Boulder Valley Velodrome Cycling Track in Erie to Open this Spring

From the Denver Post:

ERIE — From the plains of east Boulder County springs a cycling dream, in the form of a very large Pringle.

By early next spring, Frank Banta and Doug Emerson envision hordes of brakeless, fixed-gear cyclists spinning speedy laps around the steep walls of Colorado's second velodrome, a vision nearly a decade in the making.

The Boulder Valley Velodrome — the country's 27th outdoor velodrome — is following a unique business plan, catering to cycling clubs. It's a hockey rink model — with clubs buying time on the 250-meter track for members. And it's anchored in the notion that everyone who likes to pedal will eventually want to spin in a velodrome.

"We are at a precipice of seeing a resurgence in track riding," said Emerson, who started Boulder's famed University Cycles bike shop from his garage 28 years ago. "You can't find a major metro area that isn't looking to develop a velodrome. The time is ripe."

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FAQs about new velodrome

From their website:

1. When will the track be open?

We hope to be operational by April, 2013. As with any construction project, it always takes longer and costs more than you originally anticipate. If this was a publicly funded facility, there would be a grand opening date, and a ribbon cutting. Ours is a private venture, so we are moving forward with a lot of bootstrapping and sweat equity. Progress has been steady, though, and we invite you to come out for a visit. The most frequently uttered comment by visitors has been, “Wow, I’ve seen the photos on Facebook, but I had no idea……..this is awesome!”

2. Do you need volunteers to help with construction?

We appreciate the cycling communities enthusiasm and willingness to help speed the project along, but we are unable to use volunteers, due to insurance issues. Thanks to all of you who have offered.

3. Can I still become a Founding Member?

Yes, there are a handful of memberships left before we reach the predetermined cap. Since these members can ride virtually whenever they want to, we will observe how they blend into the schedule before we add more. If you are interested in becoming a Founding Member, please call Doug Emerson at 720-480-1009.

4. Can you explain the structure for the 10 regular clubs?

Yes, here is a quick outline:

1. 30 members per club.
2. $500 per member.
3. The regular season runs from April-October.
4. Clubs get two, 90-minute sessions per week, one after 5 pm on weekdays, and one on Saturday or Sunday.
5. A third opportunity for club members to train will be available during “open track” sessions, making a total of 84 possible track sessions during the 28 week season.
6. Members from the original ten clubs will have first dibs on winter season (November-March) punch cards. Price is yet to be determined, but will probably be between $8-$12 per session.
7. Rental bikes are available to club members for $100 per year (includes both seasons).
8. Club members will be certified as safe and qualified riders by Colby Pierce (Founding Member, and professional track rider) during their first two sessions. (No extra charge).
9. A $3,000 deposit ($100 per member) is required to secure a club slot. This deposit will be applied to membership dues, leaving $400 per member due on opening day.
Here are some random notes to help further explain:

- Our plan is to start with structure, rather than try to create it after we’re open. The idea is that most people will want to ride after work, Mon.-Fri., and during the weekend. Therefore, we are rewarding those premium time slots to the first 300 people who get themselves organized into clubs of 30 members.
- We believe that these clubs will be able to grow to 40 or 50 members, and we will consider this after observing track usage for a few months. In any case, it will be easier to add than subtract.
- Our primary objective is to make sure that the Founding Members and the 10 original clubs are happy. When we have achieved this goal, we will consider growth options.

5. Are there club slots still available?

Yes, there are currently 3 club spots yet to be claimed.

6. Will there be programs offered for non club members?

Yes, absolutely, and we have a number of coaches ready to organize classes. A typical class will meet for 90 minutes, once a week, for 12 weeks. Cost is yet to be determined, but rental bikes will be included.

We created a mock schedule that suggests how a mid-season week might look here:

7. What will go on in the winter?

We believe that with our mild winters, November- March could be quite busy on the track. We will be open as weather permits. When it snows, we will shovel off the track, and let the sun dry it out. As mentioned in the regular club outline, members will have first dibs on purchasing a winter Open Track Card. Founding Members can continue to ride unscheduled throughout the winter, no charge.

For me?

I LOVE my bikeS and am more than willing to cough up $500+ a year to ride a track that is 10 minutes from my house. *BUT*, that assumes I like doing it and how exactly do I learn that when there is zero announced opportunity to "try it before you buy it"? I don't want to hear anything like "go to CO Springs". That is just stupid. Let's make the assumption that a person knows they want to do this and pays the entry costs. Now, what exactly is the plan for a Cat4 guy with as much love for a bike as Cari Higgins (let's say) gets on a track with her and doesn't get either of us killed via lack of skill? The ONLY answer has to be that there are also skill restrictions on top of team restrictions and/or 17 other provisos that make it that much LESS open to the public. Maybe there is more planning that isn't public but even with the disposable income for it, I will dispose of it elsewhere. Now, queue up the comment trolls with their "good, who wants you" replies...productive.