The Chainlink

Updates from the little track on Chicago's South side!  (sorry for my lack of announcements here)

Everyone's got a question or two about the track, what's been happening over the Winter, etc...  Everyone's welcome to call 1-872-Luv-SCVA  [588-7282] anytime for any South Chicago Velodrome Association-related questions...  But back to the updates.  Here's the "schedule" we're trying to adhere to:

- Currently in final days of pledge/fund-drive *see below

- Next Tues/Wed (28-9 Apr) we'll be signing the lease papers for the velodrome.  We've raised $40K of the 150 goal so far and using current funds will secure leases for the track structure and the land, as well as the insurance contract needed to start operations.  * Medium-term plans include SCVA owning land.

- Once the paperwork's in order we'll order materials for annual repairs.  Those should take a couple weeks to arrive and about a week (100-200 hours) to implement.  In that time, we'll also be preparing the grounds and getting programming squared away.

- We should be able to have the track rideable by last week of May.  Racing can resume a few short weeks after and we might be able to run a "full" 3-month racing calendar.

* We're focusing on pledges, to build leverage for the track contract negotiation, and can be for reserving track passes, business advertising or for charitable reasons.  Pledges require no cash up front.  There's also a "commission", bringing credit to the referrer's account-

* If you own/manage a local business- let's talk about how SCVA can benefit your business.

Donations can be done here: or here…/don…

** Here's a general contact form- Volunteers, business and event contacts and just about everyone else...  But especially people wanting to volunteer (need lots real soon) or help in any capacity-

Other information...  We're currently working on making the website more usably-informative.  Brett wrote a nice story here:  the most recent written piece (that I'm aware of) is here:

Don't forget the direct line; everyone's invited to call 1-872-Luv-SCVA  [588-7282]
Thank You!

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Excellent news on the recent large donation on gofundme and best of luck signing the lease/insurance papers.  Well done and keep up the good work.

Thanks chixieonfixie!

In my shop I often show people frames without any parts on them- many of us who are "into bikes" can envision a complete bicycle just by seeing a frame?  However- most people cannot visualize how all the parts fit together and showing them a completely built bike is the best way to get certain ideas understood.

It's the same way with bicycle infrastructure, facilities and this velodrome specifically...  Do bike lanes and signage help make some cyclists more comfortable biking on that streets?  Does bicycle-aware legislation help legitimize cycling in our society?  Can the presence of a velodrome affect more of our community than the current local track racers?  

I don't have kids but see the value in providing opportunities to the local youth.  I don't know anyone who doesn't support that.  Have you heard about the city-wide high school league concept yet?  This was something I started working on at the end of last Summer, after I noticed so many kids asking me how they could get into velodrome racing the following year (my shop is kind of a magnet for fixed gear folks)...  In about 5 weeks I had a list of 52 kids from 17 high schools and we had some meetings and I talked with other org.s to get advice and was going to propose to CVC that they host part of the program.  The complete program would have other kids going to Big Marsh for MTB, cross and BMX and others going to Garfield Park to take part in the bike polo league...  Then I found out the track was scheduled to be removed, so focused on doing what I could to help save the velodrome.  

There is currently a lot of momentum and interest from our young brothers and sisters- they want to explore fun cycling options and this is a great opportunity for our city to direct some of that energy.

How many times have we complained about "those fixie kids" riding like maniacs on the streets?  Having a dedicated place for them to go to and work some of that "need for speed" out of their systems, and gain a different respect for their bicycles and bodies in the process, can only be a good thing.  It's taken a few years for most locals to hear about the velodrome; now they're ready to engage.

Back to the frame to bike comparison- there are a lot of benefits that haven't been explored yet.  Having a velodrome in the city can have effects that you and I haven't even thought about yet.  Let's work together to make the most of this situation.

Thank you.

We are signing the track lease papers tomorrow, Sunday May 3, at 8615 S. Burley Ave. and you're invited to attend the event.

It's going down around 5ish. 
We're only getting this one piece of paperwork out of the way; still have to sign land lease and get liability insurance, hopefully both within a few days. 
We can't ride on the track tomorrow but will be doing a Spring inspection to update our "to do" list for annual repairs. We'll spend a little time picking up around the grounds. For those helping with "clean up"- Carl should be there by 3.
We'll also have refreshments and snacks.
You're invited.

Congratulations on signing the lease!  A big step towards the continuation and success of the South Chicago Velodrome Association!

WTTW Channel 11 has a South Chicago Velodrome Association piece for Chicago Tonight scheduled *tonight after 7pm...

