A Message From Doug & Frank (April, 2014)
“In 2004, when Frank Banta and I hatched our idea to build a velodrome, we stole the movie line from “Field of Dreams” as our mantra: “If you build it, they will come.” In 2007, we traveled to Toluca, Mexico, to meet our track designer, Peter Junek. He was completing a 250-meter track, and we were lucky enough to be there when it was ready to ride. I had never been on a velodrome, but I always knew I would like it. Peter and I hopped on the track and did about twenty laps. It was exhilarating. I stopped, looked at Frank, and said, “We’re building a velodrome, and I don’t care if anyone comes”. Although my statement was heartfelt, we actually do want you to join us. It will be a little lonely riding by ourselves, anyway.” – Doug Emerson
1. When will the track be open?
The Boulder Valley Velodrome will have an extended soft opening throughout 2014. Call it a year-long dry run. Frank, Doug, and the crew will be working on the completion of the facility for the rest of this year. If this were 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. The bigger items on our punch list include landscaping, installation of infield lights, and building the grandstands. As soon as our contractor and the Erie Building Department feel the facility can be used safely, we will allow our Founding Members and Clubs access to the track to begin their certification process. Additional certification classes and increased access for non-members will follow.
2. 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 like, we will observe how they blend into the schedule before we add more. If you are interested in becoming a Founding Member, please contact Doug at 720-480-1009, or by email at, email@example.com
3. Can you explain the structure for the 10 regular clubs?
Yes, here is a quick outline:
- 30 members per club.
- $500 per member.
- The regular season runs from April-October.
- Clubs get two, 90-minute sessions per week, one after 5 pm on weekdays, and one on Saturday or Sunday.
- 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 $20 per session.
- Rental bikes are available to club members for $100 per year (includes both seasons).
- Club members will be certified as safe and qualified riders by BVV coaches. (No additional charge).
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 original ten clubs.
- We believe 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 ten original clubs are happy. When we have achieved this goal, we will consider growth options.
4. Are there club slots still available?
The first ten clubs are in place, but that does not mean we don’t have room for more clubs. If you can form a club that can meet during a weekday (10 am – 4 pm), then there is plenty of opportunity. Examples might include a club of young riders who can meet after school, or any group of people who have a flexible work schedule.
5. How can I get on the track if I’m not in one of the original ten clubs?
Patience, Grasshopper; everyone will find a way onto the track, even if they’re not in a club. We look forward to the realization of all types of classes, programs, open-track sessions, and races. However, this won’t be in place on Day One. We are growing a business, and all growth beyond the first ten clubs and the Founding Members will come from our wide-open free enterprise system. Colby Pierce and Cari Higgins have been instrumental in outlining a coaching coalition that will operate at the Boulder Valley Velodrome:
- First of all, everyone must be certified to BVV standards. This will involve taking a $250, eight-session certification class (reminder: this is free for Founding Members, and the original ten clubs). Certification means that getting on the track for riders of all levels starts by taking a class. Obviously, for experienced riders, it won’t be the same class that we will be offering for beginners, but track etiquette and language need to be uniform.
- Okay, so you’re certified. The challenge for BVV is where to funnel all of these riders. Even with our clubs in place, the schedule has lots of room. Here are some access scenarios that might pique your interest:
- The staff at University Bicycles loved going to Boulder Indoor Cycling. We “bought” the Friday morning, 8- 9:30 AM time slot during the winter months so that everyone could plan accordingly. We had a blast! Plenty of companies in our region could easily get 20 employees to commit to a fun-filled program like this. In this scenario, the group could hire a BVV coach, and get certified together. This kind of pre-organization—coming to BVV as a group—is what we are looking for.
- Coaches can “host” open track sessions for certified riders. These 90-minute sessions might offer a half hour of motor pacing, followed by technique drills, but not individual coaching.
- Staying with the free-market theme, the original ten clubs could sell blocks of their sessions to other groups. For instance, Shimano/Pearl Izumi could form a group of interested riders, and buy a block of training sessions from Black Sheep Cycling, one of our original ten clubs. Black Sheep splits the fee with BVV and accumulates funds for their club.
