Milton Velodrome Fundraising Cabinet Rides Forest City Velodrome

January 31, 2014 by  Howard Chang

As Chair of the fundraising cabinet for [what will be known as] the Mattamy National Cycling Centre (aka Milton Velodrome, and venue for #TO2015), I felt it would be a great celebration of the tremendous progress we have made on the capital campaign to bring our cabinet to London, ON and ride the Forest City Velodrome. The FCV is a fantastic local initiative built into an old minor league hockey arena. And as such, it is a very small track (138M versus 250M for Milton). Due to its physical constraints, it is the STEEPEST track in the WORLD. If you stand at the base of the turn you can reach out and touch the track! As provincial coach Rob Good told our intrepid group, “If you can ride FCV, you can ride any track in the world.” … Gulp.

Now some of us have ridden track before. Steve Bauer has not only led the Tour for many days, but in his heyday was quite the track cyclist, racking up numerous championships. In my case, it’s the only place I achieved some success at the provincial level in cycling. However, most of our crew were either novices or total newbies – but that didn’t stop one of us (you know who you are!) from showing up with a $10,000 carbon aero track bike for his first time out.

FCV runs a great program and our cycling club, Les Domestiques, has supported the facility with financial sponsorships and we continued this tradition with another donation to the track presented to Rob Good on the day of our ride. Rob put our riders through the paces; and even total beginners, like John, Murray and Norbert, had a blast. By the end of our 2-hour session all the riders where tearing around the steep banking at close to 40km/h and high up on the yellow line, which is like standing on a 2nd floor balcony… with no rails!

We all had a great time and came away invigorated to continue our fundraising efforts to bring the first UCI homologated indoor velodrome in Canada to Milton! Find out more about our efforts at www.make-it-happen.ca

Howard Chang

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