photo by BikeReg.comphoto by Jack Miltonphoto by JS McElveryphoto by JS McElveryphoto by JS McElvery


Northampton Cycling Club announces arrival of the Vandedrome
Monday, September 08, 2003

Press Release, September 8, 2003

The Northampton Cycling Club is proud to announce that the Vandedrome
cycling track has arrived in the Pioneer Valley, velodrome committee forming

After months of negotiations with John VandeVelde, the Northampton Cycling
Club acquired the Vandedrome, a portable 170-meter cycling track. It made
its way from Somerville, New Jersey to the Pioneer Valley via nine movers,
six box trucks, and two flatbed tractor-trailers. The velodrome has been in
storage for several years, so it will need a substantial amount of work
before cyclists begin racing in the summer of 2004.

Bringing the velodrome to Northampton represents the beginning of a revival
of track racing in New England. In 1884, H.E. Drucker built a special
bicycle track inside the Hampden Park trotting track in Springfield. This
track launched bicycle track racing, which became a popular spectator sport.
During one three-day meet in Springfield, all American and European track
records were shattered before the eyes of 27,000 spectators.

The Vandedrome is a portable, 170 meter cycling track, with a wooden surface
and a steel infrastructure. Up to 24 cyclists compete on the 54-degree
banking, using bicycles with no brakes. There are over twenty velodromes
located throughout the United States, but this will be the first in New
England in decades. The Vandedrome has been used in the 1998 Goodwill Games
and has traveled to a dozen or so locations throughout the country.

Now the exciting and hard work begins. Anyone who is interested in
participating in the formation of a velodrome committee, with the intention
of rehabbing, locating and opening the velodrome, is invited to attend an
introductory meeting on Monday, September 15th at 7:00 at Seelye Hall, Room
206 on the Smith College Campus.

The meeting will include a photo presentation of the track, a Q&A period,
round-table discussion, and recruitment of committee members. The committee
will be looking for volunteers to help with fundraising, advertising and
marketing, venue search, velodrome repair and rehab, legal issues and
volunteer recruitment. Call John Frey at 587-8915 or email
[email protected] with questions or if you are interested in
participating but cannot attend the meeting. Further information can be
found at To “Adopt-a-Board” or for other
donation information visit

photos by Jonathan McElvery, Jack Milton, and

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