Fast Track Cycling Breaks Ground on New Cleveland Velodrome

Photo courtesy of Micheal Gill

I’ve been making the trip up to Cleveland for quite a few years in order to ride at the incredible Rays MTB park throughout the cold winter months. However, now it looks like cyclists will have another reason to make the trip to Cleveland, but this time it will be for riding in the nicer months of the year to ride the all new Fast Track Cycling Velodrome! Fast Track Cycling Inc, a 501 (3)(c) non-profit, has been fundraising for years and thanks to a $50,000 grant from The Cleveland Foundation, it has finally met it’s capital needs to start building. The photo above is from the ground breaking/ribbon cutting ceremony that was held yesterday and signals the start of construction. Fast Track Cycling hopes to have the the track, which is being built by Michigan based V-Worldwide, finished for the grand opening on June 16, 2012.

Get the story on the soon to be Velodrome after the break.

From Fast Track Cycling:

CLEVELAND, APRIL 26, 2012 – Fast Track Cycling, a Cleveland-based, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, is pleased to announce that it has signed a purchase contract with V-Worldwide, Inc. to bring a 166-meter steel and wood velodrome track to the Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the site at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1. The first shipments of steel are scheduled to arrive the week of May 7th and assembly will occur over a several week period. The velodrome track’s grand opening will occur on Saturday, June 16, 2012 (time TBD – we will announce this with a media advisory).

Fast Track announced plans in January 2010 to build a velodrome track at the site of the former St. Michael’s Hospital in Broadway Slavic Village. Fast Track Cycling recently signed a ground lease agreement with the City of Cleveland for the 8.4 acre site for $1 per year. Today’s announcement is the realization of the Phase I goal – constructing the track itself.

The track will be constructed from galvanized steel and a marine-grade plywood riding surface. A $50,000 grant from The Cleveland Foundation helped Fast Track complete the Phase I capital requirement of $300,000, which includes the cost of track bicycles and other related equipment. Lead donors to Phase I include Matt Litzler, Panther Expedited Services, Inc., the Clarke Family, and Mike Sherwin. Gold Medal donors include University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Drummond Road Capital (Morris H. Wheeler), the Gori Family and Kohrman Jackson & Krantz P.L.L.

Fast Track is seeking volunteers during May and early June to help with landscaping, painting, track assembly and track programming.
Fast Track Cycling President Brett Davis signed the purchase contract with Dale Hughes, president of Rochester Hills, Mich.-based V-Worldwide, Inc., an international designer and builder of Olympic-style velodromes. V-Worldwide built and operates the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, Mich. More recently, V-Worldwide built the track for the Chicago Velo Campus, a track identical to the one that will be built in Cleveland.

“After many years of hard work we are thrilled to bring a velodrome track to Cleveland,” said Brett Davis, Board President, Fast Track Cycling. “Phase I – the outdoor track – allows Fast Track to implement youth and adult programming and will serve as a tool to raise additional funds to enclose the track for year-round use. While we are very pleased to reach the Phase I target, fund-raising will continue towards the ultimate goal of an enclosed, year-round track and sports center.”

“This velodrome is a welcome addition for cycling enthusiasts in the City of Cleveland,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “It will allow for people of all ages in the City to be exposed to the culture of the international sport of fast-track cycling and give them an additional form of physical activity to engage in.”

“This is a terrific opportunity for Broadway Slavic Village,” said Marie Kittredge, Executive Director of Slavic Village Development. “The velodrome is a perfect fit for us, because of our central location, and our community’s commitment to active lifestyles and physical fitness. The velodrome will complement the gymnastics programming at the adjacent Sokol Czech Cultural Center, the community’s two new athletic fields, the First Tee Golf Course, and the Morgana Bike Trail. The Velodrome is two blocks from the Downtown Trail that will connect Downtown Cleveland to the Towpath, which is in the planning stage.”

Track cycling is a bicycle racing sport that is featured in the Olympic Games and held on specially built banked velodromes. As part of its mission to promote the sport of cycling, Fast Track will implement youth and adult programming. Fast Track will provide free coaching, free track time and free equipment rental for youth aged 18 and under, and affordable membership-based adult programming for recreational and competitive cyclists. Phase I of the project as well as future phases will promote urban redevelopment of the Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood and will create economic impact through annual visitors, hotel room nights and jobs. Detailed capital budgets and operational projections have been developed for each of the three phases of the project. Within its first year, Fast Track estimates over 3,000 annual visitors. In order to fund future phases, Fast Track will continue seeking naming rights sponsors, corporate sponsors, foundation grants, federal/state/local grants and charitable donations from the cycling community.

Fast Track is collaborating with Slavic Village Development Corporation and has received all of the necessary approvals from the Mayor’s Office, Cleveland City Council and the Cleveland Planning Commission. Fast Track plans to work closely with various neighborhood groups including Sokol Greater Cleveland, University Settlement and Boys & Girls Club.

The Slavic Village site is located southeast of the intersection of Pershing and Broadway and offers proximity to all of greater Cleveland, with excellent freeway access to I-77, I-90, I-71, I-490 and I-480.

Project Benefits
• Health & wellness – all abilities, all access, all community

• Youth programming

• Urban redevelopment

• Year-round community, recreational, elite and regional use

• Nationally unique venue to attract and retain young, active adults to Northeast Ohio

• Appeal to a growing market – Cleveland area cyclists

• Ability to host regional, national and international events throughout the year

• Potential training center for Olympic and professional cyclists (road and track)

For More Information

Brett Davis – Board President: info@clevelandvelodrome.org or (216) 256-4285

Matt Litzler – Vice President: mlitzler@calitzler.com or (216) 409-0264

John Bodell – Fundraising Co-Chair: john.bodell@rrd.com or (216) 706-7829

Follow our progress on Facebook.com/clevelandvelodrome

Comments

Chris - 05/04/12 - 2:56pm

People playing basketball on the inside of the track?

That’s safe.

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