A group of local cycling enthusiasts are kicking their dream of bringing a cycle-racing track to Kelowna into high gear.
Darrin Caruso, owner and operator of ChainLine Cycle, is one of the driving forces behind the plan. He said that the idea of bringing a velodrome to Kelowna has been tossed around for a while.
“I’ve heard people talk about it for the last 15 years. We just thought it could never happen because it’d be too much money. Then I bumped into one of the executives from the Victoria velodrome. He told me the costs they ensued to get theirs done and (now) it seems like a reality,” said Caruso.
Caruso said the $120,000 price tag to build a velodrome will be the easy part; the more difficult task will be finding the appropriate land and a building.
To take on the challenge, Caruso and several others are in the process of setting up a non-profit society for the velodrome club. The next challenge will be choosing executives to take on various tasks such as getting funding, finding a building and selling memberships.
The goal of the group is to create a facility that will attract amateur and expert riders from all over the interior.
One of Caruso’s strategies is to develop a track that isn’t as steep as others in the province.
“The track in Burnaby is about 42-degrees around the corners—you have to be doing about 35 km/h just to stay on the track. That is something we want to avoid.
“Our goal is 22-degrees, that way when you’re riding around, you don’t have to be holding a lot of speed to stay on it.”
Although planning is in the early stages, Caruso is optimistic that construction could begin on the project as early as next spring.
“There are indoor and outdoor possibilities. Indoor is what we’re shooting for, because if it’s indoor, then from October to March it would be a highly used area. Instead of riding indoor trainers in the basement, looking at walls all winter, people will be able to go and actually ride two or three times a week.”
The ultimate goal is to create a full-length track that is adequate for the Commonwealth Games; however, Caruso admits that dream is a long-shot.
If an indoor velodrome isn’t a possibility, Caruso said he would consider creating an outdoor facility where riders could train from the spring to fall.
Those interested in getting involved with the velodrome non-profit society are welcome to attend the group’s next meeting, which is being held at Gio Bean Espresso Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.
For more information, e-mail Caruso at email@example.com.