- A club realizes that on average, only 20 of their 30 members show up at appointed sessions. To fill open slots, they may invite certified riders to join any of their sessions. Again, proceeds would be split with BVV, creating revenue for the track and the club, and creating a pathway for individual riders to access the track.
We created a mock schedule that suggests how a mid-season week might look here:
6. What will go on in the winter?
The main season will be from April-October. Make up dates for snow and rainouts that cannot be redeemed during these months will bleed into November. The winter season will be from November-March, and passes/punch cards will available. The track will be open, weather dependent, and we believe the winter will provide some of the best training days. Price has yet to be determined. We have 300 original club members, and they will have first right of refusal. Winter passes are free for Founding Members.
7. Will there be rental bikes available?
Yes, we will have a fleet of 50 Specialized “Langsters”, with the following size spread:
- 49cm – 8 bikes
- 52cm – 9 bikes
- 54cm – 9 bikes
- 56cm – 10 bikes
- 58cm – 9 bikes
- 61cm – 5 bikes
These bikes retail for about $700, so they’re nice. We also have ten kid’s bikes that are 44cm with 650 cm wheels. Rental bikes are free for Founding Members. Rental bike prices are yet to be determined, but our policy will be as follows:
- Members of the original ten clubs can buy a rental bike pass for $100. If a club member buys their own track bike during the season, a pro-rated refund on the rental pass will be arranged.
- Rental bikes will be included in the price of all classes and programs. If you already have a track bike, the rental bike fee will be subtracted from the class/program price.
- We are eliminating as many administrative details as we can, so we won’t go through the individual rental bike process every time you show up. This will get people on the track more quickly and efficiently.
8. What kind of pedals will be on the rental bikes?
Boulder Valley Velodrome is fortunate to have Shimano/Pearl Izumi as a sponsor, and they’ll be providing pedals and shoes for our rental fleet. The rental bikes will have Shimano 550-M pedals. If you don’t have shoes with standard Shimano road cleats, you can use our Pearl Izumi rental shoes for free. We will not be changing pedals on the rental fleet.
9. How old do kids have to be in order to ride the track at BVV?
Twelve, and they must be able to fit our smallest bikes.
10. Can bikes and wheels be stored at the facility?
Yes. There are 200 spaces available in our infield bunker. They rent for $125/year, and are wide enough to accommodate one bike and an extra set of wheels. The storage building is a 5100 sq. ft. concrete bunker with steel doors. It is inside the track envelope and accessible only through the tunnel. When the gates are closed, and the building is locked, the bunker is very secure. Bike storage is free for Founding Members.
11. Will my belongings be insured through the Boulder Valley Velodrome?
No. You’ll be on your own.
12. What if I’m just visiting Erie, Colorado? How can I get on the track?
If you are certified by your home track, and have a valid race license, we will get you aligned with one of the club’s training sessions. If you are at the Boulder Valley Velodrome to race, you must have a licensed status above cat 5.
13. If I’ve already won the Tour de France, do I have to pay for training sessions?
Yes. You can afford it.
14. What if I haven’t won the Tour, but I think I will someday?
Sorry, you still have to pay. We’re trying to run a business here, but good luck in Le Tour.
15. When will there be races? What do I need to participate?
We are extremely lucky to have Pat McDonough as our race director. His credentials as an event coordinator, as well as a life-long passionate track cyclist, are impeccable. The tentative plan is to begin in June and run through August with a weekday racing program…probably Thursday evenings. Friday and Saturday night racing is also being discussed.
The 2014 Racing Program will be run under the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado. Riders will have to hold a USA Cycling Road/Track Racing License to compete. Newly licensed racers (Cat 5) will have to take a certification course before competing. Entry fees have not been finalized. The racing program will be posted on our website as soon as we announce the schedule.
We are excited to open Boulder Valley Velodrome this year. With enough patience, and a shared vision, we can all help create a diverse and thriving cycling culture. This year will be fun, but realizing the complete vision may take a while. We hope this information will answer the broad questions about how you can get involved with the new velodrome. For any further questions, please email Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org.