As the summer Olympics take over your TV, an Olympic-style velodrome is rising in the Slavic Village neighborhood. It's kind of hard to get excited when you don't know what a velodrome is, right? We're here to help.
WHAT: Vélo: French for bicycle. Dromos: ancient Greek racetrack. Put them together, and voilà! Velodrome: bicycle racetrack. The oval-shaped tracks are made from steel and laminated wood, banking toward the center at up to 50 degrees. Whether riding for fun or to win, you can build up some speed. Work on the Cleveland Velodrome began in May and the track was completed last month.
WHO: Fast Track Cycling, the nonprofit behind the project, wants to one day put an air dome over the track so riders can feed their fix year-round. The group raised its initial $300,000 by educating donors about its goals of promoting youth programming, better health and neighborhood redevelopment. "Eight out of 10 people didn't know what a velodrome was," says Fast Track Cycling president Brett Davis.
WHERE: The track sits on 8.5 acres near Broadway Avenue and I-77, allowing ample space for parking and growth. "[It] creates tourism and an identity," says Ward 12 councilman Anthony Brancatelli. Riders ages 18 and under get free track time, bike rental and coaching (check the website for all pricing details). Brancatelli even plans to give the track a spin. "I will absolutely be out there," he says.