Cleveland Velodrome project halfway to goal

Grand opening planned for June 2012

The proposed Cleveland Velodrome project, in Cleavland, OH, is on track to reach the goal for the first phase of a project that will eventually see the completion of a world-class track bike velodrome in the Midwestern city.

Fast Track Cycling has reported that the group has raised $160,000, more than half of the initial funding. Now, the non-profit organization now looks to break ground on the bicycling and fitness complex that will be located on the site of the former St. Alexis/St. Michaels Hospital in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland.

The land was donated to the city after the closing of the hospital complex in 2003, and last month the Cleveland City Council voted to give Fast Track Cycling a two-year lease with an option to buy.

The project has been in gear since 2009, and organizers credit renewed interest in fixed gear and single speed bicycles as helping make the Cleveland Velodrome a reality. “We think that there is demand for recreational riding and racing on a velodrome track such as the 166 meter track we plan to open in June of 2012,” said Brett R. Davis, President of Ironwood Development Company, who oversees Fast Track Cycling.

The first phase of the project, which will reportedly cost $250,000, will see the construction of a banked tenth-of-a-mile track, made of laminated plywood and set in a large steel bowl. Given the harsh winters in the Midwest, the building of the track itself is just the beginning. “The project is three phases,” Davis told BikeRadar. “Phase one is an outdoor track with phases two and three both contemplating putting a cover or roof over the velodrome. Phase one will accommodate riding from May thru September.”

The plan, so far, calls for an inflatable dome to allow for year round use, and upon completion of the first three projects, the construction of a second track. The ultimate goal is to see the Cleveland Velodrome join the roughly 25 other track bike facilities around the US and draw riders from outside the region to Slavic Village for some good-old fixed-gear racing.

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