Couple of days ago we drove across town (yes we have a car) doing errands for our upcoming 2013 tour. A traffic jam inspired us to go a different way on and we stumbled across the Cleveland Velodrome. We saw it from a distance we both said in unison “what the heck is that?” We have been meaning to check it out since it opened in the fall 2012.
When we arrived the track was empty with just one rider resting. That was Bob and we immediately pounded him with questions. The bikes are mostly carbon frames, fixed gear and no brakes. To stay on the track up top you need to be going 35 mph. There is a 101 training course required. First timers and children are free. There are bikes to rent. Most of the users are road racers. (see Lakewood Criterion)
Soon other cyclist started showing up and we stood slack jawed for two and half hours completely forgetting our to do list.
We learned that this is not for us as riders but look forward to spectating. They have an infield with food, beer and music. The races are on Thursday and Saturdays.
Bob told us that there is a gear war among the regular users with a constant upgrade in bikes, wheels, gears and more. He explained they do a number of laps with a gear then stop and change to a different gear and do another set, same with wheels.
Members of the CASE racing team arrived on road bikes and we watched them transfer their pedals to the velodrome bikes. They are in the video below.
A family arrived from Boston extremely excited to ride. The tiny gray haired woman was a cat 3 racer and brought her own steel framed velodrome bike (pink!)
It was all very fascinating and we cannot wait to go back.
In the video below Cleveland Velodrome member Bill does a power house standing start. Wow!