This is a big week and the SCVA needs are great- with work to be done, funds to be raised, tools to be borrowed... 
- We need: throw-away helmets and 2x4s donated and to borrow garden hoses this week! (other things listed too) **more details below...
- We also need a little overnight design/web work done (and more soon), track-repair volunteers later this week and booth-fest-workers all day Saturday in the true East Side **more details below or
- * The financial crunch is really starting this week. About a quarter of our 2015 expenditures are due (incl. track purchase) and our bank account is hanging out at the fence-line... Contribution information can be found here and I'm always up for an in-person meeting or telephone call, to address questions, help you see the big picture and how SCVA's mission will benefit the larger community going forward 1-872-Luv-SCVA [588-7282]

We're still pushing hard and can have both youth programs start on schedule next week. 
But we are behind and can use more help.
I call on everyone to rally behind this effort- this might not be the nicest facility in the world but we have a unique opportunity to make a significant difference in Chicago's landscape... It's up to us to make this accessible, long lasting, workable for the public's benefit and to use what we have (talents, community connections, thriving metropolis) to make the most of this resource. 
All feedback helps and talking about the facts with friends (spreading the word) is beneficial. Programming should start one week from today and people should know that (yes, I'll update media soon [help?]). 
There's lots still to do and I thank everyone for the incredible, generous contributions so far; we wouldn't have gotten this far without all of you.

Thank you everyone! -Marcus

** The details about volunteering this weekend, borrowing garden hose, the helmet demo, etc are below..

So you know- I've been speaking with our landowner rep and a few days ago he was saying to expect the land lease by today... Understanding that- we will want some help with track repairs and grounds maintenance this week. If you haven't filled out the communication log, or need to update your entry-

We're also looking for donations before the weekend:
- Helmets, discarded, any shape or size, may be cracked (20 total)- to be used for a physical demonstration at a festival Saturday
- Garden Hose (will be returned in a week). We're going to power wash the track surface *before the weekend (hopefully) and need 1000' or more total (we'll piece together the total length)
- 2x4s, 2x6s 4 feet or longer sections, used or slightly warped is fine. A little over 200' is needed
- Refrigerator, used. To keep in the track trailer to help everyone
- Other supplies will be used (blacktop repair materials, plywood, paint, epoxies, other landscape tools)- lending and donations to the NFP are always appreciated.  
- Volunteers :D Saturday! 10am-8pm we're sharing a booth with Intelligentsia Cup at the East Side Community Day 105th and Ewing and looking for friends to hang out at the booth where we'll have a helmet/mellon-smashing demo every half hour and a set of rollers so we can attract and captivate 
- Volunteers many other times too... Every day until Winter ;)
Who am I fooling- this a year-around effort...

- We're currently updating the site- check it out and let us know if you want to help in any way 

Below is a photo of the velodrome outside of Detroit, getting it's annual power wash a few weeks ago (clean on the left, dirty on the right).  This is one of the things we'll be doing this weekend.

Thank you! 1-872-Luv-SCVA [588-7282]

For the refrigerator you might try the Rebuilding Exchange.  They do accept appliances that are less than 10 years old.  You could call/email and see if they have any available.  They may also have plywood/2x4's available.

Rebuilding Exchange

1740 W. Webster

773 252 2234

As for the paint and epoxies you could try the Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility.  They have some of these items for 'reuse' per their website snippet below:

Reuse: Useable paints, stains and other cleaners are available for free at the facility’s material exchange room. Please ask a staff person to enter the exchange room, which is open during regular hours of operation. Chicagoans are welcome to take materials without dropping off any of their own.  

Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling

1150 N Branch Street

The facility is open for drop-offs on the following days only:

  • Tuesdays (7 am – 12 pm)
  • Thursdays (2- 7 pm)
  • The first Saturday of every month (8 am – 3 pm)

Of course- donations/free is best as long as the materials meet specifications and we'll try to explore all warm avenues...  We'll have our 1023 (501(c)3 app.) done any day now, which will qualify us for more of those perks.

I'll pass the info on to our maintenance head.  

Here's the WTTW piece:

There's also a second, cool video on that page...

No land lease today.  I swear I'm going to have a stroke waiting for it lol

Urgent need for donations to pay this month's bills.  

Thanks Mike.

Yes- SCVA is behind paying our bills.  We're working hard to keep the velodrome in Chicago.  With support of the local cycling community- we can do this.

Who thinks Chicago should have fewer cycling facilities?  Not many people here will admit to that.
Well, Chicago almost lost a relatively new facility last year, before many of us even had the time to check it out.
Eventually it will be run mostly with sponsorships from local and national businesses as well as having revenue from user fees, but right now we need to support it with either donations or sponsorships...

A number of businesses have supported the South Chicago Velodrome this year- Revolution Brewing, The Bike Lane, Evanston Bike Club, Freeman Kevenides Law, Kozy's Cyclery, Aluminati Guitar Company, Bike Fix, Johnny Sprockets, Roscoe Village Bikes, Keating Law Offices and Friends of Cal Sag Trail.  

Easiest ways to e-pay are Chase QuickPay or PayPal to or through

As big of a concern as funding is, having workers, volunteers, board members, etc from our community is equally important.  I spent six hours there today, doing surface repairs on the track.  Tomorrow is another work day


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