December 19/04 2:49 am - New Ontario Track Update
Posted by Editor on 12/19/04
New Ontario Track Project Update
Yesterday, we published an announcement from Rob Good regarding an initiative to construct an indoor track in London, Ontario (see Daily News December 18/04). We have now had a chance to talk to Rob and get more details on the proposal.
Canadian Cyclist - This announcement came out pretty suddenly; is this a new project or have you been working on it for a while?
Rob Good - It all came together in 10 days. Albert (Coulier) called me 10 days ago to say that the building (London Gardens) was empty. We had talked about this (setting up a velodrome) for a while, and then Albert just went snooping around, gathering information on what was available.
When we heard about the old hockey arena we went and measured it out, and it's perfect. Since it's an old hockey rink the floor is perfectly smooth, there's change rooms and other empty rooms for offices, weight room, etc..
CC - So what are the plans for the track?
RG - We are looking at about a 142 metre, so 7 laps to the kilometre. The spectators will be right on top of the track. Albert has designed it - he's built over 20 tracks, including the indoor Delhi (Ontario) track that I rode on in the early 70's. He's laid it out, with all the materials requirements and costing.
CC - How did you get access to the London Gardens?
RG - Albert and I went in to have a meeting with the property owners, and they were looking for a non-profit, recreational-type use. Albert started going through the old stories about track racing, laying it out, and the landowner said to to us that this is what fits with the recreational land use permit for the property.
CC - So what is required in the way of funds to make this happen?
RG - There is $100,000 needed, but our goal is $200,000. The fund raising program will flow through the OCA (Ontario Cycling Association) charitable status, so tax receipts can be issued, but every dollar, 100%, will be invested back into the facility. We know that something like Burnaby just won't work with the funding required, it's just too much to start up or sustain. This facility is affordable and the costs are reasonable. We plan to have a fund raising meeting in the new year to get things rolling.
CC - What is the time line for the track to be operational?
RG - Our goal is to have the track program fully running by September, but some things will be running before that. The track will take 3-5 weeks to build, but we need to get the funds in place first. Since the story went up on Canadian Cyclist (about 1 hour before this conversation took place) I've had 7 e-mails, and we already have our first corporate partner, who will supply clothing and some track bikes.