-the-...
I wonder if moving the velodrome to the Big Marsh site would be a good fit?
Would Park District be able to accomodate indoors? If there was youth interested in cycling or learn to cycle they might be interested
Thanks for writing the story John!
KevinM- Thanks for asking. A number of people have brought up Big Marsh. The short answer is that it isn't going to happen (numerous reasons). There's a little bit of discussion, on that specific point, in the chicagovelodrome.com forums.
Brian- the PD potentially "could" accommodate the track indoors, but it would take up a footprint about the size of a soccer field (little bigger, I think). Asking the Park District to give existing space to this would be a tough job. If someone from the community wanted to make an effort to find another location for the facility (park dist. or otherwise)- there would be lots of support behind that person.
If the velodrome is saved- it'll be because of the people wanting it to stay and "fighting" for it. I'm just trying to get the ball started- trying to get everyone on the same page and to facilitate organizing and action. Please get in touch if you want more info or to help.
Thanks for checking out this thread... Those of us who want to save the track see a future full of vitality and as a community effort with lots of people contributing feedback and personal talents toward the effort. If you want to help- don't hesitate to let me know.
Thanks for asking!
We'll have more in-depth discussion on relocating the track in the forum, at some point. It's an idea that we'd hope to be in a position to act upon it within the coming years. I'd love to see a small team of people form, who want to investigate potential sites and/or do cost/benefit analysis...
Right now- the track takes up about the same space as a soccer field (a few meters longer). If we disassemble it- lengthening another ~17 meters would be a good idea. With some lots- we'd have to get more engineers involved and might have to prep the site (concrete slab etc) which would cause costs to grow.
The land situation, where it is now, is good with the usage at no cost and liability insurance being paid by a sponsoring corporation.
In other news- our paperwork for the State NFP corporate status was Filed Monday. We're working on the Federal 501c3 paperwork currently.
No questions are too insignificant here friends. Let me know if you have any feedback too. Thanks!
Before you read this, I don't know much about velodromes or the size, but wondering if targeting a vacant lot would be best? There's plenty of vacant lots around, would one of them fit this velodrome? Seems like a grassroots effort to buy a lot for cheap and move the velodrome there could work? Or is the bigger issue the 150k for the velodrome itself rather than the land lease?